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How can i re-create a bolting situation in the arena though? How can I re-create these spooky situations in an arena? do I just canter her and pretend like that is the "bolt" and then one-rein stop from there? Sorry, legit question, i think that is where i am getting stuck?


I watched a lot of ross jacobs videos, he re-iterates a lot of this. Horses are always asking who is in charge. I am nervous that my "in charge" is going to be too hard-handed and rough... I had and/or have the mentality that it is like a child walking into the woods with a parent. When they are scared, they run and hide behind the mother's legs, giving the parent the leadership role. But what seems to be the truth with horses is that when scared, the child will just run blindly into the forest away from the parent.


Is this somewhat accurate?
The bolt is the result of an applied stimulus. You don't want that stimulus while you teach her to respond to half halts, whoa off your seat, and taking her "head away from her" by doing small circles and getting her to cross her feet over to round her up under you. You can do all that at the walk. And do it until it sticks. When Patti starts to get UP, I tip her nose in toward the center of the arena and, since I already have contact, I just start flexing my fingers and "pumping the brakes" until she slows down, drops her head and on the circle, I can feel her feet cross over and her back come up underneath my seat. She literally can not buck or run off when we're doing that. And we started at the walk around a cone in the middle of the arena. If that's not quite enough, then I close my outside elbow to my rib cage and bring my outside hand in toward her midline, so the rein is on her neck. That balances her a little and "shuts the door" for her to run out of my aides on the inside of the circle. I have to do that more often to the right than the left, it's her weak side, as it's my weak side too. When she slows just a little, it may be drop from the canter to the trot, trot to walk, then I sit down and best way I can describe it is, tighten your butt cheeks and use the outside back of your thigh to squeeze and say, "Whoa". At first she'll probably walk through the whoa, so just keep at it until she stops and doesn't walk forward, then give her some rest. You can also count foot falls. For instance, Patti likes to take one extra step forward and kick her right hip out when I want her to stop square. I sit down, "Whoa", and tip her nose toward her right side, just a little and when she goes to step out with her hip, she meets the "closed door" of my right leg, already there an holding her in place. Then we do an exercise where I count off Left, Left, Left and make her stop when her left hind hits the ground. These are all things that will get her mind on you and get her in the habit of listening.

And yes, you're correct about the horse. It will run into the woods, not behind momma's legs (unless it's a foal). A grown horse is hard wired to get the heck out of Dodge when things get dicey.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
The bolt is the result of an applied stimulus. You don't want that stimulus while you teach her to respond to half halts, whoa off your seat, and taking her "head away from her" by doing small circles and getting her to cross her feet over to round her up under you. You can do all that at the walk. And do it until it sticks. When Patti starts to get UP, I tip her nose in toward the center of the arena and, since I already have contact, I just start flexing my fingers and "pumping the brakes" until she slows down, drops her head and on the circle, I can feel her feet cross over and her back come up underneath my seat. She literally can not buck or run off when we're doing that. And we started at the walk around a cone in the middle of the arena. If that's not quite enough, then I close my outside elbow to my rib cage and bring my outside hand in toward her midline, so the rein is on her neck. That balances her a little and "shuts the door" for her to run out of my aides on the inside of the circle. I have to do that more often to the right than the left, it's her weak side, as it's my weak side too. When she slows just a little, it may be drop from the canter to the trot, trot to walk, then I sit down and best way I can describe it is, tighten your butt cheeks and use the outside back of your thigh to squeeze and say, "Whoa". At first she'll probably walk through the whoa, so just keep at it until she stops and doesn't walk forward, then give her some rest. You can also count foot falls. For instance, Patti likes to take one extra step forward and kick her right hip out when I want her to stop square. I sit down, "Whoa", and tip her nose toward her right side, just a little and when she goes to step out with her hip, she meets the "closed door" of my right leg, already there an holding her in place. Then we do an exercise where I count off Left, Left, Left and make her stop when her left hind hits the ground. These are all things that will get her mind on you and get her in the habit of listening.

And yes, you're correct about the horse. It will run into the woods, not behind momma's legs (unless it's a foal). A grown horse is hard wired to get the heck out of Dodge when things get dicey.

Thank you dreamy. I will work on this tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #83
I have good news about Tyra's leg.


The X-Ray is scheduled for September 15th. I talked to my mom and dad and they have agreed to help me pay for the x-rays if I pay for the visitation fee, which is more than fair. I've been in constant contact with the vet who was able to look at the x-rays i've provided and has some super good news.


it looks like the general concern is the original diagnosis. The paperwork vet 1 gave me was not necessarily on her current condition. She says there is extensive bone remodeling of the inner proximal sesamoid bone on the right front. At the time of the x rays it didn't look like it had filled in that much and was still fragile, hence the prognosis - no jumping. You can see where the chunk of the bone broke off and left a huge hole in Tyra's sesamoid. She said it is a miracle this horse is sound and alive at all considering the fracture was extremely severe, especially considering it was not healed correctly. I asked if it could have happened at the track, and she said most likely not because Tyra finished racing in 2014, and it would be more "filled in." At the time these x-rays were taken this was not a sound, jumpable horse. Not at all, and she agrees with Dr. Zee on that.


At the same time, we'll be nearly three years from the original injury. There is a very high chance that bone has remodeled even more and is now completely sound to handle impact. What Dr. A is worried about is the joint, not the chance of ligament or tendon damage. She is concerned that the little piece of bone is at risk of breaking off and creating havoc for Tyra's joint, instigating early onset arthritis and potential unsoundness to the point of pasture retirement.



We don't know how "locked in" the little bone is, because we can't see the top of the bone in relation to the other sesamoid. She said there is no risk of tendon damage at this point because the bone has "soft edges" which means its been there long enough in an active, moving horse not to cause issues. Most likely we will need to take the boney piece out, and then we should be 100% in the clear.


I asked about arthritis even with the piece removed and she said sadly I will need to be considering joint injections by the time Tyra is 10. She said she could live a very long and sound life, but there is great chance of being only flat-sound at 14. I told her that was OK with me, I've been prepared for this since I bought her. That is why trail training is so crucial - this might be ALL she can do in a few years.



Then again she might be able to compete for a little while. We just won't know until the x-rays.


Dr A did tell me not to panic too much. The fact that Tyra was sound doing XC and extensive, heavy jumping gives her a strong differential diagnosis that this is a bone chip from an old fracture. She may not be an FEI horse, and she may not be able to jump for many years, but Dr. A said she will be 100% ok for low-impact stuff, no matter what they find. She is hoping the bone has remodeled more and there is a possibility the chip may have reabsorbed into the sesamoid bone by now. The remodeling was pretty extensive and the edges are round and soft, so Dr. Zee's "she's going to tear her suspensories" is not accurate.



44 more days!
 

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Discussion Starter #84
^ omg so happy dr zee had the WRONG VERNACULAR in her original diagnosis. yes it's a "fracture" but a sesamoid "FRACTURE" and a sesamoid "bone chip" are 2 totally different disorders. a fracture would cut right through the bone, a bone chip would remove a chunk of the bone. The piece that popped off shattered and collected in a bone-piece clump that has become the bony tower on top of the sesamoid bone, but the bone itself has filled in and re-created itself.



THIS IS REALLY GOOD NEWS because the treatment for a chip fracture is much more manageable than an actual fracture, which is extremely serious and requires screws and the sort to keep the bones together so they can re-model and calcify back as one.


I can only imagine how much pain tyra was in when this happened to her :frown_color: poor baby girl... it's lucky the pieces didn't slice the tendons!
 

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If you truly feel you are overhorsed, you should limit your trail riding. Go out a short way out as long as you feel comfortable, then do some "training" and walk back. If there is anyone you trust, you can ask them to pony your horse on the trail. You are right to consider your safety first. That is the most important thing. It doesn't mean you are limited, it just means that your horse needs more work. Look at the long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
@whisperbaby22, i don't know if i am so much overhorsed as picking the wrong discipline. i never had an opportunity to do any trail riding growing up, so now that i have my first horse i was hoping to branch out and explore new things.


but tyra doesn't feel comfortable being a jack of all trades mount, and i need to respect that, as disappointed as i am. i was talking with a friend about what happened yesterday (nearly got bucked off twice and reared with once - she didn't go up but she was giving me serious warnings that she wanted to try), trying to break it down and figure out what went wrong. we realied at our old barn tyra got extreme riding structure - it was the same routine every day. now, the trainer and the leaser are gone, she isn't tired all the time, she is ridden lightly, and her fitness and strength have returned. she has realized we are not going back to the nice barn, and she might be testing the waters to see how serious i am about our rules and regulations. she's done this at every barn we've been at, and since this is barn 3 i now know the signs and where she's going with all of her bluffs, and can act accordingly.


it's looking like you are right, trails need to be put on pause while we work on re-establishing the rules of engagement, pecking order, and that she can't be a turd just because i'm her only rider now. she's got my number and then some. she is an incredibly intelligent horse, and i am an incredibly sympathetic rider. what she really needs is someone who won't put up with her balogne, like my old trainers. they shut it down fast. i, unfortunately, feed into the narrative of her history and become overly concerned with not repeating her bad life experiences and being a positive force in her life. unfortunately, as a horse she of course can't see that i am just trying to be her friend. last night was the first time in over a year that i've actually hit her hard with the lead rope and shanked her halter, because she tried to run me over to get into her stall. she's NEVER done that, not in almost 2 years, but it was the climax of being able to push me around under saddle for 3 days in a row. i'm glad i am seeing these patterns though, because it empowers me to know I CAN stop them.
 

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Good, keep working with her at a level you feel comfortable with. Follow the path of this horse for as long as you like, you two will grow together. Or not. But as long as you love this horse, she is the one that can teach you.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Haven't been able to update in a while but here it goes!


A lot has happened in two months. I'll probably be able to relay bit by bit. The most notable thing is Tyra just got back from the hospital... AGAIN... for a serious bout of displacement colic. Two thousand dollars later.... AGAIN... she came home fit as a fiddle. No surgery, phew, but fam and I want to get her on health insurance pronto. Still researching exactly how this works. I probably won't be eligible for another year.



Despite the colic, the vet gave us a good prognosis. It seemed to have been started by her not drinking, which is what led to the last colic she had in fall of 2016. Vet put her on electrolytes and pulled out all alfalfa (worried about stones), double-netted her hay to prevent ulcers (which WORKED, let me tell you), added a probiotic, and one extra water source so she could pick where she wanted to drink.



I started up with my other trainer again, and now there is friction between her and my day-to-day trainer, Alyssa. Maggie (grand prix rider/trainer) is very skilled and much more into competition training than Alyssa. Alyssa combines traditional dressage with natural horsemanship. She believes the horse should move off of zero leg, only energy and breathing. Pretty advanced stuff! i was highly skeptical, but then she invited me to a training session for Tyra where I got to watch her work. And all I can say is WOW! I was incredibly impressed and convinced this is what my horse needed.



However, Maggie trains differently. She falls more in line with leg-to-hand, where as Alyssa wants the horse to stay in front of the leg 100% of the time so she doesn't have to use it. The good news is I have been able to blend these philosophies as they aren't so different.



But Alyssa has been acting distant since I brought Maggie to the barn. But Alyssa was a referral from Maggie, so I don't get why she would feel the need to mark a claim on me as a client? Regardless, I only see Maggie once a month and I ride with Alyssa every week.



Alyssa wants Tyra to carry herself the entire time, whereas my old trainer wanted me to carry Tyra, claiming the horse isn't strong enough to work that hard. Alyssa lowered the bit a hole, which forced Tyra to actually HOLD it instead of it being positioned correctly in her mouth. That made an amazing difference and what used to take minutes of fuddling and warm-up to get, I got in less than 30 seconds. Automatically she lowered her head, grabbed the bit, and asked for contact and connection.


Our show is in october. I'm still training for it, and we are competing T1 and T2. Maggie wants us at 1st by the end of the year, but Alyssa wants us to work a bit more at Training, so we will probably stay there until Alyssa feels we are ready. I certainly don't want her to feel like I value Maggie more than her.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
We have been working diligently at making sure Tyra's colic does not come back. Her bloodwork showed unusually high levels of protein, which makes her susceptible to stones and irritates any hind gut ulcers she may or may not have. Even though I pulled her off of all the alfalfa hay, shockingly enough she isn't losing condition. I supplement with an amino acid powder that I put into her food. She gets extra electrolytes and we installed a second water bucket in her stall outside, so now she has two places to drink from. Of course, she prefers her large bucket and not her automatic waterer.

We've moved up in the dressage world. I had a lesson with Maggie this weekend and we worked extensively on getting moments of suspension in our trot. We also focused on staying on the bit and impulsion through the trot. So far so good! We've moved up to first level now. Maggie wants us to start competing at the end of this year.

Things with Alyssa are better, and the training is going OK, but she is no Maggie. I know it makes her uncomfortable knowing I am riding from a Grand Prix dressage trainer, but in my opinion she doesn't really get too much of a say. I checked her training book, and despite being with her for nearly four months, and working with Tyra once a week, Tyra is still not on her list of "horses in training." I am doing all I can do be included in her riding program, but sometimes I still feel like we are struggling to be seen.

Regardless, Maggie really, really likes Tyra. She talked extensively on my contact and connection, and says points are easy if we can keep her nose on the vertical. So she shortened up my reins and told me to ride like this. Immediately I felt a bit nervous, because as soon as we were truly "on the bit" I could feel Tyra swell up underneath me and fill with very intimidating power. The canter work is getting better, but every time I allow Tyra to open up her stride I get nervous and pull her back. We are doing our best not to discourage her, but she is such a powerful horse that it is hard for me not to feel a bit out of control.

That's all I've got for now. I am probably going to give her the day off tomorrow, and hopefully ride her Tuesday. Count down to the show begins!
 
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