The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a dilemma...
This last term in school I was able to go see Lacey every single day of the week since I had time and she's really close to the school. Only problem is that she seemed to be getting too tired from that. I was only walking her mostly with a smidge of trotting (about 50/50 when I lunged her, which was about 3 times a week) but I was ending up having to coax her into the trot and get her to walk super easily (both of which are completely weird for her). There was no hope of cantering on the lunge line, she just wouldn't.

These last few weeks (school is out for the term) I've only seen her twice and today when I went to see her, she was SO much more perky when I lunged her. She was breaking into the trot without me telling her, refusing to walk from the trot once I told her to trot and just generally being her normal frisky self. She even cantered as soon as I told her to, for at least 4-5 circles (both directions) and she didn't want to slow down, I ended up having to jerk on her face to get her attention. :shock:

I'm getting the impression that I should work her significantly less/see her less (since she wasn't really doing any extra ordinary work to begin with) but I really like seeing her that much... I don't want to just go out to pat her on the nose, then leave but that's kind of looking like what might be required...

I dunno, what would you do in this situation?
I would have thought that if it was a fitness level thing, ten weeks of everyday work should have fixed it. Maybe it's just her age but she is in really excellent shape for her age...

I mean, I like her perky self and I like her lower energy self. I'm just concerned that at her age, being tired all the time isn't prime.

I wasn't sure where to put this... Hopefully this is the right place...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
What about seeing her her/working her every second day? Or or doing walk/trot work one day and just walking the next? So that she has a day of rest in between work. I used to do that with my old mare who was 25/26 at the time I was riding her regularly, and she always had plenty of go.
I don't think you have to give up seeing her everyday, maybe just try something different, like teaching her some tricks or playing games, etc. I know a girl at my paddock had a old horse that was beyond being able to cope with regular work, but loved playing games.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
I would try to teach her some tricks on days you don't ride. That way her body can rest, while you work her mind. And you still get to see her everyday.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,249 Posts
Wallaby, forgive me, with everything going on I don't remember your horse's details? How old is she again? How are her hooves etc going? And what exactly were/do you do with her aside from lunging? How much lunging?

Unless she's very old or sick, I wouldn't expect it's anything to do with physical tiredness(depending on how much you do of course). My first guess would be she was sore somehow - pulled a muscle & stiff, sore feet, for eg. 'Laziness' or 'tiredness' or such when not working hard frequently has a physical cause. Another possibility, if she was just going round on the lunge or such, is that she was getting mentally tired, bored & crabby?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Wallaby, forgive me, with everything going on I don't remember your horse's details? How old is she again? How are her hooves etc going? And what exactly were/do you do with her aside from lunging? How much lunging?

Unless she's very old or sick, I wouldn't expect it's anything to do with physical tiredness(depending on how much you do of course). My first guess would be she was sore somehow - pulled a muscle & stiff, sore feet, for eg. 'Laziness' or 'tiredness' or such when not working hard frequently has a physical cause. Another possibility, if she was just going round on the lunge or such, is that she was getting mentally tired, bored & crabby?
That's totally fine. =) She's approximately 24, depending on when her birthday is, she may technically be 25, but 24 is more likely. Her hooves seem to be doing well. Her frogs did not seem as soft as they had been, today when I checked them. She's been kinda fending off some very mild thrush but I just started treating for it so there probably wasn't any change (I really can't see this thrush but my farrier says it's there so I believe her). I do think she does less moving in the winter because she looks so much more svelte and muscular in the summer, in the wintertime she just kinda looks like a blob poneh. haha

I had been lunging for only about ten to fifteen minutes, every other day or so (3 days out of the 4 I saw her every week), and I would alternate the surroundings, one day we'd lunge in the arena with groundpoles and the next day we'd lunge in the field. Towards the end of the term I started ground driving her but that pretty much ended up backfiring since it made her really p*ssy and then when I rode she'd act up something awful. I'd only ride once or twice a week if I got lucky since I only had about 45 minutes to spend with her and since she isn't really a fan of being ridden. When I was able to ride, it was only mostly walking (the footing where we can ride isn't so great for anything more than a walk) with a smidge of trotting circles and figure 8's on dry days. Recently I've begun working with her on what some might term showmanship maneuvers. I've been working on getting her to yield both her front and back end but she seemed pretty unwilling to try at that either.

I wonder too about her having sore feet/sore something else but I'm not really sure how to tell. She's very stoic and even when she was having lamitic episodes last spring, she gave no indication of pain. She's never been sore in her back when I do the "back soreness test". She never acts ouchy on the asphalt road and has only once acted mildly ouchy on gravel (when her frogs were so soft). Her hind end is mildly stiff most of the time but I do stretch her before we begin to work. Maybe that's it?
I would have figured that if it was arthritis she would be worse off after having two weeks almost completely off...

It could be that she was just mentally tired since she is very very bright. I just have a hard time teaching her tricks and stuff because she's not motivated really by food ie, I tried to teach her carrot stretches and she stood there staring at me like I had grown a third head. I tried clicker training her and kept forgetting to bring treats so that kinda fell away. She did catch on very quickly with clicker training, however. I wonder if dried apples are ok for horses...I could cut some up and just store them in my car so that I'm ready whenever I go to see her... The barn that she's at really isn't equipped with tons of interesting things. There are only 3 groundpoles and one little bridge thing for me to use. No buckets or cones or anything else to make things interesting. Lacey could care less about the groundpoles, she doesn't mind hitting them and she actually broke 2 of them (there were originally 5) by smashing them in the middle when she stepped on them at speed. The bridge also doesn't phase her. She'll ground tie on it and go to sleep. It's rather ridonculous.

Sorry for the mental spewing, I hope this gives a better idea of the rut we're in. >.<

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
you should have the vet check her out. She might have Lymes or something else. Because if they get tired all of the sudden, that's usually not normal. If anything, I would recommend cutting down the excersize. Mabye doing it like a half n hour instead of an hour?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,061 Posts
What about going there and handwalking her, or teaching her simple tricks? That way you aren't just going there and patting her, and leaving; there are ways of seeing a horse without working it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,249 Posts
or so (3 days out of the 4 I saw her every week), and I would alternate the surroundings, one day we'd lunge in the arena with groundpoles and the next day we'd lunge in the field. Towards the end of the term I started ground driving her but that pretty much ended up backfiring since it made her really p*ssy and then when I rode she'd act up something awful.
Lunging is still lunging. Still pretty mindless & it sounds like she's a horse that needs to be kept thinking. Also lunging can be hard on their joints, and if she's already not young, not fit, got stiff hips... I'd be inclined to do different stuff with her.

Why did she get p*ssy with ground driving & after? Could it be that she is a dominant type & sees it as you challenging? Could it be that she doesn't understand exactly what you want so getting frustrated, that it's not worth her while....?

I've been working on getting her to yield both her front and back end but she seemed pretty unwilling to try at that either.
I consider that type of thing - teaching the horse to yield in a range of ways in whatever direction I ask - one of the very basics of training. I would be teaching her those kinds of things before I attempted to lunge, drive, ride, etc. Horses naturally resist pressure that they don't understand, so it could be that which is making her unwilling. In that case, make things as simple, easy & clear for her & positively(reward) as well as negatively(remove pressure) reinforce her for whatever she gives you.

I wonder too about her having sore feet/sore something else but I'm not really sure how to tell. She's very stoic and even when she was having lamitic episodes last spring, she gave no indication of pain. She's never been sore in her back when I do the "back soreness test". She never acts ouchy on the asphalt road and has only once acted mildly ouchy on gravel (when her frogs were so soft). Her hind end is mildly stiff most of the time but I do stretch her before we begin to work. Maybe that's it?

I would be ruling all that out before lunging or riding anymore. What's the 'back soreness test'? If it's just running your knuckles down alongside her spine or poking fingers into her, then sorry, that's just not adequate. I'd be getting a bodyworker to come check out & adjust her hips too. How do you stretch her? It's best to devise ways of getting her to stretch herself (such as getting her to 'sniff her tail' - yield her head as close to her butt as poss)rather than you forcing her, and stretches should be held for about 30 seconds at least for optimum effect.

It could be that she was just mentally tired since she is very very bright. I just have a hard time teaching her tricks and stuff because she's not motivated really by food ie, I tried to teach her carrot stretches and she stood there staring at me like I had grown a third head. I tried clicker training her and kept forgetting to bring treats so that kinda fell away. She did catch on very quickly with clicker training, however. I wonder if dried apples are ok for horses...
I suspect you're right that it sounds likely it's a mental/training/attitude thing, at least as much as physical, if it is that. You say she's not food motivated, but say she caught on with clicker training. How did you reinforce that if not with food? Perhaps for carrot stretches you were asking too much from her to begin with & needed to get her solid on easier things - such as just putting her nose to her knees when you ask - first? Perhaps it's not 'not food motivated' but a timing problem? Yes, dried or fresh apples & carrots are *generally* fine for horses, but are high in sugar, so it would depend on the cause of her laminitis - whether she was IR or cushings or such, as to whether I'd feed them. I use a large pellet horse feed, which is part of their ration, as treats, as well as small pieces of apple & carrot & such.

The barn that she's at really isn't equipped with tons of interesting things. There are only 3 groundpoles and one little bridge thing for me to use. No buckets or cones or anything else to make things interesting.

Bring your own then. Ropes, hanging or on the ground, balls, cardboard boxes, flags, which may just be a plastic bag on a stick, umberellas, rocks or trees, logs or fences as obstacles, etc, etc. Let your mind wander!:wink: And can you take her out & about on line, rather than staying in the field or arena?(Mind you, I'd want to get her better at yielding before going out.)

You could check out Parelli's '7 Games', imagineahorse.com & carolyn resnick's 'waterhole rituals', along with more on clicker training, for more inspiration & ideas of how to get there.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top