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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • Folks I am in a rough spot. The winters are hard on Feronia because of her arthritis, and this winter has been brutal. She's been stiff, hard to warm up, very cranky. I don't like how much I have to push her (pony-club kick or whip) to get her moving and keep her there. She's not "tying up" BTW.

    She is on a good joint supplement, monthly IV polyglycan (please don't start on me about how it's "off label"; it works, or has worked until recently anyway), chiro about every 6-8 weeks (and she is overdue at this point), joint injections as needed (which is about twice a year for hocks, occasional stifles or SI), etc. Vet is starting her on Robaxin to see if there's a muscle issue as she is SO tight. Back-on-Track products help a little.

    Needless to say this is very expensive and I hate having her be so unhappy in work. I am at my wits' end.

    I am considering starting to look for another horse -- definitely another Morgan, I can't help myself and we're never gonna be in the hunter/jumper ring because I'm mostly not allowed to jump. One of my saddle fitter's clients actually left New England when her horse got like this and moved to South Carolina, and it "cured" the horse's problems. But that's not an option for me.

    I'm so upset I can't do anything. I keep crying, can't distract myself with anything.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

    Comment


    • quietann, I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I don't. Just know that I, and all of us here, send you hugs and all the support you need.
      And nothing bad happened!

      Comment


      • Quietann, I was going to suggest robaxin and physical therapy, such as the back-on-track products. I hope the robaxin does the trick. The winter can be hard on arthritics. Are you opposed to using an NSAID at all? Like Equioxx or something else? Just to get through the "ouchy" parts... usually once arthritics have gotten past the painful part and get going, they're more comfortable.

        Paradox, nice video!! So glad you're back in the saddle

        Classyride, how is the move going? I can't believe your horses are in that situation, how horrible. It's like a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

        Alterageous, have you heard from the barn yet? I can't believe that a business wouldn't be on top of returning emails/calls in this day as you're right, they're losing business AND your confidence. Maybe there was some extenuating circumstances? Just giving them the benefit of the doubt...strike 1.

        Well, things are going pretty well with being a new horse owner. It's nerve wracking!! Can anyone commiserate and listen to my whining? And tell me this is normal? LOL

        There are days when he's simply brilliant and he understands things like bending and flexing and what I want, and there are times when he lets me know he's only turning 5 and recently gelded and gets distracted. The thing I have to be thankful for is that he hasn't done anything stupid under saddle.
        I'm kind of frustrated in myself since he goes better for my trainer than me (which I do expect of course) and while I have really good rides during our lessons, the times that I take him out on my own can be frustrating. I struggle with knowing how to push him to work enough and respect my requests, but not overwhelming him or frustrating him. I try my HARDEST to just be consistent and repetitive but I feel like he's getting anxious when I ride him instead of relaxed because he doesn't know what I want. We tried doing flatwork exercises which he likes, like trot poles, serpentines, and figure eights, but I am not sure what else I should work on with him. He needs to learn to lunge (especially how to whoa!) which is an entirely new concept to him admittedly from his previous owner. He HAS the mind to learn the new ideas and understand but sometimes he gets anxious or confused and it makes me upset, and he senses that in me. We did have some great times in our lessons, though, including jumping a few jumps/crossrails (god he's cute). He takes care of me and really will try to find the right distance, whether it's an add or a long one (though we're going for adds now). Such a good boy.

        I should be more forgiving of him in general since he has been through a lot lately. In the last 2 weeks:
        -Got hauled into the equine clinic for a dental float, radiographs of the mouth, pulling wolf teeth and retained baby teeth
        -right side of castration site got infected and we're doing an ongoing battle with the pus... got 2 shots of Exceed after 1 week of SMZs did nothing. Culture of the wound is pending. He's not really sore anymore there or swollen but it's still infected, ya know? His neck was sore the other day from the shot in the neck and he definitely had a harder time going around.
        -Changed feed from Nutrena Compete (28% NSC) to Seminole SafeCompete (9% NSC) which will hopefully help with some of the nervous energy.
        -Inadvertently made his mouth sore by trying a new bit, a loose-ring snaffle which ended up just being too big. His poor mouth was sore afterwards The next day when we went back to the rubber mouth snaffle he was soft but sore.

        The other day he broke the crossties. I was clipping his legs by myself and he wasn't reactive or antsy or anything. I guess I got too close to the skin and he was twitchy and I raised my voice to yell "QUIT" and he threw his head up, leaned on the cross ties, broke the one crosstie, and then broke the breakaway on his halter. Then he turned, skittered down the aisle (with the other horses whinnying and egging him on!) and ran into his stall. SIGH. Tried it again, and same result. I gave up. My trainer and I finished clipping yesterday. He really wasn't bad or anxious at all. She did it perfectly. I felt bad that I didn't know how to do it. The spot where I got him yesterday had razor burn and was oozy too. My poor boy.

        Has anyone ever felt like this before? I love my new horse to death and I am SO excited about the prospect he brings, and I know it's going to be a slow road. But I feel like I should be able to do more and accomplish more on my own, and I feel stupid not knowing how to do things properly that doesn't result in either hurting him physically or mentally. I am scared of ruining him, even though my trainer has scoffed at the idea. I can't afford to keep him in constant training for months and months and need to do the footwork by myself to a large extent. But I feel like when I try sometimes I fail. Now I feel like he doesn't respect me or love me. I know it's irrational but that's how I feel.

        EDIT: I really do love him. Looking back my post is all negative...but I really do love riding him, and I know he's right for me. He's a dream to ride and has SO much ability. He's forgiving and intelligent if not a little sensitive emotionally. I just have days when my confidence isn't what it should be, and it affects him. Last week I had a rough day though and I spent probably 20 minutes ranting to my trainer and barn friends, and he must have been listening...he was incredible when I rode him!
        Last edited by Pancakes; Feb. 15, 2013, 12:10 PM.

        Comment


        • {{{quietann}}}

          I so feel for you, and I'm very sorry you're going through this. I've been in a very similar situation as you, and it felt like a lesson in futility trying to get my gelding right again. His issues were a little different, but he was consistently NQR for 6+ months - trainer and I would think he was getting better, I'd get on him and putz (not even real work!) and then he'd go NQR again. We tried so many things...

          Only you know what the right solution is for you, but I can tell you that in my own situation, that is when I solidly decided to get a second horse. I'd been thinking about doing it and window-shopping anyway because I had riding goals my gelding didn't find enjoyable (I wanted to jump, he hates it), but this was the thing that made me start calling people and *really* looking.

          I'm so glad I did it - my gelding continued to have on and off NQR problems for about a year after I got my mare. Since I had her to ride, I mostly retired him and would just get on him to putz around the yard about once a month. The rest seemed to do him good, because he pretty much worked out of it and hasn't taken a lame step in over a year now.

          Like I said, that's just my experience, but I wanted you to know it's ok to look for a second horse if you want and if it's a financially viable option. Feronia won't mind being a pet - be sure to give her attention, but I'm sure she won't mind not having to work. It may go a long way with her, but even if it doesn't help her stiffness and other issues, at least it keeps her from having to work when she's sore/stiff and gives you another way to ride.

          There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here who could maybe give you other, better options. But there's absolutely no shame in looking for a second beast - they are like potato chips, you know.
          ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

          The equine love of my life: Gabriel
          4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

          Comment


          • Pancakes, you're not crazy. I've been there! More times than I'd like to admit...

            Being a horse owner is a learning process - and it's one of those things where the really knowledgeable people just never stop learning. Every horse is different, every situation is different, and there's no way to learn everything there is to know.

            Please be easy on yourself. Your boy adores you in spite of the little mistakes. I may not know your boy personally, but I can confidently say that because all three of my horses have all continued to love me in spite of the mistakes I've made with them. And I haven't ruined any of them. As long as your intentions are good and you learn what you can from the mistakes, that's what really seems to count in my mind.

            The riding will get better with time as you two get to know each other. And as far as the clipping experience, don't sweat it. Like I said, I've messed up with stuff, too...

            Velvet, despite being very level-headed, is quite sensitive to aids. When I was first teaching her how to lunge, I had a couple of sessions with her that I now pretend never happened. I'd push her a little too hard or move the whip too fast, and she'd bolt - running like a bat out of he** back to her stall from the indoor arena, kind of like what you described. I just had to learn to listen to her and read her body language better. My gelding is a lazy bum when lunging, but God forbid I actually crack the whip at Velvet! All she needs is for me to raise it 2 feet off the ground, thank you very much. That's all she needs, and she lets me know when I've been too loud about it.

            Please don't worry yourself about any of this. These are the mistakes we *all* make when we get a new animal. Remember - they're all different, and we have to learn about each horse just like they have to learn about us.
            ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

            The equine love of my life: Gabriel
            4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

            Comment


            • Btw, thank you for asking about the move, Pancakes. The stage is set, I just have to do it. Tomorrow will be spent seeing my "kids" in the morning and cleaning out the tack box at the current barn; then in the afternoon I'll head to the new place to sign paperwork, cut a check, and give them a copy of the coggins. And then Sunday will be moving day for the kids! I'm so excited - I can't wait!
              ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

              The equine love of my life: Gabriel
              4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

              Comment


              • quietann - I am so sorry, I wish I could make it all better {{hugs}}

                Pancakes - welcome to the wonderful world of horse ownership! As ClassyRide said "you're not crazy" and yes, we've all been there. It is a learning process - for both of you. We all make mistakes, the key is to learn from them. You are just starting to figure each other out - it will get better - promise. That's not to say you won't still have some "moments" because you are working with a living, breathing, thing that does occassionally have opinions of its own!
                http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                Comment


                • Originally posted by ClassyRide View Post
                  Btw, thank you for asking about the move, Pancakes. The stage is set, I just have to do it. Tomorrow will be spent seeing my "kids" in the morning and cleaning out the tack box at the current barn; then in the afternoon I'll head to the new place to sign paperwork, cut a check, and give them a copy of the coggins. And then Sunday will be moving day for the kids! I'm so excited - I can't wait!
                  Excited for you - hope the move goes smoothly!
                  http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                  "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                  Comment


                  • Managed to have a decent ride last night with no unauthorized dismount! Mentioned my puzzlement to trainer (I've been bounced off more in the past month, than I have been in years) - her thought was that I am concentrating so hard on my position, etc. - I'm not recognizing the "warning" signs. I'll bet she's right. Oh, the joys of a new discipline on my "winter" horse - I should have done this in August. On the other hand - I will learn to stick!
                    http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                    "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Tiger Horse View Post
                      Managed to have a decent ride last night with no unauthorized dismount! Mentioned my puzzlement to trainer (I've been bounced off more in the past month, than I have been in years) - her thought was that I am concentrating so hard on my position, etc. - I'm not recognizing the "warning" signs. I'll bet she's right. Oh, the joys of a new discipline on my "winter" horse - I should have done this in August. On the other hand - I will learn to stick!
                      Oh, man! I'm one of those people who thinks too hard about one thing and ends up forgetting about the other stuff. I totally feel for you - I bet that's what happened, too! Yes, you'll learn to stick. Here's hoping you grow velcro in that saddle sooner rather than later. Sounds like you're going in the right direction, though - congrats on the good ride!
                      ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

                      The equine love of my life: Gabriel
                      4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3

                      Comment


                      • bumknees, sounds like a win/win for you and Toby. Keep us posted. Glad the move is about done for you. Have fun settling in.

                        quietann, sorry for your having to deal with arthritis in your baby. That's tough. Maybe he just needs the winters off? Maybe you can find a lease or free lease for winter riding for yourself? Good luck. I know it's not easy.

                        Pancakes, you and your pony are just having growing pains. It's normal. We all go through that. Especially with a young horse. He will do something perfectly, and then maybe the next day he'll act like he's never done it before. It's okay. Just be patient as much as you can. He's green, and does green things. I think you will be fine! And don't stress over your trainer being able to get more out of your horse. Someone is always more talented than we are and can ride better. The best riders probably have even BETTER riders that can get more out of a horse. That's okay! We can only strive to learn to be our own best rider. I think you are doing fine. This relationship will take months to gel, so to speak.

                        Classyride, I CANNOT wait till you get your babies moved. I'm excited for you. Keep us posted!! Hope everything goes smoothly.

                        Tigerhorse, I can understand what you're going through. Sometimes I worry so much about one thing, say, heels down over a fence, that I forget to get my distance. It's okay. It'll come together. Don't think too hard! Glad you had a nice ride and stayed put.

                        I had my fourth ride yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny 58º out. I had my longest ride yet, maybe 30 minutes. The ankle was fine. I even felt good enough to hop a crossrail two times. It was great. No pain! Yay! It actually bothers me more walking than it does in the saddle now. So I'm happy about that. I will ride again this weekend. I've been striving for every other day. Not quite there yet, but it's a start. Maybe I can show this spring after all. We'll see.

                        Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

                        -d.
                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                        ¯ Oscar Wilde

                        Comment


                        • Congrats Paradox - sounds like you are making good progress and are smart enough not to push it!

                          "Don't think too hard!" - exactly right and something I struggle with!
                          Last edited by Tiger Horse; Feb. 15, 2013, 04:16 PM. Reason: addition
                          http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                          "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                          Comment


                          • I hear you, Tiger Horse. Not thinking is really hard! Sounds silly, huh?
                            “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                            ¯ Oscar Wilde

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                              I hear you, Tiger Horse. Not thinking is really hard! Sounds silly, huh?
                              It sure does. In that regard, riding is a lot like baseball - the harder you try, the worse it gets!!
                              http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                              "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                              Comment


                              • Guys, I don't know how I stayed away from horses & riding for as long as I did. On days like today (clear skies and 60-ish) there's nowhere I'd rather be than at the barn. After a nearly week of being indoors (apart from quick walks on the beach!) I really, really needed a day outside, and I got it! I rode River, who was a champ as per usual. He spooked at something (either a gunshot or a car backfiring, not sure which - a bit disconcerting but welcome to backcountry NC I guess!) and jumped forward but then settled right back into work. What a good boy. I had someone take some pics and a short video, and I have soooo much to work on. I really, really need some dressage lessons. Its just been so long since I've ridden a horse that allows me to focus on me, so I need to take advantage of it in a major way.

                                Then the farrier was out, so dealt w/ that for awhile & then helped lead a trail ride & rode Gold Rush, a horse who hasn't been out in awhile and proved it. He could have been a lot worse though. People on trail ride were lovely which was fun and the girl wants to come back for lessons so thats cool . She was really into helping put the horses away - I've forgotten how much I love introducing people to horses and horse care too!
                                "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                                Comment


                                • Gorgeous day here today too.

                                  Breaking news: I jumped jumps and not only did I NOT fall off, I did awesome!

                                  That is all.
                                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                  Comment


                                  • Woohoo, Alterageous! Awesome. I hope to follow in your footsteps soon!

                                    Event4life, sounds like a really nice day! Glad you had a good ride. I know what you mean about backcountry. Living on TN, I get shooting every couple of days. Weekends are especially fun. But at least my horses are used to it now.
                                    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                    ¯ Oscar Wilde

                                    Comment


                                    • Event4Life - I live in envy of you and what would be my dream job!! At the coast, no less, so I could also put the yaks in and paddle my way around the marsh and edges of the ICW!!

                                      Comment


                                      • Haven't checked in for awhile, folks, but I have been reading.

                                        Quietann, I wish I had some advice for you. I'm sorry your horse has been so uncomfortable, and that you have been so upset about it. Wish there was a way to ship her here for the winter! She would certainly enjoy the weather. If she wouldn't mind being a lesson horse, I would be happy to keep an eye on her for you!

                                        Bumknees, sorry about your misadventures with moving. Hang in there. I am a pack rat myself, so I would have trouble moving to a smaller place. That's good news about Toby, though.

                                        Tiger Horse, I am sure your new bridle will be lovely. It's probably on clearance because Newmarket isn't a fashionable color now, though I really like it, especially on a chestnut. Leather always darkens up anyway, so I don't understand these color trends. In my day, no one ever talked about matching saddles, bridles, girths, etc. With use, everything always ends up being the same color!

                                        Pancakes, hang in there. You two are still getting used to one another. He's a youngster, and maybe his infection is making him sore. Things will get better. I predict that before the year is up, you two will be a fine team.

                                        Alterageous, congrats on the jumping! Great news!

                                        Paradox, the video was adorable, and I am so glad you're making good progress with your ankle.

                                        Classyride, tomorrow is the big day, right? Hope everything goes swimmingly!

                                        Event4Life, may you have many more days at the barn as delightful as those you have had lately!

                                        As for me, Sky is doing so much better. She doesn't seem sick at all now, though I have been monitoring everything she eats very carefully--well as much as I can since I am not there every day. She is getting the "pop rocks" now, which she will eat though she doesn't always want to finish them. I just bought some unsweetened applesauce to add to her feed to see if that will help. I also bought some sugar-free pancake syrup to try if the applesauce doesn't work.

                                        We had our first little show of the season last Saturday. It was a small show...there were only 3 in Sky's division, and both of the others were greener than she was. She was a very good girl especially considering how little we have been able to jump lately because of her illness. She did not buck or take off--yay! Her warm-up round was the best of the three rounds. With the other two rounds we had a blown lead change and some missed distances, and in the last round, we ended up way in the corner, crooked, with no way to get to the last line properly. I just halted her and then asked her to trot over the fence from where we were, which she did with no hesitation, and then cantered down to the second fence in the line and jumped it nicely. It wasn't real pretty, but I was satisfied. She ended her day by winning Pleasure Horse, which was very pleasant.

                                        We jumped a little in our lesson Thursday, and she was really good. She jumped a 2'6" oxer for the first time, and didn't even look at it--a big step for her. She almost jumped me out of the tack though.
                                        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                                        Comment


                                        • Nice job at the show Dewey! Good for you and Sky. Good choice on the halt and trot into the last line. I'm so glad she's feeling better!

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