Sunday, March 15, 2015

Change is Hard, Y'all


We have completed our first week at the new barn.
And, it is officially a mixed bag.

I haven't written all week, because my thoughts are kind of all over the place and discombobulated. I kept waiting for it to make a cohesive blog post in my mind, but a week has passed and it still hasn't, so this will be word soup.

Boca has mostly settled in. I didn't really expect much different. He's an easy horse. He is easy to handle on the ground, and gets along with most horses. He's made friends with his paddock neighbors and his stall neighbors.

The biggest surprise to me was his total lack of fitness. I spent the first week mostly asking him to walk and jog on the longe. He has as joint behind (fetlock? hock?) that is clicking, the way your ankles or knuckles crack. I spoke to my vet and she isn't concerned. She says she gets a lot of these calls in the spring when horses go back to work. Because it is not associated with a lameness, our plan is to keep an eye on it and see if it resolves itself.

I did get on one day mid week and walked circles and serpentines, plus I walked our hilly driveway without incident.

Yesterday we went to the ring, and Boca was not himself. Ears flat back on his head, he did NOT want to go forward. He was all balled up under saddle, kicking out with both hind legs, half-rearing. I decided to get off and longe him. On the longe he was fine, no soundness issues, ears forward. After he warmed up, I got back on. He wasn't happy, but he was better. We ended with a quiet trot in both directions.

I was really proud of myself for not engaging in a fight with him. I was quiet, sensitive and firm. I worked through it without getting emotional, which is HUGE growth for me. I totally took myself out of the situation, evaluated what he needed, and tried to make good decisions.

Of course now, I am totally freaking out that he is riddled with ulcers from the move, or that he is back sore. My trainer is coming today, so hopefully I will get her input. Right now, it is a waiting game. It could have just been a bad day. It could be any number of things.

I've never been through a winter with Boca before, so I don't have a baseline on what is normal for him. I'm also not in a formal "program" with a trainer, so I don't have someone to run to when I'm not sure what's going on with my horse.

At my last barn, I had a community of friends and peers to bounce things off of. Right now, I am the new kid on the block. Those relationships are not in place, and I miss them.







10 comments:

  1. Maybe he just doesn't want to Do Work. I feel that way all the time. ;)

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    1. I hear you! The ears flat to his head and the half-rears were definitely NOT Boca-like, even on a bad day. I'm definitely thinking ulcers.

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  2. is this behaviour new to him? has he ever done it before? I'm wondering if the saddle isn't pinching him?

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    1. Definitely new behavior :( The saddle was just checked by our saddle fitter at the end of Jan, so I am pretty confident it isn't that.

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    2. okay so two things spring to mind- soreness from being back to work or ulcers. how is he being girthed?

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  3. Murray is not nearly as fit right now as I hoped either -- all my fault. Hopefully Boca is feeling right soon!!

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  4. Hope trainer can help offer some insight, my older mare can be a witch going back to work after some time off as she has gotten used to doing nothing, but really she enjoys having a job. So she just has to get over herself.
    Hopefully it's not ulcers, but if it is there are treatment courses and you'll have your happy Boca back in no time.
    Fingers crossed for you guys!

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  5. I'd ride (/lunge) through the behavior a few times and see what changes. My first thought is that he's in a new place with new herd hierarchy and he's just testing boundaries to see what gives.

    Best of luck. :-)

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  6. aww poor Boca! major props for not getting dragged into it with him - that's definitely a slippery slope for me... hopefully your trainer will have some ideas, and fingers crossed it's just all about coming back into work after so much time off. good luck!

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  7. You and I are so similar. I'm going through the same thing with Miles right now... and it sucks. Sending good vibes your way and hopefully Boca will be back to normal ASAP.

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