Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Good days just keep on coming

Yesterday we had another good ride in the bareback pad, then I saddled him up and he got all stressed out.  He didn't do anything bad but he wasn't comfortable approaching the mounting block with the saddle on.  I like how he communicates so clearly, as long as I give him the freedom to have an opinion.  Working without a lead rope is so revealing.

Today I put the saddle on him and left him in the round pen for several hours.  Then we did some hindquarter disengagement.  He was all bound up and stiff on his left side.  It took a while to get smooth movement, but it did eventually happen.

Today he was willing to give me his left side while I stood on the mounting block, but it was really hard for him to bring his head around to me on that side.  He didn't mind looking at me like this:
Interestingly, when we switched to his right side toward the mounting block, it was really hard for him to bring his head around and look at me on that side.  He wanted to look at me from the opposite side.  A little bit of denial, I guess.  Since stressful things are happening on one side, look on the other side? 

I massaged his neck and spent a lot of time just standing there, on both sides.  He eventually relaxed enough to drop his head and breathe.

Then we played the on-again, off-again game.  It went quite well, mounting and dismounting with the saddle from both sides.

He's very focused.

You might say he's intense.

And now - completely off topic - Winston's butt can't touch the ground when he sits down.  Seems to me this might be a conformation flaw?  It's kinda cute how he squats.  He likes to sit on the back of his butt like a people when he's on the couch.  I wonder if that'll be hard on his joints in the long run.

I'm not sure how much horse time I'll have with the holiday coming up.  So in case I don't see you by then, Happy Thanksgiving!


Keechy said...

I reckon it wouldn't hurt Joseph to have a visit from a chiropractor if you know of a good one. when my young guy got off the truck he had trouble bending one way. It didn't take much to fix him. The saddle issues might be related.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I'd defifitely like to do that. Problem is, the only chiropractor I KNOW is good is very expensive and only visits the area on days that I work, and it's still a longish haul to get to him. Including my lost time at work it would cost roughly $250. I may have my chiropractor work on him, but I'm not sure how much that would help. He did help Tonka once, so maybe I should have more faith in him, but he's not a horse person.

Erin said...

I wonder - Joseph seems o much more comfy bareback or in the bareback pad - I wonder if the immobility of the saddle is what freaks him out. And if a treeless (western type for you) would make him more comfortable and eliminate that anxiety?

Keechy said...

Could be worth it to have your local guy have a go. Our good chiros here seem to be able to work on people, dogs and horses.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I have been finding myself dreaming of a treeless saddle again, but it's not in the budget at the moment. And I'd hate to have a horse who can't be ridden in a regular saddle unless I know for sure that there's some physical reason why he can't. He'll just have to become a conventional horse at some point, even if we have to get there a little unconventionally.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I think I will have him out, when I can get our schedules to coincide. I'm thinking of doing a DNA test for EPSM too. I have almost no reason to suspect it, other than I don't like the way he holds his tail, but I would like to rule it out. Maybe I worry too much...