Horse Life

Humble Pie & Trying All the Things

It’s no secret that P and I have struggled on and off for awhile now. Last year was definitely all me. I had some unwavering confidence issues that kept us sticking to the little stuff, despite P’s athletic ability to jump anything. BN looked big to me, so despite it literally being a mere 4″ difference, I stuck to starter stuff.

 

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Killing the starter stuff, though.

 

 

I’m not sure when/where it changed, but BN suddenly looked whatevs (except maybe the actual Novice jumps on the BN course at CHP), so I set my sights on competing BN this summer/fall.

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Cue the behavioral issues.

P is not an easy horse to ride. And not just not an easy horse for me, but not an easy horse for anyone. He’s a bit erratic and unpredictable- either he’s bombproof or he’s the ticking bomb, and there seems to be no method to his madness.

 

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Pilgrim all day errry day

 

Since I’ve gotten him back from Aiken, it’s been a lot worse, as is chronicled here. I chalked it up to his bad experience while he was for sale, but as I’ve shared recently, I’ve been suspecting it’s more than that. So I called my insurance company to let them know I want to get him checked for ulcers and got the procedure for filing a claim for treatment if it’s necessary. The barn has a call in to the vet’s office to schedule him to be scoped, which I hope can be soon, otherwise I’ll have to haul him up there.

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Since I didn’t want to wait for a vet and it won’t hurt anything anyway, he’s been on 3600mg 2x/day of ranitidine since Thursday, June 29th, and had 4 doses of UG June 5-9. While our rides have certainly been better, I can’t 100% say that it’s because of the medications since his rides have been fairly sporadic due to my work schedule and weather.

I didn’t ride Saturday, then Sunday I went out and lunged for about 20 minutes since I couldn’t ride. I’ve been doing that on days I can’t ride to give him some form of exercise, since a fresh P is never a fun P.

 

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Actual picture of P after a day off

 

Yesterday I had a board meeting, so I asked BO and BT (Barn Trainer) if one of them could fit him in. And I got the most glowing report from BO, who knows exactly how tough P can be.

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But then she sent me this:

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I’ve used ear plugs exactly once before with P, and he shook his head so much that they might’ve lasted 10 minutes. But I went ahead and ordered these to give me another tool.

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When I was at Trainer B’s, we talked about the possibility of ulcers and he recommended U-Shield. I’d never heard of it before, but he uses it on all his horses (he’s sponsored by them). It has 2420mg of magnesium, something that he’s lacking in his feed right now.

So that’s on its way, too.

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It’s all very possible that the vet could scope him and he could be all clear. But until that happens, I’m going to go on the premise that the good rides have something to do with the ulcer medications.

And just in case it’s something else, I had the chiro do him while she was out. And he’ll get magnawaved in the next week or so as well.

I’m also looking into changing his feed to one with a lower sugar content. BO feeds mostly Nutrena and Triple Crown and boarders can pretty much pick which feed they want as long as their supplier can get it and it’s not crazy expensive. Right now P is on SafeChoice Original along with pretty much free choice hay, but I may switch him to TC Senior in the future, and add in a form of alfalfa.

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So what next?

It looks like the H/J show is off for this weekend, since BO’s truck is in the shop and I don’t actually want to go by myself. I’m still planning on the local jumper show on the 23rd and am also considering a CT on the 22nd if I can convince Husband to horse show all weekend.

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The next HT I had on my radar was Wind Ridge in August, and I planned on BN. I feel like we’ve done so much Starter stuff that it’s just about damn time. But with the recent issues that I’ve been dealing with, my gut says to keep it small or stay at home.

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So while I’ve been procrastinating a bit because I didn’t want to admit that stepping down was the best choice, I can no longer wait since the venue only has 10 camping spots with hookups. And I want to go, so I’ve decided to keep it small. It may be unnecessary, since BN is actually small already, but I just feel like we need a good, solid confidence-boosting run to remind him and I that eventing is in fact FUN.

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I’ve been seeing Trainer B weekly, and have another lesson with him scheduled for Friday. While we’ve been keeping things low-key lately because P has been a bit emotional, our last lesson he was much more solid, so here’s hoping that means we can build things up a bit.

Today I get to actually ride, so fingers crossed things continue to go well. And husband comes home at midnight tonight so then I get to open my birthday present from him that arrived from Dover and I have been impatiently waiting to open, since my birthday was actually yesterday and I’m all about instant gratification.

And my Voltaire leathers finally arrived, so my saddle is now complete!

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17 thoughts on “Humble Pie & Trying All the Things”

    1. Ha! Thanks, I’ll check those out. P is worse at home than at shows, but I’m still on the fence about using them at all. Totally ordering the turquoise ones in the picture to freak out BO!

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  1. I use that u shield stuff for maintenance – seems to work well, the horse eats it, and it’s affordable. Works for me!

    Also – my own personal philosophy about choosing a level after a period of difficult riding is that it’s more important to be successful in having fun and building confidence than it is to “prove” something to someone (even if that someone is ourselves). Carleigh from a Yankee in Paris put it very well, saying she aimed for “confidence BUILDING, not confidence PROVING.” Good luck!

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    1. I’m glad you use it and like it! When he told me the name, I was all, “huh?” But it was really affordable so no harm there. It’s supposed to arrive today.

      Totally agree that every outing should be confidence building, sometimes pride just gets in my way!

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  2. Starter at WindRidge is no laughing matter! A very well respected 4*, Gold medal winning, trainer I took a lesson with said “it’s better to come home wanting to do more than come home wishing you hadn’t” (or something along those lines). I think it’s a smart choice to stay with starter until everything resolves and you and P are back in sync ready to go 🙂

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    1. Good to know! I’ve never tried TC feeds before, but the NSC difference is like 11% and it also has some ingredients that SC doesn’t have in their Original formula.

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  3. Glad he was well behaved! Cat toys can be used as ear plugs too. I personally like the fluffy ones for Annie because the Pom type ones pulled her hair I think? We go plug less now because she disliked them but just a thought 🙂

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    1. I’ve used them once so far, and while there wasn’t a noticeable difference or anything, I’ll keep them around for maybe a windy day or something. I’m going to replace them with the cat toys, though!

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  4. I struggled a bit mentally this year too with the whole not moving up thing, pony and I hit a rough spot…in fact we’re moving down for our next show. Agree 100% , it’s way more important to have fun and build confidence out there! I

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  5. It will be good to see if it is ulcers that are causing P to be all wonky. But, from each of your lesson posts, it seems like Trainer B is giving you guys good exercises and tools to get his head in the game. Keep on going! 🙂

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