Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Miracles

Brian and I were both looking forward to seeing how Bear went in the new saddle again, so on Wednesday we went out for another ride. We brought both the boys in and I hopped on Steen bareback. Meanwhile Brian tacked up and did groundwork. Bear was great and we still had high hopes for a nice ride.

Steen was quite good for me with the exception of stopping. He was again just super slow to stop, but once stopped would stand without protest. So we worked more on transitions but I didn't feel we made a ton of progress. Nevertheless we had a nice ride.

Brian climbed on Bear and things didn't go as well. Bear seemed fine at first, but after a while he bolted straight towards the middle of the arena when a horse outside whinnied. Needless to say, this is not normal Bear behavior. Brian walked him around some more but he was just kind of horrible, not wanting to stay on the rail, not wanting to stop, not wanting to go where directed. Finally Brian got off and I got on. After I mounted I bounced around a bit in the saddle while Bear stood to see if he was acting like his back was sore. He acted like he was going to fall asleep. So we started walking and he was instantly not interested in doing what I was interested in doing. I summoned up my best "firm but not mean" persona and within a couple of minutes he was not protesting so actively, but he wasn't exactly happy about the situation either. Eventually I asked him to trot, and he did and it was fine but he just didn't feel happy. At all. I trotted him for quite a while and while he sort of settled in, the feeling that he was protesting the situation with every step just didn't pass.

I hopped off and we spent a good long time poking around his back. I think we can safely say his back is not sore. But when we touched that spot on his right side, right over the rips where the cinch sits, he moved away from light pressure and seemed irritated. So I think we're going to have the chiropractor out again to see if she can figure out what's causing that spot to flair up, make sure we're not missing something about the way the new saddle fits him, and to get her opinion on the affect that sore spot might be having on his behavior.

With Bear done for the day, we put Brian and the bear trap on Steen. Brian rode for a little while but wasn't super comfortable after his mediocre ride on Bear. While Brian rode Steen, Bear stood quietly tied. He is such a sweet guy, I felt a bit bad after pushing him. It's so hard to know sometimes if these little issues are in the horse's mind or body or both.

Horseback Hours YTD: 8:10

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