Monday, April 20, 2015

A Week In Review: Poor Mare

I feel like I left all you guys on a cliffhanger - my last post outlined the frustrations I was having with Spud and his new-found evasion tactic. I didn't mean for there to be a huge dump of radio silence, but during my week off of work I didn't really feel much like blogging, surfing the net or watching TV. I apologize for my absence, but know that I was enjoying the time just living, being outside, and sleeping in. But enough of that, I know you all are truly wanting to hear about the horses!

Trying to remember all I did in a week is a bit daunting, but I'll do my best to recollect the events in chronological order instead of just mish-mashing my thoughts together.


The day after I had a super awful ground-driving school with Spud I spent most of the rainy day helping out at the property and moving underbrush, dead trees, etc. It wasn't really the greatest weather for riding and the BF and I wore goofy raingear for a better part of the day. It was somewhat scary just how much work there was to do on the land and both the BF and I felt a bit... overwhelmed by it.


I arranged a hack with a friend and decided to drive Spud instead of taking Suzie, as I wanted to take Spud back out in the cart but I wanted it to be a low-key, quiet drive. And although I wanted it to be a non-rearing drive, I also wanted to challenge him a bit - hence the reason why I asked my friend to hack out with us. It would be Spud's first time driving out with another horse walking alongside him and although I did not suspect any issues, it would be a good learning experience.

My gut instinct that it would be easy as pie for Spud was pretty accurate. He was quiet, mellow, and although we had to jog a few times to catch up to AJ and his rider, we had a pretty pleasant time. I was pretty proud of Spud for acting quite civil with another horse and my pride shone even further when we encountered a very ignorant dirt biker. Basically, we were turning to go down another street and a teenager on a dirt bike came whipping up behind us, went down the small ditch and back up again right IN FRONT OF Spud. He was so close I could've touched him! Little pony and the horse we were hacking with were so good and didn't even bat an eye but my friend and I yelled some pretty nasty things at the kid. I don't understand why people are so stupid sometimes - he could've easily just gone around us on the OUTSIDE (other side of AJ), but instead he chose to go between the ditch and my buggy. Thankfully my green-bean has a decent mind on him.

We finished the drive on an uneventful note and when my friend and her horse parted ways to go home Spud got a bit rushy, but nothing too bad. It had started to rain again by this time and instead of riding Suzie I put them up for the night and headed home.


Farrier day! I headed out to meet the farrier and wanted to make sure the horse's had some food in their bellies before he came by. Turns out I was there over an hour earlier because I had misread the appointment time. So I basically stood around for two and a half hours. D'oh.

Suzie had front shoes put on only and when the Farrier worked on her backs she didn't object to it like she normally does and she seemed pretty relieved that we weren't putting shoes on the back (she has a harder time holding her leg up for long periods and I've noticed she really doesn't like when the nails get pounded in... but only on the back feet). Regardless, she was good and only took about an hour total. The Farrier did mention that she didn't have much growth for it being 8.5 weeks since her last reset. I told him I put her on Farriers Formula, so I'm curious to see if it will promote growth.

And little Spud got a trim. He was good as well - so nothing really to report there. The Farrier was impressed with how good he was, given how little and demonic most ponies are. LOL.

After the appointment I headed back over to the land where we had some contractors punching a road in so we can actually move around a bit. They placed a culvert down and because of the land being quite damp, had to corduroy the road (lay trees down and cover the trees with fill/dirt). It isn't the most ideal situation, but it gave us the most bang for our buck (we wanted them to go in quite far) and instead of digging down 4-6ft and having to back-fill it all. I'll generate a post sometime soon on the new developments on the land (it's exciting stuff, I promise!).

Then the BF and I had his Mom and family over to celebrate the "driveway" and the exciting developments on the land. Any excuse to have steak, I swear.


This day was pretty much a write off because we had intended to only do some lawn maintenance at our place and instead got roped into helping the BF's cousin thatch his lawn. We spent almost 8 hours outside raking, making dump runs, etc. I was very, very sore afterwards and had ginormous blisters on my hands.

 In the morning we woke up to SNOW on the ground. What the fuck, nature? Once it warmed up it melted pretty fast and we did more work on the land - mapping out my lot and trying to figure out where everything would go (barn, arena, etc).  Then I got my butt back to the barn to finally get back to riding. Phew.

First up I got Spud out on the lunge line wearing his little mini saddle and rigged up his driving bridle. I wanted to start introducing some contact without it being too much or too little, if that makes sense. I wanted the contact to be steady, forgiving, and unchanging regardless of his behaviour. However, I didn't want him to fail and because I did not have side reins to fit him, I rigged up some cotton barrel reins and made a tie down of sorts.

Frumpy pony
The main objective of this cotton rein was to be forgiving yet steady. It would only come into play if Spud threw his head up in the air or tried to flip me the bird on the lunge (which does happen). Other than that, it would be loose and start to promote some kind of working contact. He did really well, after he trotted and cantered for nearly 15 minutes... *head desk* He was just hot to trot and after he had gotten his mach 10 trotting out of the way I did end up getting some quality work. We finished up with me sitting on him just to get him accustomed to a rider getting on/off and he acted like an old pro. He did also step forwards a bit, which was a huge plus! I don't intend to make it a habit to "ride" him, mostly because I do think it is cruel, but I was pretty happy with him.

Afterwards I tacked up Suzie western and headed to the arena with the intention to get a good schooling session in. For the most part, it was a pretty decent school but Suzie had an incredibly difficult time suppling to the right and bending around my leg. I didn't fault her for it, as she is older and has had the last few months off of work. We did some simple suppling exercises before it all fell apart.

Because of the rain, the arena was kind of muddy and a bit soupy in some spots. We were cantering along and I had asked Suzie to turn and her back legs flew out from under her. She fell and although I was slightly dislodged from the saddle, my ankle was still pinned beneath her. She went to get up, but I think because she sensed I was still close decided to lay back down. I told her it was okay to get up and that I couldn't get out of the way because I was stuck. I felt awful - she just laid there with mud caking her face but did eventually get up and stand quietly for me to get up and go give her lots of kisses.

Where she fell

I trotted her out and she seemed fine but I didn't want to continue any kind of schooling so we hacked back home. Halfway home I could feel she was a bit stiff so I popped off and hand-walked her home. As a precautionary measure she was given some NSAIDs, legs were cold hosed, and cooling gel was applied to all four legs. I gave her lots of kisses, thanking her for being such a good pony and keeping me safe. She sighed into my arms and quietly went to eat her dinner. Poor mare.


I wanted to give Suzie the day off for obvious reasons, despite the fact that she was sound and all legs were cool and tight when I checked her that morning. I did notice there was some discomfort to her back and scheduled a chiro appointment for her in the near future. I cannot say that the discomfort was there as a result of the fall - it could started from being brought back into work.

I also started Suzie on her Probiotic/Ulcer program - 20cc every 6hours was the dosage and Mare Pants was not amused.  Poor mare!

Lovely old mare

 Last day off before returning to the grind! It was a lovely day so I tacked Suzie up English and ponied Spud over to the arena. Spud did pretty well for being ponied (since I'm pretty sure he's never been ponied before). I let him loose at the Fairgrounds and he ate grass while I put Suzie through her paces.

She was really behind the leg and almost seemed lame in some instances, but as soon as I put my leg on she felt fine. A bit of bridle lameness? I worked more on suppling her and bending her around the corners which actually was a lot of work for me physically (as I am sure it was equally as difficult for her), but she did manage some good bend and was pretty decent for the most part. Unfortunately, she really lacked impulsion and it didn't help with trying to achieve any kind of suppleness. However, it was a really good ride - we just need to get into shape a bit more.

It took me a bit to catch Spud too, who was being a jerk face and refusing to be caught. I ended up hacking away from him and when he couldn't see Suzie he spazzed out pretty hard. I laughed.

Back at the barn I intended to fly-spray Suzie since I spotted some mosquitoes on the hack back and she was pretty sweaty. I grabbed a fly-spray bottle and sprayed it onto some wood and smelt it - I did this because I have a bottle that has diluted bleach/water mixture in it. It smelled like fly-spray and didn't seem anything out of the ordinary. So, I went to work spraying Suzie's chest when I realized it was NOT fly spray. It was the bleach mixture.

I was seriously so horrified, angry, and upset. I rushed the mare to the hose and began furiously washing her while she nonchalontly munched on her mash, unperturbed by the frantic washing and furious "oh my gods" I was vocalizing. After washing her down I scrubbed her with soap and washed her down again. How positively embarrassing... POOR MARE.

tldr; Suzie fell on me in the arena and in return I sprayed her with bleach, and started her Ulcer program. Spud is still a shit-head pony.


  1. i'm glad you're ok after that fall! hopefully Suzie is fine too - just the usual creakiness from getting back into work. i'll be curious to hear your thoughts after she's been on the ulcer program for a little while

    1. Surprisingly, I wasn't sore after the fall... and thankfully Suzie seems fine.

      And I have a whole post generated and ready for my thoughts, theories, and cold hard data :P

  2. When Miles got rain rot last year I used a medicated shampoo recommended by the vet. A fellow boarder had the same thing in gel form, so when I ran out shampoo I tried that. Miles HATED IT! It must have burned or something because he started bucking in his stall -- I totally freaked and rinsed him off immediately, apologizing profusely the entire time!

    1. Oh no!

      At least yours was approved by a Vet, LOL.