Sunday, June 21, 2015

Existing and Resisting


No I'm not dead.

Though I'm sure it seems like it from lack of posting.

I just can't be one of "those blogs" thats posts when there's no riding going on. And theres been almost zero riding going on.

If its not Bacardi injuring himself, its the damn weather. I shit you not, it rained for 5 days straight here. FIVE days. This isn't TX, but seriously, we are drowning. And before that, my allergies were so horrible, it was crippling. So I've basically just been existing...wishing I could ride.

We've been doing a lot of this too
So of course the logical thing to do when you haven't ridden in 2 weeks  is sign up for 2 shows right?



I won't lie. There for the span of 2 days, feeling extremely overwhelmed with life and shitty from allergies, I contemplated selling the horses and just being a normal person. I was justifying it from a monetary standpoint. But lets be real. I couldn't do that.

I might still have to someday, but right now is NOT the time.

A girl needs her horse.

Even if said horse is a frustrating red ball of frustration.

I say this because while we weren't riding, I was working with him trailering 15 min here or 20 minutes there whenever there was a break in weather or my schedule.

It is not going well.

Every damn time he flips himself over backwards and I'm not even pressuring him with a whip, or anything else for that matter. I'm simply standing there, waiting for him to take a step, then clicking and treating. Thats it. And he will get one foot in, and then explode. Literally. Backwards and uppp up up and over. Like a fucking idiot.

Ask Amy. She saw him do it twice yesterday.

His hips now look like hamburger meat and in addition to his face scar he now has cuts on his shoulder & legs as well. Add to that, he will not gain weight and looks ribby AF and his summer coat is kinda long so he's always sweating. He looks horrible and I'm just like yeah sure lets take the hag to a show, why not.

I was determined to take him schooling saturday because I had time and DAMMIT it stopped raining. But the backwards antics would not cease. Luckily Amy showed up and rescued me, and he went right  in her trailer.

Despite the fuckery, we had one good day of training. Thank god, since our show is next week. He did give me hell getting back on the trailer home though and I literally cried about it. Only took 40 minutes for him to get back in. So that was fun. Amy is a saint and I love her. That is all.

Being very good yesterday
The link to a short vid of us is HERE and if you want to see an adorable video of him rolling in water, click on my Insta over there in the sidebar (theres also a short vid of us jumping that ^ jump) ----->

Now before you get all preachy and say "omg Monica you have a show in a week and you've barely been riding the horse", calm down. I entered us in ground poles/crossrails and intro levels dressage CTs. HAHAHA.

Because thats what we need right now. It will be his first show with me, off property, we have to trailer there, and hes never seen a dressage arena before in his life.

Main goals:

Stay in arena
Stay on horse
Don't refuse fucking groundpoles because groundpoles

I'm going to try my very best to not give a shit about how we place, or what score we get or if he stays on the bit the whole time...because its his first show.

But the competitive eventer in me will be throwing tantrums that we aren't jumping 3 ft yet or doing flying changes, though outwardly my mantra will be "this is his first show, this is his first show" and all will be fine.

SO because I'm competitive, I have side goals too. One is keep the geometry. Intro is not hard. Theres no cantering. We can do this. I've been practicing transitions. I would like to have our down transitions clean. Also a square halt would be nice. We've been practicing that too.

Sidenote, our canter is atrocious and I'm actually relieved intro level has none. Like whoah its bad. I guess thats what trotwork on a straight road for months will get you -_-

NEED to dressage.

We will also be making the trek to KY (if he gets in my trailer) for Champagne Run. Yankee will be there and he's trying to qualify for the AECs one last time with that show. I'm SO SO excited I get to see my horse! I'm taking Bacardi as a non-compete, but with that we can school everywhere after its done and ride around in the warm-ups to get experience. School XC, go in the dressage rings, be around the warm-ups etc.  It will be good for him. I also can ride Yankee Sunday because he's done competing Saturday...literally cannot wait. Thats only 3 weeks away!

I'm sorry out life is not full of glamour and fun and winning ribbons like half of you showing fiends on blogger, but here we are.


  1. I'm sorry, I tried to read this but the complete lack of glamour and ribbons lost me about halfway through.

    On another note, I'm in Texas and all I have is a pasture to ride in so basically 2015 is now dubbed "The year the horse didn't get ridden." because 6 months in, there has been no regular riding going on at any point in our lives.

    My friends and I did take the old gelding swimming in the pond though. The pond is completely full.

  2. I still love that picture of Yankee!!!! LOVE!! I'm so excited you'll get to see him and ride him. :D

    I haven't been able to ride due to weather, no arena, no time, mosquitoes from hell, etc. so I feel you on that part. I'm glad you got to take B schooling... that is so weird that he got on her trailer... I didn't realize he was flipping all the way over backwards!! That's scary!!!! I wish I knew of some way to help, but I suck at trailers because they freak me out... I feel fortunate that Chrome will even get on one with the way I act around them lol.

    Hang in there.. the rain has to stop someday... right? Please!! :\

  3. omg that pic of Yankee is everything lol. anyways super exciting about the show!! hopefully B figures this trailer nonsense out pronto!

  4. I'm not one to promote drugs, but have you have tried giving some ace before trailering? Or atravet? I had to use this with William when i first started trailering him because as soon as the doors would close he lose it and thrash around until he fell down. It only took a few trips with a bit of sedation for him to learn it was ok on there.

  5. I absolutely love the last photo of Yankee!! He also looks great on the lung, nice and muscled up.


  6. Not gonna lie, the flipping would scare me. Glad he's yours instead of mine.

  7. Hi, first time commenting, though I've been reading for a while.

    I know this has been said a million times before, ever since you started having issues with Bacardi over the winter, and many people have suggested, and I know that you disagree. If you're just venting with this post and not looking for suggestions, that's fine, but I can't continue to keep my mouth shut. Bacardi is the poster child for gastric ulcers: erratic behavior, unable to gain weight, erratic behavior, nervousness, erratic behavior, unable to gain weight (yes, I'm repeating myself!), and now his coat looks terrible. Yes, those are all the major signs of ulcers. CLASSIC signs. Please, just please: treat him! You don't need to have him scoped to diagnose him! Just treat him! You don't need a prescription for treatment strength omeprazole. Get omeprazole from Abler and treat him. Look, here's the link: Each Stable Pack syringe is 4 days of treatment. You can buy 7 syringes for $300 and that will treat him for the recommended minimum 28 days. If that's too much, get the "pop rocks" that you can mix into his feed: You need 100 sachets to treat a 1000 lb horse. That's $175 + $35 for the expedited shipping. Either way, it's much better than $1000+ for GastroGard. The longer you wait to treat him, the tougher he will be to treat and the more expensive it will be because you will have to be treating him for longer. I'm willing to bet my house that Bacardi is better afterwards!

    And don't say that you can't afford it. If you can afford to show, you can afford to treat him.

    Treat him for a month and then re-introduce the trailer with a different training method. What you are doing right now is not working and is just further disintegrating whatever trust in you is left. The more he throws himself over backwards, the stronger his negative association with the trailer is going to be. Plus it's dangerous for him more than anything else. It's not funny. He could break a hip. Or a leg. Or his neck. And then what? God forbid. I love your horse and your blog and just want you two to succeed!

    1. *100 Abprazole sachets will treat a 1000 lb horse for 30 days. It's a 30 day omeprazole treatment for less than $200. Just wanted to clarify that.

    2. I do appreciate your input and trust me I have already spent the better part of my day speaking with my vet since we have already treated him. Thanks for the suggestion though.

      And while I appreciate all input, telling my my methods aren't working is slightly out of "line"? That's the wrong wording. It has always worked. With any horse. Including him. You just have to see the situation and how he acts before you can pass judgement. He is a lunatic. There is no explanation for his behavior. He got on Amy's trailer just fine the first time....the refused on the way home for almost an hour after halfway stepping on. His outbursts are unexplainable. It's simply odd. Thank you though. I do appreciate input and your suggestions/love for my pony.

      I may seem like I'm blowing it off/making fun but I am truly concerned. Exasperated is more the term. I literally don't know what to do about it anymore. I have tried everything.

    3. Oh also, he is on maintenance shop for ulcers as well after treatment. . Trust me. That was the first route of attack

    4. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

      Don't you think maybe you need to try a different method of training your horse to go into the trailer, if he has gotten so reactive to you that he will throw himself over backwards at your request to move one step? He is not a lunatic. He outbursts are not unexplainable. You are refusing to look outside the box for answers. Obviously what has worked in the past is not working now. Please hire a trainer or do something different before we have to read that you killed your horse.

    5. Monica, was he treated with omeprazole? Ranitidine is used as a sort of plan B for treatment, but omeprazole does work better. If he was treated with omeprazole, was he tapered afterwards? Is maintenance being done with omeprazole or with a supplement like UGard?

      Here are my thoughts, and I hope this helps:
      - Omeprazole needs to be tapered before discontinuing because it can cause acid rebound: the stomach goes into gastric acid overproduction if the medication is stopped cold turkey, basically undoing all of the work you just did with treatment. This is newer information; not all vets are recommending tapering yet.
      - If he is on a maintenance dose of omeprazole and still acting this way, I'd ask your vet about treating for hindgut ulcers. Hindgut ulcers symptoms are the same but treatment is different and omeprazole can actually worsen hindgut ulcers.

      I'm sorry if my comment about the trailering seemed out of line, but the truth is that if he is still flipping himself over backwards because of the trailer, something about the approach needs to change. (And I'm shocked that no one else other than Anonymous thinks this is a terrible, horrible, terrifying reaction for a horse to have to anything.) That behavior needs to stop. It will make him unsellable, it could escalate into behavior under saddle, and sooner or later he will kill himself. Horses can break their necks just from tripping and falling after a 2'6" jump, never mind dropping that neck from a height of...what? 15 feet when they're rearing? Just this past weekend in SC a horse broke his neck at a hunter pace. He bumped into a tree and fell to the ground. The horse was walking when he bumped into the tree. He had to be euthanized on the spot.

      It's great that the method you are using has worked with Bacardi in the past and with other horses, but it is a fact that the same method won't work with every single horse and won't always work with the same horse even. For a horse to always follow his handler into the trailer, that horse needs to trust his handler. There is a trust issue here with B, which has now been greatly reinforced when he sliced his head open when acting out at the trailer the day of the storm.

      He needs to trust you first, and then he needs to associate the trailer with good things. The trailer can then be made the "easy" answer: choosing to not load should be more difficult than just stepping on the trailer. Since at the moment you don't have as much time as you would like to ride, I would be using this opportunity to do ground work with him. Not just lunging: basic groundwork. Pick a trainer: Guy McLean, Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli, and introduce some of that to him. You can have a productive session in just 15 minutes. It's not just for Western riders. I ride jumpers with some trail riding on the side, and I still use ground work to turn my horses into trusting model citizens. They've followed me without hesitation through all sorts of obstacles on the trail when needed. And they will follow me onto any trailer I lead them into. Otherwise, I would hire a professional to work with him on this. A good trainer should be able to correct the issue in a couple of sessions; it's not like having to send him off property to a training facility. In the meantime, I would stop doing trailer work entirely until it can be introduced in a manner that will keep him from flipping over. Really: I say this out of absolute concern for both you and Bacardi. :(

  8. When he gets going places, he does a wonderful job! Fingers crossed that the shows go well and even toes crossed from him to figure out that the trailer isn't evil and there aren't any demons in there.

  9. I legit can't go 48 hours without riding my horse anymore... I feel the pain. Glad you finally got to school and he looks happy out there. Hopefully you'll figure out what's going on because when you guys are on, you're on. ^.^

  10. I'm not having a lot of luck riding lately either - it's either raining, or I have a Thing right after work, or Apollo pulls both front shoes and gets into the grain ... you name it. And he's being a jerk about the trailer too. He doesn't flip over backwards, but I do need an extra person to get him loaded. You're not alone.

  11. To said person who withheld their name because you are being nasty:

    Thanks. I appreciate your patronage. But I HAVE tried several methods. Every single method I know. That trainers taught me. Wow! So if you would like to come and try please, be my guest. But anything with whips, or pressure leads to immediate meltdown. A more relaxed, clicker training method has always worked for him. We are just experiencing a rough patch with the fresh injury to his actual face and mental state. I know you can only see what I type, but you should know the whole story before you comment. Thanks a heap!

    1. Would like to add this includes eating in the trailer, groundwork methods from parelli and Anderson, join up...everything. I don't feel like I should defend myself here, no one can really know unless they see it themselves. I understand the concern though...I am obviously concerned as well as I don't wish for a dead horse on my hands.

  12. It must be a nail biting experience dealing with B's trailer issues. I'm sorry its so difficult at this time.
    How was he today? What did you guys do?

  13. I don't blame you for getting upset at his trailering antics. I would be too. Good luck at the show! It should be fun.