Thursday, March 26, 2009


She stepped on MY FOOT! There is a huge bruise on it. All my toes work so no serious damage was done.

The foot squashing occurred during a huge grooming session. I finally turned the corner with her coat - she's still pretty shaggy but I can see the summer coat under the extra fuzz. Finally!

I thought perhaps I should try the lunging thing. I don't generally lunge before I ride; it's just not my thing. But she was so crazy the other day that I thought it was worth a shot today. Unfortunately it is not the answer with Dixie. It just got her MORE worked up. When I mounted she was even wilder than Tuesday.

I ended up working through it better this time. We hung out in the corner of the arena nearest her and Champ's stalls. When she calmed down a tiny bit, we started walking in very small circles, near her stall wall, gradually increasing in size. Eventually we were calmly walking the entire arena.

She was horrid about the bit again. Non stop head tossing and yanking. I decided this time to pretty much ignore her. I kept the exact same very light contact no matter what she did, which was a nice hand exercise for me and very annoying for her.

After like 40 minutes she finally gave in and wanted to stretch her neck out. I let her stretch out into very light contact for a couple laps, then slowly picked her head back up and urged her up into gait. We gaited two circles, then back to a walk, switched directions, and repeated. Then we were done!

She's back to switching gaits constantly. I am going to try to get the Reluctant Photographer Husband to come video us this weekend and figure out what she's doing. Feels like pace to rack, then either a couple strides of canter or a couple strides of running walk in the turns.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and pretty, then rain again over the weekend. I might take Champ out to the park again while I've got the chance!

I do not, in general, believe in magical fixes. But I am mildly hopeful that getting Dixie's teeth floated will help with the bit. Maybe she has wolf teeth coming in? She's way worse about contact since we moved.


  1. How old is Dixie? Wolf teeth have usually erupted by their two year-old year at the latest. Gogo never had wolf teeth come in, as far as I know. I think about 75-80% of horses have them come in. But I'm willing to bet that the dentist will WAY help with the bit thing. Sharp teeth can cause a LOT of pain. What kind of bit do you use?

    And your last post made me laugh, because I've been at barns where I was looked at with a weird eye, but for a different reason - I knew TOO much in a community of very nice but totally clueless horseowners. They couldn't figure out why I fed those weird things called supplements, or why I rode in saddles without horns (they make those??), or why my horse's 'jog' was so big (drey-SAJH? what is THAT?), or why I bothered to groom her (they don't need that!), or why I felt the need to get vaccinations done (they NEED those?) It was very interesting.

  2. So did you make that appt for teeth?
    Sorry bout the foot...ARNICA!
    man did it ever help me out and the ice and advil.

  3. Ouch. Congratulations on getting a good work session under less than ideal circumstances. I will be curious to see her gait video. I'd like to get some video of Johnny's gaiting too; we are working on those corners of teh arena where everything seems to go wonky for a bit.

  4. Andrea: Dixie is 5 years old on Wednesday (I think? I know her papers made the move but I'm not entirely sure where they are...) Anyway, I know she's 5 this year. I keep telling myself she's very young, and we have made a lot of progress since I got her.

    This is the third bit I've tried on her. She came to me broke to a double twisted wire curb. I refuse to use anything that horrible, so I tried her in a fat solid low port Pelham. Then a fat french link. Now she's in a medium thickness single jointed D ring, and I'm kind of out of ideas. I suspect she's just being bitchy.

    I don't agree with everything these people do (there are horses I've yet to see out of their blankets!) but it's definitely a nice step up in the knowledge department!

    Kac: Yep, I'm on the list for the dentist! He's coming next week, the 6th or the 9th. My foot is all better and it didn't even bruise up into a rainbow of colors. I used a topical lidocaine patch on it the first night and that worked great!

    Flying Lily: My husband came with me yesterday and took some fantastic video of Dixie. Which, unfortunately, was a hard pace yesterday. She very rarely paces. :(

  5. LOL guilty as charged.... Gogo's not been out of her blanket or sheet yet this year. Granted, she was clipped, and granted, her sheet is very light, but yeah....

    And wow, scary bit for starting a young horse. I can't ever imagine why anyone would feel the need to put that in ANY horse's mouth - how any mouth could get that hard and tough. Bleugh! I used to swear that I'd NEVER put anything more severe than a snaffle in any horse's mouth that I ever owned, but that changed when I got Gogo, queen of the Large Forward Enthusiastic Stride. She goes in a waterford, which is actually a pretty kind bit and works perfectly, because she can't lean on it.

    If you want to check her for wolf teeth, they're pretty easy to see if they've erupted. I'm interested to see what the dentist says - it might very well make a big difference!

  6. Eee, waterfords are scary looking! I still think it's all in your hands, though. I don't think you can get contact in a "harsh" bit but you can certainly ride a finished horse kindly in one.

    I've ridden TWHs that pulled so hard my arms got sore. In double twisted curbs. Definitely scary.


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