On Spooking and Sunburns

Nibbles and I rode on Friday and Saturday. Friday was uneventful. She’s still not super keen to trot more than a few strides at a time. The fact that the arena footing is very deep in some places doesn’t help her lack of balance. I know they’re working on fixing that. On Saturday, we had our first bout of spooking under saddle. She warmed up well for the most part, a little looky but that’s not horribly uncommon for her. Unfortunately, some sort of bike ride included the road the farm is on which the arena overlooks. So in addition to people barreling down the road in trucks with various things attached, banging away, she also had to deal with bikes whizzing by. I’ll be thankful for the desensitization one day.

Anyway, during Saturday’s ride, I think she happened to kick sand onto the arena gate when she was walking by. Not sure why it set her off but it did. She bootscooted hard and spun. While it surprised me, I was pleased to realize hey, I can still sit that! In fact, it didn’t phase me at all and I just reassured her and talked to her then set her off walking again. The next time, she caught site of a bike through the trees and decided it was time to scoot again. Given, these aren’t large spooks – she just tucks her butt and wheels in the opposite direction, ready to bolt. She is quick about it too! Darn little Arabians. But again, I sat it no problem and reassured her that, in fact, the bike was gone and was not going to eat her today.

After we walked a few more laps, I called it a day because I wanted to end on a positive note. In a way, I’m glad to have our first couple of “spooks” out of the way. Call me crazy but it was confidence building for me that I can handle that sort of thing even though it’s been a while since I was riding/breaking babies regularly.

Saturday was hot here – it was 82°F and there was absolutely no breeze. Nibbles was pretty soaked after a 20 minute ride. So we untacked and I hosed her then scrubbed her legs with some medicated shampoo to keep the scratches at bay. It was then that I really noticed her poor nose.

No ears for you today, mom.

No ears for you today, mom.

That picture was taken at sundown but her nose really is pretty pink. And scabbed and painful. Poor thing! I’m buying her a fly mask with a long nose to see if that doesn’t help. Because of her blaze, her nose has been pink in the summers but I don’t think it’s ever gotten this bad. I can tell she actually is apprehensive when I put on or take off her halter because it bumps her nose. I’m slathering it with sunscreen in the meantime and hopefully can pick one of these badboys up at the tack shop on the way out to ride tonight.

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After her bath, she promptly rolled in the pasture. Lucky for me, it was just in the grass. For whatever reason, she doesn’t aim for mud or dirt.

Sweet freedom.

Sweet freedom.

What? You never said I couldn't...

What? You never said I couldn’t…

Does anyone have any tips for horses with big blazes/white noses prone to sunburn? 

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3 thoughts on “On Spooking and Sunburns

  1. Dressage Hafl says:

    Hafl has the same problem – all I can do is to take care of the sunburn itself meaning using some skin repair – halters with fly veils and such do not work here neither does application of sunblocker :/

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