I’m a married woman! Trainer Elise posted the photo above on instagram the morning of my wedding. She was the first to make me cry. It was the next best thing to having my horse be there for my big day. Everything was beautiful – no wedding photos just yet – then we jetted off to Germany and Austria for almost two weeks. We checked a big item off of my bucket list – the Spanish Riding School. But that day deserves a post all to itself.
So while I’m back to reality and back to work, Nibbles remains with her super trainer for the time being. We don’t have a set end date which is perfectly fine with me because my brain is still sizzling from so much change and Nibbles is doing so incredibly well.
Nibbles went on her first “trail ride” which was really just a large field. Elise rode her in a halter at walk, trot and canter without any problems. If you ask me, Nibbles much prefers the outdoors and that halter. Hippie horse. Elise also rode Nibbles with a fabulous clinician in a private session and had a great experience. The clinician liked Nibbles and thought she had a lot of potential.
The private lesson started with groundwork, cleaning it up. Nibbles gets a noodly neck to on e direction and gets her nose to close to you when you break over her hindquarters. So they worked on preventing that by reaching up with the leading hand to improve her balance and further engage her hindquarters. She said they worked on waiting a little longer so she can’t rush and that overall the work was light and easy. Next, they did the same thing but in the bridle with a lot of stopping and turning but not bridging the the hind through or fore across like in the halter.
They worked on making her more steady at the mounting block. Elise reports that Nibbles has been okay but hasn’t really improved much. She said she gets anxious when going between the mounting block and wall/fence line. They usually come to the outside or circle it. The clinician spotted this, made a few tweaks and in less than 5 minutes, it made a huge difference just by changing how they asked her to walk up to the mounting block. I’m excited to see this in person!
Finally was the under saddle work and really asking for more control of her feet: bringing her hindquarters under just like the groundwork, thinking about asking the forehand to come across, and slowing down/speeding up her feet with just your seat (which Elise says she already does super well). I also can’t wait to see the adjustment they made when she gets wiggly in her head: he had her widen her hands way more than she thought and showed Elise how this made a difference by having her hold the bit in her hands. They also added a slight push of the hands forward through upward transitions to help eliminate head tossing.
Basically, I’m dying to see my mare. My husband (!!!!) and I have plans to make the trip to see her next weekend, July 11th.
Click for largest version!
Photo by the amazing Jamie Abitz.
The vet came early on Saturday morning. We drugged miss looney and he palpated and ultrasounded her ovaries. She had a CH on the left ovary but no cysts or tumors. He said she had just finishing cycling which makes sense. He didn’t see any issue with the hindgut/cecum, not even excess gas to make her uncomfortable. He thought this would be her last cycle before winter as he could already feel the change in her uterus. He said we could do two weeks of Regumate if I want but it may not make much difference at the end of the season like this. It would be about $100. In good new I guess, he said she has great repro goods so yay for that? But no explanation of the behavior based on physical pain.
So his verdict is that her behavior was her cycling which compounded her being upset that her favorite farm buddy hasn’t returned. He basically said it may be that she needs to live on Regumate in the future to make her manageable. And I get that but I’m still baffled by how this horse is not my horse. I normally drone on about how easy and fun she is. This is so frustrating!
We did use her in our engagement photos at the barn yesterday. Except for breaking the crossties and her breakaway halter before the photographer arrived, she pretended she had a brain for the most part. At least she didn’t act like a looney with the bridle, although as soon as I turned her back out after less than half an hour, she galloped away madly calling for her pasture mates who were just over the hill.
I don’t see us going to the horse show this Saturday. Even though it’s just a fun show, I can already see it being one giant fight and I really don’t want that for her first outing. I can’t set her up for failure and expect it to be a positive experience. This week will be about trying to tap into wherever her brain has gone and going back to work I know she was confident with: in hand, lunging, long lining. Hopefully she remembers that, oh yeah, this lady isn’t evil and I am actually a sweet horse.
But in good news, yay engagement photos! We should get them in 2-3 weeks and I’ll share them then. What we saw on her camera looked amazing and I’m out of my skin with excitement to see them all.
Sorry guys. It’s been a rough week for me. I’m meeting the vet tomorrow morning bright and early to take a look at Nibbles. He wants to palpate her ovaries to check for abnormalities. He suspects this could be hormonal. I guess it’s a good thing to rule out but it doesn’t explain the mild colic. At this point, I’m afraid ulcers may be a best case scenario for poor baby Nibbles. I’ll post an update after our appointment.
Also this weekend, my fiancé and I are having our engagement photos done. On the farm with Nibbles. Let’s hope she miraculously remembers to bring her brain. I’m excited, though, as we’ve never had any professional photos taken together over the past 2 1/2+ years. Of course, I’ll be posting those in a few weeks when we get the edits back.
Please keep your fingers crossed for miss Nibs!
The hysteria that has been the past year seems to be finally coming to an end. I knew that things would work out. It’s just so hard when you’re in the midnight of a year-long storm that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.
For the cliff notes version, the following has taken place in the past three weeks:
- Star, my recently-gelded stallion, was laid to rest after a freak pasture accident that left him with a fractured T2 in his right hind.
- My big grey mare, Sara, finally sold to a lovely home across the border in Canada. It seemed surreal until she was gone.
- For the time being, my fiancé and I have agreed to try and keep Nibbles.
Oh and I got engaged! The now-fiancé proposed very romantically on the beach on July 3rd. I’ve been wedding planning in full flow and, so far, really enjoying the process. We have a date, church, reception site, caterer, photographer, wedding bands and my dress!
Now that I don’t feel pressured to sell four horses, I feel like I finally have a bit of my brain back. Which of course means I’m riding again.
We have a brand new arena at the small property we board at which is immensely helpful when riding a super green horse. Nibbles has two rides back since… April? So far, so good! We have forward, steering and brakes! Good pony.
So maybe this blog will be something after all.