The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

The title of this post is a little dramatic.  But I had such high hopes for this season.

Last fall, I thought the winter of 12-13 would be my “Winter of Dressage” and I would come into this season raring to go, and just start laying waste at every event with my Dressage scores.  Kip was being super sensible, was jumping excellently and we were having some nice breakthroughs.

Instead, I lost my sister, and my life was turned upside down. It was shocking and incredibly sad, and I have felt so alone. People surprised me with their compassion and selflessness; others surprised me with their narcissism and … pettiness. Both of these reactions made me cry and I cried for three months, and was not stopping — I cried at my desk at work, and on the train, and all the other times, too.

So I started taking anti-depressants, and I was still sad, but able to function — and finally, to think about riding.  Kip and I had some amazing rides in February and March.  Then in April, he went mysteriously lame. The intermittent mystery lameness mentioned in my previous post.  I had different vets out on three separate occasions, and Kip would not demonstrate the lameness; so we had no treatment plan. That took up April and May.

Then, when he finally he seemed to be on the mend, he’s getting new shoes and gets a hot nail. That took at least 14 days to heal.  Then I got sick for a few days. Now I will be out of town for five days.  That is basically all of June. This adds up to three months of Kip not being in regular work, let alone training.

As a result, he is being a real asshole.

He won’t let me catch him in the field. there is always some kind of chasing that happens, then he will grudgingly let me put his halter on.

He has decided he will not tie. He will back up until the crossties break, then wheel and run like hell out of the barn.

He is really spooky. He used to just spook in place. Now he has decided after he tenses up and jigs around, he violently leaps into the air and double-barrel kicks out with his hind legs at what ever he does not like.  Kind of like this:
Lipizzaner Stallions
Notice how the guy is not on the horse when he does this? Yeah, because it is scary and kind of hard to sit.

I am training him to go fully into the contact now and being consistent, whereas before I was … not. But he does not always appreciate his formerly useful evasions  not working any more.  So he has decided to start rearing up. Just a tiny bit of light-front end hopping really. I send him forward and back to work, but still annoying.

Part of the not tying is taking off at every opportunity, like when I take the saddle off, or when ever else both of my hands are full. I have started un-tacking in the stall, to avoid this particular charming behavior.

Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you.20130622_105546
So basically, I have a very tense horse who is really frustrated. I am going to start treating him for ulcers, put him back on the B Crumbles and just be patient.

I don’t think it is his eyesight or pain, his eyes look good and clear, and react to light appropriately. I have poked and prodded every square inch of him and find no pain reactions from the saddle or anywhere else.

So I will continue to be patient. I don’t have any plans for showing this summer. I wouldn’t trust him on an XC course right now for anything.  I do have plans to take him to Pony Club Camp, as long as he is sound. So we will see.

I miss my good horse.

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