Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spooked!

So since Indigo lacerated her shoulder early September shes got little more done with her than being groomed, doctored and taken for walks down the lane.
She gave me a lot more trouble after it was completely healed than when it was wide open. The nerves hurt when it was growing back. I went to put ointment on it to keep the skin supple and she would back up as far as she could tied and bug her eyes out at me and shake.
Shes finally gotten over that but shes still a teeny bit stiff from all the hard scar tissue built up there. Good thing I do equine massage therapy.

So I rode her for the first time in a wile yesterday. She was very good, and very bad at the same time. Going out she was excellent until we came to the dreaded horse eating bush.

If you haven't heard me talk about the dreaded horse eating bush heres the lo down.

It's a fence row of trees between our lane and the neighbors field. The first time I ever put a cart on Indigo and drove her a bird came zooming out of the horse eating bush and beamed her right in the side of the head before flapping off in a daze. Ever since then any time something skitters, flaps or crunches in the horse eating bush she bugs her eyes out of her head, sometimes does a 360 in .5 of a second or dives sideways away from it. No matter who's working her or what I am doing shes always been claustrophobic about that bush after that incident.

Anyway we were going along. I guess we both sensed something. She shortened her stride but kept a forward motion. She gets really jumpy right now because the corn is not cut down so it's like walking through the tunnel of horse eating bush death to her. Shes not a very claustrophobic horse, except when this bush and another object such as the 11 foot high corn is involved.

You wouldn't think anything of much size could hide in the horse eating bush but it did.

This is when a HUGGGGEEE buck with a rack that a hunter would drool over EXPLODES out of the horse eating bush!

Cue Indigo's 360, eyes bugging out of their sockets, me hollering IT'S JUST A DEER YOU DOUGH HEAD! She didn't see it but I could through a hole in the horse eating bush as it bounded off to the corn field beyond.

At this point Indigo was wound right up. She smelt the deer, she heard it fly out of the horse eating bush with one hell of a racket and knew something was up. She was landing on her tippy toes. I hopped off her to err on the side of caution. She rarely gets this upset about something.

One thing I love about this horse is that she will respect your space, no matter what.

About 15 feet later another deer bolts out of the horse eating bush, making a racket that would rival a circus elephant. She tries to wheel around, but notices I am standing there so she jumps ahead, bugs her eyes, wheels around me, stops in her tracks and then tip toes behind me past the spot where the demon horse eating deer was in the horse eating bush.

Normally if the deer was nearby she would have been like oh, a deer, Hey look some grass!*noms* Since they exploded out of the horse eating bush they were satans messengers here to eat her spotty butt.

I walked her a little ways further and then hopped back on her right when a hawk proceeded to fly out of the tree with a loud crash which sent her into a canter and even quicker, me sending her into a circle which brought her to a halt. We went a little further and she was alright. When I turned her around to go home she was ready to head for the hills. She was all high headed and spooky and really needed to get over herself. I hopped off her and decided to walk her a little ways.
We came back to the horse eating deer bush. She could smell them. She knew they had been there and thought they might be there again. A bird flew out of the bush. She jumped ahead. This is where I said ENOUGH! I got after her with my crop making her back up FAST. Shes looking at me like "you crazy person theres horse eating bushes next to me and you want me to BACK UP!?" but she did it. Good I might add she knew I was not gonna play her spook and run off games. She listened, only tilting an ear or eye once or twice before she realized that made me make her back up faster. You know what, it worked. Making her do something she is incredibly good at and knows she forgot about the deer and put her focus on the real threat; the riding crop that threatened to start waving faster if she did not get into reverse RIGHT NOW!

I got back on and rode her home and she couldn't have been better. What a good girl.

Of course we did stop on the way back so I could pick a shirt full of rosehips.They are not only pretty but good for people and horses to eat, make tea out of and for fall boquets. They are full of vitamin C and are given to horses in supplements for their coat. Indigo loves them. She even picks them right off the prickly vines herself as I am picking my own. These particular ones are dogwood roses. They don't look like roses at all when in bloom but they make pretty red and tasty hips in the fall.

Of course we came back with a container to fill and for Indigo to eat some grass.

Yeah thats her, loose with a few hundred acres of field to run off in. She doesn't though. I lead her out there with a halter but I much prefer pictures without a halter. If I go around the bush that the rosehips are are she follows me over to keep me in her line of sight. It's like when I am on the ground I am her herd. She would and does follow me anyplace I ask. On her back it's another story. Something scares her bad and she wants to run home. I hop off and that need to run home expires. Something we need to work on. Gives me something to think about as this weather gets crappier in preparation for winter. Supposed to rain all weekend. Bleah!

4 comments:

One Red Horse said...

Oh my, I'm laughing so hard I'm about to choke. Do you have some kind of sound warping field around the horse eating bush? Our deer are quiet when they come at us. Hmmmm, maybe it is US that has a sound muffling field.

You have inspired me and reminded me of my grand plans to gather rose hips and usnea moss. Must do that this weekend.

Kate said...

My mare is the same - very confident if I'm on the ground leading her, or even behind her ground-driving, but if I'm on top, she's less confident and more spooky. Perhaps she sees me better when I'm on the ground?

Have you had any luck massaging with arnica gel for scar tissue/soreness?

Sydney said...

Red- Usually our deer are quiet too but the one had a huge rack so I blame that. I think we snuck up on them as much as they startled us.

Kate- OH! I completely forgot about arnica! I have a few bottles of it around too.

Desert Rose said...

I think I might have a rose hips bush in my yard...it looks like yours!!!
So...about the monster bush. Little Lady has the same kind of thing at times...but has gotten so much better. She will now alert me that her " monster" is coming up and I start to immediately pat her neck, say good girl, pat her butt, say it ok...you can do it. All this and more...and she has been able to get by the monster without the blowup. Sometimes we back up....stop, all the while I am reassuring her that she can do it. I know it is hard to be able to comfort her when you also are anxious...but that is what she really needs is for you to just be the alpha mare and be the boss. If you do not step up to be the boss...she will have to take matters into her own "hooves" and bolt. I really do know how it feels to be anxious...6 years ago, I was too!

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