Thursday, February 6, 2014

Clinic Disaster (Dickie's Ailment part 1)

I Killl You!!

I was so excited for the clinic. Dickie was going fantastic. He was starting every ride with his worker bee hat on. Excessive speed is never going to be a fault of his but he was getting consistent about bigger trot instead of being stuck in a tiny trot. Leg yield were coming along, turning was pretty dang great. Sure he had his days where he couldn't organize his baby legs but what can you expect from a horse who's just turning four. Canter is galumpy and on the forehand but it's willing and balanced. Seemed like a very good starting point for this clinic. She happily works with babies and I made sure ahead of time that our greenie status was appropriate. The week leading up to the clinic there were a few small issues that looking back told me trouble was brewing. He had stopped standing at the mounting block, was really girthy, and just seemed a bit pissy. 

The day before the clinic rolled around and he was really grumpy. I haven't had to lay the smack down about just getting his rear in gear for a long time. Right off the bat he tried to say that he wasn't pleased. I gave him a few smacks and he stompted his feet, kicked out, tripped over himself, then got his working brain on. It was a bit out of character but it didn't prepare me for clinic day. 

The clinician came to our barn (the reason for this is another long and stressful story) and I was stressed. My family came, Dickie was pissy, and I am always nervous with a new clinician. I started out by lunging him and I knew it was going to be bad. He was chomping the bit, grabbing the lead, prancing, slamming into me, running, bucking, and tuning me out. If it wasn't a clinic I wouldn't have even gotten on. I would have at least done some in hand work until he was calmer and tuned into me. But it was go time so I got on and even that was a chore. He didn't want to stand at the mounting block, snatched the reins from me, and tried to bite me when I tightened the girth. Not just Dickie nipping but full out "I hate you" bite. 

We ended up walking only on day one and her husband worked him on day two. At the end of the ride he decided he was done, and just stopped moving. While it was a completed disaster and injured my ego. However, I learned a TON from her. Her husband is a cowboy and real horse whisperer. It was amazing to watch him work with Dickie.

While I did learn because she is fantastic I still knew my horse wasn't right. He was acting like an unbroke horse. Horses have bad days, especially babies, but this wasn't even Dickie. Trainer was puzzled when she heard the story and curious what she would find during her weekly ride. He was even WORSE, he bolted on the lunge, tried to roll in her saddle, took off when she tried to mount and was entirely tuned out the whole ride. 

We both agreed this wasn't usual happy (naughty) but happily naughty horse. And we started to compare notes on what led up to this.....

1) He's been picking at his grain 2) Getting increasingly girthy 3) irritable 4) doesn't want me to brush his belly 5) Started chewing wood 6) Kicking out under saddle 7) Spooky 


  1. Definitely agree with ulcers! Poor guy! Any idea what caused them? It's really unfortunate they cropped up in time to totally ruin the clinic, but I'm glad you were still able to learn stuff from her and that nobody was hurt. To tell the truth I probably would not have gotten on LOL! You have guts! Anyway I really hope his ulcers clear up quickly.

    1. Haha. I don't see myself as a gutsy rider at all. I'll let you in on a little secret..... Dickie is really really smooth. When he is up to no good and gets all donkey kicky no matter how fancy those hind legs look he is too smooth. He just feels like when you are kids and speed over bumpy back roads then start giggling. He has yet to figure out how to balance his big body and put in a rodeo buck.

    2. Well thank goodness he hasn't figured out a rodeo buck LOL! :D I'm just glad you were able to figure out what was wrong so you can get your normal, feisty boy back and not the grouchy boy.