Friday, June 28, 2013

Enough Is Enough

The other day CnJ asked how The Big Bay was coming along...

And I have to admit, I got off track with him again. The drug I gave him wore off a long time ago and while he is not as radical as he was before...I am beginning to think that this horse is a half a bubble off. He is excitable and spooky over the most mundane things. Normal day to day activities that he has been exposed to around here every since he's been here...3 years now. It's just stupid. I mean, Buddy, the TB has only been here for a few months and he is totally settled in and at ease.

Having some time at home, I decided it was time to get back to it with The Big Bay. I got The Big Bay up, groomed him and was going to pull his front shoes, which needed to be done awhile ago (damn the days and weeks just fly by when all of your focus is on 'the next rodeo'.), but he was being a complete dink about his front feet, so I figured, 'Well, I'll just work him and take the edge off and then he'll be fine about his feet.'. We did some long line work, went to the round pen and did some more work, I saddle him up and long lined him some more. He was being good, so I cut him loose so I could go get a bridle.

That dirty sucker went to hogging and bucking around the round pen and I had just had it. I grabbed up my buggy whip and started chasing him and whipping his behind. I have had enough of this blowing up crap. He was totally not expecting to get spanked for bucking and he quit and just started running. I stopped chasing him and let him calm down. He whipped around and faced up to me, his eyes bugging out and his head waaayyyyy up there. We stared at each other for quite awhile and he finally dropped his head and whiffled through his nose. I stepped off to the side and asked him to move the other way. AGAIN with the hogging and bucking. I went to chasing and whipping his butt again and this time he came out of it almost immediately. I stopped and he slammed to a stop and whipped around to face me. This time he was much quicker to drop his head and blow his nose. I could see the wheels a turning. Bucking = Butt spanking? Not bucking = Spanking stopped?

I stepped off to his side and this time when he moved off...there was no bucking. He was high stepping around, but he had one eye and one ear on me at all times. I let him move along for a little bit so he got the point that it really was all about the bucking and he started to relax. Stop, face, head drop and blow nose. Move the other way and he had it figured out...He moved off as nice as could be. Bingo! Lesson learned...for today anyway.

I went and got the bridle and tied his head around to the left. He had to bend, but had plenty of room to drop his nose and get off of pressure. I finished cleaning the last pen for the day, went back in, moved him around til he was moving out and dropping his nose and then switched directions. It was getting to be suppertime around here, so I went and got Shooter to put him away. The other horses came loping down the fenceline and that is when I heard crashing and banging in the round pen. I looked up just in time to see the big bay get up, my saddle was hanging off of his side and he was in panic mode. I was like 'W>T>F???'. Slammed Shooter's stall door shut and raced toward the round pen. By then, my saddle was under The Big Bay's belly and he was racing around the round pen, jumping and kicking at it. I was hollering 'Whoa, whoa' from way back...But you guys know how much good that does. LOL.

I knew the instant the horse made the decision to try to jump the panels and just stopped in my tracks. He hit that fence...BTW...he can't jump! He just slammed into them and panels went flying and he just fell right into them. I stood there thinking, 'Well, he's probably going to break a leg in that wreck.' The Big Bay rolled around in the panels, rolled free, jumped up and took off out of the opening he had just created...With my saddle still under his belly!! I'm sorry, I know it's probably horrible to say this, but I was actually more pissed off because he was wrecking my good Ammerman barrel saddle than I was worried about him.

The Big Bay ran around the side of the house toward the pasture gate and I figured he would just go through that fence as well and I waited to hear the crash. No crash! Not wanting to spook him any worse than he was, I eased my way around the house and he was standing at the gate. I got him caught, got the saddle undone and dropped it. The Big Bay was shaking and drenched in sweat. I led him back down to the corrals, checked him all over for cuts and outside of a couple of tiny scraped spots, he was fine.

*I*, on the other hand, was livid. L.I.V.I.D!!!!! I couldn't figure out how he got the saddle under his belly, so I walked him back up to look at the saddle. Nothing was broke on it...Incredibly!...Was pretty sure the tree would have been broken, but the next day saddle guy said it's fine. It was missing a I walked around the direction the horse had taken looking for that. Found it laying 10 feet out on the offside of the round pen. But then I realized that the pad was missing. I found it buried in the round corral. Oohhhh! The pad must have slid out the back when he boogered at the other horses running down the fenceline and that is how the saddle had enough room to slide under his belly.

The aftermath...

Once I had gotten everything gathered back up...all the while leading The Big Bay around with me to cool him out physically and mentally, I was still mad enough to spit nails. I am soooo sick of this horse's crap. I'm not saying that I haven't had some doosies of wrecks with horses before, but this horse just takes the cake. And while I don't recommend that most people try what I did next...I do know from experience that sometimes the aftermath of a wreck (barring injury), the best thing to do is just move forward with whatever you planned to do.

I didn't have time to fix the roundpen in the fading light, so I just resaddled the horse with a different saddle, put him in his corral and climbed on. I rode him for about 20 minutes, just walking around, turning him this way and that way. Stopping, backing and making him move out. He was so shell-shocked that he didn't give me any trouble at all. Out of all of the chaos...The one thing I wanted him to remember is that he got RODE!

Afterward, he got hosed down and a through going over. I did find where he had split a little bit of skin along his cornet band, so I bandaged that...Hmmmm...he wasn't worried about me handling his feet after all of that. LOL. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to get his shoes pulled and feet trimmed that night. It had to wait one more day.

The Big Bay was quite possibly the quietest and most relaxed I have ever seen him. Of course he was tired, but he was also mentally quiet. It validated a thought I have been forming about this horse for some time now....He is one of those horses that just cannot seem to get past his fears until he has a huge mental blowup. Once you get on the other side of that, he's a pretty nice horse. There is something in his brain that just won't allow him to reason through and accept normal activities until he has a melt-down and then afterward he acts completely normal.

To Be Continued...


Cindy D. said...

Wow, your perseverance is amazing and I am curious to see how to deal with a horse with that sort of temperament.

Cut-N-Jump said...

DaaaaAAAAAAaaaaaaammmmnnnnn! So now I am almost sorry I asked about him... Ho-ly Shit! I'm glad you, him and nobody/nothing else was hurt/destroyed in the chaos.

I totally get that about concern for the tack, not so much the horse. Been there. Do what you want, but mess up my saddle and I'll take you out horse!

Something that I got out of reading the post is that it seems like you were there to calm him and a beacon of quiet for him. After the bucking, when he turned to face you- all was quiet and good. After the meltdown, epic destruction of the roundpen, saddle and missing pad- you were there to catch him by the gate and all was quiet and good for him.

Even though it sounds like you were fuming mad with him, he seen you as his herd leader and something he could find comfort in, in some sense. I hope he has turned the corner and is ready for a good change.

I wonder what's going on between his ears that makes him tick like that?

kestrel said...

Who knows CNJ, sometimes I think horses that do that really don't know themselves. Some get over it, some never do. I'm hoping for the best! Interesting problem, and glad that it's good so far. Stay safe!

Marissa Rose said...

I nominated you for the Liebster Award!

fernvalley01 said...

wow, just wow! Glad it wasnt a bigger wreck! Can never figure why some wrecks will darn near kill them and the next that looks just as bad? a scratch

SunnySD said...

Zowie... glad the Bay and the saddle came through mostly unscathed.

Re. the meltdown & aftermath comment at the end? I've known a couple people like that. Unfortunately, the sweet spot after the blow-up only lasts until the stress starts to build up again, and then it's KaBlooey redux. Hope it's different with equines!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Horses are the same SunnySD. At least this one is. :-/