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Schooling issue - catch 22
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marge2 · 09/03/2011 10:52

GRRRrrrrr bloody horse!!!!

Right. Horse is almost 19. Has been sane and safe a houses all her life. In my pre-kids days she was pretty well schooled and good at dressage. A perect hack. Beautiful manners. She now has a health issue which means she is not allowed to be turned out for more than 30 mins a day unless she is in a decent amount of work, if in FULL work, then only a max of 3 to 4 hours per day. Apart from this underlying health thing, she also tends to go lame at the drop of a hat in front as she has very flat feet and a bony thing going on inside her foot. Recently I have been lucky to get two weeks work in a row out of her between lamenesses. So her fitness levels never build up to much and we never get beyond the fittening stage of starting gentle trotting on the roads stage. So she is restricted to the box most of the day., which she takes pretty well to be fair.

However each time she comes back into work she is slightly less easy to ride. She gave me her first ever buck a couple of months ago. THIS time she has been back in work 5 whole days and she has taken to not going forward unless she is jogging. I CANNOT get her to walk nicely. I can only ride her a couple of times a week due to work/kids/husband/ so one of the girls that works at the yard rides her for me the other days. This lady has a bit of a 'hunting seat' and doesn;t really seem to wrap her legs round only riding off the reins really which is not doing my girl much good. The other girl on the yard says she goes around with her nose in the air. When I ride her I get her on the bit but she still jogs all the FUCKING time and it is doing my HEAD IN. When I try to get really strict about making her walk she feels like shes is going to go up. It's horrid.

In the old days I would have taken her in the school and schooled or lunged the living daylights out of her before gettting on, but there is no school where I am now and if I did that she would be sure to go lame as her legs are not 'hard'. That's the catch 22. I want to get bloody hold of her but need to be so careful otherwise she will just go lame.

Any suggestions? I am hating riding her at the moment.

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olderyetwider · 09/03/2011 11:24

Sorry, no suggestions except try to get someone else to ride who has a similar style to you, but loads of sympathy, it must be really demoralising.

Do you ride alone or in company? If alone is there anyone with a nice ploddy horse you could tuck her in behind?

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marge2 · 09/03/2011 11:40

It is SOOO frustrating. Can't really think of anyone else I could ask to ride her. It's a bit of a yard full of old and retired horses and owners. Was thinking about offereing free riding, but don't feel she would attract many takers at the moment. Motorists are starting to look a bit worried as I passs them, but I am not worried she will do anything daft. It's just so uncomfy!

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olderyetwider · 09/03/2011 11:53

Could you pay a local professional to do some schooling work out on the road when you can't ride? Maybe just in the short term, to hopefully break the habit?

Bloody horses! They do make us happy really though, don't they? it's probably just a bad patch, you will solve it!

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Saggyoldclothcatpuss · 09/03/2011 12:50

Do you live near a beach? Swimming is great exercise and less stress on joints etc.

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marge2 · 09/03/2011 13:08

Bucks/Oxon borders so possibly about as far from a beach as I could get. you are right I think i am going to have to try to afford to get someone prof riding her for a while. I will struggle though as I am skint the whole time. This is why I am DIY at a yard with no school.

I am going out with the yard owner on her own neddy on Friday to the school we can pay to use which is a short hack away. I am hoping the company will calm her down and I a short schooling sesh will get the message into her head that there is a DIFFERNCE between walk and trot.

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raffa4 · 09/03/2011 15:25

have you tried long reining her or having someone walk beside you on the ground to start with ? that worked with my youngster bringing her back into work

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marge2 · 10/03/2011 12:23

I will have to have a go. But will feel daft being led on my 19 year old .

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CluckyKate · 10/03/2011 23:05

What are you feeding her??? Sounds like she may be getting too much hard feed for the work she's on.

Am assuming you've also ruled out anything related to back, tack and teeth too.

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AlpinePony · 14/03/2011 12:07

Does she still jog after a quick brisk trot?

My mare can be a total pita until she's cleared her pipes as it were.

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marge2 · 14/03/2011 12:54

She is on a very strict diet. A handful of nuts and handful of chaff - just enough to get the bute she is on into her. She has about 4 slices of hay a day. I am getting her teeth checked . dentist is coming soon.

Ohh gues what - went for a nice hack in company on Friday. couldn't get intot the school cos some plonker had parked their car accross the gate. But she was SO much better walking and trotting very nicely on the bit for about 40 minutes until we met a bunch of lost school kids orienteering and had to show them where they were on the map. A switch flicked in her head from the point we moved off onwards she was a total jogging nightmare for the lat 20 minutes all the way home.

Oh and on the drive back into the yard she stepped on something, did a big limp and is LAME AGAIN>>>AAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHH.

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