Have you ever had something happen, something super small and seemingly insignificant, that has ended up having a massive effect?
Since B came back to me it has been a non-stop series of ups and downs.
He was skinny, then he developed colic from stuffing himself full of too much grass. Once he was done with that he put on over 100kg in less than three weeks but the NSC content had his brain fried out of his head.
Not even two months apart
We eventually wrangled him back into work but things still felt quite iffy, and I tried everything I could think of to rule out physical/nutritional causes for his strange demeanor. New saddles, body work, pro rides etc. Or so I thought.
He eventually settled enough that we could start doing some more work (real work) without me constantly feeling like he was a second away from exploding. He still felt much sharper than the horse I had turned out to rest from injury but I chalked this up to him being bigger, stronger and older.
Why listen to your mother about waiting when you could definitely take this long spot?
Sure, he was a bit sharper, but it wasn’t always a bad thing. I certainly wasn’t having to work so hard to keep his go button feeling fresh, but it did mean that he had to be in super consistent work or his little brain would start to melt out his ears.
Since coming home from Thailand and being hit with more crap (abscess, nail prick, another abscess) and having a month off I once more clambered aboard to deal with the demon of the black lagoon that appears when he started riding work again.
Ok, that’s unfair he is definitely no demon, just exuberant about working again
Aside from first ride freshness he settled back in nicely and I was happy.
It wasn’t until I went to my feed store last week and they had run out of his standard that I was stuck with a predicament. What else could I put him on until his normal feed came back into stock?
I chose a similar product from the company. By comparing the labels the profile and ingredients looked almost identical, and the feed itself looked no different to the naked eye so I figured that was the most sensible option.
I ended up having to change his feed over just as town was hit with a two day deluge of rain (absolutely no complaints here, we really need it), and work kicked into high gear so he inadvertently ended up with a two day break. When I went to give him a quick lunge on the Friday to see where his head was at with the new feed I was 10/10 gobsmacked.
This horse almost always gets his nickers in a knot when the weather rapidly shifts between hot and cold. It gets under his skin and riles him up. So you can imagine my surprise when I yeet him out of the paddock with the wind a-gusting and he barely blinks.
None of the usual cold snap shenanigans
Or when I lunge him and he would rather nap.
What do you mean “go”?
Or when he decides that work is overrated and perhaps we could play in the water instead.
No work, only play
Unfortunately I couldn’t test this out with a ride as it’s apparently super rude to miss your own birthday dinner because you’re riding your horse.
Weird, but fine whatever.
And then commenced a weekend of the best fun ever. All week he had nothing but some light lunges and went jumping straight away on the Saturday.
In his sharper state of mind it was taking us a while to settle him even over poles on the ground but now?
We then did just plain pole work on the Sunday and, yep, another brilliant ride.
Not actually a picture from Sunday, but I just love poles
I hopped on for a flat school yesterday and, once more, excellent.
He’s happy to poke around on the long rein again, his back isn’t wound up super tight until I can work with him on relaxing. He’s just relaxed.
Like he used to be.
Our flat school stayed super short because he was lovely and obliging and there was no point beating a dead horse (so to speak).
And none of this would have changed if the feedstore didn’t run out of feed.