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Dealing With Half 'n' Half Horses

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  • Marv Walker
    Aug 16, 2013 Expand Messages
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      It was raining like crazy today but I went by the barn anyway since I
      was already
      in Gray on another matter and there is always something that needs
      doing at the
      therapeutic riding center.

      Amongst all the other things I found to do I went out and got Faith
      to bring her
      in the barn for a little snack and a little more "cinch" work. She
      saw me coming
      and pretended to not notice me as she moved away. I headed her off and she
      stopped and waited for me to halter her up then we started toward the barn.

      Shannon Milner's old Arab Imdal gets a little colicy during cold
      weather and she
      called me and wanted me to bring him in and feed him a bucket of sloppy food
      with electrolytes. I did that and worked in the barn and the whole
      time he was
      pacing the stall, hollering for his buddies and ignoring his slop
      even though he is
      ruled by his stomach. I finally decided it was in his best interest
      to be out in
      the rain rather than stressed out in the stall. I found a blanket, managed to
      get it on him then sent him back out. He found a spot in the rain
      and just stood
      there.

      And that's where Faith saw him.

      Her Arab side flashed out immediately. She got all tall, ears aimed
      straight at
      him and she got light on her feet and popped back and forth snorting
      and blowing
      on the end of the leadline. We got by without being predator bait or me being
      run over and headed into the barn. I put her in the cross ties and
      then I noticed
      her nerves jumping. I've never had a horse nor have I seen a horse with the
      "thumps" in all my life. If I had to put a name to it based on what
      I could see,
      that would be it. Large muscle groups appeared to be spasming - not
      shivering,
      spasming.

      I'd seen that in her once before and I had had the feeling she was
      going to explode.
      I took her out to the round pen and spent a few minutes re-establishing herd
      dynamics and when we went back in the barn she was tremor and tremble free.
      So out in the cold, rain and mud we went for a few more minutes this
      time as well.
      She seemed to get the idea real quick and it was cold and sloppy so
      back in the
      barn we went.

      The spasms were less but still obvious and I decided to shell the woods anyway
      and see what fell down. There was a kick at nothing in particular
      but I got real
      careful. I managed to get the surcingle with a minimum of
      effort. She was too
      busy watching everything else. I set her feed bucket in the aisle
      ahead of her
      and unhooked her. She walked to the bucket, grabbed a mouthful and then went
      to look out the back of the barn. Back and forth she went
      halfheartedly sampling
      the feed and staring out the back. Usually she stays and eats with
      few trips to
      look out or around while I putz around the barn.

      We were both at the gate end of the barn aisle. I was doing
      something I'd done
      dozens of time that didn't involve her when all of a sudden she
      leaped straight up
      in the air off all fours for no reason I could make out and hit me
      enough to knock
      me off balance.

      Shannon and I were talking yesterday as we fed the horses and I was
      telling her
      about my observations of breeding horses with opposing
      characteristics together.
      It's great to watch understanding flash over someone's face when you explain
      an esoteric concept to them.

      The problem with half and half horses like Faith, half Arab and half
      App, is that
      you don't know which breed is going to control the horse at any given
      time. You
      always have to be right in your actions to deal well with them, there
      is little
      consistency.

      Faith and I should be well on down the trail with the amount of time
      and effort
      I have in her. I can see progress but it's in drips and drabs.

      I shall keep on if only to see where it gets us.

      I have received private responses that actually had valuable possible
      insights to
      this type of situation and I appreciate them but I'd like to see them
      sent to the
      list so everyone can benefit.

      Marv "Some days are diamonds, some days are stones. Today a cold wind blew
      a chill in my

      bones." Walker
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