An off night for Buddy?!

This teenaged bay Arabian gelding is in rehabilitation. Watch his progress as he goes through eye surgery, gains weight and returns to his original beauty!

An off night for Buddy?!

Postby Juliane on Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:44 pm

After playing with Teddie tonight, I decided to work with Buddy. I wanted to see what he knew and get a better assessment of his skills under saddle. I led him out to the round pen, where the saddle, brushes and other items were still at.

I looped the lead rope around one of the round pen poles, and then proceeded to brush him down. Then, I tossed the saddle pad on his back. He seemed a bit startled, but I assumed it was because I didn't give him any indication of my intentions.

I then got my saddle and went to put it up on his back. This really startled him and caused him to tuck his rump underneath him and then scoot away as soon as the saddle was on his back. Since he wasn't really tied, he took off when he realized he wasn't restrained. There went my saddle! LOL

As soon as the saddle was off, he turned towards me and trotted right up to me. I gave him lots of reassurance and then tied him up again. This time I did everything from his right side, hoping it would calm him down if he could see me. I really couldn't understand why he was so nervous - I had saddled him before and he was fine?!

Anyways, I was able to saddle him without too much trouble. Once it was tight, I removed the lead rope and sent him off. He took a few strides at a trot and then started crow-hopping?! I pushed him through it and he eventually calmed down, but I was completely perplexed.

He wasn't acting like he was angry or hurting. He wasn't terrified either. He did seem startled and like he was having a mini-panic attack. I kept him working until he seemed as though he had relaxed.

Then, I had him stop and I approached him. I bridled him up with the S-Hackamore and tightened the girth. I put my foot in the stirrup and stepped up. As soon as I did, he stiffened up and then again, tucked his rump underneath him and scooted off.

What in the heck?! I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Was he having sight issues? Was he having effects of the earlier sedative? Was I doing something wrong? Was he in pain? What was going on??

I caught him up again and gave him lots of reassurance. I stepped into the stirrup again and laid over his back. He stiffened up but stayed standing still. He acted as though he was waiting for me to beat him. :(

I got down and gave him more loves and reassurance. I then mounted up again and swung my leg over. He was good, though not relaxed. I sat there on him for about 5-10 minutes. I wanted him to relax and I wanted to relax. It was getting dark and windy, so I didn't want to push it, but also wanted to at least have him walk out a bit and reaffirm my orginal assessment that he is in fact 'broke'.

After a short bit, I clucked to him and asked him to move out. He was fine, though still on edge. We walked around, doing halts, reverses, serpentines and backed up for about 15 minutes before calling it good. I wasn't going to push him and ask him for a trot or canter since he seemed so weird tonight.

I hope to ride him again tomorrow and see if he is the same way. He didn't seem green, or like he was scared because he didn't know what to do. Instead, he seemed scared because perhaps he's been abused in the past. The only difference I can think of in my own actions tonight is that I was more business-like and not as quiet and reassuring as I usually am. I had convinced myself that he was well broke and saddled him up like it was a usual thing that he should be ok with. Before, I've always been soft and quiet with him. I wonder if that was it??

I guess we'll find out tomorrow! I was happy though that he didn't freak out when I was on his back ;) That little boy can MOVE when he wants to! LOL



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Postby Hope on Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:20 am

He just got his stitches out yesterday?? I personally would've given him afew days to recover from that. His eye could've been real tender from being messed with, once the pain med wore off. IMO- it was pushing him alittle too fast.
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Postby RockinCircleC on Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:33 am

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Remember it for future work, but don't make a big deal about it. Eventually he will figure out the routine and should adapt well to it. And if you are at all worried, just make sure that you have someone around; or call Tom down the street and have him check on you after an hour or so to make sure you are OK.
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Postby Juliane on Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:36 am

Thanks for the opinions. The vet felt that he wasn't in any pain (if anything, the healing wound is very itchy) and thought it would be ok to put him to work right away. I did ask if she thought it was pushing him too much to ride later that evening and she felt it would be fine.

I probably won't get to ride tonight, but will definitely be up on him tomorrow :) Wish us luck! ;)
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Postby moonie on Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:32 pm

You said it was getting dark and windy . . . maybe he just sensed a storm coming in. Mine always get nervous and on edge when they know it's getting stormy. Just a thought . . .
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