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Wizard Ride 80; JR Ride 35: No Means No

May 26, 2009

Wizard & Me

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back to square one. It’s been over a month since Wizard’s last ride, but there have been absolutely no changes to his behavior. I longed him for about 20 minutes and he was very responsive. His gaits seem to be improving and he is more balanced. I could hardly wait to sit in the saddle. I mounted up and he stood like a statue. I praised him and we walked off on a loose rein. We walked in a figure 8 shape for just a few minutes, with loose reins the entire time. He felt fantastic.

I stopped him near the gate to set up my camera for my friend to take a quick picture. As we walked away from her to stand for the photo, Wizard had the same negative reaction he’s had for the past few rides. About four steps from where we halted, he raised his head and bobbed it threateningly with his ears pinned against his head. He did this several times, each time getting more agitated. I could feel him tightening his topline and I think he front feet lifted for just a fraction of a second. The last time he did it, I reprimanded him verbally and tapped his shoulder with my hand to get his attention. He responded by standing still, but I could feel the tension in his body. After I asked him to stand quietly for a moment, I dismounted and did more work on the longe line so we did not end the session with him reacting to badly. He longed fine, even at the canter. I remounted and asked him to stand quietly again. He stood without any negative reaction, but I think it was because we did not walk forward more than a step or two.

I cooled Wizard out and gave him a bath. I used a Wash Wand and Wizard was NOT thrilled about it. He did quite a bit of wiggling in the wash stall and was quite adamant about not having his head rinsed. It took a lot of time, some sweet talking, a few angry growls, and two large carrots to finish the bath. After the bath was over, I hand grazed him and put him to bed.

I injured my ankle last week so my saddle time had to be limited. It’s amazing how much pressure riding puts on the joint compared to walking on foot. I longed JR for about 20 minutes and mounted for a quick stroll at the walk. He was a little squirrelly about mounting but a little patience and guidance, I got him to stand quietly. He stretched his neck very low as we walked around the arena, partially stretching and partially playing with contact. The ride was more to get him back into the swing of things than to do any actual work.

I keep thinking about Wizard. Is he in pain? Is this developing into a bad habit? Is this actually an old habit that I never knew about? He already had a master saddle fitter examine his saddle and a respected veterinarian do a lameness exam. My next step is to ask my trainer friend to ride him and if he still is resistant, I’ll have the chiropractor out again to adjust him. Whatever the problem is, Wizard is trying his best to tell me no.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    May 27, 2009 9:27 am

    Regarding Wizard’s negative behavior, have you talked to an animal communicator? Lydia Hiby is wonderful, she talked to my horse and gave me great insight. She can do phone consultations as well. just google her name and you’ll find her website. It sounds more like Wizard is just being hornery.


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