I have no ‘new’ pictures of woody, and I feel the need to lead with pictures (they’re like the crack of the horse world). So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a series of pictures of me, in New Orleans, on a mechanical bull.
I first must apologize for my slackerness as of late. I will blame the bird flu, and the weather, and going to Rolex. But I am back and typing away.
So, I don’t really have any new pictures to share, but I do have updates. Although our weather has been SHITE the past few weeks (Seriously, like 50 and rainy almost every other day) I have been spending some quality time with Sir Woods. In this quality time We (And that is the royal We, meaning Allie and I) have come to the conclusion that Woody is in dire need of getting his teeth done. Luckily, my vet (who is a super star) is also an AMAZING Chiropractor. She did all of Ozzy’s work, and she never ceases to amaze me.
Anyway, Woody’s temper tantrums escalated to a point last week that pretty much solidified my impression that they were a reaction to something and not the means to an end. While we don’t have video, Sue was there to witness said escalation and said we were both pretty impressive. That was good to hear on my end, because it had been QUITE some time since I had to remember what to do when a horse rears up twice in a row and lands like a rubber ball. That was never Ozzy’s bag… he was more the “I’m going to turn around and put your boot in your mouth and show you that I COULD bite your toes off… so how about you don’t jab me with that spur again, OK?” type.
So, as I said, it actually came back to me quite nicely: lean forward, don’t pull, and kick ’em forward. All of which I did, and all of which Woody responded to appropriately. He moved forward, I rode him through it, and we ended on a good note.
I noticed he only started the head tossing and turning and teeth gnashing when he had the bridle on. Otherwise, he pretty much just stands there with his cute on, still as a pea (where that comparison came from I’ve no idea. I mean I guess as vegetables go, peas COULD be pretty active. I mean they’re round, so they could roll. And frozen ones thrown on the floor could really cause some damage. Like little green delicious ball bearings. I wonder if ninjas use frozen peas?)
I digress… All which lends itself to the theory that it’s something physical (teeth). Like I said, he’s a sweet good boy who doesn’t seem to have an oppositional bone in his body, but who will let you know if something ain’t quite right.
The next day I took these videos. Note the OTTB running amok! He’s CRAAAAAZZEEEEEEE.*Disclaimer* as my dear friend Lisa Bell pointed out to me today when she called me an left me a voice mail message saying “Lisa, you’re such a idiot, maybe he’s flipping his head because you’re cutting it in half with a snaffle” I realized I posted the videos taken before I lowered the bit… cause I’m good like that. I did lower the bit and once it WASN’T giving him a transorbital lobotomy the results were pretty much the same 🙂
So my vet is coming out tomorrow to take care of his teeth and give him a once over. Then I’ll have a place to start. I rode him yesterday, and he was OK, there were no displays while I was riding him, but I longed him first (windy+45 degrees+not being ridden for a week = longe. I’m learning to get over my hate for the longe) and there were some fireworks. Some behavioral, and some that seemed sticky. I only rode him for about 5 minutes. We trotted and bent and called it quits before he had a chance to make a mistake.
I want to keep working him, but I don’t want to fight with him until I find out if he’s physically OK. It just doesn’t make any sense to ask him a questions when the only answer he can provide is “I Hurt.” That’s not a good answer for anyone. Horses that don’t feel good aren’t being jerks, or recalcitrant, or stubborn, they’re communicating the only way they have, and to punish them for “talking” to us is a pretty crappy way to start a relationship if you ask me. There is a functionality to behavior/symptoms, it’s our jobs to figure out what purpose they serve.
Now, once Christy comes out, gives me the low down, fixes his teeth and gives me the go ahead that he’s physically OK to ride? Those feet come up off the ground one more time and Woody’s going find out everything my last OTTB had to teach me 😉 Specifically, I’m a lover, but I’ll not waste a second in teaching what is and is not an acceptable response to being asked to do something that falls lower than “hang out with my bitches” on his hierarchy of needs pyramid.
I’ll try to post on Friday, but it’s a busy weekend! On a Non-horsey note I graduate this weekend. After my daddy died 4 years ago, I went back to school and have just finished the 3rd and final year of my graduate program. From Media Director in the advertising industry to School Psychologist in four short years… OK, they seem to have been the longest 4 years of my life. I lost daddy, I lost Ozzy, but I’m here and doing my best to kick some ass. So on Saturday, have a drink and hope I don’t take a digger walking across the stage.