Chiropractor

Bravo has now seen the chiropractor three times and each time he has had similar issues to address. This last time though, was the first time I feel I can say that he needed it and it helped significantly.

I jumped on the bandwagon of the veterinarian chiropractor who comes somewhat regularly to my barn after a discussion with our head trainer about a new treatment the chiropractor was recommending for her horse to address allergies. Bravo struggled a little over the summer with…well, it seems like just about everything…but allergies were definitely on that list. She, and the other trainer routinely rave about the work this guy does and the effect it has on their horses. I was skeptical but not totally against trying it. I have had chiropractic work done on myself a few times back in college while I was heavy into rowing season. Several of my teammates went to the chiropractor and though I didn’t have any significant complaints other than what seems like a standard low-level of discomfort that comes with competing nationally in a sport like rowing, I thought maybe it would provide some relief. It didn’t really, and at the same time there wasn’t much to address, so I stopped going. I didn’t leave feeling like it is all complete garbage, but it didn’t do much for me.

I think a lot of these “treatments” can really help, but I also think it is very individual. If something works for one horse but you try it and it doesn’t work for your horse- I think we shouldn’t be so quick to label something as useless. Also, evidence that a treatment IS effective is still not a guarantee. I definitely fall more on the evidence/science-based side of the spectrum when it comes to forming opinions about these things. If you want to change my opinion about something, I am open to looking at data. I just don’t believe that YOUR anecdotal evidence cancels out MY anecdotal evidence. I also think placebos are useful and very legitimate forms of treatment.

Bravo’s first appointment with the chiropractor went pretty well overall. I didn’t quite know what to expect but the chiropractor explained what he saw right away as I walked Bravo toward him in the main barn. We were right in the midst of recovering from his big hind foot abscess so I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to feel any benefit from the saddle, but I hoped Bravo might be more comfortable. He was out a few places along his back and near his SI. His C7 was out causing/contributing to some of the other misalignments. This chiropractor uses B12 injections and mallets to correct these alignments as well as some limb/neck manipulation. He also noticed a soft tissue knot on the right side of Bravo’s neck that he massaged to break up. Bravo was pretty surprised and concerned about every hit with the mallet but seemed to react happily after the more significant issues were treated.

 

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Do these things even get misaligned?!? Does smacking them with a mallet put them back??

 

The chiropractor was complimentary of Bravo’s temperament and said he was excited to see him develop. He gave me some suggestions for things to do in our warm-ups and rides to help Bravo keep the corrected alignment. At the time, Bravo was being turned out but not quite sound enough on that hoof to be worked. I tucked the suggestions away for later, gave Bravo some treats, and headed back to work.

As predicted, Bravo took quite a while to heal from the abscess so by the time we were back to work, I couldn’t tell if the chiropractic work had done anything at all- at least it didn’t seem to have hurt him. The second appointment proved to be similar- he was out in a few different places but still that C7 displaced to the left. This time his right elbow was out which I thought maybe could be attributed to some less-than-balanced jamming on the brakes he was doing upon my request. Sorry bud. Your trick is cool and I’m proud of you for listening, but maybe I could refrain from whistling you to halt from the canter. But yet again, I couldn’t really say that it made a big difference. I still wasn’t riding much and this time I was in the midst of another round of ulcer treatment.

 

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When the trainer texted that the chiropractor was coming back in early November, I once again opted in to have Bravo seen. Leading up to this appointment we’d been doing a lot more riding, had our saddle professionally fitted, and he’d been quite sound. A few days before the appointment I lunged him in the arena to warm up and had planned to ride but he was a little off. He had also been grumpy on the ground- biting at me often. As I get to know him better, it seems to be his MO when he is hurting or uncomfortable to act aggressively. He is normally such a sweetheart and kind soul and I’m starting to get the memo through my thick skull that anytime he behaves that way it’s my job to try to figure out what is hurting. I didn’t end up riding that night and then I gave him the next night off hoping maybe he was just a little sore. The chiropractor came that next morning and felt again like the C7 misalignment was the major culprit. Bravo was more reactive this time around and fought the adjustments more but the chiropractor wasn’t concerned. It was a pretty cold morning so I let Bravo marinate in his Back on Track mesh sheet and neck cover before and after his adjustment. I turned him back out and went to work.

 

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That night I came back and tacked him up to ride. I noticed right away that I had my gentle sweet boy back on the ground and he didn’t snap at me once while grooming or tacking. On the lunge line for a quick warm up he was suddenly completely sound and no longer cutting in and grumping at me for asking him to move out. Our ride was excellent, we are making progress now every time, even if it’s slow or seems like basic stuff. Sure, it could be a coincidence- maybe his soreness from the other day faded on its own with rest. I think it was the chiropractic work that made the difference. Third time was the charm for us. He was loose and easy in his work and much happier. I think for me, chiropractic work will always be on probation- if I ever feel like it is not making a difference it will be the first thing on the chopping block.

Does your horse see a chiropractor? What other kinds of treatments have you done that worked but others thought were snake oil? What seems to work for everyone but didn’t help your horse at all?

 

 

 

Bringing up Bravo: Fiction

Once upon a time, a not so young adult amateur maiden took her very green, oversized, five year old warmblood into the indoor arena for an evening ride. She lunged him both directions while other horse and rider pairs were running around him at various speeds. He listened intently to her quiet commands as she tried not to disrupt the lesson that was going on. Playful and young, he let out one adorably small buck and and kicked at nothing in particular when asked to pick up the trot but otherwise cruised around feeling good and trying hard to please his lady. One of the other riders marveled at his special trick of halting from any gait with the lightest whistle from his person. The maiden told her fellow rider that she wasn’t sure how she managed to teach him that particular trick, but she decided having an e-brake on a horse could be a really valuable thing. After the young steed had warmed up, completed several changes of gait, and released his youthful exuberance, the maiden swapped beating sticks and set off toward the mounting block to start her ride.

The castle that the maiden and her steed call home is also home to two resident sorceresses. One of these sorceresses has extremely powerful magic and rides a giant dragon. The dragon this sorceress rides is an exceptionally sensitive and complex ride. This dragon is so particular that if the slightest thing changes in his indoor arena he breathes fire. The sorceress all but demands that everyone in the realm abide by her strict instructions especially when it comes to the mounting block. If the mounting block is moved even one foot off of the arena wall or is turned a different direction, her dragon threatens to take down the castle. Never wanting to end up on the sorceress’ bad side, the maiden knew she would be responsible for teaching her young steed to follow the rules of the realm.

 

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As the maiden approached the mounting block, the young steed followed dutifully behind her and stopped when she asked him. He was a little worried, though, because before when the maiden rode on his back it was kind of uncomfortable- the saddle pressed into his back in odd places and the whole process usually meant a lot of work. She would push her calves into his sides and then, to top it all off, she wouldn’t even let him choose where they went! The young steed was unsure if he wanted to do what the maiden was asking so when she grabbed the base of his mane and climbed up on the mounting block he took a few tentative steps backwards. The maiden cooed to him and stepped back off the mounting block.

“Maybe that was it!” he thought, “all I have to do is step backwards and she’ll decide not to ride me.” “I’ll be the best lunging horse in all the land and we will just show off the tricks she’s already taught me.” Emboldened that he might have learned a new trick, the young steed followed the maiden eagerly until… wait a minute! he found himself back at the mounting block. She had simply circled him, lined him back up, and was stepping up to try to ride him again. “Okay,” he thought, “this one is easy, I will give her the same answer because she is asking the same question.” The steed took a few steps backwards. Undaunted, the maiden asked him to step forward and tried again. The two went on like this for several rounds before the maiden decided to try teaching a new trick instead. She brought him up to the mounting block but this time did not get on the block. She said the word “stand!” loudly and firmly. The steed was already standing nicely so when his lady gave the command, he wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted. She walked around him and patted him in various places but didn’t get on the mounting block. Then she gave him a peppermint, for what, he wasn’t sure! The maiden said the command again, “stand!” and this time took a slow step up the mounting block. “That’s my cue,” the steed mused as he took a few steps back and casually swung his hip away. The maiden tried again and again to teach the steed to stand. He liked the peppermints very much, but he still wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do to get them.

 

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Twenty minutes had gone by since the maiden had planned to start her ride and she was no closer to being in the saddle. Her resolve wavered for just a moment when she remembered how moving the mounting block so the steed was between the block and the wall had always worked in the past. The powerful sorceress wasn’t in the castle tonight anyway, what’s the harm? She brushed away the invading thought, “No! this is an extremely important lesson, no short cuts,” she lectured herself, picturing the sorceress’ wrath. She took a breath and tried to think of other ways to help the steed understand what she needed him to do. The maiden had heard tales of a wizard from a far away land who tried to help teach lesser magicians understand how to work magic using guiding principles. The maiden tried to understand the situation she was in and how some of the principles she had heard of from this wizard might help her work some magic on her own steed.

She was worried that her application of these principles might not be correct, after all, she’s no magician. She was tired of fighting with the steed and starting to come close to losing her patience- the LAST thing she wanted to do in the situation. Encouraged by the innocent expression of her steed, she found a few more threads of patience within her to grasp for support and tried a new way. She broke the problem down in her mind. “I can’t explain to him that his saddle fits him much better now and won’t be as uncomfortable as before. I can’t convince him that if he just learns this skill I will dismount and be done for the day and nor can I promise him that that would always be the case.”

“The problem is that he wants to move his feet.” The words of the foreign wizard echoed in her mind: “make the wrong thing hard, and the right thing easy.” She told the steed to “stand!” and slowly stepped up the mounting block. This time when the steed stepped backwards the maiden said to him, “okay, you want to move your feet? Let’s move them, then!” Calmly, but insistently, she backed the steed quickly for several steps and then flexed him and made him disengage his hind end several times in both directions. The steed thought the flexing was pretty tough! He half-heartedly resisted a few times but the maiden was swift and firm in her corrections. A couple of times when she tapped him with her stick he gasped and grunted, completely aghast that his lady would do that to him. But he kept his cool and tried harder to please her and puzzle out how to make the pressure stop. Finally she took him back over to the mounting block and commanded him to “stand!”. He gulped and took a deep breath. She stood still for a while, then patted him and he lowered his neck. But, old habits die hard and when she went to step up the mounting block he swung his hips away again. Feet wanting to move again- wrong answer- but it’s your choice. She kept the steed moving and took him back out in the arena insisting that he flex and yield his hind quarters and shoulders around her several times in both directions.

She returned him to the mounting block, asked him to “stand!” and then just breathed with him quietly for a minute. He seemed to be starting to sort things out. This time she was able to step up the mounting block without him moving his feet. She gave him a scratch and stepped back down. She climbed the block again and grabbed the base of his mane. He shifted his weight and took a half step back.  A couple more times she made him work really hard every time he stepped away from the mounting block. Each time, though, the maiden would bring him over to the mounting block and she wouldn’t ask him for anything there. “Oh, okay,” he finally conceded, “I’m beginning to think that just standing here has got to be easier than all of that work I just had to do!” And so the steed planted his feet at the mounting block and stood like his maiden had asked. She mounted from the mounting block and still the mighty steed remained like a statue. The maiden beamed. She stroked the steeds neck and purred praises in his ear. She tapped his neck and reached down to give him a peppermint.

 

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With one final scratch to his withers, the maiden and the steed set off on their ride. The maiden was calm and quiet asking only that the steed walk on a long rein. He marched around the arena loose and swinging with an even rhythm. The maiden was grinning from ear-to-ear because even though she only got to ride for 15 minutes, she fell in love with her noble steed all over again. She realized that the 15 minute ride was the most relaxed she had felt on a horse in years. Despite him being young and unbalanced she was able to breathe deeply, swing along with him, and try to get back the feel of her own seat. Eight months off of riding takes its toll. For the first time since she bought the steed, she felt at home in the saddle with him. The maiden had to marvel over the amazing things she and the steed had accomplished that day. She was proud of him for being so well behaved on the lunge line; for keeping a cool head and not reacting aggressively when her corrections were firm and she put a lot of pressure on him; and also for not shutting down from the pressure- he stayed present with her in the moment and tried to listen to what she was asking. She was also quite proud of herself for not losing her patience and keeping negative emotions out; for working through a problem and being fair but firm; and for being able to see the beauty of the moment.

Intent on ending on a good note, the maiden decided to leave all other plans for another day. She halted the steed and softly dismounted. Giving him a scratch on the wither and a kiss on the nose, the two walked side-by-side out the back gate into the starry night and they lived happily ever after.

 

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Saddle Fitting

Baby Bravo and I had our first professional saddle fitting last week and here’s how it went down. There are not a ton of saddle fitters/tack repair places near me so I was so happy to learn of one woman who is a rep for a specific saddle brand but is willing to work on all saddle brands. She came out to my barn earlier this year and fitted several other riders. Everyone has seemed pleased with their fittings and she will come back and make adjustments as needed which is a HUGE benefit when you’ve got a still developing youngster.

I have purchased three used saddles on eBay and have thankfully had decent success despite fully knowing that it can be a risky endeavor. There was only one time where I felt like I didn’t get a very good deal and that was the very first saddle I bought back in 2016 for my lease horse, Harley. After doing some research on saddles with trees that were less curvy front to back,  I found a Black Country Eloquence for Bravo on eBay that was older but seemed to be in excellent condition- barely even broken in was the phrase the seller used.

 

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The beautiful English lady herself!

 

I did some amateur measurements on Bravo’s back and decided to take a flyer on that Black Country. When it came in, I was so excited and super pleased with the condition. I lovingly cleaned and conditioned the saddle and brought it to the barn to try it on Bravo. 

 

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My untrained eye immediately thought it fit him MUCH better than Harley’s hand-me-down so I took the Albion home and started exclusively using the BC. I have spent a lot of time and money futzing with different half pads and shims over the past few years and maybe even harboring some guilt over never getting a saddle fitted to my horse. Now that I finally have my own horse, it was definitely time. I believe whole-heartedly that saddle fit is VITAL. While Bravo is young, I am not going to go through the expense and effort to buy him a custom saddle but I wanted to make every effort to get as close as I could to a good fit for him. I told the saddle fitter that I was bringing out two saddles for her to look at but that I only wanted one of them fitted to Bravo. I asked her to move forward with fitting the saddle that would require the least amount of dramatic change to fit him. She asked if I preferred riding in one over the other- I don’t. I also told her that I wanted her to be honest if neither saddle fit him very well.

She evaluated both saddles on Bravo’s back starting with the Albion. She told me she could make flocking adjustments to the Albion to make it work: build it up significantly in the front, remove some from the middle of the panels to help reduce the rocking, and even out the slight indentations and clumped wool overall. Then she evaluated the Black Country. Almost immediately she told me she preferred the BC over the Albion for him. She commented on what great shape it was in and also confirmed that I was on the right track when I bought it because it already fit his flat back much better and the drop panels were also a good fit for his current conformation.

She watched me ride (very briefly) and then set to work adjusting the flocking. She said this saddle had never been worked on before, only having the original flocking ports. While she was working, I asked about half-pads for additional shock absorption- would she recommend something like a thinline pad. She is not a fan of thinline products, she feels like they trap heat. I really like the thinline products and don’t share her concern with them. She continued though, and said that the panels on my saddle were soft and supple enough that with the adjustments she was making there would be no need to use a half-pad at all. She said that if we had moved ahead with the Albion, whose panels are quite a bit stiffer, she would be recommending a wool/sheepskin product to assist. I am looking forward to NOT having to use a half-pad but, admittedly, I’m very used to using one so I’m sure I will have to repeat her words to myself the next few times I saddle up sans half-pad.

 

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No half-pad!?!? looks naked

 

After a few times back and forth from her truck to Bravo’s back she felt like everything was a nice fit. She told me that there was one area of knotted up wool in the right panel that she was able to remove and depending on how sensitive he is that might make a big difference in his comfort level.

 

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Less of this…please.

 

I rode in my newly fitted saddle last night for the first time and it was great! Bravo seemed less grumpy about saddling in general. He was still a little shit for the mounting block, but that will take some time and training to resolve. Once I finally did get on, he seemed a lot less uncomfortable and was much more willing to transition into trot without throwing his head around. We still have literally no steering, but it feels good to be checking things off one-by-one on the list of things I need to do. A well-fitting saddle takes that excuse off the table for him and makes me much more confident in pushing him past his balky behavior so we can get to work on something else on our list!

 

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Bravo in his newly fitted Black Country!

 

Bringing up Bravo: One of a Kind

All of our horses are as unique as we are. I want to share some of the things that make Bravo…well…Bravo! He is a plain bay gelding with few markings, completely unknown history, and no voice. At first glance, all of these characteristics might make him disappear in a crowd.

In no particular order, here is my top ten list of unique characteristics that make my Bravo unforgettable.

 

10. He’s a shameless mudder

Some horses don’t like getting dirty, other horses seek out low-lying, poorly-draining areas of the paddock to construct a personal mud wallow.

 

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Pig’s gotta wallow, lady…

 

9. He has HUGE ears and loves having them scratched and rubbed

This was a selling point for me when I bought him- I love big-eared horses. It is also a plus that he permits me to mess with them and actually enjoys it. He will press his face into my chest and close his eyes for as long as I will scratch and massage his ears.

 

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Very expressive ears, too!

 

8. He’s a mild roarer so he has no voice

I may have to deal with this at some point down the road, but it is a non-issue with everyday work. He lightly whistles when he breathes as he starts to get tired and he does not call or whinny to other horses. I miss the nickering a little, but he still does it, it’s just whispery. He can still grunt with the best of them and does quite often. Overall, (excepting legitimate breathing issues) it’s actually quite nice to have a horse that is seen but not heard.

 

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Not yelling, just yawing

 

7.  He LOVES food and all horse treats but is particular about human foods and certain textures

I tried to test a few theories to see if I could sneakily use treats to deliver meds. My experiments always started with a dry run (no meds) and nearly every human food I tried was promptly rejected. Oatmeal creme pies, nutri-grain bars, fruit roll-ups, bananas, granola… he says no thank you!

 

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Conned me into giving him a second helping of dinner the other night…little shit

 

6. He is the Alpha in his gelding herd

This surprised me a little when I first got him because he is so mild mannered in general. But you never know how herd dynamics will shake out- I do love watching that process, though! It fascinates me how their instincts take over and I love watching him puff up and prance around. So fancy!

 

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Not the oldest, nor the biggest in the herd but somehow the boss

 

5. No chrome, only two white markings

His only white markings are a Harry Potter-esque lightning bolt star and a leaf shaped snip which I took as a sign because my last name has the word leaf in it so I always say he was meant to be with me. The stem on the leaf disappears in the summer but comes back in the fall. It gets kissed literally ALL the time.

 

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Yer a wizard ‘arry!

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Return of the leaf stem- must be fall!

 

4. He is a social butterfly and just the friendliest boy

Bravo is a favorite at the barn because he spends all day (while they are turned out at night in the summer) with his head hanging out of his stall watching everything that’s going on, greeting everyone who walks by, and begging for snacks and snuggles. He’s very much a people horse. Seeing those giant ears prick right on me when I arrive at the barn is everything to me. May I never take for granted that he comes to me when called in the field and eagerly drops his nose into his halter when I come into his stall. He is the friendliest horse greeter- never bites or squeals. I can ride with anyone because he never even pins his ears around other horses.

 

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Hello! Welcome to PRF, my name is Bravo. So pleased to meet you!

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If my giant ears, giant head, and kind eyes don’t rope you in- you’re in the wrong place.

 

3. He’s number 211

I have no idea why anyone did this to him, but he has a large numerical hot brand on his high hip. I have heard varying stories on his history. The people I got him from said he was rescued from a warmblood hoarding situation in New Jersey and they branded him in the rescue process. I tracked down the person they bought him from in New Jersey and she said he was from Texas originally and the video she posted of him as a three year old on youtube looks pretty great and not at all like a hoarding situation- so who really knows. My farrier took one look at him and laughed at me and asked why I bought a bucking horse. He’s been branded high- like rough stock often is- so you can see their hip numbers when they’re in the chute. Bottom line, I own a branded warmblood- just not at all in the traditional sense lol. For some, this is a huge turnoff. The numbers burned into his skin are large, unsightly, and leave his rider with no way to seamlessly blend him into the group of high-bred warmbloods that dominate her chosen discipline. His brand offers no elite club, no special sense of identity, nothing. There’s no “demand the brand” situation happening here. All we have are scars. Lucky for him, I am damn proud to show off number 211!

 

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Sidenote: he’s so tall that nobody notices the brand at first. Heck, I literally bought him before I noticed it…

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Second foal out of mare 11? 211th horse seized? #of licks to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop? The world will never know.

 

2. He is a total goofball and loves to be silly and play tricks

He gets into everything! If I leave a lunge whip with him in the round pen and leave to go grab something, I will come back to him swinging the whip around with his mouth. He dumps my grooming bag every chance he gets. If someone loses a flymask or halter in the field it becomes his toy. He chases the killdeer around the pasture for sport. Sometimes when I pick out his feet he will pick up his foot and place it back down slightly forward. I’ll ask again and he’ll move it a little to the side. Again, and he’ll cross it over his other leg and stand that way. It’s a game for him! Sometimes he’ll lift the opposite leg and hold it up. He snatched my friend’s riding glove from her breeches pocket the other day and shook it around in the air before trying to eat it. He’s undone snaps and zipped zippers on clothing. And last night he got to second base with a fellow boarder without even taking her on a date first…

 

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I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that goober

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He thinks he’s hilarious

 

1. He’s a Holsteiner, Quarter Horse, …Missouri Fox Trotter cross?!?!

Many of you know your horse’s background, maybe even their entire lineage. I know nothing. The only thing I have to go on is the DNA ancestral breed testing that is currently being offered by the animal genetics lab at Texas A&M. I submitted a hair follicle sample for Bravo and these were his results. I definitely see his number one result: Holsteiner- he seems built for jumping in a lot of ways, he’s 17.1 hh of hugeness without being draft bulky. I don’t really see any Quarter Horse, per se, but QHs are so varied and versatile that it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Missouri Foxtrotter though?!!?!? WTF!?!!? That came out of left field. I thought sure he would be part draft because of his size, so it was a surprise to not see that in his main results. That does not mean he doesn’t have any draft in him, it just doesn’t make up a significant portion of his breeding. I take these results with a grain (or maybe a handful) of salt, but the reality is, they are all I have. It seems plausible that these results support the story of him being rescued from a janky “warmblood” breeding turned hoarding scenario. I definitely think they disprove the idea that he was ever bred for bucking- rodeo folks using much Holsteiner blood these days in their rough stock? lol Whatever kind of backyard breeding produced my beautiful monstrosity, I’ll never know, but he sure is unique.

 

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Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 12.30.40 PM

 

 

To me, he’s very special and definitely one of a kind! Blog hop this if you’d like, I’d love to see your horse’s top ten list!!!

 

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Braveheart 211 (Bravo)

 

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Don’t get me wrong, we are making progress. It’s just been slow, in stops and starts, and is being constantly interrupted by minor health issues. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is all a phase. I don’t know much about my boy’s story but it’s safe to say he had a rough start. Surely it’s not unreasonable to assume that hoof issues, stomach issues, and a general lack of strength could be attributed to a poor diet and mild neglect, right? And none of those issues would immediately vanish upon correction but would take some time to improve. Sigh…well, we’re working through it all one day at a time.

 

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After missing most of August with an abscess, we got back to work in September and put some good hours in under saddle and in the round pen. Bravo is an interesting fella to ride so far. I am still getting to know him and his quirks.  Oh boy do we need help with steering.

 

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He is quiet but nicely responsive to the leg and I like what I’m feeling there. He has been really reluctant to trot nicely under saddle, though. Last time I rode, the friend I have helping me with him asked if he was just being lazy. I told her before she got on that it doesn’t feel like that. From the saddle he feels coiled, ready, possibly tense…but not at all dull. She mounted and rode him around for a bit and then agreed, it’s not laziness. My friend weighs much less than I do so he doesn’t seem to protest as much for her. She can get him to trot nicely without throwing his head around but still has the same difficulties with steering. I think he is uncomfortable with my saddle arrangement but the fitter can’t get to my area until October 25th so he’ll have to struggle through until then. For the time being, I promise to keep the under saddle work light with a lot of walk and some work on steering. His acceptance of contact, in general, needs work.

We’ve started to add in some training elements like ground poles and cones. For a big guy, he is remarkably sure-footed and never trips or stumbles. Lateral balance is a pretty big issue, though, and that part about working with young horses has been a little unnerving. It is something I’ll have to embrace because we have a long way to go in that regard and it will be quite ugly for awhile.

 

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His body condition has improved so much since I got him, but there are still quite a few gaps or parts of him that seem very underdeveloped. There are several other young horses at my barn and it has been really tough for me to avoid comparing. I have struggled with negative thoughts that other people seem to not have this many issues with their young horses. So I’m trying to get it together and remember that he’s a giant, male warmblood and he may have several years of growth and development left. We’re on our own path and it’s going to be very different from any other horse and rider.  The sooner I can convince myself that I’ve CHOSEN this path, the better. This is not a derailed path, not a slow path, not a wrong path, it’s just OUR path.

 

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Horse ownership has been a goal of mine since I was little. It’s tough when you’re knee-deep in vet wrap and ulcer meds to see the forrest through the trees. I need to take a moment to do some visioning for Bravo and me. I’m a very strategically minded person and a creative problem solver at work. I think I owe Bravo a little more of that kind of thinking for our relationship and our future. It feels like we are right on the edge of that next phase. Green horses, man, what a ride…

 

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