November 12, 2011

More People Door

Yesterday I was about to write this "The people door situation is improving. She's being less and lest resistant and I can tell it's only a matter of time before she cracks and gives into my Alpha Mare dominance (regarding the door) for good." Then I went to the barn.

I got her through the door in a relatively acceptable period of time. Granted she BOLTED through the door, whacked my saddle on the door jam, and caught my expensive half rubber reins in her foot while I pleaded out loud "please don't break them", and then she managed to stand in one spot until I rescued her from the reins. Note to self, until door issue is resolved, perhaps switch to cheap web reins.

Once I got her in the arena we warmed up for our lesson. It was probably a 20 minute warm up, as I had given myself a lot of extra time to get her through the door. Upon our lesson starting, trainer C and I discussed the door issue, as she got to see it all first hand for the first time, as did the owner of our barn. She asked if I wanted her to give the door a go, and I figured why not? Well, that horse was not going to go through that door one more time come hell or high water! After probably a good 30 minutes of trying trainer C decided it was a bigger issue than her being a brat, and she thinks that Rose is legitimately frightened of the door. I'm still not totally convinced, but I'm willing to give that a thought.

The other thought I've been knocking around in my head is that I'm sick of this sort of thing. I'm sick of my giant pushy bull headed mare's attitude at times. I would really love to own a gelding version of Rose. In every other way she is the horse that I've always been looking for and is perfect for me. This week I seriously started considering selling her. After a long talk with trainer C about it, I went about my day and eventually in the evening caught up with my husband and discussed the matter more. As always, he calmed me down and talked me out of selling her. He thinks it's crazy that I ever expected her to go through a tiny door in the first place. He's got a point there. Also, she's been off her raspberry leaves for 2-weeks unbenounced to me, and she's in a paddock across from a 2.5-year old stallion who's recently started realizing he's a stallion and stares at her all day long getting teased and getting himself off. Rose being the hussy she is, is happy to be the teaser mare as well. The plan is to move the stallion to a far paddock away from Rose and by geldings, and of course I'm just waiting on the raspberry leaved to come in the mail.

To sum it all up, I guess Rose has an excuse for her recent bad attitude, and perhaps she is legitimately scared of the people door. My solution for now will be to use the big arena garage door to come and go, and unfortunately the arena will get a bit colder when I ride for the next 2-weeks. I will also see if I can work on the door issue, sans-tack, with little expectation. After that, it's time off and probably a good mental break for both Miss Thing and me. She is still just four, and that could be a lot of the attitude too.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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  1. I knew a larger mare who thought she was about twice as wide as she really was. We didn't have to go through tiny doors, so that was never a problem, but just walking between two jumps would wig her out. I'm not sure if she thought she was that big (bad body image), she didn't understand spacial relationships well (typical female problem), she had a vision problem (maybe?) or it was something else entirely.

    Stick it out with Rose--you'll be glad you did.

    As an aside, you might try walking her through jump standards or something similar set very close together simulating a door to see if it's the size that bothers her or the darkness or something like that... could be an interesting experiment. I'd do it sans tack, however.

  2. Why didn't they tell you about the raspberry leaves? That would really irritate me! I would think being next to the stallion could have her hormones all out of whack too. Poor girl.

    At least you have some clues now to the puzzle, so maybe you can cut her a little slack. I'm the type of person who looks at all of the other possibilities before I blame something on attitude, even baby attitude, so I think those (and others?) could be legitimate reasons for her problems. All it would take is one bad experience going through the door to cause a problem like this. I hope the new living arrangements and the raspberry leaves do the trick and she gets over her door drama. Stick it out with her. I know they can be really frustrating, but Rose is a really good horse and you would probably really regret selling her over a silly door. Keep up the great work!

  3. I really hope my comment didn't come off as rude or anything. Just trying to give an outside perspective because I really like you and Rose and want to see you both get past this problem happily and safely. :)

  4. LOL. Achieve, I don't think your comment to be rude at all. They told me I was "low" so then I ordered some more. In the mean time, they decided to ration them off without telling me. They way raspberry leaves work is that if she gets less than her actual dose they don't work at all...which the feeders were completely unaware of. So all in all, it equates to her being off of them for 2 weeks.

  5. Oh good. :D That makes sense on the raspberry leaves. I'm glad she's getting over all of this though.



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