I’ll try to keep this concise.
Since last Christmas(ish) O and I have been struggling with some real issues with her stopping at the more spooky jumps, and within a few weeks it had grown into a full fledged monster issue. Then to top it off, she started spooking at everything. From a physical standpoint we tried everything, the vet has been out multiple times. We looked into her vision, her body condition, her ears, her body aches, we thought maybe it was a footsore issue, so we treated that for almost a month. Then a few weeks ago when I got back on my sound, perfectly content horse, and it was exactly the same as it was before all of this.She will stop at poles. She will dragon snort/blow/spook at jumps, and we are talking this reaction is from 5 strides away and not even pointed at them. (Ask me how hard it is right now to simply hack around an arena full of jumps.)
While my trainer had been threatening O (and myself) for months with a pretty serious come-to-Jesus type of intervention, I don’t think either of us saw this really coming; it is a 180 degree change from 6 months ago with this horse. She’s completely unpredictable over fences. One day she’s totally willing and gives me a great ride, the next she won’t be able to walk along the line of jumps without losing her marbles.
The feeling of failure has been pretty much reigning in my horse life right now. I felt that I created a monster. A stopping monster (even worse for us over-the-obstacle based equestrians). It sucked and continues to suck.
I have one last plan in place to try to resurrect the O from last year, or at least come up with a way to deal with her new attitude. I’ll divulge all the details in my next post. But really, my horse needs a massive wake-up call and a change of pace. And perhaps I do too. Anyway, sorry to be depressing, but sometimes real life can really be a bummer! Now you are all caught up.