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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

June 20, 2009

12 miles with Chris Eickleberry & Toby today.

At least the humidity was lower than yesterday. Out in the woods it wasn't too bad.

As for muscle tone...I'm not feeling great about it overall. I observed Toby and felt his muscles and they are just loose and floppy when he is tied to the trailer. Phebes are firm. I just don't know what to think. Is it because she is wound up like an eight day clock and has all that tension in her body? Is it because she really just can't do this job? I'm at a loss. She moves out alright on the trail, has plenty of life in her, does not act like she is cramping. Her urine was fine, she drank on the last four miles, she ate hay when we came back to the trailer. Her first pulse down took about seven or eight minutes, but she was worked up about things going on in the day parking area. After the second loop she pulsed down by the time I got her clipped to the trailer, her bpm 57. I wish there were an easy answer to all this. Because if she really can't do this job, there is no sense in me forcing it, as the outcome will be the same. Better to move on to another horse, or another horse related activity. I do know that I DO NOT WANT to crash this horse again. I've no fortitude for pushing her to the edge.

I just don't know what to think about her muscle tone? ~E.G.


  1. are there any cheap schooling shows close by? I'll have to ask my mom if she remembers the name of this one Indiana club that did pretty affordable fun/schooling shows.

    You could take her just for the experience of being around all the activity, and still be doing things with her, and it might help get her exposed to more things like that, so that she learns to handle the excitement better?

    I mean, just go to a couple between now and the next ride to help get her accustomed to activity, and that may help her stay calm at a ride. Just a thought.

    It sounds like she's on most of the right tracks, though! Eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, are all good it sounds.

  2. Were her muscles at the trailer tighter/different than they are at home? Or is she that "tense" all the time?

    Like Nicole mentions, just more exposure, exposure, exposure. Take her to a local schooling show, you don't even need to enter, or just do the walk/trot classes. Take her to the next endurance ride, and then have her camp all weekend and just hang out while you volunteer (check with management first about this, it won't work at a full ride where parking is very tight).

    Watch my blog for updates, but I just attended a horse expo where John Lyons was speaking and he mentions that we all need to just relax and HAVE FUN with our horses. Too many of us get focused on the "job at hand" - instead we need to change our focus, work on what does work, work on what we already know, ride when we can - don't feel like you HAVE to.

    Phebes is still very young, if it takes her a year or two of just being a "trail" horse before she's comfortable doing an AERC ride - so what? Think of how great a LSD base she will have. Think of how she'll have learned to take care of herself on the trail, that riding is a relaxing FUN activity. You can do an "LD" on your local trails any time. We need to put our human goals aside sometimes and slow down and focus on where our horses are, and let them come into those goals at their own pace.

    It's very hard, I know. I'm having/dealing with all of these same issues myself right now, except I'm totally back to ground work for the time being and not even riding. Some days, I feel like all hope is lost, then I just need to remind myself to slow down, take a step back, and focus on the positive. Diego's doing REALLY GOOD with all of his ground work, I'm seeing much more respect out of him and he's paying more attention to me and what I want. When I feel like I need to start riding and getting him out on the trail, I remind myself that he's only 4 still and I have plenty of time, for both of us, to just slow down and take the time it takes. My heart goes out to you, because I want to be out there DOING it too - but sometimes that's just not the course God has planned in our life right now.

    Heads up - you and your girl will get there.

  3. Hi! I have not read all your posts so I don't know all of what's going on with you and Phebes but I hope my experience might help you. My 6 year old gelding had VERY tight hind end muscles no matter what. He was very spooky and alert ALL the time...until I got his pelvis adjusted by a equine chiropractor. Apparently his pelvis was severely rotated and the pain from that was making him spooky and making his hind end muscles tight all the time. He has calmed down a lot and I now rotate between getting him a massage and a chiro adjustment every 6 has made a huge difference. It might be worth getting a qualified equine chiropractor to look at your girl to see if they can see anything. Good luck! I enjoy reading about your experiences. :) Rachel