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

May 23, 2011

Hitting the Road

One of Phebes biggest anxieties (and hence, has become one of mine) is riding her on the road.  It isn't the "road" itself that is the issue, it is motorized vehicles.  She is very upset by them even if she is in her own paddock and one comes by she will pitch a fit.  Yesterday my daughter called and asked if I would like to follow along on a slow paced trail ride, which I said YES I WOULD as it had been a few days since we had ridden.  We ended up venturing out onto the road.  My daughter was riding her TW cross mare, and she was accompanied by her man who was riding his TW mare.  When a car came they would position themselves so that there horses were between Phebes and the oncoming vehicle.  It went pretty well!  We must have gone about five miles or more on the road, and also did a short trail loop through the woods.    Since she was in an unfamiliar setting with a couple of horses that she didn't know well I was a little more concerned with her muscle issues.  As I was riding along I was reaching back and pushing on her rump and wondering if we'd get into trouble.  I'd think is she tight...and it is very hard to tell when the horse is actually using the muscles.  We've changed her to a supplement that is pointed towards this issue which she's been taking for a few weeks. About a mile or so before home we power trotted a big hill and walked the rest of the way in.  She knew we were pointed to home as we've hand walked this road a number of times so she was giving me that nice running walk thing (whatever it is, it is nice).  Last night and this morning her rump was nice and loose.  She was giving me hateful stink eye because she doesn't like bothered when she's eating, but otherwise all systems were go.

My daughter getting a horse has really been a wonderful thing.  We have been spending more "spare time" together than we ordinarily would, which has made me very happy.  It has given Phebes the opportunity to ride "with" another horse instead of always solo, and to follow instead of lead.  In fact I pretty much keep her pointed at Tequila's butt. 

I may be looking at a gaited horse over the weekend.  It is going to be indeed an EPIC search, mostly because my heart is with my horse.  It is very difficult to think of riding anyone or anything except my Phebes who I do not want set aside.  If there was a $ fix for her problem, I'd pay it....even if it required an installment plan or major credit card.  She is my girl, whether she likes it or not.  ~E.G.


  1. How wonderful that you get to ride with your daughter and her man. I am the only person in my family who rides, everyone else are the self-described "nice horsey don't kill me" people!

  2. Why don't you pay the money to have a muscle biopsy done and subsequent nutritional/management consultation(s) done by one of the two or three leading professionals in that area of research? There are many horses who have been diagnosed with PSSM who compete in a multitude of high-level events with no problems after correct diagnosis and appropriate management. Just a thought that would be worth it if you are really set on that mare and much cheaper than a new horse.

    ~ Amanda

  3. Amanda,

    I had a consultation with the best "performance" horse vet in our corner of the state. She said "I could do a muscle biopsy, but it seems a waste because the management options are the same, and you are already doing EVERYTHING that I would recommend you do." She did suggest that I leg Phebes back up and see how it goes. I'm just not ready for that, I'm not sure it is fair to her to do that. In truth, I'm still on the fence so to speak. I'm willing to give her another go, but I don't want to damage her either.