Could It Be…Ulcers?

Monday sucked.  To put it bluntly.  Tuesday was much better with roundpenning.  Wednesday was…OK. 

Wednesday my mom came to watch.  Bareback again, I rode Reason and got a couple attempts to get me off.  Nothing bad, just attempts because I clearly wasn’t listening to his hints…  I was listening but trying to work him through them through really quick responses from my crop (he’d be unresponsive to the leg or just not paying attention and I’d really quickly give him a click behind my leg) and just staying neutral.  It worked, but still Wednesday was my opinionated horse :).  Then yesterday, Friday, I had a pretty awesome ride.  I let Reason munch on his dinner while I finished some barn work and then got on him bareback.  We cruised around the property, not around the path, but around the immediate property and then I went to the arena.  I go into it just focusing soley on forward.  Nothing else, just getting a willing, forward horse.  Reason was proving to be willing and forward so we moved onto doing something else.  I asked for long and low here and there and got some mixed ideas.  Reason wasn’t settling into the idea of long and low, simply because he’s still learning how and what is being asked.  I kept clear in my mind that the only way to train him to know what I was asking for, was to make sure I was quick to release once he attempted to do it.  In no time, he was traveling beautifully!  Not only did it feel great it also was great to feel him going, “Ahhhh.”  It must feel good to stretch out like that and feel your body, engage the hind end and begin to feel what lifting the back might feel like!  I was quick to end the ride on that great note.

The idea of ulcers…  Well, Reason’s not skinny, he’s in great physical shape, he does have an appetite, isn’t a picky eater and his coat is pretty darn lovely.  He doesn’t look what you’d view as typically, “ulcery.”  But he is sensitive around his girth and lower abdomen which may suggest something.  He gets resistant and grumpy under saddle.  It could be.  Considering a large percentage of racehorses develop ulcers, it certainly is a possibility.  He’s a sensitive horse and I couldn’t imagine him on the track.  So maybe, just maybe, this may explain in more depth what is actually going on.  I’m not going the scoping route as of yet.  I did however buy some Aloe Vera juice, Slippery Elm (herb), alfalfa cubes and probios to add to his rice bran.  Maybe it will make a difference?  I hope so.  I’m trying to come up with an idea of how to allow him to have access to 24/7 hay as I know that’s key.  I think I may have come up with something… 

For now, the things I can do without waiting for results is ride him after he’s had some hay, no sugary treats and maybe let him enjoy a bannana or some yogurt per-ride also..

Well, lets hope everything goes well!

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