Yesterday I ponied Reason off of Errika. In her usual self, Errika was a bit more excited at the idea than Reason was. Who is the young horse here? It was questionable at times. Reason was great and enjoyed doing the ponying, but got bored quickly, so I added in ground work, ground tying and other things all from Errika’s back which was fun and also got Errika to relax as well.
I have some other news to share, but I’m waiting to share it. All I can say is that for the past year and almost a half out of the near two years I’ve owned Reason I’ve been confronted with some interesting ‘challenges.’
Reason and I haven’t done much in the way of training under saddle since I began doing more than tack walking during bringing him back under saddle since he bowed at the track. We’ve dabbled, but nothing ever stuck. We had help, but nothing went the way it was supposed to. In the beginning I was confronted with many ideas from various people as to what it could have been, what could be going on. Maybe it was me? Maybe it was tack? Maybe it was..something else? I had professionals address him mostly from the training side. Maybe because he was an OTTB and that immediately brought up training concerns in people’s eyes? I took in opinions and thoughts on what exactly what may have been going on. I took in my abilities, my lack of abilities, anything and tried to determine the source. To the no, frustrating, pull-my-hair-out, avail.
I remember when Reason would rear under saddle. I remember how it felt. It wasn’t to be bad it was to get me off and I knew exactly why. He was in pain. But I couldn’t pin-point the pain. I tried other saddles, I tried different saddles (Dressage, close contact, western, even bareback, with and without a pad). Nothing worked. Nothing changed. I rode in a halter, noticed a change but still, something was off.
I remember watching Reason in the round pen, flipping a biscuit. He would rear, buck, kick, roll and paw frantically. This wasn’t right. Someone told me that to them it appeared he needed to just run. Maybe? But no, it wasn’t that. Although maybe a symptom of sorts, it was not the source. The behavior he was exhibiting was not that. It was abnormal to a healthy, happy horse, which he clearly was not. Sometimes when I was with him in the round pen, watching him and trying to figure out what to do, I felt as though he was checking out into flight or fight mode and I was just an object that he sometimes didn’t see as he made his way all over the round pen trying to, what appeared to be, get rid of whatever was bothering him. At times I felt my safety was a concern and that threw more sticks in the spokes as far as theories. But again, that was not it. Reason would rear up, head between his legs, and strike out, as if something was irritating him related to his head. Over and over again theories, ideas, but no answers. No real answers.
I now think I know what is going on and that my gut and hunch was right all along. Obviously there is a somewhat long road ahead towards resolving this mysterious challenge (to me) that has been plaguing Reason and I’s progress but nevertheless the thought of a resolution to all this, is exciting. More on that later, but for now, I just wanted to give an update.