Friday, August 28, 2009

Falling in the Round Pen

Well, it wasn't the evening I'd hoped for. Not by a long shot.

I was looking forward to riding. We had a good bit of rain last night, it was cooler, and I had time to ride. A rare concurrance of events.

Here's the new saddle.

I'm testing a system to keep it from sliding, using a sticky thin layer like the material on the bottom of the tacky too pads. I'd have to cut the excess, as you can see.

Anyway we went to the round pen. Sara was there, a young girl (15 maybe?) with her Alpha Arab, Regalo. Regalo is a Beauty/Beast. A gorgeous bay, he has a rep of being a pill. He's not worked with enough, and he pins his ears at feeding, chews on lower ranked horses, and has the ground manners of a bouncer at a strip club.

The BO called Sara and let her know that he needs more work.

Maybe that's why she was out there.

So she and Regalo go in the round pen first. Regalo was nuts, bucking, snorting, coming to the middle when he wasn't called. Cibolo watched this with interest. I started to wonder if he was going to get the wrong idea from Regalo's bad example. I already had a sense that I didn't have the same connection with Cibolo as I'd had yesterday, so was planning to work a bit in the round pen when she was done. She did a good job, Regalo latched on and while he seems more in charge, she seems to maintain control relatively well. Still it wasn't the most disciplined round penning session, even with my more relaxed view of things.

I don't think what happened next was Regalo's bad example, but who knows. He is the alpha in the herd across the fence from Cibolo. Also, there seemed to be some people on the property next door talking and rustling about. It may have been why Regalo was going nuts, running like crazy. And Cibolo was there with the encore.

He was a jumpy as Canyon used to be, he tossed a few bucks right at the start, and seemed upset. I brought my energy down, tried to find a rhythm, to no avail. Then it happened. He would periodically break into a run and I had been focusing on turning him gently as I could to gather back his attention. But at one point he dug in for a run and slipped, falling in the sand, kicking his legs into the round pen, which is when he got this:

He got up and trotted off, seeming to be a little surprised by his fall. Still jumpy, but almost like he'd learned that the freak out was not a good idea. Then he gave over leadership to me. I got him changing directions and gaits with no problem. But he was still jittery and nervous. Not a good day.

I don't push a horse on a bad day. I know other people disagree, because horses have to work, period. Still, I've read enough from trainers to get that when your horse is off, he's off. At the end, just end on the best note possible. I think of it as pushing through a grumpy day with the kids. There's no point in trying to get them to be creative or appreciative when they are cranky. Cranky is too high a hurdle, it's best to get through and realize the next day will be better. Let the clock reset to zero, no hard feelings - tomorrow.

So I rode just a little in the round pen, simple things, low energy, then out around the barn, hosed him down and put an antibacterial salve on this cut and a smaller one on the other rear leg. I didn't wrap it, because I don't know how, but I'll be out there in the morning to see how he's doing.

Any doctoring advice? Do I need to wrap it -- and if so, what do I pick up something at the feed store? It looks bad, but from doctoring kids, I'm pretty sure it's just skinned. A heck of a pole burn.

I wish I knew what that round pen behavior was about. Theories?


Here's Lily's wound yesterday.

Here it is today. I think it's better. There's no swelling anymore. It looks awful though.

I'm ready for a little break from the woundings - aren't you?


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yikes! I'm sorry to hear that Cibolo was acting out that way. Just like us, horses do have bad days. The problem starts out that way sometimes...and then they learn that everytime they act like they're having another 'off' day, they don't have to work and there are no high expectations. They are off the hook, so to speak. It can sometimes turn into an annoying habit.

It doesn't look like a wound that needs to be wrapped as long as the flies aren't pestering the wound. It looks like just a scrape. Did it bleed at all?

Lily's wound looked nasty the other day. It does look better now, though. Is pus still oozing from it?


jacksonsgrrl said...

No, don't wrap that. It just looks like a bit of missing skin, very superficial. If anything do some hydrotherapy (spray water at a decent force onto it for 5-10 minutes) and wash it out with an antibacterial soap, and then you can put some Neosporin or Corona or other equivalent if you want. Sometimes (Jackson is the KING of getting cut up) I don't put anything, just watch it and put SWAT or fly spray around but not directly on to keep the bugs away. If the bugs are all over it I DO put the SWAT (it's made for that) on the wound, but never fly spray....
Getting closer to being ready for our ride...Jackson should be ready in a week or two... Linda and I have Aussie saddles for the trails too...LOVE EM!
And I bet you know EXACTLY what a diagonal is...Western folks use 'em too; once I explain it to ya', you'll be like OH. Yeah. I do that. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry he was distracted - that happens - ride (or work with) the horse you have today - which is what you did. Sometimes plans have to change, and as long as you end on a good note, that's good.

The wound doesn't look too bad in the picture - if it isn't too deep or bleeding, I'd leave it open - once it starts to scab over I'd stop hosing or putting medication on it so it can heal - but it may be a good idea to put something like SWAT around the edges to keep the flies off.

Cara said...

I sgree with eveyone else, the wounds are not major. The back wound is healing nicely, proof that you did the right thing. With falling, I worry most that they have put their back or neck out, so see if he is sore or stiff today. Give him a good stiff curry if he likes it. He's probably fine.

The arabian pinning his ears at feeding is just being an alpha horse. It's not the owner's fault. Other things might be, but not that.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Horses have bad days too, just like us. You did the right thing by just working him the way you knew you should, considering his mood.

As for the wound I agree with the rest of the gang here.

Breathe said...

Lisa: It didn't bleed. Just looked awful.

Lily is pus free. I think the best thing I did was use peroxide. It fizzed a little and that was it.

This morning she looked really good.

Mindy: Yay! We'll be riding. My boy is ready - when I drove up this morning he WAS STANDING IN HIS TRAILER! LOL

Do you use a breast collar on your saddle?

Kate: Ride the horse you have today - that's great advice.

I did put swat around it. I hate seeing a fly on a wound. I also put this antibacterial salve on it. This morning it looks great. Ah to be 6 years old. :)

Cara: Pinning at feeding and charging at people - is there anything to be done? It's getting a little dangerous to feed him - he's kicked someone already. There's an article about aggression during feeding and I've been using those techniques. He does better with me than some others.

GHM: Whew. Thanks. I hear about horse that will give attitude and if you cave in to it totally then you've just done a different kind of training. :D

Lynn Brooks said...

I love your blog and just thought I'd throw an idea out there because your new guy seems like such a good horse. After all the antics he did come back and pay attention you.
I turn my horse out in our arena first and let him kind of work out any freshness on his own. That way when I catch him and begin whatever lesson it is that day he always seems to be a little more willing to pay attention.

Life at Star's Rest said...

I have two aussie endurance saddles and I love, love, love them. No comments on the other stuff that is any better than what anyone else said. Will get my addy off to you in a bit. Thanks for the help! Carmon

Cara said...

He charges PEOPLE at feeding time? Janow charges his neigh-bor across the fence. He does this even if Cherokee is out on trail or away camping. Cherokee has lived next door for years and never even twitches an ear. But Janow has NEVER charges people!

If the arab is dangerous, management can charge extra, especially if some "emplpoyees" don't feel safe enough to face him and special arrangements must be made. Sometimes wallet opening can inspire people to take action.