Tale of Two Horses, Part II

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Sunday, I decided I needed to jump Eli again to see how he would behave. My guess was that if he was still acting uncomfortable, then his teeth probably needed attention as soon as possible. If not, then … maybe it is his sinuses on the right side? I know that’ll be harder to figure out, but the difference in weather between Saturday and Sunday was pretty striking. Saturday was bright, windy, dry, with chilly air and Sunday was a bit warmer, overcast, more humid, and not even much of a breeze.

rollback from patentlybay on Vimeo.

Eli didn’t put a foot wrong on Sunday. We jumped everything that we had on Saturday, and he gave his best hunter impersonation. He was downright easy to ride (how often do I say that?). This is the Eli I have grown accustomed to having under saddle lately and not having it on Saturday worried me. But Sunday he came to play. Can the weather make that much of a difference for him? I wouldn’t be surprised. He has displayed sensitivity to weather changes before. However, this could mean I have a difficult horse in conditions similar to Saturday’s, and I would like to be able to do as much as I can to keep Eli comfortable in that kind of weather. What that is, I’m not sure. I don’t want to throw a bunch of stuff at him at once, so I will probably try the nose net first the next time the weather is similar and see if that helps. The other factor — that I theoretically have complete control over — is me. If Eli gets fussy, I sometimes tense up. Specifically, my elbows lock. So I’ll have to train myself to stay softer even when he’s in psychotic moose mode. Gotta have elastic elbows at all times!

I really do believe Eli has two personalities, and while the psychotic moose was ever-present a few years ago, I have a totally different horse now, more like a petulant tiger cub. Still not exactly risk-free, but much more fun to play with! I’d like to do whatever I can to keep the tiger cub personality dominant.

12 thoughts on “Tale of Two Horses, Part II

  1. Not sure if my comment yesterday got published or not, but Eli’s behavior – better on cloudy days with less wind, worse on bright, sunny, windy days – is very similar to the head shaking symptoms my horse Echo had. You may want to look into that.

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    • Hmmmm I don’t think it did, not sure where it went. But, yes! I agree about the head shaking. He had two fairly drastic sinus surgeries and the shaking has been tons better since. The vet is going to look at him Thursday and were asking about any ways to alleviate his discomfort on days like that.

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      • Ah, poor guy, I didn’t know about the sinus surgeries! You might try putting him on MagRestore (or just any supplement with massive quantities of magnesium) – it helped Echo quite a lot, and it’s fairly cheap. There are also masks you can buy that block 95% of UV rays that fit on your bridle (or without) – I think I still have one if you want it. A nose net can also help, or you can just cut the toe end of a pair of pantyhose or tights and stick it over his entire nose, over the bit. For some reason the pressure feels better for a lot of them. Keeping him on nighttime turnout can also help. HSing is not a fun thing for anyone, so hopefully you’ll find something that make him feel better!

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        • Yeah, he had a huge hole in his face for a while, it was insane! I actually have a mask for him & a nose net on order 🙂 I’ll be sure to ask about the magnesium–he can be funny about eating supplements, but I could get one of the Himalayan salt rocks or keep a tube Perfect Prep around for sunny/windy days. Honestly, his shaking/flipping is minimal compared to what some horses go through, so I am hopeful we can solve the issue for him. I should have put his mask on on Saturday! I had him wear it all the time just after his surgeries, but he hadn’t seemed to need it lately.

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