Adjusting to Circumstances

I had a plan going into Sunday for what I would be doing with Eli after a less than enjoyable lesson on Saturday. I reviewed this plan with a trainer/Eli’s massage therapist. Something like:
1. Eli gets a massage
2. Eli gets some Quia-Cal paste and turnout
3. Eli gets to wear a figure-8 with a Beval bit configured for very mild gag/leverage action
4. Eli gets to work in the big arena on a loopy rein but every time he pokes his nose too far up and out (in a head-flip scenario) he would hit the gag action. Trot through some poles. How he will react to poll pressure, who is to say until I find out?
5. Eli gets a good curry and extra treats and hoof pampering.

(Talk amongst yourselves about whether or not I should use this bit.)

However, after I got off work and headed out to the barn a little after lunch, circumstances were such that the plan had to change:
1. Eli gets a massage. The barn skylights were getting power washed and there was an earth mover reworking the arena entrance. While Eli could have a massage, where would his therapist be able to do it in a quiet, calm environment? He’d need another massage the next day, anyway!

2. Eli gets some Quia-Cal paste and turnout 
3. Eli gets to wear a figure-8 with a Beval bit configured for very mild gag/leverage action 
4. Eli gets to work in the big arena fields on a loopy rein but every time he pokes his nose too far up and out (in a head-flip scenario) he would hit the gag action. Trot through some poles. Walk around a while. How he will react to poll pressure, who is to say until I find out?
5. Eli gets a good curry and extra treats and hoof pampering.

Figure-8 with after-market mod. Also, needs more oil.

Okay, we adapted. Eli got a little angry about the gag action, but shortly submitted to it, too. I didn’t pull, and he learned that head-flipping is annoying. We actually had a nice quiet hack and walk out on a long rein in the fields. And by the time we got back to the barn, the power washing was over for the day! (Horses were moved from their stalls when their skylights were being power washed.) The earth mover was still at work but Eli didn’t seem to mind it unless he was right next to it — it worked behind his stall for a few minutes so I nixed the idea of putting him back in his stall until the earth mover had passed.

The therapist and I agreed that a massage on Tuesday (today) would be more beneficial than trying to do that with the work that was going on. And I think he might like a little more Quia-Cal paste today.

I am sure anyone reading this can relate to the difference between how plans look in your head to how they play out in reality — how have you had to change plans to adapt to unexpected circumstances?

Extra points to Eli for not minding how windy it was on Sunday, too! He doesn’t ever seem to mind wind at all. But drizzle .. or a dog … forget it.

8 thoughts on “Adjusting to Circumstances

  1. Especially having my horse at home, it’s very easy now to get on a set schedule where I don’t have hardly any unexpected circumstances. But at other boarding barns? Totally feel you! I’d have this great plan for the day aaaaaannnnd NOPE lol. But that’s horses, right? lol

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  2. hmmmm “the difference between how plans look in your head to how they play out in reality”?? yea uh, about that haha. as a change averse individual i get super flustered and annoyed when things don’t go the way i expect. and yet… that’s horses, i guess. anyway glad that bit configuration was able to get the point across to Eli in a way that made him understand he had choices in the matter. that’s my favorite kind of tool!

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