update on Magic

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by ShowjumpKid4Eva, Sep 18, 2012.

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  1. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    First things first, I'm creating this thread to share how pleased I am with my girl. I am not asking for any advice or criticism. I am quite satisfied with her progress thus far and things are going just swimmingly.

    Now for the actual update. Big girl is growing, her proportions are changing again (for the better - the bum is nice and big, and still has beautiful structure, and her shoulder is just as fabulous as ever, so I'm happy)... and it turns out, contrary to my first thoughts on the bridle I bought for her, she IS cob sized... just not in the browband! Cob size is too small in the browband for her, so I have ordered a full for her show browband (which was posted today, and I can't wait for it to arrive!), and she is currently in my only spare browband big enough, which is warmblood sized.

    She is no longer terrified of people and will in fact stretch towards total strangers for a rub on the face. She's turning into a really friendly pocket pony. Some things still set off panic attacks but those are much smaller, and much less dangerous, than they originally were. I don't know if I've said this on SY, but a while ago, I think it was the third time I did anything with her feet, I went to rub her on the face and she flipped out (rasp in hand is apparently scary)... I didn't leave the head alone, and unfortunately in not leaving the head alone I put myself in a bad position. She in her panic had a little strike out "OMG get away from me you scary person!!" and just barely clipped me, not enough to hurt me but enough to make me puff out the last of my breath.

    She doesn't do that any more. She stamps her front feet but she doesn't strike out. But, and this is something I discovered not long after my last update, my god can she REAR.

    She does pull back when tied if I push her too far or she does something that could be taken as "rude", but mostly stands nicely now. I think the pulling back will stop as the panic attacks lessen and eventually (hopefully) disappear.

    One of the things I'm idly working on at the moment is trotting with a person running beside her. Running/jumping/hopping/skipping people used to scare the living daylights out of her so I am SO impressed she has picked it up so fast. I don't even have to flick the rope to get her to trot now. But it's kind of on the back burner because I'm trying to focus on her earshyness, and mouthing.

    She's worn a saddle a couple of times, and I have put pressure on her back with my hands, but I have absolutely no interest in being the first person on her back after having seen what she's capable of when she's pushed past her limits. I would rather somebody else got her past the rearing. At this point, the saddle itself is a source of stress for her, so she's not ready regardless - plus she's only 2 and not mature enough in the body and mind yet.

    She's had a rug on, and took to it really well, but then showed up with rain scald so she's only worn it for... what, two nights? She's claimed Monty's canvas because it's the only rug I have that fits her at the moment, and I have enough rugs for him regardless.

    I've taken her for walks along the road a few times, and last time we went alone... there had JUST (literally while I was putting the bridle on her for her to get used to) been a car accident on the road outside my place, so there were people and cars everywhere, and she didn't bat an eyelid as we walked past them. There was some stress when she realised she was on her own, but she did settle, and nothing was scary in particular even when she was worried.

    Her coat is coming through really nice, but I intend to get her teeth done soon (she is 2 and I'm not sure if they've ever been done, plus she's being mouthed so I would like to sort out any wolf teeth sooner rather than later)... for which she will need to be heavily sedated, I think. While she's under I'll probably have her oil drenched, and possibly wormed again.

    She is going to be HUGE... her bum is at least 16hh and she has a huge amount of growing to do. She's quite bum high at present but she's still young enough that she might grow out of it. Knees and hocks are still enormous compared to the rest of her and considering she's so tall that's saying something - though she does seem to be more leg than anything else, and she's quite short compared to every other horse around her height I've ever had anything to do with. Monty's 6' rug is miles too big for her, whereas his canvas (with its super-adjustable chest strap) is pretty much perfect.

    Now, I'm sure you're all sick of the words and want to see pictures!

    From this being a challenge:

    To this, saddle is about a mile too long for her [is 17.5 inch and very bulky]:

    To this:

    And this (with me sitting in a tree above her):

    I am SO impressed with this filly of mine, and beyond grateful that she has allowed me the privilege of her trust. I feel honoured to be a part of her journey, and honestly I think she can take ALL the credit for this progress because I'm still working more off my instincts than off my knowledge! I am using the same method to mouth her as I did with Satin, though the bridling part is new to me because with Satin it wasn't the bridle itself that was the issue... it was the bit. With Magic, the bit is that strange foreign thing in her mouth that she will put up with because the boss is weird... and the bridle is going to eat her.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  2. Nicki

    Nicki Well-known Member

    Sounds like your patience is paying off. She looks great and yeah still has some growing to do - she still has teeny baby feet, so cute!

    They do have their little freakouts sometimes but it's so good that you are able to take her out for walks and get her used to all the 'monsters' out there, and build trust along the way.

    Keep up the good work and updates, I can't wait to see what your pretty girl looks like with a glossy summer coat! :)*
  3. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    Thanks Nicki :) I'm so lucky to have her - and I think she's lucky, too, that she wasn't picked up by some total beginner because she was free. She's so pretty that even though I know better I just fell in love and didn't care that she was fearful and was not above doing dangerous things. Even though I've never worked with a horse with these exact issues before, I'd like to think I have enough horse sense to figure out how to help her... I'm no expert, but I'm no beginner, and thus far we're doing well. Things might get interesting when it comes to float training but I've dealt with difficult loaders before so I know a whole bunch of different methods to help with that.

    I do believe either her temperament is truly exceptional, or she's had some wonderful handling at some stage. She doesn't respond well to being given breaks and goes backwards in her handling, and from what I was told her previous owner only ever handled her to do her feet. Lack of handling doesn't seem to suit her!
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  4. GoneRama

    GoneRama Gold Member

    Fantastic to read it SJK4E. I've been your biggest critic in the past but I'm eating my words once again and very happy to do that :)))

    Good job matey, keep it up :))
  5. ellechim69

    ellechim69 Guest

    Well done guys I think you are doing an awsome job. You should be sooooo proud of yourselves well done.**)
  6. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    Thanks all :) I can't bring myself to be proud of me because I honestly don't think it IS me!! I think it's all her. She thus far seems to have a great mind... so willing and trainable, probably the quietest young TB I've had the pleasure of working with despite her panic attacks. She just has the most beautiful temperament. I haven't had her long, but I have had her plenty long enough to see that underneath the fear there is a really special mare.
  7. Pipsqueak

    Pipsqueak Active Member

    Be proud! She may be a lovely quiet girl but you still must be showing her the right leadership or she wouldn't have as much trust in you as she does.
    She is very cute :)
  8. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    When and why does she rear?
  9. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    Pipsqueak, thank you :)

    ClubIgnite, when she has a panic attack. Every single time she has a panic attack. Most of her panic attacks are triggered by handling of her ears, but she's also very suspicious of the hoof rasp - or rather, not the rasp itself, but if you try to touch her face with the rasp in the other hand. If she does something she knows is not on, then they're huge, and if I move too fast near her (or smack the dog because nothing else will shut her up) they're enormous.
  10. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    her biggest panic attacks happen when trying to do her feet. If she has to settle herself to balance herself and pulls her foot away she has absolutely freaked out.

    It was so lovely the last time I played with her feet when she shifted weight and pulled her foot and then relaxed back down without the panic.

    What is happening at the moment is if she has a day off from being handled she goes about 3 steps backward and SJ has to put in a heap of work again to get back to where they were.

    But she is improving and it is lovely to watch SJK4E's growth in her self control and ability to walk away when it is the wrong day for pushing further.

    I tell you what though it is lucky this filly is not a nasty horse. She is SO fast with her reactions. If she wanted to get you would would have no chance at all. That kick backward is faster then anything I have ever seen.

    Giving her a massage on her hamstrings last night she let me know she was sore. I registered she was kicking about the time she put the hoof back on the ground after it has shot backward. She is not a filly for a old person that is for sure.
  11. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    How do you know they are "panic" attacks and not "go away coz I don't like that" attacks? Genuine question :)

    Really??? Removing the dog from the thing making her bark won't shut her up so your only option is to physically abuse her? Sorry I wasn't going to say anything but you keep commenting on the need to hit her and I just can't see why that is the only option particularly when you have said she is senile :(
  12. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    panic, = end result filly snorting wild eyed quivering
    not wanting to do it = end result horse horse calm, eyes normal ,muscles normal.
    Easy to see the difference.
  13. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    OK... is there a build up to it or is it all good then she suddenly loses it? Hopefully she shows warning signs and so changes can be made before she gets to that state :)

    Although I have had horses who were definitely either not wanting or not understanding what is being asked and they are definitely not always calm at the end :eek:
  14. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    no there is no build up to it. It comes out of no where when we trigger it because of something that has happened in the past is my guess.

    For example.
    She stands beautifully to you to groom her, pick up her feet put them in place like a farrier would. No troubles at all ever. If she gets a little unbalanced she will try to balance herself without fuss UNLESS you have a rasp in your hand.

    So with rasp in hand she stands beautifully, takes her weight, lets you hold her feet but when she tries to take her foot if she gets a little unbalanced she panics, pulls backwards trying to run away and if she cant she will try to rear up and spin around. Going with the rope gets her to settle and stop pulling away but she is terrified and snorting and out of sorts. With time the over reactions are getting less but because SJ is trying to desensitize her by exposing her to walks, people and things sometimes out of nowhere she goes from being happy and relaxed to terrified so very quickly. Just as fast as her hind legs can kick and OMG that is fast.

    So the response is to bring her back to the situation (No yelling, growling, yanking) and calmly go about doing the task again. This is not a filly you can punish, she would be terrified of physical correction at this stage.

    SJ is very good at not releasing the pressure (Her presence, touch) until the filly has relaxed.

    When she works the filly evey day the filly is so much better and less reactive. However a day off and all the over reactions come back again. I think the reversion is never as strong as when we first got her and it doesn't take long at all for the filly to settle again.

    She learns things so fast this little (Large) filly. I think she is also essentially very quiet unless something triggers her panic. For example this morning she had broken the clips on her rug and I had to walk out to her to undo the rug and get it off her.

    Tricky situation. I would normally put a halter on the horse before touching the rug but this filly is scared of the halter sometimes so I decided it was safer to just talk to her quietly and undo the buckles as I was smooching her. It went well.

    I think this is a horse who is essentially a calm placid horse who panics quickly. Not sure why. She clearly has had some lovely handling in the past. She requires great tact and it is an art to know when she is frightened and when she is just pushing the point.

    This is not a beginners horse and so we keep it very much in our minds that a professional may be needed to help get her settled. If worked every day she is very different. And we are not talking working her into a lather. It can be as simple was walking up to her, getting a halter on her and giving her a loving and then walking away again.

    It's if she doesn't get hands on during the day because of being busy that she goes backward.But then it is a long long way backward.
  15. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    Sorry but I just don't get how you can keep calling her quiet??? Sounds like typical protos nutso behaviour.
  16. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    LOL TBPA . We had a chestnut Protos filly and she rather erratic as well. She wasn't just sensitive, quite frankly she was nutty. :p

    SM the last think I'd be concerning myself with at the moment is rugging this horse. Worry about getting the basics like being about to reliably halter her sorted first and de-programming her panic buttons.
  17. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    Please read start of thread OP NOT asking for advise.
    Good job with filly she looks happy in the bit.
  18. sherridin

    sherridin Well-known Member

    These youngens need time and handling. She'll get it! She's not nuts or phsyco. The motto of the tb is act first think later lol! Keep going, you're doing a great job!

    I know you're not after advice but I will say some time with her in a neck strap in an appropriate area would not go astray!

    Good luck and keep us updated! :))
  19. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

    Sounds like the rearing is her "resistance". Cant help with that, I dont deal with horses that rear:( The only thing I could maybe suggest is she needs to learn confidence in herself (some horses are brave some arent), consatant handling and exposing to different situations where YOU feel confident and arent nervous might help.
  20. ShowjumpKid4Eva

    ShowjumpKid4Eva Well-known Member

    She is gradually going back to what she was before the day off. When worked with daily she is 100% reliable to halter, just can't give her a day off because she becomes difficult to catch again.

    She is not a crazy horse, she is not your typical 2yo TB (not what I think of when I think 2yo TB in any case)... very specific things freak her out and other things ("scary" things like cars, trucks, buses... nobody slows down on our road) aren't a problem at all. Re the rug, she's only had it on a few times, and it's been very useful as a desensitising tool.

    The rearing only happens when she is so terrified she just can't think. It's a clear terror reaction - we have seen the difference so many times between her and the little grey we're working with at present. Said grey is a right snot and will "act" scared to get what he wants, which is usually dominance over his owner... big big difference between pretend scared and really scared.

    I'm starting to wonder if she's not actually that scared of the bridle, though, and it's something she just doesn't want on... the ears are an issue still, but she is improving. I'm trying to connect pleasant things with her ears being touched, like curry combing her shoulder or just behind the withers. It worked very well today and she was showing some definite progress by the end of the session.

    I just went out there and chilled out in the middle of the yard, because I go moonlight riding and don't want my horse to be petrified of me just because it's after dark. Turns out it's a good thing to get her desensitised to, because to begin with she was terrified. More so than she initially was of me during the day. By the time I called it a day she was facing up and coming towards me until she was about 3 feet away, then stopping. She would let me come up to her until I got to about 2 feet away and then she got very stressed. I didn't want to push it too far, not in the dark, because I wouldn't have been able to see a kick coming even if I was fast enough to evade her lightning hind legs!
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