She’s Baaaaack

I have my pony back.

Seriously, my DragonBeastMare has returned to me. The horse that made me say “screw it” to my bank statements and dive back into this sport headfirst is back in action.

You may have noticed over the last two months or so that Addy and I have been riding the struggle bus. Nothing too crazy- she would get fast, or duck out, or sass me at odd times. All manageable things that we worked through little by little.

But then she started showing signs of ulcers, and we had to go up a girth size. Homegirl was getting fat and sassy and achy. Just recently I told you all that we decided to cut her grain a bit.

Well let me tell you: it is a night and day difference.

All ulcer-y behavior has cleared up and my brave trusting pony has re-appeared. She is, as always, a total DragonMare and has not magically turned into a slowpoke (thank goodness, I don’t know what I would do with that), but she isn’t tuning me out anymore.

When I asked for a collected canter: after much snorting and gnashing of teeth, we got a nice tiny canter. When I asked for the closer distance to almost every jump: no problem, she gave it to me. When I pointed her at the scary new coop jump she had been snorting at: carried me up and over without blinking. When my steering was vague and I turned her at a jump last minute: woohoo more jumps!

short_distance
I didn’t say the short distance was pretty, just that she was willing to do it.

We’re having FUN again. We’re trusting each other again. I’m not holding-holding-holding to the base of the jump because she’s charging at it; I can soften up to the base because she’s got one ear flicked back listening to me.

I’ve certainly learned a ton over the last few months, but I won’t pretend I’m not thrilled to have my confidence-boosting-safer-than-safe mare back.

vsco-photo-2
Big scary coop is not too scary for the DragonBeast.

And what do you do when you have a safe happy mare that loved going out on a hunter pace? You take her cross country schooling!! We’re heading out on Sunday to play around and try some new things and I can’t WAIT! Somehow I think Beastly is going to absolutely love it.

Have you ever noticed a huge behavior change due to changes in your horse’s nutrition? And any tips for a first time XC rider?

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19 thoughts on “She’s Baaaaack

  1. Lauren 10/22/2015 / 11:24 am

    Glad she is back to normal! That is good news 🙂

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  2. Allison Stitzinger 10/22/2015 / 11:56 am

    WOOHOO!! That’s awesome to hear! My friend’s draftx was a PSYCHO last spring when he was getting too much grain… we cut him back and he was back to his sweet, sleepy self. 17.2 hands of naps. SO EXCITED you’re going XC schooling! Borrow a vest if you can, and have fun!!! Hips back up hills, hips forward down hills. 🙂 HAVE A BLAST!

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    • hellomylivia 10/22/2015 / 12:10 pm

      It’s so crazy what a difference a little food can make! I have a friend loaning me a vest, and I will totally remember your hill tips 🙂 Gonna be awesome!!!

      Like

  3. Rebecca 10/22/2015 / 12:23 pm

    Did you end up doing an ulcer meds? That’s awesome that cutting back her grain worked like a charm. You guys look so awesome together – that last jump especially looks baller<3

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    • hellomylivia 10/22/2015 / 1:21 pm

      We ended up not needing meds- cutting her grain and adding some corn oil seems to have done the trick. She’s back to loving her job 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SprinklerBandit 10/22/2015 / 1:13 pm

    Your jumping pictures make me want to jump. 😀 Glad you guys are clicking again.

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    • hellomylivia 10/22/2015 / 1:22 pm

      Me too!! And glad that the sense of awesomeness is coming through the pics 😉

      Like

  5. emma 10/22/2015 / 3:07 pm

    i love that coop lol – so glad to hear she’s feeling better and i hope you have a BLAST xc schooling!!!

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    • hellomylivia 10/22/2015 / 3:19 pm

      Funny what you can build with some cavalettis and plywood 😉 I can’t wait to report back, manfriend will be capturing media!

      Like

  6. Stacie Seidman 10/22/2015 / 3:53 pm

    Yay! Glad you’re both back on your game! That photo over the coop is perfect! And also, that coop itself is pretty creative.

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    • hellomylivia 10/22/2015 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you thank you ❤ I was admittedly confused when my trainer started assembling it, it's fun to have something different!

      Like

  7. CallyJumps 10/24/2015 / 12:22 am

    XC advice: when in doubt, SIT UP! Also, don’t fall off in the water.

    When we moved we cut Cally’s grain in half and added beer pulp to her dinner ration, and I feel like it’s made a huge difference. She’s not as fired up (but still her sassy self) and is actually keeping weight on better. The right food combination can make a big difference!

    Like

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