Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Screeching Halt

 First and foremost, it's now officially fall in the PNW. We had been enjoying an unseasonably warm early-mid October, till about 10 days ago. It went from 90* to 55* in the space of a week and from sunny and warm to windy/rainy/stormy in a day. And thanks to shifting wind patterns, the two days preceding the storm were full of wildfire smoke and the horses got a couple days off/easy days. So naturally, the day we could ride again all the horses were LIT. 

Never mad to hand over the reins to Trainer A

And naturally, that was the day I had a lesson scheduled. The big h/j program (IL) usually has quiet days on Fridays, so A has taken that as one of her busy lesson days. But because of the smoke and IL gearing up for a month of shows, they were schooling horses that same day. The indoor was busy and as I walked Cinder in, her eyes got the size of saucers and she started to vibrate. There was no where I could lunge and because I don't have a death wish I called A who was up at the barn and asked if she could get on first. She agreed and spent the first five minutes trying to stay in the middle of the saddle as Cinder spooked and jigged around the arena. 

A just kept pushing Cinder forward, and started pointing her at fences to get her attention. Cinder did stop at the white vertical above (A got there on a shitty half stride and Cinder rightly said nope) and at the brick wall with no standards (first time jumping it and it caught her off guard) and at a short diagonal one stride that she was convinced was evil. She did get over everything on the second attempt, even though the one stride was a bit hairy. 

The blue vertical was one fence of the one stride. The second fence had it's top rail angled the other direction. Kinda like a Swedish oxer turned into a one stride.

I then got on and did some flat work before popping over some of the cavalettis set up. Because IL was still schooling horses, we couldn't change fence height (even though it was technically A's scheduled lesson time. I'm not bitter about that or anything, why do you ask?) but I still had a good lesson. 

This lesson was eight days before what was supposed to be our last show of the season. Cinder had been a little grouchy when I tacked her up, but felt fine to both A and I under saddle. She had the next day off, and when I came out on Sunday she was even grouchier when getting groomed. Normally she loves to be curried and groomed; but that day she absolutely didn't want me to touch her SI/hips. A rode her the next day and said Cinder nearly took her head off when putting her blanket back on, but again felt fine under saddle. 

Marinating in Peeb's SmartPak brand ceramic blanket

After talking it over with A, we decided to scratch the show. Something was obviously up, even if Cinder felt sound. A did some easy stretchy rides with her during the week and on Friday she saw our bodyworker, L. L said that Cin was sore in her withers and SI/hips, and kicked when L first worked on them. But she settled down and was good by the end of the session. L thought the SI issues could be ovary/heat cycle related as Cin was showing signs of being in heat. Normally you can't tell when Cinder is in heat. She might have one flaming heat/squirting/winking/hussy attitude day a year, but otherwise, nothing. Cinder has been much better to groom/blanket after L worked on her, thank goodness!

The lameness vet is coming tomorrow at will look at Cinder and she's married to a breeding vet so if we need to, Cinder can meet him and get her ovaries ultrasounded.


  1. I can't believe how dramatically the weather changed - we went from summer to winter in a week. Hope Cinder is feeling better. One of mine gets really tight and grumpy about being touched there and on her flank for a day when she's in heat.

  2. Those weather swings are the worst! Al semi lost his mind from a similar weather pattern. It's tough being a young horse when the weather is crazy!
    Sorry Cin is feeling sore. But glad the adjustment made a big difference. If it comes back quickly I wouldn't rule out a lyme titer. Not sure how prevalent it is in your area, but it can make them really touchy like that. Hopefully it was just a rough heat cycle and she'll be feeling more herself asap.

  3. oooh tis the season for fall friskies!!! hopefully everything's fine with Cin!