By Patty Wilber

Last weekend was the first New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association all breed training show of the year!  (The next one is March 6th). Of course I wanted to go and take a few horses, but the 2004 truck is again in the shop, needing a new transfer case.

I had to beg a ride from Christy and Deets instead of me giving THEM a ride.

I drove my own car so that I could load all my equipment the night before to make departure easier the morning of the show. When we got there, I parked near the trailer.

Lucy had been on Platinum CJ and Red Cell to see if I could increase her  energy levels.  I had not seen much difference so I dropped the Platinum and added Mojo, a less costly joint supplement.  Her work rate definitely went up and out in her 1/2 acre pen, I have see her instigating match races with LT and not being out run.

BUT last month in Las Cruces, she was tied in the warm up area and spooked and set back when a horse moved “too near” her, which is not like her at all.  She used to just go to sleep when she was not performing.  Then at this show, there was no sleeping during her down time, she startled at some dropped exercise boots and then while tied, had a panic attack over a water bucket. She slammed back, which yanked the tie hook completely off the side of Christy’s trailer and she kept going backwards right into my newish (2020, 8000 miles) little Kia!

She smushed the front panel of my Kia!! (Lucy herself was unharmed.)  The Kia will be sent in for repair (I have comprehensive insurance on it), after I get the truck back…

So, new plan: remove the supplements, and do some desensitization-while-tied exercises with her.

Lucy looking askance at the fence decorations, especially the bucket, which is clearly an evil doppelganger of the original evil bucket at the show.

I have been tossing things out of the tack room door (which is on the Not Horse side of  the fence), tying (as you can see) things to the bars, moving around abruptly, etc. I also put a treat in the bucket, because Lucy is a sucker for treats, but she would not have anything to do with it!

I moved Lucy to get ready to do some round pen work, and little Apple, (who belongs to Shelley and might be two come fall) stuck her head right in the bucket for the treat, and then untied it, so it fell to the ground.  Since I was between Lucy and the falling bucket, Lucy was ok with that.

The next day, Lucy her alfalfa and Pharm Aloe pellets in that very bucket, but she would not touch them until I held the bucket and tipped it so she could nibble at her food from the edge.  Gradually, she starting putting her nose in farther and farther…..but would pull it out quickly if anything rattled.

The day after that, I filled up the bucket, tied it to the fence and when I came back all the food was gone! Lucy is pretty food motivated, so this ought to help her find her love of buckets. Removal of the Red Cell and Mojo from her diet should help her feel less spazzy over all.

Hopefully, she will retain her increased work rate, and if not, we can try reintroducing the supplements at a lower rate of intake!

Other than the car smushing event, the show was fun and included a first place in HALTER for Lucy! Yes, we are going to show halter this year, as it will be a requirement for year-end awards, so I figured we would practice…

Happy Friday!

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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6 Responses to Smashing…success?

  1. dorannadurgin says:

    Car smooshing! Now that’s always fun. Poor Kia! I’m glad you and Lucy are okay, though.

    My TWH mare set back against what should have been a sturdy railing, yanked it free, and flung it over the hood and windshield of the car. Somehow…not a scratch. I have no feasible explanation!
    (But boy, I can still see it happening!)

  2. Patty says:

    OMG! So glad the railing flung and did not stay attached to the horse or hit the vehicle!!

    Lucy is normally very quiet, so this whole spooking thing is interesting, not in a good way. Next try may be just a pelleted feed with easily accessible carbs…We need energy, but predictable energy! Word on the street is that Red cell can make them unpredictable. We need energy, but predictable energy. The Mojo definitely contributed!!

    • Doranna says:

      Oh, the railing was still attached to the horse. She was flinging it around at the end of the lead rope. I was ducking! She was an amazingly good girl to respond to my voice calming her.

      That particular mare had a lot of…unpredictable energy. Yeah. That’s a good way to put it. And she was very young.

  3. Lucy didn’t know what to do with all that energy. I had a friend who for religious reasons had never had any kind of caffeine, and once when driving a long distance got sleepy and took a wake-up pill that was 200 mg of caffeine. She didn’t read the label, just knew it was supposed to keep her alert…and said she scared herself because she couldn’t regain her usual calm for hours and hours. Then she slept for many more hours than usual.

    I am barely affected by caffeine (even when I was drinking far more Coca Cola than I should’ve been–the sugar load was amazing–I could go right to sleep, at night or an afternoon nap.) But clearly Lucy isn’t like me, and more like my friend.

    • BlogPatty says:

      Jim is not affected by caffeine but I am now on decaf as coffee in the morning was making me light headed. Go figure. Love this aging stuff. Lucy is seeming somewhat quieter and is now eating out of the bucket…but still on high alert…

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