Thursday, May 20, 2010


Everything that is drama has "-gate" as a suffix. "Franco-gate" is the reason we moved up here. It is silly because Watergate wasn't "Water-gate", but now any time there is a problem, it is called "something-gate."

Yesterday was "fence-gate." In other words, Mac (did you notice that? He has another new name - Dulce doesn't really roll off the tongue) got out yesterday. Got out is a rather gentle description. He crashed through the fence.

As Colin tells the story, as he was the one to witness it, Mac had popped one of the fence boards out. As Colin was fixing the fence, Mac put his head through the fence, scared himself and ended up running through the fence. Which meant that not only did Colin now have to do a bigger fence-fix than originally, but now he had to catch a loose horse. Fence-gate, indeed.

He was very calm, cool, and collected (Colin, that is), and didn't chase Mac around and so had a fairly easy time of it. Mac didn't wander too far, just up to the neighbors' and he was helping them with mowing along the way.

Mac is now in a different pasture where there is plenty of grass to keep him interested (he was trying to eat grass through the fence which is what caused this problem in the first place), and the fence is temporarily fixed. We're going to get stand-offs to put up the electric tape fence along the vinyl fence line. This is actually nothing new because the Tomato did something similar about a month ago.

I went to ride Mac today and chose to use my bitless bridle. I tacked him up with my jumping saddle, and we had a very mellow grooming session. When I got on, he wasn't so fidgety with his head and we actually started off with a very nice walk, working in a big circle in both directions and walking over some cavaletti.

We started the trot going to the left and he was much better in the bridle and better through is lateral balance - he didn't lean in so much and was very rideable. Unfortunately when we changed direction and went to the right, something was wrong. Mac put on the brakes, his head went up, ears went back, tail swished, and he turned left to bite at his shoulder/my foot. He did NOT want to move forward. I got him walking a bit and then got off to see if I could find out what the problem was. I ran my hands down the girth (it is a fuzzy girth and I thought maybe there was a burr bothering him) but didn't feel anything. I thought maybe my stirrup was hitting him in the elbow so I got back on with the thought of keeping my leg back a little bit in case it was the stirrup.

Nope. He did it again - again going right and not left. off again and took the saddle off. I got on bareback to see if that made a difference. Same thing. So it isn't the saddle and it isn't the stirrup. I stood there and tried to palpate his shoulder and elbow to see if there was any pain. There was no huge reaction although he did seem to be a bit perturbed to have me poking around there. After a few minutes, I put the saddle back on and got on and went down the trail to see how he was outside of the arena.

We walked down the ditch and he seemed fine. Came back home and when I went to turn right around the truck, he did it again. So it isn't the saddle, it isn't the stirrup, it isn't the arena. Something about turning right is bothering him. I am hoping that it is just some mild muscle soreness after running through the fence yesterday...remnants of fence-gate.

On a good note, though, with Colin's help (and in just a couple of minutes), we got him loaded on the trailer with the butt bar up.

We let him eat some hay and alfalfa pellets while we sat on the fender and chatted for 15 minutes or so.

I'll try to longe him tomorrow to see if I can see anything when he moves. is always something. Sigh.

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