A Small Hop Forward

Rodney trotted quietly over a jump! Yay!

It was a tiny cavaletti cavaletto, he was on a leadline & he was hopped up on painkillers. But still, this the quietest he has ever dealt with the idea of jumping for us. Please note, I am NOT in any way advocating showing Rodney or any horse on pain meds. We did this as a diagnostic procedure only, similar to blocking the nerves to a foot & trotting the horse in hand to see where the injury is located. This was an anxiety block.

Backstory:
Rodney came up Saturday morning with a mildly puffy eye. The vet recommended a shot of Banamine rather than a topical. The barn medical staff took the opportunity to see if reducing the body’s inflammation changed Rodney’s reaction to a very, very small jump. It did. He came close to the classic hop & plop. He gave the exercise as much respect as it deserved – very little.

This is means two things:
A) His fussing after a jump has a physical, and therefore treatable, cause.

B) We are most likely dealing with a muscle issue rather than a system flaw since it can be blocked with such a low dose.

This is a Good Thing.

And now the philosophical question. When Rodney has a melt-down of any size [Aftermath], I fall into an immediate tailspin. I think such productive thoughts as ‘Sadness! Despair! This is hopeless. I’m hopeless. He will never amount to anything.’ When he goes well, I do not think, ‘Success! Victory! He’s wonderful. I’m wonderful. We are going to Rolex.’ Instead, I hem and haw, ‘Well, it was just one jump. He wasn’t that good. We still have to figure out what is bothering him …’ and so on.

Why are we – at least I – so quick to believe the worst and to dismiss the good?

BTW, his eye is fine. Probably got a piece of bedding lodged when he lay down.
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Gratuitous Cat pic
Ghost Feb 09 14

Categories: Horses, Physiology

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5 replies »

  1. Just speculation here, but I think it’s because humans tend to focus on the bigger picture. We spend too much time thinking about the end result and not enough time focused on the process. Horses focus on the present moment. They don’t think “If I do this, then so and so will (should?) happen.” When humans focus too much on the desired result, they go into a tailspin when the process fails to produce it. Just my .02 cents.

      • Oh come the day (if that day comes), there will be many, many, many, I say unto you many, cavelletti, crossrails, and anklebiter trot fences taken by horse & rider.

        OTOH, if you meant trotting along & jumping next to him, it freaks him out when I do weird shit, particularly w.s. that involves sudden movements, such as jumping. Started well, that sentence.

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