Actually maybe the plan doesn't suck. But this weekend I've learnt a lot about my horse. I think. Parts of the plan are good. I have in my car ulcer treatments to start tomorrow, though horse is currently sans two shoes, which should be sorted tomorrow. I spoke to my vet and while he's missing the classic signs of ulcers ( which is picky eating, though China would need his head removed to stop him eating) we discussed the ramped up cribbing, the girthiness and the just unhappy angriness I'm getting from him. It could be another source of pain also so if a week of treatment doesn't help well try a few days on bute.
My trainer was saying a lot of the horses coming to the arena are pretty Spring mad, and I know from the trouble with magnesium staggers at work that the grass is very low on mag. But he is getting plenty of this. I might try a toxin binder but there's already one in his feed and I don't like to throw on too much in the way of additives.
The riding part of the plan sucks. I have a new riding plan. China was a shambles at the XC open day. Luckily, I was late and my group went out without me which left me free to play on my own. He wouldn't have coped with the hurry up and wait of group work. He started running really hard at fences so we went back to the trot.
This helped him to settle and the Dutch gag have me a little control but not too much. My sister was there which was good and she was like huh this is terrible ( this is a massive oversimplification) and she could see that the trust was gone between as. We were all out of sync. She was just like I think you just need to jump until he settles and get to the bottom of him. Which was a great plan. We started trotting in. We could then canter I'm as long as we were heading away from the gate and would still charge the fence down in that direction. So we went round and round over various up to two foot fences. He was cute at the tiny bank because he couldn't figure out how to get down.
Defensive grabby elbows! Yuk! And we jumped and jumped and jumped. He was certainly super brave and looked at nothing including the little trakhener. Eventually we got to the point where he had settled enough to drop to the trot of his own accord in front of the fences he was so relaxed. I made no effort to place him, just let him bumble over if the distance was bad. I even walked over some fences at the start when he was so diabolical.
Yep that's how sweaty he got. And that foamy sweat on the neck and shoulder is normally stress. I would have cantered and jumped nearly solidly for more than twenty minutes and it worked. We started to feel less disconnected and more in sync. I started to trust more and he started to soften and not run and sort of break the cycle. I'm not super sure what's led to all this but I can see some very small jumping classes that I trot in our future until we are a team again. I just hope I can get him back to where we were. It's pretty humiliating to spend the whole day jumping tiny fences on a clearly unhappy horse while everyone else is cruising around over bigger stuff. Until I get these basics right this is my life. He's got to learn that there is a soft easy way and I have to show him that with out trying to be forceful and overly bossy because it gives him something to argue against and he likes that. I need to work around the problem. Had a good jump school on Monday. Starting to see a little glimmer of hope.