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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wild Woman!

It's been one week since our huge distaster on the lunge, and seeing as it's Wednesday and lunge day, I figured it was time to revisit the issue. Since my chambon is obviously broken, I asked if Vicki had one I could borrow, and she did. Well, it's NOT the same as my own - hers is a piece of string with a nylon strap attached to it. That's it. I had to use double-ended snaps to clip it to my surcicle, that's how barebones the whole thing was. But at the same time, I liked how it didn't have any give. Going to the left anyway.

Yes, going to the left Gogo was quite exceptional. She was almost exceptional going to the right too, but given the fact that she didn't go outside today due to the HUGE ICE STORM that dumped sleet on us all day, she was feeling a little uppity and made a huge leap into the canter near the end of the workout, just because she was fresh. (This was the direction she panicked going last week, I might add.) She hit the chambon, which was NOT forgiving like mine is, and totally lost it for a minute - bolted straight backwards with mouth agape against it and almost fell over, then galloped off for a few panicked laps around me before I could drag her into the middle of my circle to stop her (there were no downward transitions in this runaway moment, I just had to figure out a way to stop!). I stopped her, lowered her head, stood there and let her chill out for a few minutes, then walked and trotted again. And we did BIG TROT... big, worried trot. We also did some big, worried canter, but after a few minutes of quiet transitions, she settled into it a little better, and calmed down. I just wanted to make sure she was relaxed and not thinking about last week's incident, or whatever else she was thinking about that was worrying her, and we finally got a few good sneezes and a loose and swinging back, if only for a few ending minutes. Back in the barn, when I went to pick the arena dirt out of her feet, I found that in her moment of panic, she had ripped one of her back ergots clean off... CLEAN OFF! In its place was a big, raw, open fleshy area that was not bloody but definitely oozy. Oh Gogo....

These moments of hotness, irrationality and flight behavior are really cropping up as of late. In all honesty, I think I really have to be downright honest and blame the Ultium for it. I LOVE how she looks on the Ultium. I LOVE how her topline is filling out. I do NOT love that this is a really high-octane feed and is definitely contributing to her irrational acting out. She's a wild thing and always has been, that's for sure, but she's REALLY been acting out rather violently when something worries her or she doesn't understand something. I mean tonight, just for that brief time, she REALLY blew up. She almost ripped my arm off tearing away from the pressure on her mouth and poll. And she's been HOT lately. REALLY, REALLY HOT. I like the forward energy, I just don't like the explosions that seem to be coming with it.

But here's the other problem. WHAT kind of grain would I switch her to? Do I even want to switch at all? Will she calm down in the summer when it's hotter? Will she be wilder? Is she too fit? Is she not getting enough work? Is it this, is it that? I don't know.

Tomorrow, dressage. Friday, dressage. Saturday, off. Sunday, JUMPIE!

Lazy, lazy lunger.


STB Eventer said...

There is XTN by Nutrena. I believe that is a comparable feed to Ultium.

Question on the you adjust it so she must always be long and low? Reading about your success with it, I have dug up mine to use on my STB mare. :)

Now That's A Trot! said...

When I worked at a dressage barn most of the horses there got Ultium. Some got Strategy, some got a mix of the two. I did notice a lot of them were hot and spooky like you described, but I just attributed it to them being, well, dressage horses.

I have to say I'm not much of a fan of Purina feeds anymore, and I would second STB Eventer's suggestion of XTN. I haven't seen it at work personally, but I did have a rep suggest it to me when I mentioned "our" horses were on Ultium. (The current farm feeds Pacemaker, which seems to be a local brand.) Back in NJ my boy thrived on a mix of two Southern States feeds.

STB Eventer said...

OK, I love analyzing feeds so I looked up the Grow N Win you used to feed. It is 32% protein, 5% fat, and 5% fiber.

I would not personally feed Purina or Nutrena (and this is from someone who did feed Nutrena for 12years....) I know you were stuck because there is no Buckeye products here in the Northeast.

Anyway, I really like Triple Crown. I checked their website quickly and they carry something called 30% Supplement. It has 30% protein, 3%fat, and 4% fiber. Sounds similar to your Grow N Win???

Alighieri said...

I second the Triple Crown in that area. You can get it in varying levels of protein, which is how I adjusted the energy levels when I lived in MD.

I'm assuming that you are already feeding her the minimum amount of grain that you want to be feeding here. My boy always gets backed off his grain in the winter because he gets more pumped up. Summer drains him and makes him burn calories so his feed goes up then.

DressageInJeans said...

Third the Triple Crown! They seem to do so much more research then Purina, and it's what my colt gets now (and he used to be on Purina junior)[side-side note. Apparently, purina had 'questionable', non-horse things in it's feed. Can't remember what, just remember that it happened, and I've steered clear since, lol.]. Also, anything that gives the same vit/min/nutrients etc and comes in a pelleted feed... takes the sugar right out of everything. Woo.

Also, I am usually against draw reins, etc, but the chambon really DOES allow the horse to stretch. I might work with Clyde in it when he gets off of 'rehab' to help at the canter, since he finds it so hard to stretch there. Might be better to learn without me there. ;)

Andrea said...

Yeah, I hate Purina personally. The ONLY reason she's on the Ultium is because it is their ONLY feed with research that has gone into it and the ONLY feed that doesn't have 'grain byproducts' on the bag - it actually lists ALL the ingredients and has an accurate crude analysis (although that's kind of an oxymoron). She's on their RB right now though and I DON'T like it. At all.

Is the XTN another high octane feed? If it's the sugars that are making her go nuts, then I don't really know that the Complete has that much lower of an NCS value. Here's the other problem... as a VERY POOR working student, I do appreciate when I do not have to buy my own grain. If I can stick to something they offer here, it would make my life a lot easier - hence the Complete. Believe me, I'd have Buckeye shipping in from afar otherwise!