It's pretty much impossible to get a distractable mare to pay attention on the lunge when you are completely ignoring her in favor of handling a iPod recording a video. Sorry about the totally AWFUL quality. Hard to see anything with her head in the area paying attention to absolutely everything except me. She is, and always has been, a giraffe on the lunge - which is why I never, EVER as a rule used to lunge her without equipment on. Talk about unproductive. Also, potentially harmful. Remember Crazy Trainer who lunged Gogo into the ground on a 12m circle for an HOUR a day in ONE direction (to the right) on uneven ground? Six days a week... for SIX MONTHS? Yep... that'll mess a young mare for life. And I wonder why the right continues to be a problem. We wonder sometimes why they break down... if they're just too weak to hold up and have some sort of genetic anomaly. In reality, WE are usually the cause for it - they'd be fine and sturdy and hardy if WE didn't mess them up so badly. The poorly conformed ones break down easily, and the tough ones still have issues if we trash them when they are young and growing. I still, to this day, blame myself for Gogo's accident. And I always will. I blame myself for her re-injuries too. I cantered her on a circle when she wasn't ready the first time. And I rode her out on the beach when she wasn't ready the second. Regardless of whether or not I thought she was ready, she wasn't. And I'm now facing a chronic injury that might result in a permanent lameness because of it.
Anyway, I digress. Here's today's footage:
It's about the same as it was the other day - noticeably lame to the left, and pretty darn good for the most part to the right.
Poor Gogo. I still don't think she injured herself because she's genetically weak, and I don't think she re-injured because of that either. I still think the blame resides with me. It would be irresponsible of me to do what so many horse owners do and blame the horse for not being able to hold up to their workload. In some cases, like with a badly conformed horse, why would a rider put them through something they won't be able to hold up to anyway? And in a well-conformed horse, that in theory SHOULD be able to hold up well under pressure, it's even sadder - how did you manage to break that thing? It's not like he chose to be lame on purpose.
Unless it's in an unrelated pasture/barn/trailer/whatever accident, the blame rests with the rider/trainer/barn manager when a horse goes lame. Disagree with me if you will, but 9 times out of 10, I fully believe that it is the human's fault in one way or another, be it through improper management, improper riding, pushing a horse too much or beyond his limit, or the like. I don't believe that "some horses just break down and that's how they are." All that does is ensure that whoever caused the problem in the first place feels better about themselves and moves the blame to the animal in question, as though it was the horse's own fault that he went lame. There is ALWAYS a reason, whether it an acute injury or repetitive damage.
Even those of us to struggle every day to do the best we can by our athletes don't always get it right.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
3 days ago