Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Whoot! Whoot! Winston!!

I had a lesson on Winston tonight after work. He.was.AWESOME.

Sandy started giving Winston Previcox (for pain and soreness associated with his hard work) last weekend and ulcer paste on Monday. She noticed a big improvement when she worked him Monday. He didn't throw any tantrums. He was happy to go to work.

When I mounted Winston tonight, I felt happy energy underneath me; not a coiled spring ready to explode with the slightest provocation.

Tuesday, Sandy told me Winston was not only happy to work but he was also willing to try new requests; even when they weren't easy. He was also relaxed in the cross ties while being groomed and tacked up.

Winston carried himself in a lovely frame tonight. I didn't have to do more than keep my elbows soft and squeeze the reins now and then to communicate a change in pace. While doing shoulder-in on the long side, Sandy told me to ask for more angle by tapping him with the whip. (What???!!!) She said he would give me more if I asked. So I did and Winston did a lovely reaching side-stepping line down the rail. I told him he was amazing and he flicked an ear at me. He probably wiggled his lips too but I couldn't see.

Tuesday after work I drove in the rain to the barn to visit Winston. He saw me coming and met me at the stall door, bright eyed and happy. I groomed him and then we walked in the rain. I had my hood up and listened to the ping-plop of rain drops on my head while Winston ripped at the green grass with his teeth. After ten minutes, he sighed deeply and blew softly. He was completely content while we worked our way down the grassy aisle. The barn was deserted - it was late so the trainers were all gone for the day and boarders don't come out in the rain. Except for me.

Back to tonight. After Winston and I did our amazing shoulder-in, Sandy asked me if I wanted to canter. I was non-committal. She took that as "yes." We reviewed the steps (get him in a good frame and balanced, sit a few steps, then ask for canter) and she directed me to hook my inside thumb through the bucking strap. She said it was so my hand would stay steady and I could better follow with a soft elbow. I wasn't sure I believed her but I did as I was told... and asked for canter. He kept the frame and just cruised into a lovely relaxed and balanced canter. Sandy said it was the best transition she's seen us do -- and if we could do it going the other direction, we would be done with our lesson. So, we aced it. I slid off, told Winston he was a rock star, and gave him a handful of cookies.


  1. I thought it might be pain that was causing his issues - that sort of consistent behavior is usually the horse trying desperately to tell us something. I suspect the ulcers are the real issue, but time will tell.

    Be a bit careful with the previcox. It's very popular right now and is being used a lot, and sometimes not appropriately. It can mask serious pain, and also should be used if at all possible on a very short term basis only. If it's needed long-term - say to keep a pasture pet comfortable, monitoring is needed because it can cause organ damage.

  2. Oh, and I meant to add that it must be wonderful to have your horse back - and to canter!

  3. awesome! so glad he is feeling better again (and you, too!)

  4. <3 this post. SO GLAD Winston is in a happier place!

  5. Now that is some good news! You must be on cloud 9. Big hugs to Winston.

  6. Yes ! Glad Winston is feeling good and performing well. Congrats to you both.

  7. Good for Winston, and good for you and Sandy!


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