Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Part II: Hoof Face

After Pangea's successful swim session, I bathed her up, scraped her off, and tied her up outside in the sunshine to dry off. She was sparkling, shiny, and.... pawing up a huge dust cloud. Her gleaming socks? Covered in red dirt. Her gleaming coat? Dingy and crusted. Watching her digging a neverending hole to China, my frown increased. From somewhere behind me, I heard a voice chime in. "Why don't we start hobble training her?" I turned around, thought about it for a moment, and agreed. I am not a fan of hobbles - to me, they looks like tendon injuries waiting to happen - but sure, why not. She's a smart mare, what could go wrong?

Yep. Famous last words, as usual.

Pangea showed no interest in the hobbles at first. She was unphased by them flapping around her legs, touching her, and being attached to her. I was warned that horses with hobbles on for the first time do any number of things, from leaping and rearing to falling over completely (why are we doing this again?), so to just be prepared for whatever comes next. And I thought I was... and I was wrong. Without warning, she reared and struck out with both front feet, and was overtop of me before I even knew what was happening. She caught me with both front feet on the back of the head and neck on her back down. Hard.

Momentarily stunned, glasses knocked to the ground, I could only stumble out of the way as she flailed, watching my glasses get stomped repeatedly into the ground through my blurred vision. After a moment, she stopped, immediately graduating from confusion to understanding about the hobbles. I retrieved my glasses, awkwardly bent them back into place, and stood blinking for a moment. After we determined that I did not have any sort of apparent head injury, we did what any horse people would do. We continued the training session.

After only a few minutes, she was moving each leg independently, the wheels in her brain turning intelligently. As for me, I went home feeling a bit unwell with a giant goose egg on my head, broken glasses, and a few abrasions on my face and neck, but otherwise I am fine.

How about next time I try actual training instead of a shortcut in order to correct a vice? Yeah, that's a thought.

As a side note, isn't it nice that all of Gogo's old things fit Pangea?

It rained on and off for a few days and was a bit chilly last week, so she spent lots of time getting herself absolutely covered in filth everywhere that she could outside of her blanket. (At least she stayed SOMEWHAT clean under it.)

Nice mane....

And non-sarcastically, nice NECK! Looking quite a bit better already, don't you think?

And there are STILL more updates to come!!


  1. Wow, what a nice improvement on her neck. This is one gorgeous horse.

    I'm glad your accident wasn't more serious. My heart rate's up just reading about it.

  2. Jeepers Andrea - flailing hooves and human head => flailing human. I'm glad you got out of that okay, it's like she thought to return the favour and hobble you right back!

    But yes, it is nice at least to see her neck filling in already - all the more power to squash you next time! >_o

  3. Oh my! I am glad you are ok. She really is looking good. Can't wait for the next update.

  4. It's amazing what all that slow and steady walking can do for fitness! She's starting to look great! Glad you're okay young lady!

  5. That was scary! I'm glad to hear that you're OK.

    She's looking really good... well, minus the mud, of course. ;)

  6. Wow, I am glad that she figured it out, but sometimes helmets are good for ground training too! The unexpected always happens so fast, doesn't it! So glad there is no permanent damage.

    I think hobbles are actually quite useful in certain situations and it's good rope training for a horse, so they don't freak out when their legs get stuck, so I think you did accomplish something there.

  7. Wow her neck looks awesome already! She is so beautiful!

    Glad you are ok! That same kind of situation happened to a friend recently and she woke up hours later on the floor of her barn with no idea of what had happened.

  8. How are you getting her neck to look that good? Laz is cursed w/ an Ewe neck for life I'm convinced.

  9. Her neck looks great!

    So glad that you weren't seriously injured. Looking forward to more Pangea updates!

  10. Yeah, I figure that in Texas while out trail riding, the last thing I want to have happen is to get her legs tangled in a piece of barbed wire that I didn't see and then have her freak out. I'd rather she stand still!!

  11. We practice ground tying pretty regularly. You wouldn't know it from the way Kid fidgets while getting his hooves trimmed, but he ground ties great. I think hobbles would be great thing to have on the trail for those quiet picnics in 110 degree Texas summers when you don't want to chance having to run after your horse. ;)

    Pangea looks like she's putting on some muscle and looks great!

  12. Hobble training can be useful in certain situations... I know a lot of trail riders who do it, makes life a lot easier when you have nothing to tie to. Or, one time when I was working a charity trail ride, which was ride first, fancy lunch after, a lot of people hobbled their horses beside their trailers so the horses could graze and drink still, just not go anywhere.

  13. Your story telling made me laugh out loud...

    But glad you're okay!

  14. I would not be brave enough to try to hobble train a horse I had any sort of investment in (emotional or financial). I understand the whole learning to stay calm if tangled up~ but the chances of them flipping and permanent injury, falling and permanent/serious injury would personally scare me too much to try.

    Glad Pangea figured it all out safely (for her, anyway ;-)

    My Swede/TB got tangled in vines on the trail. He stopped and waited for me to fix things. He was accustomed to ropes, etc, near his legs and feet.

  15. I second everything Bif said. Took the words right out of my mouth. I got lucky too in that Chrome seems to already understand not to panic when tangled. Anyway I'm glad you're okay. Sorry it went so poorly.

    Wow, her neck is looking amazing!! What a difference already. :D