Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Despooking and the Chiro Man

I've been a bad blogger this week because I've been out having too much fun with my horse and not enough time sitting behind a computer! You would too if you were enjoying the magnificent Texas springtime... I'm enjoying it while I can before summer comes and we all retreat to our air-conditioned buildings!

Last weekend our facility hosted a despook clinic and subsequent playday for those people wanting to go through our obstacle course on a timed and judged basis. This is the ultimate terrifying insanely crazy hard 4-acre obstacle course:

A few of the obstacles included: flapping tarps hanging from the side of the shed that you had to walk through, a carwash made of construction tape, flapping flags, a waterbox with neon colored floating balls in it, a teeter totter, boxes you had to get up and off of, tires you had to negotiate, a squeeze chute made of upright tarps that had pieces of hose scattered on the ground as footing, things tied to ropes that you had to drag, a carwash made of pool noodles, a bump gate that your horse had to push through, another push-through made of pool noodles, pinwheels, and a whole lot more. During the clinic, they even set off firecrackers and smoke bombs as part of the despooking process! (Don't worry, everyone did great!)

I brought Pangea over to check out the course on Sunday evening, and finally as the sun was setting, we had our chance to get on the course and see what she'd make of it. I didn't bother running it with the other folks in a timed way, just in case something freaked her out and she tried to kill me. (I truthfully had NO IDEA what she was going to do when she saw everything!) She gave me a nice prelude when I walked her up to the gigantic ball that was used during the clinic, and she didn't even bother to sniff it because it was so boring:

Once on the course, she did AMAZING. AMAAAAAAZING. Flags smacking her in the face in the strong winds? No big deal. Tarps flapping on her head? Whatever. Teeter-totter bridge... at a trot? Psh, I've seen scarier. Squeeze chute made of tarps that was touching her on both sides? That's cool. Pool noodle bump gate and carwash? I'll halt and stand immobile so you can snap a picture for all your friends to see:

What is the ONE thing she WOULD NOT under ANY circumstances do?

The water. The most benign thing out there. Of course. Wade through a 4' river the weekend before? Piece of cake! Puddle of muddy water in a small box? LAKE LOCH NESS. Won't go near it.

The ONE thing I was sure she wouldn't give a dang about... and she would. Not. Do it.
We tried until it was dark, to no avail. She just said no, and I didn't have enough time or light to finish pushing the issue. Instead, we trotted through the rest of the entire course. That's right, trotted! Just ran around 4 acres over teeter-totters, boxes, bridges, squeeze chutes, and a million flapping and rustling things flying around in the air. Dang, I shoulda done the playday! We woulda beat 95% of the people there! I think she went through it better than most everyone else!

Seriously, what a gem. I can't believe how "whatev" she was about everyone. She seriously did NOT care!

Sunday evening, I left Pangea to stay over at the work farm, and on Monday morning she got her customary AquaTread session and Theraplate. She is working now for 3 minutes as a power walk, 9 minutes at a maxed out trot, and 3 more minutes at a power walk to finish, plus her warmup and cooldown. She works out strong in the pool, and is only getting stronger and better. I think I'll stick with this routine for awhile, seeing as I like how the powerwalk pushes her out of her typical speedy little walk and encourages her to really stretch out and lengthen her stride more. Gogo had a huge rolling walk, but was lazy, and Pangea is the opposite: she has a HUGE motor on her but her stride length is shorter and less rolling than Gogo's. It's a nice pure 4-beat walk, to be sure, but the more we stretch out into it and let it roll, the better she does.

Pangea spent another night over at the work farm on Monday night, and on Tuesday, the chiropractor was out to work on her and a number of other horses. I have no idea when the last time she ever saw a chiropractor was, but if it was ever, it was years ago. What kinds of horrible things was he going to find on her?

Nothing. Pretty much nothing of interest was to be found on her. She had some minor lumber issues, some small stuff freed up in her neck and withers, and her right hip was a bit out. And.... that's about it.

Every single other horse adjusted got follow-up appointments, ultrasound and pool prescriptions, and instructions for rest. As for my girl? Give her a few days of just bareback hacking, and then get back to work. Easy!

How about that huh. Simple, simple, and simple.

Oh, and then a whole crapload of tornados came.

That was the view from the pool barn where I was swimming horses. We thought it wasn't going to hit us... and mostly it didn't, it passed over us and dropped about a minute's worth of scary hail on us, and then was gone. We didn't bring the horses in because we thought it was going to pass, and from the pool barn window I saw Pangea get nailed by a rouge hailstone and rear STRAIGHT up in air.... poor baby! I felt awful, but it was over in about 30 seconds, and she was back to eating her hay.

The storm that went over us went on to produce a tornado and completely destroy a large area right in the middle of the Metroplex (the area between Dallas and Fort Worth, a hugely populated area), decimating houses and tossing tractor trailers in the air like they were toys. There were over a dozen tornados in all, and hundreds of homes in the DFW area were completely leveled. Amazingly - no, miraculously - no one was killed or seriously injured. Thankfully these storms happened in the middle of the day on a weekday, so most of the inhabitants of the homes destroyed were at work or school. It's just awful that this had to happen in one of the most populated areas in the state of Texas.... you just don't hear of this kind of damage happening in the middle of a major city very often.

But we're all safe and sound, thankfully! We survived a terrifying obstacle course, a chiro adjustment, and some crazy tornados.... go us!!


  1. Glad to have a new update! Love tracking your adventures as often you inspire me in my own. I noticed you wrote "Gogo" when you meant "Pangea"...has Gogo been on your mind more than normal lately? I know you are enjoying your time with your new project, but I also know Gogo is in your heart. Still thinking of you and admiring your strength through this enire process.

  2. Ooooo you're right I did... yes she's been on my mind a lot lately.

  3. P is so pretty. I can't wait to hear more as you two progress.

    Looking forward to seeing her form over a fence.

  4. So glad you're okay. I heard about those crazy ass storms and I immediately thought about you and wondered. Then haven't really been near FB long enough lately to check anything out.

  5. That looks like it was an amazing day and I am so glad that you made it through the storms in one piece.

  6. There's never a chance to get bored, is there?! So glad you were all safe through those tornadoes, they were all over the news here and just looked insane.

    But gosh this horse is turning out to be a pure gem, isn't she - I'm so glad everything's going well, you must be wanting to pinch yourself!

  7. Those tornadoes are insane! Glad everyone is okay.

  8. Wow, sounds like you had a bit of a rough time with those tornadoes, glad everyone is a-okay! :)

    What a good girl for going through that obstacle course like such a lady. :) About the puddle thing... My last horse, Bella, would go through a water crossing at schoolings no problem but if there was a puddle on the ground, she'd do most anything to avoid it. Sometime's they're just silly that way. :P

    Come check out my blog at I took the winter off because I was in the process of selling my horse and buying a new one, but now that it's all sorted out I can blog about it again. :) So feel free to stop by!

  9. Sounds like she was just amazing at the obstacle course! Good Pony! As for the mud puddles, I have one that positively relishes water on XC, but will dance around an actual puddle. I guess "real" water is just better than some old icky puddle?

  10. Yuck on the storms. I hate tornadoes!! I'm glad no one was killed or injured.

    Wow, she's a champ for nailing that obstacle course so well. What a girl! Also glad her chiro session went so well.