Chewbacca means COW?!

Well, I’ve been so busy this whole month, I will be grateful for when it is over.  Going to the barn every day has been great, if not time consuming, and while I enjoy being at the barn and checking up on the horses, I’m running out of daylight in the evenings to get my photo-a-day now, and it’s just getting tough!  Thankfully there’s only 3 more days and words left.  I already did today’s word this morning, it was an image I was able to do at home.

Just one more weekday to either go to the  barn in the morning and hope for an image, or scramble there after work and pray I get something before darkness sets in.  I hate the short days… mostly because I feel like I get up when it’s dark and get out of work when it’s dark and it’s cold!!!


I am looking forward to moving Chewbacca, whose name I found out in Spanish means COW…… LOL!!!!!  Here we were naming him after a science fiction character and the Mexican workers at the barn were cracking up when they found out his name and when we asked why they said because it means cow.  I guess Chewbacca does look a little like a yak or something (the Star Wars Chewbacca, not my lovely and beautiful Chewie!)

Anyway… I am looking forward to moving him to my trainer’s barn. I’ve managed, although I am still not quite sure how, to save up enough for 1 month board.  And that only took me nearly 3 months to do.  LOL.  Needless to say, I will not be boarding Chewie there the whole winter, but I am looking forward to the 1 month pre-winter break boot camp.

Although I have some great concerns about it.  Right now I feel like everything I am doing with Chewbacca is wrong.  When he got injured 2 weeks ago, I kept him on stall rest for days and just handwalked him, and his fetlock kept swelling up and going back down, swelling up and going back down.  Vet said to just put him back outside, that it would be better for him.  So I did and his fetlock went down and has now stayed down.

So I rode him last week at the walk and trotted the long sides a couple times and he was great.  Better than great.  Perfectly wonderfully sound and really “reachy” with his front legs and neck.  A few days later I took him for a trail ride, and he was fine.  We just walked, and other than sinking into the mud, we had no problems.

With what was probably the last decent out-door riding day for the rest of this season on Monday, I rode Chewie in the arena and when I asked him to trot, he felt lame to me.  He quickly worked out of it and felt fine, until I reversed directions and asked him to trot again and once more he felt lame.  He was not moving forward well and had no motivation to do anything.  The arena had gotten rained on for 2 days, so the footing was mushy, too. 

When I asked him to canter, he took off into a beautiful, perfect canter to the right.  Maybe it was a little slow, but he was round and working well.  To the left, I could not get him to take his correct lead at all, and he seemed to throw his head up and resist a bit. 

This has all happened before, but I attributed that to the saddle not fitting well.  Now I’ve got a new saddle that fit him fine and the fact that I am having these issues makes me very concerned that either my riding is ruining him or he’s still having an issue with that left hind leg. 

It could be that the footing was just wet and he didn’t want to go.  He might have been having a bad day.  It could be that I suck totallly as a rider and fitted saddle or not, still ruin my horses with total consistency.  It might be this or that or what I don’t know.

So Tuesday I had the vet look at him and he said he was sound.  The vet recommended that I bring the horse to the trainer’s barn and see if he goes better in dry, indoor arena footing, and that if he still seems to be having trouble, I can call him.

 I was hoping to try to get to ride Chewie again between now and then just to see if he’s better worse or the same, but with the weather doing what it’s doing, I don’t think I’ll be able.

So I am worried about bringing him to the show barn, spending all my hard-saved money and not being able to ride, and I am concerned that putting him into a 3-4 day a week program and jumping him 1 maybe even 2 days a week will be too much.  I half way want to just use a crop to him because when he moves out, he feels fine, and I’ve said from the start he’s lazy with the hind end.  But I don’t want to crop him forward and force him if there’s something that I am doing wrong.

I run around in circles in my head like this until I make myself sick. … this is what I do to myself all day.  Stress about my riding.  It all seems so pointless since it’s not like I show anymore.  Heck, after November, I’m not even sure I’ll be able to take lessons anymore either, because I have no way of getting myself back and forth with the trailer.

I idly asked my dad to buy me a Nissan Xterra the other day.  LOL.  Like that would EVER happen.  EVER.  I guess you would have to know my dad and my childhood to know how unrealistically impossible that request was.  But my Jeep is 12 years old, pushing 190,000 miles, and is only a V6.  I feel that if I use it to pull the trailer with the horse back and forth, I’ll break down and ruin the Jeep.  Since getting a new car is something totally impossible for me, my Jeep has to live forever.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.  I just want to worry about this weekend.  My plan is this… (we’ll see how it actually plays out)….

On Sunday afternoon  I want to get my husband to bring me to my trainer’s barn for a lesson. (Huge issue right there – a Sunday ?  Asking my husband to go out on a Sunday is like pulling teeth.  He’d rather have a route canal that go anywhere on a Sunday, especially to take me to a riding lesson).  He told me I’d have to do it on Saturday morning instead, but my issue with doing that on Saturday is that Chewie (if he stays at the trainer’s barn) would then be inside the rest of Saturday, all of Sunday, and all of Monday, since they don’t turn out on the weekends or Mondays.  So I would have to pay extra just to get him turned out on Sunday, when he could just stay at our place until Sunday before I take him over there for a lesson.

The reason I want a lesson is to evaluate him with my trainer and see how it goes.  If it looks I’m doing something wrong with him that she can correct, he’ll stay and I’ll have her ride him and continue with lessons to teach me to ride him properly.  If it looks like he’s having an issue with his leg or something, he’ll leave right away and not board there at all and I’ll get the vet out and he’ll just get an extra month off for the winter.

So to me it makes sense to do it that way.  I really wish I could ride him before hand and see what he does, but then again, I am also reluctant to ride him without my trainer on hand in case I’m totally screwing him up.

I hate not having confidence in my own riding anymore.  How is it that people push their horses, or ride them harshly, or make them work no matter what, and those horses just roll right along and do it (maybe they don’t always like it, but they do it), and I try to be uber-careful about what I do and how much and how often, and end up with horses I cant’ ride.  Maybe I should just put spurs on and tell Chewie I dont’ give  a F*** if he’s got pain, just work through it. 

Seriously, I see bad riders ALL THE TIME. People who rip their horses mouths apart to teh point where they are bleeding… people who use harsh bits, spurs, or just in general have very poor position in the saddle or use of aides, and the horses still go forth and work.  W- T – F ????

Well, I guess we’ll see where the next few days gets us.


About kshai1715

I am a lifelong equestrian, photography enthusiast, sci-fi lover, and sci-fi convention & costuming geek that also loves movies and video games. I am a hard working 30 something woman that survived cancer and am looking forward to a long, healthy, self-empowered life. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my horses (and the rest of my life) as much as I like writing about them.
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6 Responses to Chewbacca means COW?!

  1. silverpony says:

    honestly it might just be the footing. i know at least when i was there, i was afraid to do serious work in the arena with luna on a regular basis because the footing was awful. he might also still be sore from his earlier injury? try not to freak out. is he sore on a particular leg? luna is stiff on one side of her body and i have SUCH a hard time getting the left lead out of her – maybe it could just be he isn’t as balanced on one side as the other? or maybe he’s not getting the proper nutrition to give him the energy to go forward? maybe its time to call the vet?? at least, thats what i would do.
    i hope everything works out!! xxxx

    • kshai1715 says:

      The vet was out on Tuesday and gave him a clean “bill of soundness”. LOL. Freaking out is the one thing I’m good at. Chewbacca is generally un-forward (except at shows, lol). If anything, he is a little less flexible to the right, but really he’s mostly very supple both ways. But after my experiences with Spyder and all the others, I am paranoid about every little thing in the world.

      • silverpony says:

        well thats good! he sounds like he is in excellent hands with you. try to relax and don’t be nervous, i’m sure your horse picks up on that! and by the way, ‘vaca’ means cow in spanish haha…so maybe they misheard ‘bacca’ for vaca? hehehe either way thats cute! how are things at the barn going? ill be home for thanksgiving and i wanted to get together with some of you guys for lunch or coffee or something

  2. Shannon says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Horses can be off for lots of reasons. Maybe he laid down and torqued a muscle when he got up, who knows. If he doesn’t want to canter go back to the walk. There are tons of things you can do at the walk that will make the other gaits better. Bending, for one.

    Don’t ride your horse in a manner you don’t agree with just because everyone else does it. They are basically just lucky their horses haven’t broken down YET. Treat Chewie with the respect and kindness he deserves and he’ll be a better partner to you than all those poor horses being abused. I hate seeing people do that, it makes my convictions NOT to treat my horses that way so much stronger.

    The trainer’s barn doesn’t turn out over the weekend or Mondays? That’s just weird.

    • kshai1715 says:

      The no turn-out thing is pretty typical around here for the show barns. On the weekends most of them don’t turn out and many show barns are closed on Mondays. It’s pretty common around here. I would never really ride Chewie hard or aggressively. I never have ridden any horse like that. I just makes me wonder how I can have so many problems by trying to do everything right and other people can be just violently bad about their riding and seem to have no unexpected problems. I miss the days I used to jump 4′ and knew how to ride. I can barely believe I’m the same person, because that just seems like something so far out of reach anymore…..

  3. Kaybee says:

    Chebacca doesn’t mean “cow.”

    Vaca, which has a similar pronunciation to “bacca” does mean cow.

    But Chewbacca doesn’t mean anything in Spanish.

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