Now I was home, it was time to look in detail at what had happened – time to conduct a ‘Horse Crash Investigation’! I felt up to it mentally. Since I’d been home I had noticed that the ‘jangly’ feeling had left my body. I put it down to the healing powers of the New Zealand environment. Was it that the trauma had left my body? It was wonderful to live without it.
Now…. the fall…..
I already knew how many mistakes I had made. First, the obvious ones –
WHAT I DIDN’T DO!
Teach Ducati how to take treats when I was sitting on him.
Realise he struggled to swing his head far enough to take them
Have a ‘person on the ground’ who could give him a treat initially and we could then transfer the process to me giving it to him from the saddle.
Prepare myself!!! – I hadn’t addressed ‘the hip issue’ and I wasn’t riding fit. I’d spent so long preparing him and never prepared myself.
All these contributed – but there was a big one I missed… or ignored.
WHAT I DID DO!
I ignored something I had observed for some time – because I ‘assumed’.
When I touched Ducati’s wither area he would throw his head up. This is something that has been happening for some years. I first noticed it when I would rug him in the stable – however at that time Saadi was in the stable next to him. They don’t get on – and he would often throw his head up during the altercation.
I wrongly assumed it was a habit. When I experimented touching him – he didn’t react when I was on his right side – only on the left side. This was something that should have made the alarm bells ring. But hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!
Here is a video of me touching him which shows the difference in the left and right side.
I thought about this after the accident. Maybe he had sore withers from previous poor saddle fit. When my equine vet, Oliver, came for his annual visit, I got him to thoroughly check out Ducati. He found a problem – but not from saddle fit – it was in front of the wither – and related to the ‘dent’ on his rump on the left. Oliver said this was from an accident – likely when he was very young.
He said to me “He was okay – until he wasn’t. Don’t ride him again. He can’t do it.”
And there was the missing piece to the puzzle!
When Ducati first came here, I was suspicious of the dent in the rump area. I also wondered why his owner had brought him all the way to this particular sale when she lived far away. I then remembered, when Emma fell off all those years before, the hind seemed to collapse for a second…
And it probably explained his reluctance years previously when lunging – how he would suddenly stop – back away – and start to rear up.
However over the years he had been ridden successfully, always quite gently. There had been rides in the forest – and at some clinics – where he was fine.
So this had become worse over the years since he was last ridden.
Once again I started to beat myself up. Why had I ignored him throwing his head up when I touched the wither area? Why had I assumed it was a habit? I felt terrible.
Oliver also told me that the Performance Horse Sale that ran for many years was finally closed down – because so many horses were being presented with some injury. The backlash from buyers finally ended the sale. I had no idea.
I always trust people. I think they will do the right thing. It makes me sad – and sad that these injured horses are put through their paces so the owner can earn a few extra dollars. I was an inexperienced buyer – but I doubt anyone would have picked it up on the day.
However I’m glad Ducati came here. He was meant to come here. He opened me up to animal communication. He was the first horse I ever ‘heard’. Here is a link to that post Part 10 – Can Horses Talk? He has brought me great joy…. and so it was meant to be.
So I then asked him ‘ “Why didn’t you tell me you were hurting?” …. he replied – “It’s not important – nothing really – it’s irrelevant”. I said “It’s not irrelevant!” He was quiet….. then I felt something.
Now I will explain – over the years – when I have tuned into either people or animals – I sometimes get a ‘feeling’ – it may not come as words – I might get an incredible sadness – or joy – or I can feel something they aren’t even aware of.
At this moment I got one of these feelings from Ducati – and it broke my heart. He had hidden it well – in his mind he had been rejected when young. He had to endure so he wasn’t rejected again. He thought I would reject him.
When I got this feeling I told him – I said to him that he was still so very important to me. We could still play games – I would just never attempt to ride him again!! I would never get rid of him. I was in his pen with him as this was happening. He stood quietly in the corner. He is such a proud horse. There was a gentle lowering of his head. I hugged him and then let him be with his thoughts.
I was so glad I had found this out.
COMING UP – THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!!!
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