Radar’s Story (Part 3) Great Ride Outs or Not

While I continued to heal my broken elbow, we decided to send Radar to my trainer’s barn to continue his training with her. He quickly became one of the favorites there. Always anxious to go out and work, Kate was riding him twice a day instead of just once. She told me that, while he seemed to really enjoy working, he would have these trembling melt-downs after about a half hour, so she felt getting him out for shorter sessions more often was better than one longer daily session. He never did anything bad, he would just stop and tremble. Something was clearly up with my boy, but there were no really obvious explanations. He was still slightly off at times, but was now sporting a full set of shoes for support and no one really thought that anything major was amiss.

About three months later, I was finally given the go ahead to get back on my horse and my first few rides on Radar were fabulous. Because I was planning on using him as a trail horse, we began hacking out on the trails around Kate’s property. I had a few glorious trail rides on my boy before we decided it was time to bring him back home. One last lesson was planned in the outdoor arena where the trail course obstacles had been set up. Radar traversed tarps, a bridge, around barrels and through balloons. He was doing great. When we approached one of the tarps from the opposite direction, Radar suddenly stopped. Kate grabbed his bridle to lead him across and he dug in his heels. All of a sudden, it happened again: his rear legs flew above his head and I was thrown hard into the sand of Kate’s arena. My boy dropped his head to me as I moaned and said, “No, Radar. Not again.” He truly looked sorry.

Kate helped me to my feet and said, “Are you okay? There was no reason for that. I think something is terribly wrong with this horse. I am so sorry. ”

I was okay. This time I escaped with just a bad case of whiplash. I would heal again. My most pressing thought at this point was what was up with Radar. What could possibly be causing him to explode so unexpectedly and uncharacteristically? He had been in solid training for three months now and hadn’t bucked once. The next day I packed up my horse and brought him back to our barn. We definitely had some more work to do.

Return next week for more of Radar’s story.


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Shelley Headley

I was born in Oregon in 1960. My father was in sales most of his life and we found ourselves living in Ohio, Connecticut, and Michigan before I returned to the Pacific NW, moving onto a small island in the middle of Puget Sound, in 1986. This is where I finally settled down and now happily live on a small boarding farm, Cedar Valley Stables, where we tend to our horses, several English Labrador retrievers, assorted cats, birds, and a flock of wild turkeys. Our store, VI Horse Supply, Inc., was founded in 1998 on Vashon Island. We started our store out of necessity—there were no feed stores located on this Island. We quickly added hay from eastern Washington, feed from Nutrena, and basically went crazy from there. We now represent and carry products from these fine distributors: Cargill-Nutrena Feeds, LMF Feeds, Standlee Hay Products, Manna Pro, and Mid Valley Milling. Horse blankets and sheets from Horseware, Ireland anchor our horse clothing line. Horze Equestrian and Outback Trading Company keep our customers stylish no matter what they’re up to. Products from Uckele Health and Nutrition form the basis of our supplement recommendation protocol, but we also carry nutritional supplements from Cox Veterinary Labs, Animed, and Select, plus others.

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