Tessa was actually dirty when I went to get her cleaned up before the saddle fitter arrived. She's the cleanest gray horse I've ever owned so it was funny to see half of her face covered with a large mud splotch. She got a good curry and it all came off thankfully.
"What's she doing?", the saddle fitter asked.
"She's sucking in air wherever she can get it" quipped Laila, Tessa's other rider.
Laila has been riding Tessa for me on an as needed basis. She's a super good rider and really likes Tessa. She's also much cheaper than a trainer AND she's willing to do things like help clip her back feet and get her used to the wash rack.
Here's my training question of the day. Tessa gets big giant chunks of disgustingness in her teats. The last few days she's been going around whipping her tail between her legs or holding it straight up. She is very polite about letting me clean out her butt and bits under her tail, but when I even get back behind her belly she lifts a leg. I'm afraid to keep my hand there because she kicks up at her belly. I worked a bit today on just resting my hand there and if she snapped her leg, I gave her a smack. She got better, but I was nowhere near her teats.
Laila tried to get some of it out by having our trainer hold up a front leg while she went back and worked. Even with a front leg up though, Tessa is an athletic girl and does her best to kick out anyway. So we got some of the stuff out, but not enough. I really need her to let me get in there on a regular basis and clean it out. I have to do under her tail every few days or the build up gets nasty, so I can only imagine how her teats must be. Every time we've cleaned them (only three or four times over this last year) she has had giant chunks come out.
Does anyone have experience with this? Suggestions on an easier way to do it? I know that I can (and will) spend every day moving a teeny tiny bit farther in, but I can't wait another year for her to get okay with this. How do you teach your horses to let you touch them ALL over. And how do you stay safe? Tessa is very uncomfortable around her hind end and still gets defensive about it. I don't want to get kicked. She's come a long way in the past year. She used to kick whenever you'd go near her hind legs. She now will let you brush them and pick them up and only tries to snatch them away occasionally. So, we have made progress, but I really want to help her discomfort with the stuff that I think is lurking in her nether regions (did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did. It's like Mommy Bloggers talking about poop. I can't help it.). Any insights you guys can give me would be great. Or stories about mares who had similar problems.