Sienna is one of the safest horses we have for groundwork, but right now, she’s one of the most dangerous to ride. In groundwork, she is soft and willing, and pretty enjoyable to work with. But when being ridden—especially if she gets tight or scared—she can start bucking. Sienna is bothered by things touching her sides, like the stirrups or the cinch. She gets scared, and then tries to evade what she fears by bucking. Terry continues to chip away at Sienna’s trouble to help her excavate her issues and get more comfortable with being touched on her sides. She’s also working with Sienna to have freedom while backing up, especially when backing in an arc, something that has been a challenge for this mare in the past.

To rule out a medical reason for her hind and cinch area sensitivity, we sent Sienna to the vet hospital for an exam to check for ulcers. The results of the scope were negative, so we’re glad to know that she isn’t experiencing pain. But her sensitivity remains a behavioral challenge that we want to overcome. Sienna remains a puzzle, but she’s such a nice mare, we don’t completely mind taking the time to figure her out.