Sunday, August 14, 2011

On this day in 2010....

Tommy and I went out on a short ride on Wednesday evening.  He started out a bit off, but worked out of it. We rode around the the fields.  He was having difficulty in one area where the ground sloped slightly, taking short strides in front and just generally being very careful with his steps.  It wasn't a long stretch, maybe a few hundred feet, but apparently it was long enough.  Since then he's been lame on the right front.

The right front is the one with the worst ring bone and side bone on the xrays.  Saturday evening he seemed less stiff, but I went ahead and gave him three grams of Bute.  I guess the good news is that his left hoof is healing well enough that the other leg can hurt.  I

We have a new farrier starting this week.  He seems very knowledgeable on draft horses and is currently working with several with ringbone.  He had some great suggestions about different shoes, pads, and trimming.  I'll pick up another tube of Bute from the vet this week so that I can get it into his system before the farrier appointment.  That seemed to make a real difference in his comfort level the last time the farrier was out.  I'm excited to see what the hoof looks like now.

Facebook just told me that on this day in 2010 I posted that Tommy's new bridle just arrived and I couldn't wait to try it on him.  I hope next year Facebook will tell me that on this day in 2011 I posted Tommy's very last lameness episode.

Friday, August 12, 2011

For Sale

Today I was able to get some pictures of the Fabtron Endurance saddle that I'm listing for sale.  This was General's saddle, and it's never fit Tommy properly.  I started out trying some creative padding to try and find a solution, but ended up buying a Barefoot Tahoe that he likes.  Here are the specs:

Fabtron Endurance Saddle For Sale - Just go to the Catalog and you can get the specs
Center Fire Rigging
Full quarter horse bars
16 inch seat
Black Leather seat, pommel, and cantle.  The rest is black synthetic.  There are a few white horse hairs on everything, and there are a few scratches on the leather (see photos) but it's but it's in good condition.

The stirrups shown on the saddle are EZ Rides with cages.  I will be swapping those out with the regular stirrups that came with the saddle.

$350 plus shipping

Some lovely dust on the fender.  It's truly not discolored.  I should have hosed it off before I took the pictures, but I didn't notice the dust until I downloaded them.  It blends in better in person!

This one shows my cute little cell phone holder.  I'll be keeping that too!

This is the rigging directly under the stirrup fender, showing some normal rubs.

Here are my cantle scratches...because I can't judge the distance between myself and the door frame.

Underside...White fleece + White horse = CLEAN!  BONUS!

 Front view.  The saddle and tree are not truly crooked, I just had a hard time balancing the saddle on the post to get a photo for you.

I just did this to show the width of the gullet.  It has no real measurement value, unless you know the size of my hand. But it made sense at the time...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All About Tack

I love tack.  I think it's a good thing I don't own a tack store, because I don't know that I could sell anything.  I like researching the best saddle or pad or bridle for our situation.  I love looking for the best prices.  And I love saddle pads.  Crazy colors are all the better, but right now we only have boring colored pads.  With more riding time I'm finally working out what works and what doesn't work.

Here's what Tommy's wearing right now:

I have a traditional bitted bridle too, but Tommy's soft and light in his bitless bridle.  It's easy to put on once it's set up for the horse, and I don't have a cold bit in the winter.  We've been in all three gaits with this, and I've not had the first problem.  It's the beta version, so super easy to care for.

I love grippy reins!  These don't get all slippery when they're sweaty either.  These reins were leftover from General.  I think the next time I get a pair they'll be extra long so he can put his head down without me hanging over the pommel of the saddle.

I'm still on the fence with this saddle.  It's not really a love-hate relationship, because overall I love so many aspects of it.  It's more of a dressage type saddle, and allows me to ride in a centered position without constantly fighting the saddle.  No chair seat or legs in front of you here!  The seat is comfortable enough.  I like the way it looks.  I have the plain black model, but I think the two tone is gorgeous.  I like all the d rings and ties for all our crapola.  Most importantly it fits Tom.

Here's what I don't like:  I've been so used to having synthetic tack though that coming back to leather is such a pita with the cleaning.  The saddles do come in a synthetic version, but I bought a pre-owned leather model.  The seat could be cushier.  A little layer of supracor would make my butt happy!  The very worst thing is that I cannot mount from the ground with this saddle.  It could be Tom's height, it could be my weight, it could be the saddle, it could be the pad, or the girth, or any combination of those, or it could be something entirely different.  I don't know, but I don't like it.  When riding I have to make sure I don't dismount without something around that I can use to get back on.  It puts you at a disadvantage on the trail.  

I even watched an instructional video on how to properly mount a treeless saddle.  This involved reaching over the horse and holding your off stirrup leather so that you can exert counter pressure as you mount, thereby (theoretically) keeping the saddle in place.  Looked super easy too on the 14 hand pony she was using.  I can't even reach my off stirrup leather.

Yummy thick delicious wool!  I was lucky enough to find a distributor that just happened to have the exact weird ass size I need for that treeless saddle.  I was so on the fence.  I dithered and dallied, researched and re-researched, and scoured the net for the best price.  I really dislike buying online without first seeing in person.  I like to touch it, smoosh it between my fingers, hold it up and envision it on the horse, rub it on my arms...can't do that online.  In the end I made the jump though, and I'm very glad I did.  It fits the saddle perfectly, works the way I hoped it would, looks great, and best of price because it was a custom order that didn't work out.  SCORE!  If I can figure out a solution to the mounting problem I'm going to have to get one in blue!

Tommy is girthy.  Yes, my sweet perfect angel, is not so sweet and perfect at girthing time.  I tried a couple of different western girths with my endurance saddle, and then used a Montana Cincha with the Barefoot.  The cincha did make some difference, but he'd still swing his head around and give me the ole hairy eyeball.  I've been pleasantly surprised with the woolback girth.  I'd read several online reviews that others were having good luck using it with girthy horses; and what do you know...I am too!  I got this girth on sale, and I'm going to have to keep my eye out for a good sale on the western version for the other saddle.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Great Parade

Hello handsome...

It's time for some excitement.  Not too much excitement.  I don't want to hear the sound of thundering hooves as you gallop off into the distance.  Just a bit of excitement.  A change of pace from riding the waterways with your good buddy Ted.

This is what I have in mind:  The Delaware All Horse Parade on September 11th.  This is a special year as the parade is honoring the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.  How better to honor during the parade than decked out in our Fourth of July garb?  Minus the tank top.  I will not be showing floppy arm fat to the estimated 50,000 spectators.

Delaware is 2 hours from home.  Close enough for an easy trip, but if we're naughty or have some silly moments, there will be nobody there who knows us to carry tales.  Last year there were over 550 horses traversing a 3 mile Parade Route.  That's encouraging.  Surely we can't be worse than 550 other horses.

I love the idea of this parade.  I don't know if I will love the reality; but I'm willing to find out.