Sunday, June 26, 2016

First ride, sort of

After just about a month settling in, and finding a saddle to use that fits, Prophecy had his first ride at our barn!

But, it was NOT done by me...
As I don't consider myself highly experienced in green horses (especially ones sitting a while), I enlisted the help of a fellow boarder and trainer at the barn. She has started many young horses, been working with several this summer that I have watched, and has previous mustang experience.  We met at 8pm Saturday; I went out a little early to change the rigging on the saddle I am borrowing to center fire using a converter from Beta Tack.  Works awesome, looks great, and allows me to use my 24" cinch on him.

First, a few baby steps in the round pen ... He ground tied pretty well, learning not to always follow a person around. But, when first girthed up he balled up and took off with a tiny buck. First I've seen of that!  After he got over it and she fixed the saddle position (had to move the cinch ring even further back to keep it from sliding up his neck), she moved forward with getting him ready to be ridden again.

Then he graduated to the outdoor arena, and eventually into trotting and cantering.  A few more bucking attempts...but she said he is very smooth to ride :)

(sorry a little dark!)

We finished up and hosed him off...he got a good 45min work out in at least! Finally turning him out around 9:45pm?

We talked for a bit, and I'm going to have her give him some refresher lessons before I hop on.  I'll have to postpone the saddle purchase a little while, but the Abetta should work for now; still wants to creep forward so eventually we will have to get him *his* saddle.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

one step closer

To riding Prophecy!

I was able to sell my Stonewall pretty quickly, and now have some funds to look for our endurance saddle this summer.  However, while I wait to demo new ones and try others, I was left with not a one saddle between the barn and friends that would remotely fit him!  And I really want to get some rides in before I throw a demo into the mix...

One of my Rockin' Mountain Monstas teammates found a wide Abetta endurance saddle for me to try in the meantime and met me Friday am to get it to me for the weekend.  Last night I threw the wide tree card from Stonewall on it and it seems wide enough for us to give it a shot!

Today, Prophecy got the royal treatment... or should I say torture? I got out there about 9 and began our long morning

#1 -  Groom & Fly spray to start off...and added fun of MTG to his mane and tail. Tail needs to grow!

# 2 -Try out the Abetta.  Looked good sans pad, then set it up with the HAF pad.  Not 100% about that fit, so we will go to the woolback or Matrix next time. I need to fix the rigging on one side, as the strap is a shortened long latigo and I had to enlist help from friend to tie it as I had no room!  Mr. Pudgy was none too thrilled on how tight that girth got... he just got bloaty/girthy and antsy, but no huge blow-up.

#3 - Lunge with said saddle and pad.  He moved OK at a trot, but I could see some interference near his elbow so need to get the girth further back. I think the crazy tight we had to go to tie made it slide forward.

#4 - Head back to the post to try on my snap on headstall and decide if I like this color on him.  Same set up I used on Tesla...just all cleaned up. He was good for the bit and he just hung out there with his Red-head look on as I made sure of the right positioning and such. He's got a slightly bigger noggin than Tesla did.
I think we will move to a different color for Prophecy...I'm not in love with this on him. The rest of my blue stuff is royal blue, so we will see how that all looks :)

#5 - White Lightening (generic) soak.  It only took me 10 minutes this time to clean and wrap up all 4 four feet!  of course that meant lots more time just standing and waiting for him...

So I try to be nice and grab some Hay...

And then as I am giving him a massage, he decides this is fun...

Ultimately he ends up dumping it, moving it almost on top of the step stool you see, and then using it to scratch his face.  Goof!

#6 - Finally, it takes me almost as long to undo my handiwork wrapping to finish up his feet.

#7 - I put him out in the grass to much while I went and moved the wood for my GN bed-deck into the trailer. I didn't have time to set in place, but it is ready to go (and off our porch!)

#8 - Turn out! He meandered over to the water tank and eventually out to the rest of the gang.

I hope in the next blog update to have some riding to share about!  I think we can try out the Abetta for a while, but ultimately he looks to need something with a flair at the shoulder (to my eyes and feel underneath).  We won't be doing any real long rides for a while yet, so just working on getting us both back in shape to be more serious this fall into next year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

feet first

So this past Friday am Prophecy got to meet the farrier. He really enjoyed the "good boy" scratches from Forest between feet.  One minor "fight" over his back right foot, but he did well barely needing me there for his trim.

His feet were a bit overgrown, as I knew going into this.  What we discovered once getting them trimmed up - White Line Disease on all four.  Forest cut notches in the toes and cleaned them out, left me with instructions to soak as often as I could to keep them clean, and we will put him on a 3 week trim cycle (since the farrier is at our place every 3 weeks anyway).  It will take 6-8 months to be completely grown out, but he has good solid feet overall.

So what did I do Saturday?  Ran around doing errands that I had planned on all week, plus making a list of stuff to grab to able to treat the WLD!  Last night Prophecy got his first White Lightening and Vinegar treatment, with diapers to soak :P

He was very good for the whole ordeal as I had to clean each foot, dig into the notches a bit, and then go mix the solution and apply a diaper with duct tape to each foot.  Lucky for him, by the time I was done on the last foot he didn't have much longer to wait around!
My first experience with WLD, so this is all new to me!  I have some notes to myself on what to change for next time we soak.

We also accomplished another first for me!  A back mapping to figure out what saddles might work for us (I've had a fitter out for Tesla to do his map, this time I did it).  I enlisted help to keep him square when tied up, but of course didn't need her!  I placed him and he stayed put, other than cocking a hip trying to relax that I had to keep getting him to set the foot back down.
So he is definitely a wide tree boy... The stonewall wide card matches up well enough, so I am on the hunt for one used since I love the saddle, but also have a few others in mind to explore and demo.  One of my teammates found a wide Abetta for me to use and see if we can squeak some riding in while I figure it out, and another friend found and extra wide if we need to go even further.  Maybe within a week I can finally hop on! :)

Lastly, he got wormed before turning out.  He gave me the stink eye once he realized what I put in his mouth but was easy about it.   I did finally see him run off a bit to go find his buddies...I think I tortured him enough for one night!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I visited with Prophecy again Monday after work.  We played the saddle fit game - AGAIN.  This time moved it forward and with a pad, and a little bit of lunge work with it on.  All signs say, and saddle maker confirmed, this one does not fit him as I suspected.  A set of "boomerang" cards is on the way to see what would be the right fit for him if I can stick with Stonewall.  I have grown to really like this saddle, after spending so many years in treeless I never thought I'd go back to 'regular'!

I've been thinking a bit on my boys...Reflecting on what it is that drew me to Prophecy, what draws me in now. I didn't know if I would get another horse at all, let alone so soon after, but he was it...there wasn't another horse in all the ads that I had any real interest in.  

I love(d) Traveler with all my heart.  We worked hard to establish trust and respect. He was not a lovey-dovey or playful horse, in fact he barely acknowledged other humans most times. He was respectful, but he wasn't himself with them. He really didn't care for anyone else riding him either :P  He despised arena work, tried to run me into fences I don't know how many times in the outdoor, but he lived for trail rides.  He was a 1 person horse, and we understood each other well. He worried when I disappeared, he carried me calmly and steadily through my pregnancies (when allowed), and was the same horse after months of minimal riding.  He was bold and big, yet soft and kind.

Tesla was a character. Goofy and playful, stubborn and smart. I love(d) him deeply too, it wasn't the same as Traveler as I don't think anything can ever match your first horse love, but we were connected.  He loved people, and kids, and was always curious.  Extremely frustrating at times when he 'got my number,' but we always worked through it and had such great rides together after getting through the saddle issues. He was a special boy and endured so much in his short life. He was elegant and strong, yet silly.

And here I am, a week into having Prophecy, and I'm crazy about him.  I never thought I'd have a problem getting a horse to turn out! Once I've made the trek to catch him (which he will just stand and watch you come), he won't leave me.
He's patient, standing at the post while I try this and that, check him over, and of course giving treats on occasion. He plods along after me to the arena or round pen... We work, I set him free from the line in hopes of getting videos and he just won't leave me.  He follows me about, or makes me work with both hands to keep him moving around the pen (must bring out the helmet cam next!).  Monday night I walked with him out in the pasture when we were done and hopped on the fence to sit when he could see his buddies far off, expecting him to run off.  Instead he comes over, loves on me, hangs his head over the rail I'm sitting on, and just won't leave.  Finally moseys on off to his buddies after he gets scolded for chewing my boot toes.

I took a chance on him, after not seeing him for so many years, based on my gut feel that this was right; That he would be what I need to move forward.  And Prophecy is exactly what I need right now. He is loving, he is funny, he is solid and patient. We are building up slowly to getting into work together and I am looking forward to building our relationship, holding onto the amazing memories with my boys before him...Taking what they've taught me and carrying it forward, and continuing to learn as we go.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

My Shadow

I went to visit Prophecy first thing Saturday morning, to beat the rain for me and so Doug would be able to mow before it hits too.

Hiked the field again, not quite as far as Wednesday. He was hanging with George...his favorite thing to do when tied up - Lick the rail!

Licking, not chewing
I groomed, relieved him with fly spray (gosh those are so annoying!), and then did some body work.  I found a really good spot on his chest he stretched into and then a good scratch under the chin and jowls was also greatly enjoyed by him with lip smacking and grunts.

Next I took out my stonewall, stripped it of all my saddle bags to be able to see more clearly...and my gut says it does not fit him.  I have sent pictures to Stonewall to review and see if he needs the next size up and will likely be having a saddle fitter help us sort out what size tree he needs now...then it will be finding an inexpensive temporary saddle (or borrowing) to get us riding and developing some more muscles, or waiting till I can trade/sell the current saddle and working him on the ground a ton.

After our saddle pictures, I took him to the large arena on a line to lunge a bit.

Then I took him off the line, hoping to video some exploration and natural movement... But instead, he followed me around; which was fun as I jogged off and he trotted up behind, and over a jump with me.

My new shadow

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Meet Prophecy

I indulged in the best therapy available Wednesday night.... Horse therapy.

Instead of waiting till Thursday after work and having to shift around some of our plans for Thurs & Fri, I asked if after dinner would be better...since I don't need hours on end at the moment, just some time with him to bond, I would get at least an hour before sunset and then I have lights too at the barn.

Bad part of big pastures with one in/out gate - I had to hike all the way out and around to where the boys were hanging in the pasture and grab Prophecy. We walked back in together, and then I tied him up to groom.  He stood very nicely, let me touch everywhere, picked up all four feet and clean them, out, and brushing.  We did fly spray, main & tail detangler spray and combed out the knots.  He was a little 'protective' of his tail being messed with, just super clampy to him, so I will take it slow and get his trust on that.
Way out there with the boys

Walking back to the barn

We hung out and had some exposure to the dogs running around barking trying to get him to throw a stick :) then we went to the round pen. I pushed him to move a few times (halter/rope off), then sat down on the ground to a result I know well of Saga babies!

Cleaned up and looking sharp

Just hanging out

On the move in the round pen

Coming to say hi while I am sitting on the ground

Nose hello!

I moved him a little more, then asked for him to come over and then we walked around together without halter/lead on.

I took him back out to the pasture, but he went to see the two in the side pasture while I knew he wanted to the big one.  So decided to walk out there, I called him to follow, and he did!  I walked him towards the hill when he realized where he was and could run off to be with his buddies again :)

Just observing after I removed his halter/lead

Leaving the side field to come follow me

Finally realizing how to get to his herd

I am very happy; he has a solid & friendly mind about him - just what I need right now.  Hoping to do more "work" this weekend and get him on a line, maybe even see if my saddle remotely fits!