Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Oops!

Last night was my final "test ride" in the Phoenix saddle and I guess I really did put it to the test.  A big OOPS! on my part, and we had our first tack malfunction.  Complete with a rolling saddle to his offside.  Fortunately he held it together while I got him to stop and able to hop off for a fix.  That gets your heart pumping!

Overall I would say Monday night was a good night for us and kept me laughing.

When I went out to catch him, of course in the evenings they are all at the far end of the field. I think I need late morning more often when they are hanging near the barn and easy to catch!  So I trekked out to get him, it was just him and one other gelding out for the moment...then I hear Dash come thundering out (was turned out from his stall while I was out hiking). I just stood... The other two boys come out of the woods to meet him, Prophecy trots up to me when he sees me, but just gets a head pat and takes off running to meet up with the last gelding now turned out, running into the field calling.  It was quite a sight and fun to watch the 4 of them huddle together and then play. If it wasn't for really wanting to get a ride in I would have stood and watched them play a while. I got some cute videos of two them really getting into it, but decided I needed to get him before we lost too much daylight time.

Hello huddle

Kimber watching me, but soon goes to get everyone playing

Prophecy sees me, waits there for me to catch him
Walking back in, Prophecy keeps sticking his nose on the back of my neck or nudging my shoulder.  I'm OK with that as long as he doesn't step on me, so I stop.  He stops and sticks his head on my shoulder for a quick nose kiss :)  Kimber then decides to run towards us bringing the other 2 along...OYE!.  I have to remind Prophecy is with me and to pay attention to me and walk with me. After that things were fine until Kimber tried to get Prophecy to do some "rearing play" as we were about to go down the hill. I yelled at him and chased him off and we continued on our way to the barn.

Prophecy stayed surprisingly clean for all the rain we had yesterday; actually in general his has not been much of a dirty guy so far. Sunday I had braided his mane as I was happy to find his mane and tail are feeling less coarse,  much silkier and softer to the touch.  Getting his minerals in now with the Triple Crown 30% I'm guessing has helped!  After a quick brush and good belly scratches I went to tack up.  Much less drama about the saddle. Good boy!

pre-ride, not exactly thrilled with the bonnet!

Handsome guy with a wonderful sky view

We headed out with some discussion over the direction of travel, then spent 5 min arguing over going through the mud & water spot to get the trails.  Once we concurred that I trotted him up the hill a bit, then back down to a walk. I was planning to do the same we did Sunday, except go further up before turning around and was prepared with his fly bonnet on due to bugs.  But he was intent on something up a little hill to the right so I let him go up and see - dead end.  As we argued about going back to where I wanted, we ended up sideways and somehow funkily going down the steep little incline... then I felt all sort of out of whack and realized - the saddle was rolling!  I could feel him start to bunch up and want to get away from this thing sliding on him and quickly got him to stop at the bottom so I could dismount.  Once he settled down I was able to adjust our set-up... I took me several iterations to get the girth tight, and still wasn't sure it wouldn't roll trying to mount from the ground, so we headed to that incline again and I hopped on from at least a slightly raised spot.

I guess I've just been lucky before, as the girth was set the same as it has been the past few rides! When I re-tightened while stopped we moved 2 holes each side! While it rolled a little on Sunday side to side, it never had before...Maybe he is finally losing weight?!

I think it boils down to a girth issue for us...Might have to try something other than a woolback on him.  The girth was still wet from Sunday's hosing off, but not sure that was the sole reason.

We did a little more trotting and then headed back in, with another discussion over the mud, but shorter! My tracker says we went 0.79 miles, which surprised me as we spent a lot of time in discussions!
all done!  Didn't realize I had the popper caught on his ears till I went to pull off the bridle! oops

He continued his cuteness for the evening, hanging out in the lot by the barn while I cleaned up after turning him out (during which he kept nuzzling my hand and licking it so I would scratch his ears/face).  I went back over to the fence and he nickered at me, then walked over for more loving.  I assumed he was headed back out to the field, but when I went back one last time to double check the gate as soon as the chains rattled he called out. He was answered by a buddy and took off thundering.

Pet me!

All in all, we survived our first of what I would call not so great ride days and I think we have a saddle now to move forward with :)  Every ride has shown good sweat patterns, no pressure points, and no soreness. Just a few tweaks to make on my part as we both get fit again.

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