Sunday, January 29, 2017

hello ground...

The past week met us with heavy rain Sunday and Monday, almost 70 degree weather on Wednesday, and then back to 40s Thursday...And 30mph+ winds.

Thursday we rode in the wind, another quick mile or so, and the first time out with Ransom in a while.  We tacked up in cross ties in the wash stall and he did pretty well.


This weekend I needed to ride Saturday morning, so we ended up with another blustery ride day!  Above freezing, but not even 40 and of course some strong wind... Tacked up again inside, but he was a bit more wound up over it so we headed to the round pen after to work a few kinks out while Ransom was getting tacked up.  He presented me again with the off side to mount and then we headed off.  He was rather full of himself, and we had quite a few battles in the beginning.
I am not sure if his 'attitude' is the field dynamics playing a role (Prophecy is alpha) and not wanting Ransom ahead of him, or general competitiveness.  We ride alone a lot, so he definitely needs exposure to group situations. He has ridden before with another horse from his field at a the previous barn without issue, but held no status there.

And with his cranky attitude over it, Ransom got ahead of us and as we went up a hill Prophecy kicked up a notch and went bucking rodeo on me...then I said "Hello" to the ground.  The saddle stayed nicely in place at least! Not injured, I regrouped after a few minutes and Jamie helped me get back in the saddle (mounting from the ground is still difficult due to some roll).  I realized shortly after that my pocket was not zipped and the phone likely laid where I had landed, but since we are secluded and I know no other horses were likely to step on it I left it to pick up later.  So my tracking is way off for this ride, as we did another 2 miles at least before coming back to it.

you can see when the tracker/phone sat while we continued on!

The rest of the ride went fine; a few smaller arguments but no more bucking.  Even went on some new trails with many low branches for me to duck and hug his neck or play limbo under.  We do need to work on his 'attitude' and trail etiquette around Ransom.  He hasn't threatened to kick, just major ears and half-ass attempts to nip.  He will be wearing ribbons in his tail at group rides for sure to be safe.

He is looking nice and shiny this week...

Post ride munch

still a wide view from behind!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

mile by mile

Slow and steady wins the race right?  Especially when "To Finish is to Win" :)  We may end up with the turtle award yet... lol

Have saddle, will ride is my new motto. We have squeaked in miles here and there as I tweak the fit on the Ghost.  He is not a fast walker, but we have only been out alone recently.  Will be interesting to see how he does with more horses...Hopefully our barn manager will be able to join us later this coming week!


He definitely will go and keep going.  I actually let him pick the trails the past few times and he will keep looping through, bypassing the barn.  Monday night we actually argued about going back, he wasn't ready yet! (we were only riding the driveway and he kept heading for the trails)

I am slowly introducing more gear too... Saturday we rode with a crupper, but not fully tight yet.  I opted to avoid our steepest spots, one reason being the crupper engagement the other being the slick mud.  I think the head tossing fit I got at one spot was crupper induced, so definitely glad it was not a longer hill to have him flailing on.  Next I need to put our pommel pack on and add the rhythm bells to help with the deer!

getting ready to head out Sat
Still working on mounting; again he gave me his off side on the fence so I went with it.  Eventually I will get this figured out so that I can mount from a normal block or the ground if needed without a huge saddle roll.

My helper post ride

The view as I closed the gate
We did a fit kit of Easy Boots after our ride Saturday... I've got the front right size in that one it seems, but his left is proving difficult.  Waiting to hear what size Renegades to consider, if any will work, and waiting to hear on more reviews of the Scoot boot to seek out something used.

I scored a deal on a Skito from a local tack shop to try out, and already talked with the manufacturer about new inserts for it as I don't need as thick as what is in there. We still have a few pads to work our way through in my arsenal and find what works the best, and another cinch to consider.

If we can keep our rides up I have no doubt he will be good for the intro ride March 5.  As for what we will do after that - I am torn!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bonus features

Looking sharp on Thursday
My saddle is here and the weather has stunk on the few days I could have gotten out since it arrived.

Thursday though, we had a really warm day, and while still mucky out, I had to try and ride.  Unfortunately the winds were 20-30mph, so Prophecy was very worked up.  We did get the saddle on and moving in the round pen, and once we got past a few min of lunging he calmed a bit.  I decided to try and hop on from the fence, but alas I could not get the saddle to stay stable to mount.  I decided to remove the inserts again from the Matrix pad (as is recommended for round horses) and try again on Sunday.

So Sunday I headed out, on a damp and cool afternoon, and lunged him a few minutes first in the round pen before even grooming. After a good scrub to remove mud, I had him tied pretty short to deal with tacking up this time. I pulled the pad more forward than Thursday and got the cinch set.  We went back out to the round pen and then worked on mounting...  3rd time was a charm...first I had stirrups too long, second the saddle rolled, 3rd we were off and out of the pen! We had a nice little ride, walk, trot and a canter run up a hill...sadly cut short though as when we came down a hill and he wanted to go right and me left, the saddle rolled again. We finished our trail route with me on foot after fixing the saddle.  It is always good practice to go on foot sometimes anyway.  His cinch was pretty tight, but I am going to put some "half holes" on it Monday and see if it helps, as I know I can't go another hole up.  His girth groove is very forward, which this saddle can accommodate, just have to find the right combo with pad, cinch, and tightness...

What is the bonus feature you might be wondering?  
Well, Prophecy is becoming quite desensitized to a saddle rolling! He is learning to stop when it happens so I can dismount.

For the mile I did ride, it was fun and comfy and he was mostly good - more ready to GO than I wanted him to be, but settled in nicely when asked. Looking forward to getting going, again.

When we were done I took some some hoof measurement pics so I can try and get some boots figured out. He stood nicely and calmly tied while I finished up putting our stuff away and then turned him back out.
We have some nicer weather coming up, so we will take advantage of it! Keep making tweaks and get it all ironed out in time :)

Ready to go on Sunday

Teeth marks...Courtesy of Prophecy as I showed him the saddle, he grabbed a fender!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

snow and ice...

Not much has happened since the last post.  Prophecy and I have been playing with the soccer ball and just hanging lately.

Of course a "snow storm" came though this past Friday night, grounded us to the house for the weekend as ice became the issue with highs barely in the teens for several days.  Prophecy was well taken care of by the new barn manager at Still Pond and warm with his blanket and plenty of hay. She has begun to bring him into the barn for grooming, so he is getting a little less apprehensive about it.  Maybe someday he can go into a stall if needed...

The overall change at the barn and handling has made a bit of difference noticed by the farrier in his most recent trim on Friday. While he was still slightly antsy and had to be 'checked' a few times on standing in place, he was much less anxious about the barn aisle trim than before.
We remeasured his hooves right after the trim and they have changed some since the last time I did it in Sept; he is pretty different left to right on the front!  I'll probably wait another trim cycle to see where we are at, but I'm exploring different boot options to help us condition until his shoes get put on for the ride season in March or so - he has also gotten less foot sore on the rocks as he is coming along so not as rushed to get boots right now :)  I do not have the endless funds to sink into new boots, so trying to match up his sizing to some used ones for the time being.  The farrier showed me a bunch of options to keep the shoes lightweight for him, just have to let him know ahead of time to pick them up for us (Aluminum not as stocked on his truck).  We are curious to see how his hooves look in 5weeks at the next trim, which might give us a little more direction in shoe and boot choices.

The barn manager sent me this cute pic on Friday morning of a snoozey boy...

Jan 8th marked Traveler's "Birthday"...  I know he is watching over me, running through fields and trails on his own.  Still think of him daily...

Jan 21, 2008 - gotcha day back in MI

The snow storm, while it trapped us at home, did make for some fun sledding on our little hills at the house.  Skyler is a speed demon and hard to catch at the bottom (so she doesn't hit a tree!).  Asher had fun purposely running into logs and wiping out

And despite the snow and numerous closings, and lack of mail for a few days, UPS got my Ghost Quilty saddle to me a day "early" (which happened to be the original delivery date before a storm in OR delayed it leaving there)

Can't wait to take it for a spin this weekend!