Saturday, June 23, 2018

Everybody has had a challenging day

I headed up to the barn this morning with the intention to at least have Cessa try on all the various bits of tack, with a possible let's sit on my horse and take a picture.

We got through 50% of that.

First, the good:
- The saddle seems to fit OK, although someone needs a 52" or 54" girth.
- The bridle of course fits.
- We'd talked about a running martingale, and it turns out that my $15 breastplate find has a martingale attachment... that's running... and the breastplate fits nicely!

The bad:
She seems to have a bit of a sinus infection.  She was breathing loudly at the walk today, so we put a stethoscope to her, and it seems to be in her face.

But on top of that - or maybe because of it - it seems like her right ear might be hurting.  It took a good fifteen minutes and loosening the cheekpieces down several holes to get that bridle on her, and she fought me every step of the way.  We called it a victory when I had the bridle on her and could gently rub the base of her ear with my thumb, even if her head was still pretty high.  Now, granted... she's done this to me once before, and that time she was just being a pain in the butt who didn't want her ear handled - but having dealt with that before, this time she was definitely reacting in a way that suggests her ear might genuinely be bothering her.

The vet will be out in a few days for pregnancy checks, so she's been added to the list of patients.

And then there's this sweet face:

The good?  He's doing much better with me for walks, etc.  He's got sit down pat around the house.

The less good?  Weeeell, someone got kicked out of group obedience class for not understanding that he can't just run at other dogs and start nipping and trying to play rough.  (Liability is a thing, and the trainer's popped us over to private lessons at no additional charge, so we're all good!)  The general consensus, between the trainer and my BO that used to do bully rescue, is that he just was socially isolated and essentially has the mentality of a 4 month old puppy.  Only he's 50 pounds and ~3 years old.  Sooo... yeah.  That's a bit challenging every time he sees another dog, but we're working on it
Still the best car rider, though!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A few more pictures of the new baby

And of course I couldn't help but take a photo of a certain pasture spectator...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Shoes and ships and sealing-wax

Things are quiet here because things have been busy!

The biggest 'busy' isn't horse-related, though.

Friends of ours found this guy in their yard - skinny, beat up, but otherwise a healthy 3-5 year old pit of some stripe or cross.  Couldn't find his previous home, so he's moved in with us.  He's got a lot more energy than our last dog (not a shock!) and he's a little clueless about things like 'personal space,' but he's sweet, clearly had training at some point, and has not yet met a stranger that he wasn't sure wanted to pet him or play with him.  (This has included people, dogs, cats, squirrels, birds... pleaseletmeplaywiththemall!)

We also have a new baby up at the barn:
Wonders of genetics: two spotted parents, not a spot or sign of the appaloosa gene to be seen...

Cessa's home from the trainer, as of last weekend!  The weather has been ass - yes, we wanted 96 degrees with like 50% humidity, interspersed with thunderstorms dropping up to tennis-ball-sized hail, thanks! - so I haven't been up on her yet.  The trainer noted that she was breathing harder than might normally be required for trot and canter in the humid heat, although she cools out normally and her breathing settles down just fine once she goes back to a walk, so I'm planning to take it easy over the summer. It's hard to tell with a 13 year old pudgy easy keeper who just got her first working job ever if we're dealing with allergies (which we know she has), COPD, roaring, or just poor cardio without calling out the vet, and to be honest, she ain't the only one not equipped to deal with the heat right now.  (Related: why. Why did the universe give us a dog that really really needs daily walks in summer?)  So the plan from now until September or October is walk for a while, possibly interspersed with let's trot a long side of the arena and then slowly die of hot at the walk for like ten minutes, ok?  If she's still breathing like a freight train after a short trot once the weather is no longer akin to a vacation in Satan's loincloth, then we'll see what the vet thinks.

In the meantime, I'm exploring bit options.  Trainer had her in a Junior Cowhorse bit like this one:
And from the photos, looks like she was in a copper twisted wire on a loose ring before that, so it sounds like I may need something a little stronger than the stereotypical snaffle.  I say may - trainer is a Western rider who does a lot of barrel racing on her personal mounts; she does an amazing job with starting the horses and exposing them to stuff, but unsurprisingly, she's got more of a Western emphasis than I want or need.  Reading up on the Junior Cowhorse bits, they're geared towards that transition from snaffle to curb and from direct rein to neck-reining; I cannot neck-rein to save my life (Seriously, I can do left and right. Most of the time. If I think about it. Do not ask me to stop or back up; my brain locks and I'll just stare at you.), so I'm not worried about her progressing farther along the Western training scale. 

I'm relatively bit-agnostic; I'll ride in what works, but I'm biased towards things more often seen in English rings and I'd prefer to avoid gags in general and sliding-cheek gags in specific (blame that one on the crazy-ass owner that rode their calm, sweet horse in a sliding-cheek gag with a thin wire for a crownpiece - that shit mentally scarred me as a teenager, because I had ridden the same horse in a Tom Thumb and he was perfect, and I felt so bad for him). That said, my end goal is to have her in a dressage-legal bit, if possible.  I was never expecting a middle-aged broodmare to be a high performance show horse, but I would like to get her into something that I could actually take her to a dressage show in with minimal fuss; if I can't get her there, that's fine, but it's a goal.  :)

Word from the trainer is that she'd moved up to this bit because someone has 'don't wanna' moments, so I want to ride her in it a couple of times to see how she does before I start exploring other options.  My initial thought at this point is to swap straight to a pelham and work off the snaffle rein as much as possible (although me learning to manage two reins may be hilarious and may lead to purchasing a converter), then step down to something like a baucher, but we'll see if it works that way or if she really needs the leverage. 

The best part is, my BOs have lots of knowledge and lots of bits I'll be able to bum for a few rides.  :)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Photo series: Hello, boys

We cleaned up one of the young stallions at the barn this weekend and took some glamour shots.  :)

This guy is one of the stallions available for me to choose for future baby daddy.  He's four, but hasn't hit the four year old bloom yet.

Please excuse his blinking...
Doofy outtake photo. lol Flying grain and 1970s hair ftw.
And this guy is not one I was considering for a baby daddy, but I am looking at maybe making a half-sibling of him...

Friday, May 11, 2018

How did I get the Good Child?

Someone - a certain bitchy bay mare in training I could mention - has been doing...

Photo from the trainer...
And another...
Freaking outstanding.

Those are days 37 and 41 under saddle, y'all.  (And yes, she crossed the bridge - I have video!)  She's even gotten to go on a field trip to the local covered arena; this trainer not only puts them under saddle, but she takes the time to really expose them to stuff.

The gelding she went down there with is having confidence issues, so he's going much, much slower.  Which is fine - slower is safer in this situation! 

But it's cracking us all up that Cessa is the good child.  Who woulda thunk it?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Uh... so my hand slipped...

Look, I'm not saying that I'm a bit of a tack junkie or anything, but I do acknowledge that maybe I don't need three bridles, five - no, wait, six - different sets of reins, a saddle with matching girth, a surcingle with two matching girths, a breastplate, and a breastcollar for a single horse.  And let's not talk about how many saddle pads I own.

But... um... I went to a tack swap today?

And there was one of these?

And I think they're pretty cool, so I was looking at it - even though it doesn't match anything else I own - and the lady who was selling it was like, "That's $15, if you'd like it..."

Which is a pretty good price.  It was in good condition; it could use a cleaning and I'm not sure the rings for the reins are original, but otherwise it's fine.  And I had cash in my pocket.

Later, when I got it home, I realized that it's a Prestige...

Friday, April 13, 2018

Quiet, but not TOO quiet

Photo courtesy the trainer.

Look who's had a saddle and a human on her back?

Guess who's also managed to not break the indestructible halter, but did break the lead rope I sent her down there with during bath time?


More seriously, reports from the trainer are that she's doing great.  Still pulling back now and then, but mostly she's given up on it.  She's been ridden at least once that we know about, and just generally is being pretty calm about the whole thing.


Not gonna lie, I got the ear pictures and did the nerdiest happy dance ever.