Monday, August 29, 2011
Book I ordered about starting the young dressage horse is still out there in the mail somewhere, tell me, how does a book in Indiana take longer to get to Ohio than a bit in Georgia when the East Coast is being slammed by a hurricane...? I don't know.
Also still waiting on my girth extender. I'm excited to get this show on the road.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Off the withers- always a good thing.
Not pinching around his shoulders- he's gonna be able to reach further out with his front legs and hopefully won't protest carrying me up a hill as much anymore.
Laying on his back the whole way, not rising up in the back- unlike the western saddle, which somehow managed to sit far off his back under the cantle.
Only problem? Girth too short. D: Bought an extender on Dover Saddlery, should be in in the next week or so, then I can evaluate the fit while riding.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
And Saturday, picking up saddle. If the preliminary check shows it fits, I'll test ride with the hackamore still, gonna look funny, Siaga in an english saddle and a western bridle with a hackamore. Oh well.
Friday, August 19, 2011
I decided this is two things. A, it's starting to be a learned behavior from the last few times, when the storm was rolling in and we were both really tense, and when we heard the strange noises on the road (which, as it turns out, was the sound of people moving furniture and stuff as a family moved into the house there.) And B, the saddle fit is finally starting to get to him. I've figured that because it's so narrow on him, and because it pinches around his shoulder blades, going at a walk on the road is easy for him, but when I ask him to move up or down hill, his stride is greatly affected and painful, which causes him to react the way he does.
So anyways, I'm on the hunt for a decent but cheap dressage or all purpose saddle, and bought a book on Amazon about training the young dressage horse. He needs a little more discipline and a lot less pain, and after that I think he will make a really awesome trail horse.
I can't afford lessons with him or a trainer to come help me or a trailer to take him anywhere, so I'm limited to who is going to teach me for free... myself. Thankfully, I'm a book-aholic and don't mind investing in books to get the job done. :D
Jeni at Supersize My Cob has offered me an all purpose saddle with pad, stirrups, and leathers for $90, just needs a good cleaning and stuff.
So hopefully we'll actually be riding soon!
Also, have any of you ever had any problems switching a horse trained and always ridden with a western saddle (in a more english style, regarding posture and how I hold my hands and reins) to an english saddle?
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I remember the day we brought you home, you were in our backseat eating up french fries. I remember being on the phone with my brother while I told him how awesome you were, and saw you running laps around the house even as I told him how fast you were. I remember all the times you saved me from falling over, the way you'd pull in just the right direction on the leash and correct my balance as we slid down a steep hill at a creek.
I remember all the nicknames I had for you, my Hesibu, my Moon Spirit and my Wolf Child. I remember the story my brother, Adam, told about how you were chased by and then chased in return the coyotes when he was out fishing. I remember how you hunted like crazy and brought home the neighbors chickens and wild bunnies and raccoons and possums and moles and mice and rats. I remember how you tried to take down that deer that one time.
I remember all the times I took you swimming, how you hated baths and the pond but loved the creek. I remember how kind you were, never bit a person on purpose, even if you were a skilled hunter. We'd rough house and you'd get your jaws on my arm, stop, pull your head carefully back and close your mouth when you knew my arm wasn't there anymore. I remember how Dad always wanted to get a German Shepard to name Beast, so we would have Beauty and the Beast.
I remember when you started going deaf, when you started limping, when your shoulder puffed up and when the vet said you had cancer in the bone. I remember seeing the xrays and knowing it wouldn't be long. It's been about two months since then.
This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, Beauty. You're still up and walking and eating and living but I can see it in your eyes how much pain you are in, and your bone mass in that leg is such that stumbling the wrong way could break it clean in half. I can't stand to see you suffer and know you'll only get worse and that there is nothing left for me to do. Nothing left but this one last trip, this mercy killing.
I love you, Beauty.
I remember you. I will not forget. You took up so much of my childhood. You were the one I ran to (before Siaga became my crying shoulder) when bad things happened and I needed comfort. The one I cried my tears into, the one I giggled to and told secrets to when no one else would listen.
No, I will not forget.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
We were going to go for a ride around the block, but didn't get all the way as mysterious noises around the bend in the road had him nervous and I couldn't tell what was going on and instead of advancing and seeing what it was (as I couldn't get him to go any further forward anyways) we stopped there in the road for a while and then turned around and came home, then practiced turning off my leg pressure in the yard until I had him consistently turning when I applied pressure. He's getting better at this, not perfect yet though. I see improvement each time.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I brought him down and trotted him on lead on the road to see if he was ouchy at all. Nope, apparently not, and apparently, full of piss and vinegar.
So we saddled up and went on a ride and visited some old church friends down the road and theeeen... had a moment where I have never been more proud of that horse.
Walking home, a herd of Harley Davidson bikers popped up over the hill, and literally, honest to God literally scared the poop out of Siaga. They came up over the hill, Siaga tensed up and jumped a little. I lifted the left rein so that if he spooked he'd fly into the bean field and not into a biker, but he stood frozen still. After they passed, he lifted his tail and promptly left there a reminder of just what he thought about those bikes.
And then we went and stood on top of a hill and looked down in the valley and it was gloooorious. Wish I had brought my camera with me.
Also, I liked looking at Siaga's shadow on the ground, where I could see that he was walking along with relaxed head, droopy lip, tail relaxed. It was awesome.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Once we got started and the tranq had kicked in, I was able to lay my head on his neck, close my eyes, and just hold my hands under his chin to keep his head up. He was that calm. Which was awesome.
Also, he learned part of his lesson, he was still with it enough to think and lick and chew at me and the farrier while he worked.
Turned out that the limp problem came from the sole as it was splitting and peeling off. It wasn't as bad that day, but must have been the riding that caused the chips to split further. No thrush, no abscesses, just overgrown sole. I'm expecting it to take a few days to a week for him to stop feeling tender footed, so until then, no riding.
Here's to hoping that the next round will float along much smoother than some previous ones, and won't need as much of the tranquilizer.
Monday, August 8, 2011
And of course, considering that lameness, I'm worried about that too, though I haven't seen any signs of it still. Gah. Little stressed out. This week is major busy for me.
Working way more than normal with about 50 hours of work total, instead of 20ish, and then of course dealing with the farrier. I'm just a little spazzy. I keep telling myself everything is gonna be fine.
But... I still have to go... what if? What if it's not?
Friday, August 5, 2011
Hop off, walk him around, looking looking... not a damn thing. No bobbing head, no obvious limp or lurch. Get him home, look his feet over again, nothing. *sigh* Called farrier. Should be out next week hopefully. Hooooope.