Monday, August 29, 2011

Well, there's the bit.

Bit came in the mail today. Side rings are nice and massive, won't be slipping in his mouth any more. Problem will be getting bridle set tight enough to hold it up where it needs to be. Might have to switch back to the red nylon one until I get an English bridle.

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

So cloooose!

Got the new saddle on him and evaluated the fit compared to the western, with no padding, just the saddle straight on his back.

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

Good-bye, indian-slip hackamore

I'm retiring it after I get a new bit. I tried my loose O-ring on him today, and he was amazingly responsive to it, it was awesome. It's just a little too narrow for his mouth and the rings aren't enough to keep it from slipping all over the place and the rings get in his mouth. :|

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

Terrible ride yesterday...

So out we headed, as usual, down the road, making a plan to go around the block. At the end of my road there's a huge hill and here Siaga threw a huge hissy fit and decided he wasn't going to go forward and kept stopping and anytime I asked him for forward movement he would back up, turn, try to bolt, or buck.

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

Today, we are one less

Today, my dog Beauty is making that last trip to the vet. I'm so sad. I can't seem to stop crying.

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

Whats that noise!

Went for a ride today... Siaga stopped and stared at everything. He stopped and stared at a grasshopper, at a flag, at a barn in which there was a crowing rooster, a tree, a field, a shed, a plastic goose, and a car.

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

Went for a riiide

I know I said I was gonna wait, but today was so beautiful and for the next couple of days, I'm working 10+ hours each day and/or bad weather predicted.

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

Farrier appointment

Went soooo well. The farrier pulled in just as I was going outside to give the shot. We waited about a half hour on the stuff to kick in, while the farrier just stood there and talked and then knelt in the paddock with us for twenty minutes, waiting on Siaga to come over and sniff him. He was so patient and so kind.

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

Farrier tomorrow

A little nervous. I know I shouldn't be. Even though he's going to be sedated, I half expect at least a half hearted temper tantrum, since he won't be aced. It's also been a while since a farrier has seen his feet and with the horrible weather I'm not entirely sure what he's going to find.

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

Frustrated so much.

Had some halfway decent weather and the time... so Siaga and I went for a ride. Made about a quarter of a mile before he threw in a really out of no where (no signs before hand) crow hop and bounced me up on the pommel of the saddle, bruised my thigh and scraped my left wrist up. Decide it's the tension in the air as the supposed storm (that ultimately never hit) was collecting faster than I had thought, and get back out on the road to go back, and suddenly he's lame.

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.