The Ups and Downs of Life

Today’s Tip: The right horse for you, right now, might not be the perfect horse or even the horse you’re looking for. Read about where I’ve been for the last week and who has been buying horses!

Cats Sunning

This is what a lot of our weather has been like lately. Yesterday and today it was actually about 80*! It makes for nice weather for cat naps in the sunshine.

No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I haven’t even been off on some fun spring break vacation like so many others I know.

Actually, I’ve just been busy…mostly with homework. As much as I thought school took over my life when I was a full time student, it seems to have more of an impact, at least on my well-being, now that I have to work AND do school.

Anyway, last weekend I actually rode more horses in two days than I have in any one weekend for a long time, maybe, possibly even ever.

Really I just got a good ride in on Classy. I got the new-to-me saddle cleaned up Saturday morning and took that out to RideAbility for some real arena work. The jury’s still out on the actual fit, but I was using a thicker pad than normal, so using my regular pad may make it just right. We’ll see.

Hiding from the wind

As nice as the weather has mostly been, yesterday was quite windy (about 25 mph I think). I went in the shed to get some hay for the horses and all four of the cats were passed out on the new hay. By the time I got the camera, they'd woken up (and their "demon eyes" came out), but they were stil in their kitty pyramid.

The ride itself was great. He was working well, I decided to start increasing his strength by waiting longer to do a free walk (let him stretch his neck) and by riding a little longer. It started raining a little bit when we were out there, but not too bad.

When we were done, the two other riders who were out that day and I played musical ponies. They were going to switch to get the horse in need of strengthening some trot work, I wanted to ride the new one to correct a glitch in her behavior that I had seen, and there was just a third horse and rider to complete the circle. Then since one got to ride my horse, the other wanted to as well, so we switched again. So I got to ride a Morgan/Clydesdale cross (she’s like a mini-Clydesdale – adorable!!) and a Quarter Horse. While I love the smooth ride of my TWHs, it was kinda fun to do a little nice trotting.

Sunday I went out to a woman’s house to look at a foxtrotter mare she got last fall. She’s an experienced horsewoman, but not with gaited horses. I don’t have a ton of experience with foxtrotters, but I went to take a look anyway. She’s a nice little mare…well, not so little…but it is a transition from a perfect, reliable, elderly Appaloosa. I think she just doesn’t see any point in wandering around in circles in an arena when she could be outside. I can’t say I blame her!

Had this been a test ride for a prospective horse purchase, I probably wouldn’t have recommended this horse. She isn’t really nervous, but a little jumpy at times, and the woman can’t really afford to get hurt so seems a tiny bit nervous of a spooky horse. Also, she doesn’t seem to have much of a foxtrot. That may change when we get somewhere with a longer, more open stretch. It does, however, make life slightly more difficult if you have to mess around much with gait and you don’t know much about the gait to begin with. The horse seems safe, though, so we may find that although she’s not the perfect horse, she may be the right horse. That’s how Pretty was for me – not what I was looking for, but has turned out to be what I needed! This woman, her horse, and I will get together to get some more work done with her, and hopefully they’ll become a pair just like the woman was with her last horse.

Since the weekend, today’s the first day I really got to do anything with the horses. I probably could have yesterday, but with 25 mph winds, I didn’t even want to be outside. I had hoped to ride two tonight, but time got away from me and I just got in a ride on Classy.

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear someone switched horses on me over the winter. I’ve mentioned in other posts that he’s been doing really well with things like setting his head, collection, and responding to the snaffle (which he doesn’t always do so well). Today I rode him in the pasture. Normally he’s all skeptical about the distance from the other horses, the trees by the fence, the corn (or remnants of it) in the field on the other side, whatever might be across the road and on the other side of the field on the other side of the road. Oh, and did I mention that grass might be growing, and therefore ready to eat him? Today, though, he just went about his business. Sometimes he’d pick his head up and look at something, but generally he just did what he was supposed to. Next to impossible! Toward the end of the ride a woman came walking down the road with her little white horse-eating dog. That kinda threw us for a loop for a little while, but eventually he calmed down all over again.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Peggy H on April 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

    So what kind of “new” saddle to you get for Classy?

    We are still looking for a better English saddle for our round little Allie.

    Reply

  2. I FINALLY found a used Tennessean online. It’s not in stellar shape, but it’s structurally good and some oil will help it out a lot. The last two saddles I bought (this and one about 6 years ago) were both found online. The last was on some classified site that I probably shouldn’t have trusted as much as I did (turned out fine). This one I found through craiglook.com, a site that searches ALL of Craigslist. Of course, that was because I knew what I wanted, but if you find a new saddle you like but can’t afford, it’s worth a try!

    Reply

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