Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did you say 70%? I'd say more like 50%!

Today started off by stopping off to pick some stuff up out of my trailer that I had dropped off on Monday to have the ramp repaired and the wiring checked. I expected to find that it had had some work done on it, but not a damn thing had been done to it. NOTHING. Seriously, it's been sitting there for a week and they couldn't even bother to call me and tell me? Grrr. I talked to the manager and he assured me it would be done for next week. I don't need it either this weekend or next since Duchess's mom has kindly agreed to trailer Saga both weekends, but nonetheless I feel better having it, in case of emergency or something. Plus it's got all my extra stuff in it, so I sort of feeling like I'm missing something without it.

So, FuzzyPony and I snagged our stuff and headed out to the barn. Saga was especially cranky when I put the saddle on him and tightened the girth, so I may have Carol check the saddle tomorrow since she'll be at the show. We did a loooong walk warm up since he's been in his stall since Wednesday (yeah, I'm horrible and didn't ride either Thursday or yesterday). His trot started out well enough but was a little divey in front. I'm not sure if I need a bit that he can't fuss with and lean on so much or if it's just a matter of him becoming more consistent in his body so that he's not so all over the place. He does seem to like the Happy Mouth and has even tried to pick it up when the bridle is just hanging there in front of him, so I'm a little hesitant to change it out. I guess we'll wait and see for now.

The disaster came about a bit later when he decided to continually try to canter when I wanted him to trot. Yeah, he hops into our trot transitions (though not as badly of late), but he sometimes also sucks back in the trot, throws his head up, and does this poky little canter thing. Ugh. Pushing him forward only begets a bigger canter, and slowing him down only ends up with a teenier canter or a walk. AARGH! Try as I might, we were just NOT getting the trot consistently. I muddled through it and then went on to canter work... which was shockingly nice. And then came the downward trot transtions. Except, it seems he forgot how to trot from a canter. All I could get was the aforementioned teeny canter or a walk. So, I asked for the down transitions, and if he gave me something crummy, we went back to canter. Again and again. Finally I went for walk transitions and then legged him back up into a trot, and that actually seemed to work. But it was really frustrating to have this issue, which I thought was mostly solved, come out of nowhere. Maybe his back is sore. Maybe he's sick of sitting in his stall. Maybe he was just having an off day, I don't know. But if that's the kind of ick that we get tomorrow, our score is going to more like a 50% than a 70%. Yuck. And frankly, I don't care about the score so much as we were doing so WELL and now we seem to have this big, ugly, new issue.

On a brighter note, a couple of funny things happened as I was tacking Saga down. First, I'd taken off his bridle and hung it on a hook that's right next to the tie point, then turned around to take off my helmet and gloves and put them in my locker. When I turned back around to continue untacking him, I saw this:

New for the fall season: bits on the browband ~ bridles double as hats!

Apparently he had rubbed his face on the bridle and managed to get it tangled over his ears. I just had to take a picture! Saga only managed to look put out that I was laughing at him.

Then, as I was pulling off Saga's saddle, I heard FuzzyPony laughing hysterically next to me. Her horse Taran was next to Saga (I was on Saga's off side) and Taran was apparently feeling salt-deprived, because the next thing we knew, Taran was using Saga as a salt lick!

Yup... tastes like chicken!

Taran must have stood there slurping on Saga for a good three or four minutes, until I moved Saga off to get bathed. The funny thing is that Taran has 24/7 access to a salt block in his pasture, so he shouldn't be so salt-deprived!

I shampooed Saga with Betadine since he's been itchy and has any number of scrapes, scratches, and bites on him, then shampooed and conditioned his sad, scraggly tail. I pulled and trimmed his mane (not sure yet if I'm going to braid or not) and trimmed his bridle path, ears, and whiskers with scissors. I don't do the inside of the ears, and I only trimmed his whiskers to about an inch long, so he still has use of them. I noticed that he had gotten a teeny bit fuzzy with the cooler weather we've had the past few days, but hopefully he'll stay shiny for tomorrow since it's supposed to be pretty warm both today and tomorrow.

This afternoon FuzzyPony and I are cleaning tack, and I still need to get my clothes together. Tonight is a late night for me due to step-mom chauffeuring duties, but I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow so hopefully it will be OK.

Wish us luck!

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