Sunday, September 20, 2009

Odds and ends

Tonight after dinner, I headed out to the barn. I'd spent part of the afternoon polishing my boots (yeah, they're still as uncomfortable as ever, and no, they still don't fit) and cleaning some of my old bridles that I dug out of my bin of unused strap goods. I found not only Cash's old double bridle, from back in the day when I had hopes of going 3rd or 4th level, but I also found Moose's (a.k.a. Karlita, my Lipizzan mare who now resides in New Mexico with another owner) old bridle. Somehow I had my old bradoon reins, but the snaffle reins, which broke in a moment of absolute stupidity on my part years ago, were nowhere to be found. I think they might be in the hubby's workshop somewhere, awaiting to be fixed.

Anywho, I cleaned and reassembled as much as I could. The goal was to get two complete bridles together, one for jumping and one for dressage. I did manage to procure another loose ring snaffle, size 5.5, for jumping, so I wanted to get that on a bridle. I tried Cash's old bridle on Saga, and it was WAAAY too small in the browband, which I sort of expected. Moose's old bridle actually fit pretty well, although the browband was a touch too big. However, I've never much liked the bridle. The throatlatch is really thin in comparison to the cheekstraps and the rest of the bridle, and it just seems out of proportion. However, it's white padded black leather, and it looked pretty nice on Saga from afar. Eventually I want to get a bridle that really fits him and looks great on him, but I'm trying to save my husband from the sticker shock as much as possible. :)

So, for jumping I now have a loose ring snaffle with a flash noseband and 54 inch web reins with stops. I'd prefer 60 inch web reins with stops, but FuzzyPony is being nice enough to loan them to me, so I can't complain. For dressage I have the black and white bridle with a Happy Mouth eggbutt snaffle and my bradoon reins. I'd rather have the plain snaffle reins, so hopefully I can find them. As an alternative, I may buy a set of 60 inch laced reins. My problem with reins with stops is that I tend to hold the stops with my thumb, so often the reins are either too long or too short, because I can't convince myself to hold the reins anywhere but at the stops. Oh well. If I can't find my plain snaffle reins and get them fixed in fairly short order, I'll go back to my leather reins with stops for dressage. At least I do have alternatives.

My ride tonight was kinda strange. When I went out to get Saga, his buddies were inciting a riot. He came up to me twice, got a treat, but then quickly left when his buddies came near me. When I brought him up to the barn, he was behaving very forward, so I stopped off at the round pen for a bit of free lunging. With very little encouragement from me, he cantered around for about 3-4 minutes in each direction, and trotted for several more minutes both ways. He was lathered by the time he was done (but he sweats A LOT) but seemed to feel like he'd gotten the boogers out of his system.

After I did all the bridle fitting, I decided to hop on for a short ride. He behaved as though he had already finished working, and was a bit of a snot about being asked to work more (this is a thing of his, I'm noticing). We only did a bit of trot work, but I noticed that I was really having to move him off my inside hand and leg more than usual. We did have some nice moments, but nothing spectacular, which may be because I haven't ridden him since Wednesday if nothing else.

After I was done and was grooming a bit, I discovered his favorite itchy spot. It's on either side of his spine on top of his rump. He totally gets into being scratched there, and his butt must've dropped 6 inches as I scratched. It was pretty cute! Oh, and I tried on the size 87 turnout sheet I picked up at The Tack Shop of Austin yesterday. Thank goodness, it was HUGE on him. I think he needs an 84, maybe an 82. I may exchange it for an 82 (since they were out of 84s) and see if that would work for him. I mean, he's big and I know he's longer than a schoolbus, but I would be embarrassed for him to wear a blanket bigger than Brego - who, as a big, handsome Percheron, at least has an excuse to wear an 84!

Tomorrow, it's off at the crack of dawn to drop off the trailer to get the ramp reinforced and the lights rewired. You would not believe how much a 1300 lb horse can bend a trailer ramp without even trying! And then there was the rescue that FuzzyPony picked up a few weeks ago for another friend who tried to trample my trailer... sigh.

Since I didn't take any pictures today, I thought I'd leave y'all with this - this is Cash (the white dot on the left) at his retirement home with his 4 buddies. They've got a 10 acre pasture of rolling hills with knee-high coastal all to themselves. Horsie heaven? I think so!

P.S. Thanks for the banana pudding, FuzzyPony!

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