I finally got a break from real life and got to spend a morning at the barn. I had a laundry list of things I needed to take care of (ride three horses, farrier, clean tack, fix tack room, groom horses, …), and I managed to knock a few out. First order of business was getting the ponies ready for the farrier.
Confession time. The end of the year got crazy. Knots got shoes before the October Pine Hill, and (shame on me) still had them on when the farrier was here.First order of business then was fixing the ponies feet. I can’t believe Knots kept his shoes for so long. Its been crazy wet on the farm. Gracie did not choose to be so conservative. She lost her shoes practically right after she got them on. In any case, the ponies are back on track, and to quote the farrier, “it’s a new year.”
Trimming was pretty uneventful. No shoes for the horses, since they aren’t really doing anything and their feet are in decent condition, except thrush. Can’t kill thrush when you live in mud. We pour chemicals on the thrush when we pick feet, but its like trying to stop an avalanche with boulder.
The other task on trimming day is to worm the ponies. Its winter, so I try to do something with a tapeworm drug, so we did QuestPlus. The syringe was easier than I remember (or maybe Robert has been doing the dirty work for a few months). I put Gracie and Jellybean in the round pen so they would be easy to grab for the farrier and filled my pockets with treats. Then treat, wormer, more treats. Jellybean didn’t approve.
While the ponies were getting trimmed, I actually got to ride in my new saddle. As I mentioned, saddle fit is starting to be a problem. I have lost wither clearance with the saddles (or I never had it as good as I thought). Generally I ride with half pads, but I decided its time to put on the big girl panties and fix the problems. Enter new eBay saddle.
The new saddle is between a medium and a medium wide. It is a tad wide for Knots and Gracie (so far) with their total lack of muscle, but I think its going to fit well as they get back in shape.
Without the half pad and after riding, there is about 1.5 fingers between the wither and back, so I’m very optimistic. I also really like the saddle. I can’t decide if its an all purpose or a close contact. If you have an opinion please let me know. As far as riding, it has a pretty deep seat and is very comfortable. Although, there is a trail ride planned for MLK day that may challenge the comfort. The saddle is Excelle, which was made by Miller NYC. Its in good used condition. There is a little bit of almost cracking in some places, but it is very serviceable and a huge step up from my older close contact saddle.
During the ride I worked on getting Knots to not run forward from my spur and relaxing. Basically every ride after a long break. At this point I can’t say that I am getting back on a regular schedule, but it was still a good ride. We did a little bit of jumping, Knots was rushing badly but he was clean. Again, same old same old. It was still an enjoyable ride, and he relaxed quicker than I was expecting at the walk. Small building blocks.
All in all, the morning turned out productive. Didn’t start on some of the more mundane tasks, but I did get the horse’s feet in order, worm all the ponies, ride Knots, and get to ride in my new saddle. I’ll call it a win.