Sunday, October 19, 2014

Catching Up

 The horses have been enjoying the cooler temperatures lately, and their human has too. 50s at night, high near 80 in the day, you couldn't ask for better riding weather. I've mostly been busy with other areas of life lately but I'm never too busy to appreciate the beauty in my pastures.

What you get when you call "Fillies!" around here
Sheza doing evening hot laps
 Rory is growing up!
The weenies love the autumn sunshine too
An evening walk with my girls. Pretty true height comparison over the rumps
<3 My girls <3
 After a busy two weeks with no riding, I saw some daylight and scheduled a ride with Mel last Thursday. She wasn't hauling her own horse out due to her youngster's Pigeon Fever so I hauled my boys Blaze and Scrappy for us to ride.
We put Mel's Freeform Classic and old Equipedic pad on Scrappy and my Sensation and Skito on Blaze, and had a *really fun* 13 mile ride. The trails had a few slicks spots leftover from the rain in the areas of the trail the sunlight didn't penetrate strongly; we rode conservatively on the turtle geldings but both boys did little hind hoof slips on downhills. Scrappy's was minor and nothing resulted, while Blaze loaded stiffly into the trailer after the ride.

 And unloaded even more stiffly at home.

The big red light really came on when he didn't roll immediately upon being put back in his paddock, since Blaze *always* rolls, especially after being drippy. He only ate about half his mash. About this time my mom was due to be pulling up for a weekend visit, and I was busy staring at my non-rolled, non mash eating gelding who was standing very still with his head low, looking a bit glazed over, to be honest. Blaze is a quiet gelding who just went 13 miles, but this was different. While metabolic concerns flashed in my head, I thought of the hind slip I'd seen too, and felt him all over. There was nothing to be detected on his legs and he gave me both hind legs and flexed them seemingly fine. Then as he half heartedly dipped his head at flies on his front legs I could hear a faint popping sound each time he went left or right. Feeling along his neck about midway down I came upon tightly knotted muscle on both sides, with 2 specific knots on the left side. I have a chiropractor out fairly regularly but am no expert on the subject, however I do know what an improperly knotted muscle feels like and what may feel good to relieve it, so I went to work on his neck while my husband gently massaged his rump. By this time my mom had arrived and had heard the neck pops I keyed on from where she stood outside the shed. In maybe two minutes of working his neck and rump gently Blaze licked and chewed and heaved some big sighs, and that glazed over stillness left him. He was certainly still stiff but the alarming stillness was gone and he finished his mash, wandered over for a drink, and was all nickers for dinner. I talked to Mel that night and she had felt a left front slip while I had a seen a right hind slip, so probably both had happened and Blaze had tweaked himself properly. He was himself but still not rolling Friday, then cantered up his hill and gave a half assed roll Saturday. Today, he had a thorough roll and seems quite himself, but my chiropractor will be here tomorrow afternoon just to be sure.
Oh, and if that wasn't unexpected drama enough? The Freeform with old Equipedic that I tried same day left Scrappy sore over his loins after those 13 miles. My working theory is that the padding-free Freeform and squashed down old inserts in the Equipedic=nowhere near enough padding for Scrappy? My Sensation has 3 layers of insert padding in the saddle itself plus the brand new firm inserts in the Skito, and he hasn't been sore backed at all in it up to 18 miles riding. I'll have to do another ride in a Freeform with a better pad at some point to test that theory, but meanwhile have 50s coming up in a month or so and will probably just stick with the Sensation.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn Trails and Silly Fillies

I really know that autumn has come when I start riding all of my horses--a lot! Don't get me wrong, I ride in every season, and in theory mean to pursue endurance each and every calendar year, but like life, that always takes a slightly different form. As a redhead with heat issues I regulate my summer riding somewhat, and in general I don't ride nearly as many conditioning miles as I used to when I first got into endurance. Good thing probably because if I tried to I think my Rushcreek Tracer (Scrappydoo, to you) would mutiny altogether. As it is the poor bugger went almost 30 miles this week! In fact with buddy N's assistance, all three of my saddle steeds saw the trail this week, lucky critters.

First there was Scrappy and Sheza:
And then Scrappy and Blaze:
N brought her Freeform Liberty and I rode in it on Blaze that day-- and it was magical! The first saddle that I ever felt that "aha, this is my seat's happy place" moment with was the Specialized Trailmaster that I bought right off the horse in Utah a few years ago--but now that I've ridden the Freeform Liberty I want to sell or trade one of my saddles (Frank Baines or Trailmaster) and get a Liberty, stat! Even as absurdly wide as Blaze is, it was SO comfortable, and he moved out fabulously. For whatever reason I could actually SIT his ridiculous trot somewhat too--not the extended one, god no, but at least the slower pace. Blaze is a kidney pounder, the type that tosses you nearly a foot out of the saddle, forcing you to post or more ideally 2 pt, so sitting anything is a bit unheard of on him.  If anyone has a 17.5 or 18" Freeform Liberty they want to sell or trade, let me know! 

Scrappy sleeping off that 6 mile ride..Blaze in the Freeform

Meanwhile, in Filly land....

(Step) sisters have such beautiful relationships..


...3 minutes later....

Sheza working the autumn sunlight.. 3 1/2 years of gorgeous.. 
Rory ever curious, Sheza sulking a bit
she knows she's the Original filly girl! 
Rory @ 15 months and 13 hh...her butt might be more like 14.1...
Yep that rump is almost as high as Sheza' s-- just no other body part. Ah, babes! 
Last but not least, I FINALLY managed to get in my 15 mile (actually 16.5, ah thank you) ride with Scrappy this morning. I've meant pretty much all of the last rides not also involving Sheza to be 15 mile rides, except due to smoke or tack or changes of plans they've fallen way short. With 20 Mule Team 100 in my sights at the end of February but first hopefully a 50 or two coming up in November, I really need to be testing my tack on longer rides and making sure that Scrap and I are properly prepared.

someone on FB asked if he was dirty or  if that was all just "Scrappy markings" 
 I'm going with the latter!  That's really rather clean for him..
 you want to go how many miles?
 lovely quiet morning on the trails
 weary traveler sees the trailer
 While we did manage to rip a boot shell off the captivator after a water crossing/uphill combo, we otherwise had a solid (warm!) conditioning ride, finishing with a happy back and lovely even sweat mark at the end. Phew. Onward and upward!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sale Saddle!

Hello readers,

 I'm selling a 16" Specialized Eurolight Endurance saddle for a good friend and would love you to spread the word if you wouldn't just like to buy this beauty yourself.

General specs
*16" seat (seats run a bit small in general; if 16" sounds large 
it's easily snugged up with a woolly cover)
*Few years old, great condition 
*seems to be Wide tree like my older Trailmaster

Comes with
*1/2" fitting cushions
*new set of shims
*new woolly seat cover
*aluminum stirrups 

new seat woolly included!

 $1,100 + shipping
Please contact me at if you are interested!