Friday, January 27, 2012

First Ride in the Specialized Eurolight

Specialized Test Ride Results:  Definitely need to undo the rivet up under the saddle and lengthen the stirrups, once I got them to my height it had shortened them enough that the fenders were sitting directly on top of the stirrups themselves and it wasn't comfortable. Easily fixed, it's the first thing shown on the fitting DVD and I declined to actually set my stirrups to the correct length and discover this until I had hauled to the trail head away from available tools. That's good planning ahead, eh? Anyway I will adjust that tonight.

The trails were slippery from the last week so we didn't move out enough to work up a good sweat as far as checking the sweat marks from the saddle. It looked like there were two small dry voids just behind her wither, but again she was barely sweaty so I'm not exactly sure about that. There looked to be a bit of ruffed up hair on both sides of the back right on the points where the stirrup leathers run down, I'm wondering if I need to put a thin flat shim under there to give more cushion from the leathers pressing down on the fitting cushions..but yeah, it was fairly subtle. Basically I need to point Desire up the hill from home and say GO, that always works up a good sweat pattern ;-)  So fix the stirrup issue, and I think I'll screw around here at home to work on the fit this weekend.

Comfort wise, the memory foam-esque seat was as lovely to sit in as I hoped it would be. The lower part of the fenders where it curls around your shin were predictably new-saddle stiff which put more torque on my bad ankle than I like, but the saddle does need to be broken in. The western saddle I've been using on her was the same--I borrowed it with only 4 rides on it and it started out stiff but now curls around the leg without putting a torsion on my ankle. I put the stirrups it came with on the saddle, though they are heavy and clanky they have really thick nice padding. It's so nice to have loads of D rings to attach things to again and it was awesome how perfectly the burgundy saddle seat matched my wine&blue colored tack. I scored a royal blue cantle pack from The Distance Depot to use for rides when I need to carry more water and it matches the blue saddle pad pretty darn well. I'm so gleeful about matching color tack, I could never go back to plain old leather!

It was a GORGEOUS day out on the trails, we met N and her mare and had a nice mellow ride chatting away--man, I enjoy talking horse and horse person gossip like nothing else and that is the truth! The lake was blue-green, the sky was deep blue, the sun was out--and Desire was spooky. She was pretty silly at the beginning of the ride, I think our choice to take the steep uphill trail first took a little piss and vinegar out of both mares which helped, but she still looky-looed more than usual. N and I were also both convinced that Desire seemed taller today. I know that sounds bizarre but I thought it to myself when I tied her to the trailer and when N came over to see the new saddle she said the same thing. My (totally scientifically based) theory was that her heat (OH YES, seemed like as soon as she touched noses over the fence with Blaze this week she went into winky heat) makes her pull herself up into true huffy lady form and look that much taller. Who knows. What I do know is that the annoyed little glances Desire was shooting N and I as we ooed and ahhed and poked around the new saddle on her back were HILARIOUS. She certainly wears her feelings on her face.

Miss D loaded and trailered there and back well. No more crazy crashing around since I opened the divider. Unfortunately my good friend Thrush is back in all four of her feet. All it takes is a little moisture and she gets thrush, which is unfortunate. I treated it with Hypozin this afternoon. Anyone know if there is anything to feed supplemental-wise to help prevent it, or do I just keep battling it? It gets better with treatment but doesn't totally go away if the ground stays damp.

I noticed 2 gaiter rubs and N noticed a heel bulb rub from the boots today. That's never happened before, but this is also the wettest and slickest ride I've done in them. We had to cross a number of puddles and a couple streams, so her feet and boots were wet the whole ride and clearly rubbed. Makes me nervous for any endurance rides with those weather conditions..we did 6 easy miles  and got small but visible rubs, so if I were riding a 30 or 50...yeahhh. Hmm. Could be a problem. Wonder what people do in that situation, I know I'm not the first to encounter it. Are there fleece linings for these boots or what?! Lol.

I think I'll see if the husband wants to see The Grey tonight. Because Liam Neeson vs. anything works for me!


  1. Ooohh! New saddle looks so pretty! If you shim it for one horse will it work for the other? I think Desire seemed taller because she was like a kid with new clothes on the first day of school. And cute picture of you too, you are way too color coordinated!

    As for the thrush, I like Thrush off which is a powder. In theory making sure minerals are balanced (with a ration balancer or something like CA Trace) would help, but Major gets it anyway, so ???

  2. LOL yeah I didn't realize when I got dressed this morning just how purpley matchey my clothes would be. Those are new breeches I just got on sale from Distance Depot and the color is awesome! I think it's called Midnight but it has a purpley/iridescent sheen.

    Nope I have to completely change the saddle set up for Blaze, which is the beauty of the Specialized. I CAN do that! I ordered a thicker set of fitting cushions for Blaze and spare sets of shims so I can cut and fill and make the saddle fit him just so. His shape changes significantly when he is fit so whether I use the saddle on both horses or not I'll need to, and be able to, tear it apart and adapt it over time. Desire is much more normally shaped, luckily.

    I've had success treating thrush with Vetericyn and right now I'm trying Hypozin..I just wish I could promote it not happening rather than just coping with it's existence..Well I'll figure something out eventually I'm sure, trial and error and all that!

  3. DARN, her feet were looking so good. CA Trace has helped my Shain w/his long battle against thrush. Pretty much a non-problem now. I've had good luck with Blue Kote. The liquid is best/easiest to get in deep, but I also use the spray. And while I know a lot of people don't like Kopertox, I really like it & it works pretty well.

    Maybe your boots aren't fitting well now that her feet are shaping up? Were the gaiters a different tightness than usual? Maybe stretched w/use & you're not getting them tight enough? Try putting cowboy magic on her legs & baby powder on the gaiters. That's what I do. I've also glued sheepskin on a gaiter for a horse who had a wound & that kept the scab from even rubbing off. Do you clean/wash the boots after every use? Maybe dried sweat or dirt particles caused the rubs.

  4. Here's my theory on thrush: it's always there. If you get all the stars aligned perfectly (perfect hay, perfect ration balancer, perfect workload and movement and etc) the horse keeps it in check / grows new soft tissue faster than the thrush can eat up the old. If something gets out of wack and there's dampness, you get more thrush than the horse can cope with. What kind of RB are you using? I am pretty sure I'm going to switch to CA Trace when I out there, but I really like LMF super supplement for now at least.

  5. Oh and the new saddle looks fabulous! Forgot to say that, lol