Monday, May 12, 2014

Celebrating, and Not

Yesterday was my 27th birthday and today is my 4th wedding anniversary. My mom is on her way  here for a couple of days' visit this morning and the sun is shining beatifically despite a wild wind that hasn't entirely quit for days now.

Here's Sheza the other day, doing wonderfully with April at Moore Horses, and just confirmed to be staying for another 30 days of brain boot camp:

9 month old RC Rory is finally starting to look better, shedding out her Nebraska fluff and gaining weight. Her legs go on for miles it seems!

morning filly yoga

There are indeed many things to be joyful about and grateful for this day, but going forward with my intended ride schedule doesn't number among them. After a final Decider test ride on Scrappy this past Saturday I have thrown in the towel on attending NASTR 75 (and thus hopes for the Triple Crown this year).

I've been updating the blog with my recent saddle issues, but here's a synopsis:

*Happy Scrappy goes great in western Abetta saddle for 2 Lds and 20 miles of an RO'ed 50 last fall

*I decide I miss riding English, the Abetta fenders tweak my knee, and impulsively trade my Specialized Eurolight (didn't like the narrow twist anyway) for a 17" seat wide tree Frank Baines All Purpose saddle in January of this year.

*Scrappy flies delightfully down the trail in a saddle that seems to fit us both great for the next approx 4 months (in winter hair). His sweat marks are pretty darn good but not picture perfect,

*April 5th Nevada Derby 50,  Scrap finishes with matching sore spots on his back under my seat bones, nowhere near future rub marks and most likely due to Surprise!-traveling inverted like a giraffe (which is since being addressed with lateral/bitted work)

*1 mellow 8 mile jaunt from home a week after the 50 to stretch his legs, no real sweat pattern or exertion, nothing noticed

*3.5 weeks after Derby 50 I ride my first hot (in the 90s), hilly, moving out 15 miles of the year on a now shed-out Scrappy. Not back sore afterwards but saw the sweat pattern looked less even than has previously when saddle comes off. Get home, wash him, and with the hair clean and swirling see PINK bald patches revealed, perfectly matching, behind the shoulder where the uneven sweat marks were.

*1 week later, Have hissy fit. Assess tack room. With Trailmaster and Abetta we still have 2 viable options, huzzah! Put Abetta on Scrappy and realize it in no way fits at all anymore. Play with Specialized Trailmaster fit, goop up rub marks, reintroduce crupper, and do short but hilly 5 mile ride from home. Back, spots, and saddle fit seem good, so 2 days later goop the spots up again and ride 14 miles at the lake to see if there is any hope of getting to NASTR. Post ride reveals left side mark, which had grown some callused skin already, fine, while right side looks more pinked out.
The hair immediately in/around these pink areas is cruddy and wants to be shed out. I guess that's the dead hair wanting to escape?   I have little to no experience with saddle rubs previously and I am totally appalled that I have matching pink bald patches on my horse now. Never were the rubs/bald spots painful but I can't in good conscience ever walk into a ride camp with an underweight, tack galled, or otherwise NQER* horse, so there it is.

Well at least underweight is never a problem ;-)

Now what? A few weeks (or however long) til I like what I see hairwise on those spots, and back to the drawing board on saddle fit. We'll catch a 50 later in the season when we're sorted out and in the meantime there are always other horses needing riding and training. Onward!

*Not Quite Extra Right, my personal qualification for sending in those dollars and asking my horse to carry me an inordinate number of miles


  1. Happy Birthday, but I'm sorry about the ride. Always disappointing to miss something you've looked forward to and trained for. Saddle fit is so frustrating! Have you considered having the Frank Baines reflocked? I was able to do that and really fix the fit on my Solstice.

    I am also sorry to see that Scrappy is so sad that he has to bury his head in the feed bag. Eating to drown his sorrows.. 8-)

  2. Bummer about the whole saddle thing...I understand about ride plans going kaput. :(

  3. Happy birthday and happy anniversary.

    Boo hiss on the saddle stuff and having to throw in the towel. I totally understand your frustrations about sudden bald patches and dealing with saddle sores for the first time. Q had some late summer the first year I had her and I was flabergasted as to what could have happened because I really felt like I'd kept a close watch! I'm sending positive vibes that you'll find a solution soon (treeless fixed us). As always, love the shots of Miss Rory. She really is the cutest thing ever. Beautiful herd you have!