Monday, May 5, 2014

Rushcreeks: Yay and Neigh

I think I've cleared this up on the blog previously but just in case I didn't, a reminder that Rushcreek Aurora will be called Rory around the barnyard. It was a nickname my birth father called me as a kid and something I haven't used or heard since; it seems an appropriate nickname for this new little filly since we certainly can't both march around being Aurora's. ;-)

The first 2 days Rory had eyes only for the herd. The third day she began to watch my movements around the property. By the fourth day she had begun immediately noting my voice and heading for the gate, helped into that habit by hog-let fenceline sharer Desire, who perv-whinnies at me and rushes the gate every time I appear in case I'm en route to fulfilling my sole purpose on earth, i.e. feeding her. 

oh Hey, morning, whatcha doin?
pause for scratches
sleep baby chew coming to investigate
Rory's hooves need a trim pretty badly, having never been done, but I don't feel the need to tangle with baby legs until she's ready to present them to me, just like I wouldn't want to rush and jump on a horse until the foundation was there. As my horse trainer says, "If you can't run a rope all over it, you probably don't want to get on/under it." For now I haven't even haltered Rory again since her arrival, just spending time with her at liberty, bringing her around to me theory of scratches and human interaction. She loves to be rubbed all over her head, neck, back, and haunches, and each day I run my hands lower on each leg and between her front legs and belly, the ticklish spots. She squirts away when alarmed but always circles right back for more.

She is also a fan of naps! And naps taken in/next to breakfast are generally preferable:

***Crazy Wiener dog Interlude!!***

Wilbur laying in a ditch
Kodiak excavates the other end  ;-)

I had planned to spend what was a gorgeous, sunny, not-too-hot Sunday yesterday riding *the other Rushcreek* (totally tickled to type that! <3 ) Scrap at the lake, seeing how my next-in-line saddle fit was going.

ho-hum, saddle fitting is boring
His fully shed out coat coupled with a hot 15 mile ride last week showed me pink rubs behind the shoulder with the Frank Baines that I had never seen before. I've been riding him in the FB just the last handful of months and he was going great in it aside from some backsoreness after finishing the Derby 50, which  I had potentially attributed to his surprise rushy high headed giraffe way of going during that ride (also being addressed). I suppose with the look of the rub spots now they might well have been brewing under the winter coat right along. Sigh.

fleabitten Scrappy grey makes saddle marks easy to see! not!
Easier to see wet, or highlighted
With the NASTR 75 mile  literally 3 weeks away my next saddle solution was to go to the Specialized Trailmaster I use on Blaze. As I stared gloomily into my tack room thinking about the unsquashed fitting cushions of the correct width that I *didn't* have, I realized that I still did have the leather western Abetta saddle that we happily finished both very hilly days at Mendo Magic with. I was super excited about that possibility and got my husband to help me shanghai stirrup leathers on the Abetta instead of fenders--then I put the saddle up on Scrappy without a pad and discovered that he had very much indeed changed shape with all that fitness in the last few months and the Abetta didn't fit in the shoulders at all. 


Specialized it is, then. I dug out the old 3/4" fitting cushions I used for Desire and gloomily assessed them. I knew the cushions were too thick, except where they were too thin from apparent stirrup bar pressure..
I was still determined to piece together some sort of fit, but next realized I'd butchered every shim ever and there weren't even going to be shims to use--until I remembered my last hoarder spot, the ride vet bag in the horse trailer, where I found these, complete with god light and angels singing:
Except for that whole wrong fitting cushions part. After making a bad fit worse with the shims, I decided it was actually a mighty fine day for brushing and hoof trimming instead. And my tack room looked like this, post World War Saddle:
 I went whinging off to my Facebook friends and Funder promptly replied that she had 1/2" unsquashed Specialized fitting cushions and would be UPS'ing them to me in the morning. Endurance buddies!! <3 <3

So no riding this past weekend, but after chatting with Funder, somewhat calmer horse contemplation, and now, watching for the UPS man obsessively.

Sweet, no work! Scrap doesn't mind
 Rambo getting Scrappy's scraps
RC Rory thinks it's not too shabby being a California girl!

 Hey Human!


  1. That is such a cute baby!! Glad I can help :)

  2. Wow, good job spotting that – there’s barely anything there! Horses, man. Pretty cool that you can work the Specialized magic, though. Was there a reason you weren’t using that on him originally or was it just that the Baines was so comfy?

    1. I honestly didn't know those marks were there until I got home and washed him. With the hair slicked and swirling the pink was obvious :-/

      I tried my Specialized Eurolight on Scrappy when I first got him and he was sore from it because of the rock. He has such a level round back (and more so at the time) so I just used the Abetta that fit perfectly instead of figuring out the Specialized fit. Then I got tired of fenders and missed riding English so spur of the moment proposed a trade of my Eurolight for an English saddle, got lucky on the Baines, and seemingly rode off into the sunset in it..until now. MEh.

    2. HORSES. Finally get all settled and happy and horse going well -- and blammo, they grow new muscle and you're right back off to the races again. Or not, as case may be.

  3. still laughing at the weiner dog interlude! Argh, on saddle fit, especially with a big ride coming up! Hope you get it solved, almost nothing more frustrating. Baby Rory is SO cute, I just can't stand it.