Friday, January 18, 2013

Dressage Saddle!

First and foremost, I want to send my condolences to JenJ, who lost her beloved Saga on Tuesday. Jen has really become a good friend ever since I moved to Texas, and from lunches and horse shopping all the way to frantic phone calls ("is this an abscess?" "is this roundpenning thing a horrible idea?"), I can always count on her for advice, opinions, or a shoulder to wail on when things go horribly wrong. Take a minute to go read their story, and to send your own condolences to her too. 

On the same page, Wednesday was the 7-year anniversary of Metro's death. I've written a lot about him over the years; you can find some of it on the old Eventing-A-Gogo blog. It is amazing how things come full circle - how his only remaining daughter is now here with me, acting every bit like her father's child every day. They look SO much alike too... they have the exact same head! (Aside from her crazy facial markings, of course!)

Miss you, Cookieman. Miss you all the time, every day.


Onto some cheerier things! While I am still a bit worried about the state of Immy's hindgut (ordered some Equishure to try as per recommendation here, and thanks to everyone who gave suggestions!), everything else is progressing very smoothly. (Well, mostly.) We've had a bit of a strange week weather-wise - it actually SNOWED here on Tuesday! It was miserable, cold, blustery, and snowy all day long, so I called it a day early and stuffed some extra hay into their shed for good measure. We are now up to TWO WHOLE SNOWS for the season. That is two more than we had last year! Thankfully, this OUTRAGEOUS winter weather is probably completely over for the year, thank god. It was in the 60's today and will be in the 70's this weekend, which is more more reasonable for this time of year. At least all the grass is growing now that we've had some precipitation! 

Not sure how Immy felt about that, but P acted a bit like, "Oh thank god, the weather is FINALLY nice!" As evidenced by the snow on her blanket, she was more than happy to just stand out in it all day.

For Immy's fourth ride, I decided to switch over from the rope saddle to my dressage saddle - time to start learning to be a proper event pony! I had S hold her again while I mounted, and I am glad that I did - the difference between the fenders of the western saddle and the, well, nothingness of no fenders in a dressage saddle is a bit of a leap. Instead of a big piece of leather between my leg and her side, suddenly it was just my leg, and as expected it surprised her a bit! Thankfully, it didn't take more than a moment for her to settle in, and off we went to work on some more steering, stopping, and trotting!

I have some equitation issues I need to work on... badly. Yikes.

This picture makes me laugh - I was exaggerating my bad habit of doing puppy paws (AKA piano hands), and the super exaggerated movement got caught on camera. Rest assured, I do NOT usually ride like this.... although sometimes my mitts get the best of me!

She looks pretty stinking cute in dressage tack, does she not? She even offered to take a contact on several occasions at the walk, which is sort of what she is doing in that picture. 

Today, I kept things simple with a nice easy lunge and a good grooming session. I was able to pull the rest of her mane (YES!!), all except for one small area right behind her poll. I figured I had done quite enough, and left it at that. Someday, I will be able to give her a proper bridle path, and then we can REALLY do up her mane the way it should be... but that day is not today. As for now, I was most impressed that she stood still and allowed me to finish pulling, despite the fact that she was not very amused by it. She did her best to be a good girl!

Tomorrow, we ride again for the 5th time - and I may even ride in the even bigger paddock, so that we have a little more space to maneuver and work on steering. We shall see!


  1. She does look great in that saddle! She's going so well!

  2. Let me know how she goes on EquiShure, and make sure you give her a good long course (Max needed over 3 weeks to show a difference).
    And I agree, she is gorgeous in a dressage saddle! Cute as a button! If she needs a new home, you could always send her down to NZ to me!!!!!

  3. Oh wow, she is going so well!!! Well done! :) Something that helped my mare not to be as surprised about my offside leg 'arriving' was to desensitise her to that idea. I touched/rubbed her with a whip/stick on the side that I wasn't standing on (reaching over her back) until she wasn't surprised by it arriving out of the blue. I also did a bit of the same thing with my hand... my horse is pretty small, but I still had to stand on something (gate/fence/crate/etc) or lean across her back to do that! But I can't believe how well Immy is going already!!!

    I've heard good things about EquiShure too, but my friend has her horse on a Kohnke's Own product called Formex:

    Not sure if it's available there, but it seems to produce good results for my friend. Her gelding is 30+ years old and she was having a lot of trouble with him scouring ALL the time, but especially when he ate something a bit rich/green. So he was always messing his tail and legs, and he was losing condition badly too. Since he's been on Formex he looks so much better - he's put heaps of condition back on and has very little scouring (provided that his diet is strictly controlled). She was at the 'big question' stage and now he's running around the paddock with his mates again :)

  4. She looks great!!! She has come so far under saddle in a very short period of time. Bet you are excited!

  5. Six thumbs up!

    (I am commandeering some family members thumbs for this)

  6. She looks awesome! So cute in that dressage saddle, and she's going SO well! Congrads!

    And thanks for the thoughts about Saga. I know you miss your Metro too. It's a sad time of year.

  7. My only piece of advice for equitation when riding babies: heels way down, and don't be afraid to put your feet on the dashboard ;-)

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