Monday, August 25, 2014


I'm getting close to 200 posts for this blog. I know, right. That's it? Only 200? Yep. That's all. Combined total from the 3 blogs, this will be post #400.  Sad but true.  I obviously don't post often or much. I know others out there have done all kinds of contests and giveaways when they reached X number of posts or X number of followers so I am thinking up something to do as well to sort of celebrate.  I'll let everyone know when I do.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blah, mud, yuck, blah

I admit I have been neglecting things online for the past week or so. I also haven't been riding or driving at all so that's why there's been nothing much to talk about here. I have been spending time with the horses as per the usual when I feed and clean their stalls, but otherwise I haven't gotten to ride or enjoy them lately. It's ok though because I have been working on getting things rearranged and straightened out for the better. When I do get back to riding- there will be more room for it and hopefully I can start driving again soon.

So what is it that kept me so busy and out of the saddle? Well at least it is horse related. I have been moving stall panels and rearranging the whole set up where they are now. No my horses are not at home with me anymore and yes the girls and I have moved. That all changed several months ago. Some of you may have noticed I no longer mention any of the horses I used to have or enjoy working and hanging out with, but rest assured they are all in good places, cared for, loved and have jobs. It is what it is and it's what was best for them, so that's all that matters in the end. Right?

My one mare had a shade and the other one did not. I got sick of stinging up tarps as temporary shades and having to either take them down before storms or have them shredded in the process. Kat also had a temporary shade and it was suffering the consequences as well. What I started on last week and have been slowly working on is changing things around so that the mares share the one permanent shade, Kat's stall is again square and now I just need to get a structure for his shade put together and UP! The last part will happen, hopefully tonight or over the weekend at the latest. It's just so freakin HOT though and the rain means it has been more humid too. I get out of the truck and feel like someone soaked me with the hose. It has been that humid. Ick!

In between it all, of course it rained. Now part of the pens are slop and the mares keep reaching thru the fence to get at the feed barrel- dumping the pellets and snarfing on them like they are totally innocent and since being gelded- Kat is pissing the pen up like nobody's business. Everybody now has a slow feed net so the pellets seem to last a little longer, they have hay in front of them a bit more often and things seem better for the most part. I just need to string up some wire to keep the mares out of the feed between feedings an move some dirt into their stalls and level things out so that the water runs out instead of pooling up.

What I have ended up with is a different place to put the horse trailer near a spot to groom the horses and tack up, a bigger round pen, an extra panel left over, a shade for Kat that won't be drooping on his head (or mine when I clean his stall) and hopefully some peace of mind for a little while. It just flows. There's still a few things needing to be changed, moved, removed, improved and sorted out, but it will come in due time. I will work on them slowly, one at a time in the order of most important, but for now the horses will all have shade, and hopefully I can start riding them again soon. I need some time in the saddle as much as they are needing time under it. Yay Woo!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I rode Aruba first and since she has an ongoing issue with popping her head up either thru or following a stop, I put the German martingale on her. She can sort it out with her own bad self and she did try at first. We made a few laps around the round pen with plenty of walk-halt transitions in there and she got the idea pretty quick. Our stops were much cleaner since she wasn't hollowing out her back and looking like a giraffe with her head in the air. Big difference and so much nicer. Now I find that I could use a bit longer reins. The reins that came with it are fine on smaller, more 'normal' sized horses- QH, Arabs and such, but for her there isn't a whole lot of room at the ends for bridging my reins

Then I took her out of the round pen and we walked around the yard a lot. We even moved out onto the street and headed out away from the house. That got my TB mare and Kat all stirred up, but Aruba kept a very level head, both literally and mentally so we walked a bit further away and she seemed to enjoy her trip exploring. She was happy to be out doing something different so hopefully there will be more expansion on this later.

I don't like resorting to using things (especially gimmicks) if I don't need to, but with Aruba the head popping has been an ongoing thing for a while now. While it doesn't change the way she moves, it is annoying to me and I finally decided to put a stop to it. I have tried a variety of methods with riding her and find she also does it in the long lines, so if nothing else the German martingale works wonders for this. Keeping her head down also seemed to help the mares attitude a bit. She was more confident going forward and out into the 'real world' or at least she felt that way.

Then it was time to ride my TB mare. I figured I would try putting the western pad under the English saddle and see how it goes. It seems the dressage and close contact saddles are a tad too wide for her. Although it looked strange and felt weird up there at first, it was enough to do the trick for her and got the pommel of the saddle UP off her spine and kept it there. I know because I kept sticking my fingers in the channel to make sure there was plenty of room in there and no contact. I started with the dressage saddle as it seemed to fit better than the close contact- before padding it up.

I have searched online for a thicker pad for English saddles and while there are a lot of them out there- half pads, pads that allow for shims, riser pads and everything else I found, all seemed to be around $100-$150 and UP. Some were around $200-$300 or more. The shim pad inserts were separate and were anywhere from $17-$35. I certainly don't mind shelling out and paying for quality, but when it is (hopefully) a temporary need- that seems to get a bid ridiculous. At least it does to me.

So for now at least, I will stick to using a western pad under my English saddles and keep looking for something reasonably priced to get the job done. Either that or I will come up with something on my own. Surely I'm not the only one out there with this problem and not in the position to dump one saddle or buy a new one. The square pad sticks out behind the saddle so maybe a shaped or barrel pad would be better suited, but this is what I have to work with and I'm good with that. It's not like we're out there to win any beauty pageants or anything. As long as it is effective and my mare's back isn't sore as a result- it's all good.