Thursday, September 11, 2008

With Sandy on Hold...


...Jet has found herself under saddle a bit more frequently than she'd like.

This past week the sun has been out and it's been too pretty to just hang out at the round pen, so I've been saddling Jet up and heading up the trail. This was working well until I got it in my mind to travel to Ogallala one day.


Really, I had no clue where Ogallala might be until I mentioned it to others who were quite taken aback that I could ask such a thing. Seems I missed out on a lot by not watching Lonesome Dove...Be that as it may, the likelihood of actually making it 1450 miles to Nebraska (which, for those of you who are as clueless as me, is where Ogallala is...) was pretty slim. Jet wasn't really certain she wanted to go to Ogallala. Her nerves were getting the better of her, but she trudged along fairly well for the most part. Through big trees, tall ferns and even over a scary wood bridge.



But eventually she was done. And I mean done! We started up the face of the mountain (still in the trees) and as it became narrower, she became grouchier and touchier than she'd ever been. Upon finding a place with room to head back for home, she gladly threw her body around and raced down the hill at a break-neck trot. Had me worried, she did, as there was little reasoning with her once those nerves took over. I must admit I lost a bit of horsemanship with her that day and when we got to the bottom in one piece I decided to head her straight back up that hill, at least the lower level. She, however, had other ideas and a small battle ensued where she reared and I hung on, then turned her back again and encountered yet another protest. But she met with my heels and took off briskly up the lower portion of the hill, and this time when we turned around it was to walk down.


She was thankful for the hitching post we found down below as it offered her an opportunity to stand and catch her breath as I took her picture and answered my cell phone to chat with someone who's interested in adopting a horse. I must admit I nearly sold them Miss Alpo at that moment, but instead talked about Joe. When I climbed back on Jet, she was still edgy and nervous about our long ride in unfamiliar territory, which made for an interesting ride home.

The following day I opted to head up the old familiar trail, but again she decided to challenge me. This time there was nothing nervous in it, just a three year old tantrum at the top of a steep hill, which I so did not need. More loss of horsemanship skills as I behaved like I've not behaved with a horse since I was 12. I dismounted this time as we weren't in a location which offered me much choice; I gave her a good smack with the end of the reins and stomped up the rest of the hill of foot, fuming with each thud of the boots, and when I climbed back on board she was forced to put it into high gear straight away.

By the time we made it back down to the foot of the hill she and I were back on good terms. However, I noticed the next morning that she had some galling from the cinch which undoubtedly contributed to her cranky behavior the past two rides.

So now I've got two horses on bed rest. Sandy's eye is healing up, but his pupil is still quite dilated which makes it impossible to head out on these sunny days. I've had him out on a couple of short (very short) evening jaunts of five or ten minutes just so he can start tuning up again for when he's ready. Jet will have to wait until I can afford a sheepskin cinch, as both the string cinch and felt have irritated her sensitive skin.

Hey, Dude...wanna go for a ride?

10 comments:

Lulu said...

Have you tried a neoprine cinch? I've had good luck with them.

Tracey said...

I've heard too many bad things to even attempt them, Lulu. Plus...icky sweat, lol! The sheepskin, I'm hoping, should provide the comfort and padding she needs; I think she's just too thin skinned for anything else.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

We use nothing but neoprene cinches. On all the horses. No problems ever with any of the past or present. That is why I always advise. What bad things have you heard. They do sweat under them but no one has ever had any bad effects.

Tracey said...

I've heard multiple people complaining of galling, Lea, so I'm rather hesitant to try one when that's my problem with her now.

Katee said...

It's so much fun reading all of these riding posts. You had such a long stretch of not having riding horses. I think it is wonderful that you not only have 1 riding horse, you have a pair!

Jeanette said...

I've had real good luck with contoured girths/cinches. We used to have an Arab who had such a small area where the girth rode it caused her LOADS of problems till we switched to a contoured girth. Before I found our latest, I even resorted to cutting away a felt one, which worked fine...looked funny...but, worked fine though. After cinching up we ALWAYS stretched the front legs way out forward and upward to ease any pinching at the elbow too.
I have always stayed away from neoprine as well...even the equine chiropractor had poor reports about the neoprine. They said when you are cinching up it holds on too well till they start sweating, with the skin twisting it pulls the saddle askew and makes the tree pinch (that's what they said...no personal experience here though)
Good luck...and I hope Joe found a good home!!!!

Tracey said...

Thank you, Katee! Too bad neither of them is ridable at the moment, eh? I'm going through withdrawals, lol!

Jeanette, that's a great idea on the cut back! I think that may be what I need. I was going to create my own little fleece cover (polar, not fluffy) until I could afford a sheepskin one. Now you've got me wondering if cutback would be better. Oye...this could get expensive!

Saddle Mountain Rider said...

Yikes! What a ride! That bridge is too scary for me. I dont think i would cross it on foot.

Rising Rainbow said...

I ride with neoprene cinches and have seen galls with them. Usually it's from not getting them "seated" properly.

Gecko said...

Naughty Jet. But the extra work will do her good I'm sure!