Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Year's Swim Suit

On Sunday Lady of Chaos came along with her husband and daughter, Kissy, to look at Jet. They decided they liked her (well...who wouldn't?) and left me with a down payment and a size 72 sheet for one of the geldings. Both Dude and Sandy were getting a wee but muddy from their mid day naps out in the wet clay and I was thrilled that LOC had an extra. Being as the sheet was blue, Darling immediately snagged it for her red pony.

"He looks like a woman in last year's swim suit!!"

"Come on, I have to wear this???"

Indeed, Dude Lee Do Right has not missed many meals, and Darling's observation was quite astute. The sheet was amply filled out, to say the least, and Dude didn't look too happy about squeezing into a size too small. His belly was bulging and his hiney was hanging out the back. This boy may not be overly tall, but he's making up for it in his tank-like physique. And so the sheet was removed and placed onto Sandy...where it became apparent that he, too, hasn't been late to the dinner table of late. Still, it was a better fit than Dude, so he's still got it on in an effort to help reduce dried clay on his long winter coat.

Dude is just about as happy with a saddle as he was his blanket!

I have Steve Holt! a couple of days off, which turned out to be a mistake. When I went out on Tuesday he was back to week one and didn't want me to catch him. He was easy enough to get the blanket off, but when it came time to put something around his neck or on his head, he began his mad dash around the pen in an effort to find a way out. Thankfully, this time I had all gates secure!

I stood in the center of his pen, keeping my back to him as he circled around, trying not to put any additional pressure on him. He was on high alert, though, and crashed from one end to the other, not caring if I was looking or not. After a few minutes I went for my long rope and tossed it across his back, which to his mind meant he was captured. From then on out it was business as usual.

What I should have done is spent at least one of those days doing nothing but haltering and unhaltering, and maybe taking him out to graze. I'm really struggling with this face thing of his. I've run my fingers up inside his mouth in search of teeth or sharp edges that might be interfering with his bit, but the bottom line is he's always had a thing about touching his head. This is the kind of horse who, if you didn't know he came from the wild like this, you'd suspect someone had been smacking him upside the head. Working with mustangs has sure changed how I look at domestic horses with issues...they're not always man made, even though we'd like to blame the former owner for behavior problems. Some horses just are super reactive or protective and it takes time to get over it. And some...well...some just never do. Hopefully this is something Steve Holt! will get over, because he's too dang tall to reach his head when he lifts it up.

Despite our head games, Steve Holt! is working under saddle well. I'm beginning to wonder, though, if his trot may not be part of my neck/shoulder/head pain as it increases with each slam of the hoof to the ground. It's odd, really, how a trot that looks so lofty and full of air can slam you so hard. Or perhaps it's just in my heightened state of pain that I notice it more?


froglander said...

Can you post to his trot? Although, with the built-up seat on that saddle, might be a little harder. I had a really hard time learning to sit Taffy's trot. She had a springy, pretty trot to watch, but it could bounce you all over if you let it. It helped to ride another horse who had a smooth trot that you could practice sitting and see how it should feel, and then try and translate that to Ms. Springy Trot. I found too, that when she lifted her back and carried herself, she carried me as well and her trot was much easier to sit. So it is understandable that SH!'s trot is bouncy right now as it takes awhile for them to learn to lift their back and carry you. It's probably also easier on their back to post?

Dude looks very snazzy with a saddle on, but you're right, he doesn't look very excited, lol.

gtyyup said...

My first thought too was post that trot!! I'm following right along with froglander's way of thinking.

But, I really had to laugh at the "Last Year's Swim Suit" title!

Tracey said...

Oh, I post...but it's still jolting. And today the lope felt jolting as well. We were in the big arena for the first time and I could really feel it in my lower back.

I really laughed at Darling's swimsuit comment...both geldings filled it out far too well :)

Lady Of Chaos said...

LOL that was my problem. Everyone is too fat to wear that sheet. The mares have thier baby bellies and the rest, well, they didn't miss any dinners either. In fact I think they've all snuck in a few second helpings. :)

I'm glad it fits somebody and will get some use instead of being smushed into the bottom of the box.

I feel for you with the back thing. I wish I could have felt good enough to give Jet a ride, but I'll have lots of time. :) I've been putting a heat pad/massager pad on my back off an on and it seems to be helping. I could actually carry groceries today without wanting to cry. Maybe you should try that or wear a back/lumbar support brace while riding until the pain stops.

Tracey said...

Ice. Both the chiropractor and massage therapist scolded me for not putting ice on it those first couple of weeks. But it's so COLD!!! They told me to bundle up under blankets and ICE it :) But when I'm not icing I'm soaking in a hot bubble bath :D

Hope your back heals soon, LOC!

Dixie said...

I know what you are talking about with the head thing,
I have a 3 y/o filly that is the same way, she is getting better but man
when I put her halter on her nose is in the are and moving all around,
I have to put the rope around her neck first.
She doesn't even like to have her head petted she will turn away.
She has been that way from day one. Not fun.