Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get Galloping!

Oh the days of horse-ownership.

Gotta say I love them. But today, knowing that for sure, for sure, W knew we were headed out at the end of the month (I had to make it officially in writing and she picked up the board checks yesterday...), I kinda felt...weird.

I know. I'm happy with my decision and was very honest with W about why we were headed out, that it had nothing to do with the barn or the care (seriously, best care on earth) and I hope to continue training under her. But I'm just not good with leaving. Anything. I like to quietly sneak out. Not sure why.

Some good things are on the horizon. For one, I'm slowly moving my gear over to H's, as well as sorting through what should go in the trailer and what should stay home. I personally am one of those people who LOVES packing (probably because I only moved twice in my lifetime...at 3 and at 23!), so this is pretty fun. I get to dig through all my gear and sort it out.

I made the decision to see if anyone was interested in my merino 1/2 pad since it's too short for my saddle. Surprisingly quickly I got an email from someone and if they bite, I'll pretty near make an even trade for *this* puppy:

That's the ThinLine Saddle Fitter pad with full merino fleece backing (minus spine), and TWO sets of thinline shims...two ultra thinline (3/16") and two thinline (1/4") in both the fronts and the backs (so double what you see in the photo).

I was a little disappointed at first that it'd be black as I thought it made it non-show worthy. And then I realized two things...

1) Black is actually an approved dressage pad color according to the rulebook. It's not traditional or "normal" or even "cool". But it's okay.

2) I'll have enough shims to potentially keep one set (should they fit...or the pad be modified slightly) in my dressage pad! Which has pockets already for shims AND is pretty traditional "dressage"!

Who wants to say "Score!"?

Personally, I'm REALLY hoping we see the same results with this pad as others have. I figure I'm at no loss either way, since my other merino pad is too short and should be replaced. Not a bad swap...

I have also cracked and finally bought a bottle of Durasole. I've been wanting to try it forever and at $12 I figured, what the hey. If we're going to be hitting the trails as often as I'd like, I don't want a repeat of last month's 3 week timeout. So that means back protection and hoof protection.

Speaking of shopping, I bought a new coupler for the pony trailer today, along with a foot for the jack. Things on that front are progressing nicely and I hope to get a call tomorrow about the Toon-Brite fiberglass clear coat for the roof.

I followed up with the two sandblasting companies and got rather surprising quotes. The first was coupled with a rather rude rep who made me lose all desire to take my trailer there. Seemed to think I was some girlie-girl wanting to jazz up my pony trailer and that he could sass me about not giving me a quote because I didn't specify what color blue I want. Even though it wouldn't really affect price in the grand scheme of things. His whole tone and attitude just rubbed me the wrong way. So it's not a bad thing that he was the second highest price, to date.

The best, was a local company who's rep was curtious, friendly and knowledgable. Someone I'd trust completely with my possessions and love that he treated me as a client not a "dumb chic". I had a good conversation with him regarding best choice of product, the process involved, and the final product. Intelligent conversation beyond the cost of sparkle paint! And 64% of the cost of the "Jerky" place!

So, if I don't end up painting it myself (by myself, I mean, with my pa), then I'm going with them.

And it looks like the trailer pimping may be done sooner then expected. Especially since my new checkerplate arrived! All 50 lbs of it! My dad called to say the doors are on, the door hold-backs are ready to be mounted and he just needs the coupler to install the new safety chains.

In other news...

I went for a ride this evening. A non-working, let's have fun in the spring sun, sorta ride. Moon and I hacked out for 4 miles, a mix of walking and trotting. He only once lost his head, after we had trotted past a barn with horses in all the paddocks. He was fine trotting past, called once and was a bit high headed but no big deal. Until I turned him around a 1/4 mile past the place.

He suddenly thought "Hey, I can ditch you and hang with those horses instead!" BUCK.

To which I responded "In your dreams!" and sharply pulled his head 'round.

Pleased to see he immediately changed his mind and walked sedately down the treeline away from the horses.

Once in the bush/clearings, I thought "I should let him run a bit". I feel bad for horses always in small paddocks. Our paddocks are fair sized for the horse world, but not really condusive to much more then a curving canter. I can't imagine what it would be like to never get to gallop as a horse. It must totally suck. I know somedays I just wanna go fast. Stretch my legs, or feel the wind rushing past me. Makes you feel alive. Our horses live such sedate lives, they must yearn for it too. Especially after a winter spent in arenas or small pens, doing boring loops and circles.

Since Moon had given me such lovely schoolings in the ring these past couple days, I thought he deserved a reward. A good gallop!

I spotted a nice trail with good footing and asked for one.

He immediately obliged. SURGED forward and raced across the opening.


We came to a fork in the path and I quickly chose left. Moon surged forward, sweeping through the corner and...

...it was a dead end! We were BARRELLING into a thicket of trees!!! With no exit! And Moon seemed to think he could continue through. He probably could, just without me!

I sat down and asked for a tight turn...

Someone needs to tell me why my horse never became a barrel racer like his half-brother. Because he turned ON A DIME. Hauled up from a full out gallop, turned 180 degrees and sprinted back up the trail!

I called him back to a trot and we went up the other fork a ways. The footing was good so I thought I'd let him gallop back the way we had come. The trail curved a bit but nothing drastic. Plus, he must be getting tired by this point...


When I asked for a gallop, he propelled himself forward with all the strength he had. We surged down that little path in the meadow until the fork appeared. This time, headed in this direction, I could see how sharp the turn was around a spruce tree. Uhoh...

Insert Barrel Racing Pony here.

I swear, he turned around that tree sideways. Parallel to the ground. I was sitting on the SIDE of my saddle, held vertical by my stirrup which was nearly dragging on the ground. The whole time wondering if this was the end of us both. I didn't need to be impaled by a tree at such a young age.

But nope. He finished the turn, righted (and I stayed on and righted as well) and continued to gallop up the path. It was only at the end when it split again that I asked him to trot for me. It was a bit of high stepping but he settled down.

We walked all the way home and he was still sweating at that point. But he was HAPPY!

Everyone, even me, even Moon, needs a good gallop sometimes. And doing it together makes it even better!


  1. I don't have a place to gallop Lilly... I'm super jealous of those who do! I'm not sure what Lilly would think about it, but it would be fun to try! Sounds like you and Moon had a blast!

  2. Everyone needs a good gallop. It's for sure the most free feeling in the world. I'm drooling over that thinline half pad!

  3. Do you mind sharing about what price you're looking at for the trailer sandblasting/painting? I'd love to do mine one day, but unfortunately it's faaaar down on the list right now.

  4. First, omg saddle pad envy! I have a regular Thinline half pad but would love love love to have the saddle fitter pad. Definite score!

    Sounds like one heck of a ride. I'm way too chicken to try something like that with Dee. I have to psych myself up just to ride in the outdoor instead of the indoor!