This week was my 29th birthday and 6th wedding anniversary; the hoof and boot schedule was light and I took full advantage, getting all 4 of my saddle horses out. It was a gloriously mixed bag of successes and failures, and garnered some lovely photos if I do say so myself.
In which 5 year old chestnut mare Sheza Blaznhaat Xpres reasserts her right to her name
On my birthday ride Sheza spooked at everything, tried to dive behind Blaze who was being piloted by trainee rider N, refused minute water crossings, and just generally was terrifically bad for 8 miles. She went over all the water, to be sure, but she made sure we had a real chat about each and every one. Scatterbrains R us!
Back to work early the next morning, she learned about cruppers. Starting at clipped to the saddle but not around the tail, all the way up through the steps to properly applied, Sheza also shared her feelings:
While fussing with the crupper throughout it became clear that she was in ridiculous heat, winking and jelly legged when I was near her hind end. But she got down to work in time.
in which Kenny moves fabulously for 5 miles, then starts the head bobbing, apparent offness that intermittently appeared 2 weeks ago
But he was definitely off about 5 miles in. Opinions vary but I *felt* that he was off on the right front (yes, automatically my mind goes so Left hind?!) and a couple of friends including a vet felt that it appeared in video to be the right front. To refresh, Kenny toes out in front pretty grandly, and his right front leg is offset at the knee. I learned to adjust his boots crookedly to match his conformation a few months ago. His right front hoof had a massively higher outside heel when he came home last fall, and just a lot of extra hoof in general it seemed:
I’ve been gradually adjusting his angles, but as with not expecting straight boots to fit crooked feet, it doesn’t seem prudent to ignore the possibility that I’ve messed with what nature intended, that is, a wonky tall heeled foot to match the leg. He was certainly sound when he came home, and moved fabulously through and after April’s Whiskeytown Chaser and I haven’t aggressively trimmed or ridden him since. One short ride that may not have been enough trotting to reveal whatever it is if it was there, and the last two rides where something showed up partway through. So, off to the vet for a trimming xray or lameness exam or SOMETHING, for Mr. Kenny.
I can’t neglect to mention and show off our home grown roses in an anniversary bouquet 🙂
I’ve been having little to no luck shimming the Specialized Trailmaster to downhill propane tank Apache, and despite having ideal Viper hoof conformation, he’s been getting hair disruption/skin irritation from his boot captivators. Yesterday I addressed both by hauling him 2 hours up to the site of the Whiskeytown Chaser ride to meet local riding buddy and saddle guru, T. She brought a literal cab load of saddles and I brought desitin and a really cute steed.
After trying just about all of the saddles on and quickly ruling them out, we also threw on my Specialized for good measure. Tera showed me how the tree itself had too much rock and made a downward pressure point, as Apache’s back is very broad and flat. Fortunately we did have that Just Right moment when she put her big Morgan’s Full QH Bar Abetta on little 14 hand Apache. I shouldn’t say little, because he’s got great bone and apparently needs a Full QH bar saddle but–he’s 14 hh, too, like an adorable,sweet, living stuffed animal I swear.
ANYWAY! Saddle chosen, I slathered desitin on Apache’s heel bulbs under his Vipers, which have factory provided fabric liners instead of standard neoprene, and off we went. Whiskeytown riding means rock scrambles, hills, water crossings, children/ppl/biker/random obstacles, and epic weather. We left in the sun, climbed up into an overly generous rain cloud, and descended again with steaming ponies. A friendly cyclist happened to be a professional photographer and snapped photos he later emailed to us, so basically we did a mini mini endurance ride! And it was grand.
thanks photographer guy, I’m terrible with names sorry!
Loved this shot by T, and p.s. desitin around the heel bulbs worked a treat on a wet, technical, hilly ride.
The soggy portion, in which Apache questioned my wisdom, but gamely strode on
We Survived, let’s pee and eat and ruminate on things as we cruise back to the trailer
A well earned snack and nap for ponies while the humans relieved the cooler of it’s contents..
..and a beautiful evening
It was a roller coaster week as usual in this horsey game, but if we don’t keep trucking, trying, laughing, and crying, we’re wasting this short precious thing called life. Onward!