Ana's thread - Adventures in Morgan Horse Ownership - Page 3

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Ana's thread - Adventures in Morgan Horse Ownership

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    03-01-2014, 06:16 PM
Green Broke
I rode Ana today. Couldn't find the BO and since there's a horse in the paddock that I wanted to ride in, I just decided to trail ride around the property again. She did ok but was a little spicy today. I think the drop in temperature gave her an extra pep in her step. We just did walk/trot work in circles, straight lines, serpentines and weaving around various objects and going up and down hills. A tractor with hay pulled in toward the end of my ride and she didn't spook or anything so that was good. All in all a good ride.
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    03-04-2014, 09:33 PM
Green Broke
Back before everything became automatic

So I've been listening to "Automatic" by Miranda Lambert and it's really making me miss the good old days and it made me wonder about how technology and innovation has evolved riding and horse ownership. Just opening the Dover catalog is overwhelmingÖ50 different bit types, 10 different types of horse blankets, and don't forget to buy 3 different types of leg wraps to match your saddle pads, Really?
    03-09-2014, 09:21 PM
Green Broke
The weather finally cleared up so I got to ride Ana today. She did pretty good. Another boarder arrived to feed her horses right as I was saddling Ana and she got a little antsy but was still controllable - I always welcome such training opportunities ;). The paddock was too muddy so I rode her in the open field area. We did the usual stuff: circles, serpentines, straight lines, up hill, down hill, walk, trot, halt, spirals. I had some trouble bending her as she would evade by moving haunches out. We will need to work on that. Considering that I hadn't ridden her in 7 days, the footing was not ideal, and there was distracting activity going on during our ride, I guess she did pretty good!

I'm hoping that the paddock will dry up so that I can ride her in there. She always does better in a closed-in space.
    03-11-2014, 01:15 PM
Green Broke
I cantered Ana for the first time yesterday and she did great. She picked up the correct lead both times - so proud of her. We also worked on stretching down at the trot. She's starting to figure it out. Turn on the forehand is also progressing. She still has trouble bending and relaxing so we will continue to work on that. Overall a great ride!
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    03-14-2014, 11:56 AM
Green Broke
I took the afternoon off yesterday, and after stuffing my tummy with good German food, I headed straight for the barn. Ana was half-way down the pasture with her micro group; I called her name and she stopped grazing and took a couple of steps toward me then stopped again, waited for me to get closer and then approached me Ė yay!

I hadnít seen her in 3 days so it was good to spend time with her. After a quick grooming, I threw the new dressage saddle on her and took her for a test ride. Itís quite comfortable Ė well, for me anyway. At first she walked fine then we trotted and when I tried to walk her forward again, she pinned her ears slightly and resisted my leg. She has never done that as she is ueber-obedient; my only conclusion is that it has to be the saddle. I didnít even attempt to canter her knowing that it would probably hurt her.

I had started a separate thread about the saddle and the general consensus is that it doesnít fit her. So this weekend Iím headed back to the tack store to pick up 2 more trial saddles. This time Iím taking the Pessoa with me as itís the only saddle that fits her well. That way I can hold it up next to potential saddles to find one that most closely resembles the tree-shape of the Pessoa. Iím determined to find a solution for her; even if I have to spend more than what I had planned.

So itís going to be a busy weekend. Farrier will be at the barn at 8am; from there itís off to the schooling show to support my RI as she shows her Friesian, then run down the street to the tack store to grab saddles, then back to the barn. If the weather is good we are supposed to have a barn BBQ for lunch plus I would also like to ride her in the new trial saddles and hopefully make a decision. I was also hoping to clean/organize my tack and riding equipment while at the barn. I donít know how I will fit all this into one Saturday but I will give it my best shot.
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    03-14-2014, 01:27 PM
Glad to hear things are coming along. (: Let us know how the weekend pans out~
    03-16-2014, 07:53 PM
Green Broke
Boy what a busy weekend!

Started with meeting the farrier at 8am on Saturday. Found out that she has early stages of white line disease and therefore pulled her front shoes off and decided to leave them off for a while. So now I got to clean her hooves every day and treat them with lysol every other day. That's not so bad, right?

Then it was off to the schooling show; I had just missed Dante's ride but got to see my RI debut Prince at training level twice. Dante won Intro (no surprise there, he got a 9 on his entry!). I was really surprised to see how low key the schooling shows are and how novice the riders are...I could have totally showed Ana at Intro level and gotten a good score. It gave me the courage to really consider entering schooling shows THIS year instead of NEXT year.

While I was there I ran into a lady that used to board her horses where I board and she started to tell me how much she loves the new place and how she's getting ready to show her horse. That got me thinking, maybe it is worth it to spend the extra $ and upgrade to better boarding facility.

From there it was off to the tack store to pick up 2 more trial saddles. Then I raced back to the barn for the BBQ and to throw the saddles on Ana and take a few pics. I was hoping to taker her for a spin but then it started raining and pretty much rained and stormed all weekend. While there the BO made some comments that were concerning...if saddles get stolen it's not his fault, anybody could just walk in and steal them, he may not get the arena done until much later this year etc.

After the BBQ we decided to check out the other boarding facility that the lady at the show had recommended to us. What a nice place. But it is a H/J barn and is crawling with children. Not that I have anything against children but it just results in a different atmosphere and experience.

Today I ran back to the barn and grabbed all the saddles I had stored there as I'm now concerned that they might get stolen or damaged. So now my kitchen looks like a tack shop, but the added bonus is that it smells great. Don't you love the smell of leather?

I'm a little worried about Ana now. What if the BO is not taking good care of her? She looks a little haggard and has all kinds of marks on her. Is it the food? Are other horses picking on her? I'm still not any closer to making a decision on a saddle...they are either too big, too small, too narrow, too wide, too name it anything with a "too" in front of it....sigh...I would like to put this saddle thing to rest soon. I'm going to test ride both of them before I make a decision.

The vet is coming out to see her on the 27th - I will check with him to see if we need to change her feed, or increase it or? She might just be burning a lot of calories cause she's out on a huge pasture and I'm sure I'm riding her more than the previous owner. I'm hoping that's it.

Anyway, I've been debating all weekend what I should do next. Should I move her to a different barn? Should I try long distance saddle fitting? Should I keep riding her in the Pessoa and wait for our saddle fitter to return? Should I start to feed her myself to make sure she's getting enough? Should I enter the schooling show in April or wait until summer? Should I add a hoof or coat supplement to her feed? So many decisions to make.
    03-19-2014, 04:24 PM
I'm glad you made the decision to move her. I imagine what he was feeding her wasn't very nutritionally balanced, so that could explain the dull coat. Did he have a good parasite control program (deworming, regular fecals, manure handling?)? You might want to get a fecal and deworm again. Even if there weren't health and safety issues, I bet you will be happier having good footing to ride in. Hope the new place is awesome!
    03-19-2014, 04:57 PM
Green Broke
Thanks. Yes the new place is awesome. The old place did not have any kind of worming program and there were some safety concerns as well. I got a new vet scheduled to check on Ana next week to do her routine annual stuff so I will inquire about doing a fecal egg count at that time.
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    03-20-2014, 10:15 AM
Green Broke
So I got Ana moved to the new barn on Tuesday. She is settling in well. They decided to put her in with the mini-horse, mini-donkey and elderly TB Ė all geldings. It seems to be going ok. The mini horse is in love with her; stands close to her, follows her if she moves, wants to eat hay with her. Ana is taking it in stride although she seemed a little annoyed with her new ďboyfriendĒ Ė she pinned her ears at him but he didnít budge so she ever so gently tried to bite himÖwell it was more like a gentle nibble so that didnít deter the mini at all. Poor AnaÖsheís just too nice for her own good sometimes. I was hoping that they would pair her up with two mares, but the BO thinks that Ana is too nice for them; they would just walk all over her and steal her food. If the mini-horses unwanted advances become too much for her, there are other options as they have multiple pastures.

I rode her in the indoor arena for the first time yesterday. It was AWESOME. I had the whole place to myself. I had picked up 2 trial saddles last Saturday that I will need to return this coming Saturday so I tried out the Passier on her yesterday. It seems to fit her ok; even sweat marks, no pinned ears, it didnít shift during my ride. I hated it though; it was hard as a rock and the seat was not balanced; it put me in a chair seat as the pommel was higher than the cantle. The billet straps are too long for her; kept interfering with my leg aids. So tonight, Iím going back to try out the Luxor on her; canít be worse than the Passier. Come to think of it, I rode Vince in the Passier; not sure which model it was but I had the exact same problem; the flaps were too long for my leg and the pommel was higher than the cantle so I had to ride in more of a fork seat to counter-act the ill-fitting saddle.

Ana must have been a little nervous because she pooped three times Ė twice while I was grooming her and once in the arena. It was a little runny too; could be from the much healthier feed sheís getting now. I had the BO mix in her old feed for a couple of meals to get her slowly used to the new feed and reduce the chance of belly aches.

Ana behaved very well (as expected). I walked her around the arena one time before I mounted so that she could see everything. At first I told myself I was only going to have her walk and maybe if she felt up to it try some trotting. But she did so well that I ended up trotting and cantering her. She missed the departure cue for left lead canter twice before she picked it up. She instantly picked up the departure cue for right lead canter. So far the only cantering problem with her that she sometimes misses the departure cue, sheís always picked up the correct lead and itís easy to keep her cantering; itís also easy to collect her; downward transitions arenít always pretty but considering that she has less than 2 years under saddle and didnít get ridden much at her last home, I think sheís doing awesome! Of course she tried to do some rubber necking as everything is new to her and itís just so tempting to look around; heck I was doing some rubber necking myself!

So all is well with Ana and me and Iím looking forward to many more enjoyable rides with her at the new barn. Now, I just have to find the perfect saddle for us and we will be all set.
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