Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 90 - The Horse Forum
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post #891 of 2024 Old 07-04-2017, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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@gottatrot posted this thread the other day:

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack.../#post10053417

Some pictures from their website ( buasaddles ):





From a review:



Bua Saddle Review ? D&L Performance Horses

At $2300, it is out of my "I'll try that!" price range, although it look competitive. That is the "upper mid-range" for English saddles.

It also looks very close to what I'd design myself if I had the facilities and chance to experiment. The tree looks like a great idea. You cannot see it in the pictures one can link to, but it is rolled at the front, and suspended everywhere else. It looks like a great way to absorb shock without transferring it to the horse's back.

Something that would drive me nuts are the thigh blocks. I think the dressage version is in the picture, but all of them have very pronounced blocks. That might sound odd from someone who still regularly rides an Australian saddle, but the poleys are higher up. I have a lot of freedom about where to put my leg in an Aussie saddle.

The way I learned riding, reading Chamberlin and Littauer, an inexperienced rider should rely on the stirrups rather than the knee. The Italian school emphasized a fixed knee, but Littauer noticed his students who used a fixed knee tended to rotate forward and off, face first, when the horse misbehaved. So while he agreed a fixed knee would work very well for a talented and dedicated rider, he concluded it was dangerous for a beginner or a recreational rider.

In Riding Reflections, a contemporary of Caprilli commented that saddle makers had started extending the panel under the saddle down along the front, providing extra grip for the knee. He also said some had started adding knee rolls on top, which he also liked - since he liked the fixed knee.

An Australian saddle differs in part from an English one in that they never added the extended panels for the knee under the saddle.

Since much of my "English" riding was done in an Aussie saddle, and since I rarely added the knee blocks to my Bates saddles, I never tried the Italian, fixed knee approach to riding. It has become very common. A video @jaydee posted about posting emphasized the knee should not move and the thigh should rotate around the pivot of the knee - exactly what Littauer and Chamberlin rejected.

Using my Aussie saddle just before Bandit hurt himself, I realized gripping with the knee would be extremely difficult. The leather is slick, and the lack of any padding on top or underneath means there is nothing for the knee to grip against. You trust the poleys as a safety stop, but if you ride "properly" in an Aussie saddle you won't touch the poleys except during emergencies. You do what Littauer taught, and let the stirrups be your foundation rather than your knees.

I also find it very hard in my western saddle to grip with the knees, although the sheepskin allows for some grip with the thighs. Without the sheepskin, my slick seat / slick fork western saddle makes it very hard to grip with ANYTHING, so one once again needs to rely on the stirrups and moving the leg forward to catch you in a balk or stumble.

I don't know if the company has a "no thigh pad" option. They may, but I'm not QUITE interested enough to spend $2300 on their saddle. We may need to replace our AC unit soon, and my wife might think the money better spend on THAT!

Anyways, I'm glad to see some innovation. The endurance folks are about the only people who seem interested in getting a modern saddle versus continuing to use what was used 200 years ago because it was used for 200 years and "If it was good enough for Great-Grandfather's horse then it is good enough for mine".
Note: Actually, I'm pretty sure Cowboy kicked Bandit on the knee, and Bandit will not let Cowboy come close now. Cowboy is getting so beaten up that we are going to make a separate corral for him later today. From "We share bowls of food" before the gash appeared, to "I'll kill you if you come close" now. In truth, Cowboy is my favorite horse. If I could only keep one of them, it would be Cowboy.
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post #892 of 2024 Old 07-04-2017, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Couldn't find a decent Internet picture. This one is marginal, but it will illustrate the bottom of my Aussie saddle, with the front at the top:



Sorry for the blur, but it is good enough to illustrate my point. The front extends slightly downward, but nothing like this:



By BLW - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1956507
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post #893 of 2024 Old 07-04-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Cowboy is now in a separate corral. It isn't as large as I'd like, but he's been getting beat up. There is a 5-7' gap between the two corrals, so I don't think they can do much "Bitey-Face". I really dislike needing two corrals. Don't have the room or the patience for it. I'm hoping that once we start riding out again that Bandit will start accepting Cowboy again.

We'll try it for a while. If it gets worse, then Bandit would be the one to be sold. Cowboy has had at least 6 previous owners. He spent a couple of years as a lesson horse. He is terrified of round pens, which says a lot about how people around here abuse the concept. As used around here, they are often "punishment pens". And Cowboy has a history of taking good care of his riders, even if they have never been on a horse before.

He has EARNED a safe place, where people will trail ride him and let him stay mentally relaxed. People tend to look at him and think, "Oh, he'd make a good barrel racing pony for my 9 year old!" But he's been there, done that before. He shouldn't be put thru it again.

If it comes to it, Bandit would make a good ranch horse. Or a good trail horse for someone who rides a lot.

But HOPEFULLY they will get it sorted out.

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post #894 of 2024 Old 07-04-2017, 03:37 PM
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Sorry to hear about the warzone thing - Our lot now spend most of their time in separate paddocks, they can interact over the fence and seem perfectly content. Maybe its because they're all mares but we always had something with an injury when they were together though I've kept horses together in the past and mares and no trouble at all. I did have a pony that wouldn't tolerate anything in her paddock and Honey wouldn't allow Willow to be in with her and Flo.
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post #895 of 2024 Old 07-07-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Rode for the first time in 2 weeks. Only 10 minutes. Got a late start, and it was like riding in an oven. 100 degrees, no wind, intense sun. 10 minutes had sweat pouring down my sides & getting in my eyes, and Bandit was wet with sweat when I removed his saddle. But we did W/T/C, and he acted relaxed and comfortable. He was playing with Trooper yesterday. I figured if he was healthy enough to race around, chasing and being chased by Trooper, then we could ride.

His wound is healing nicely. My wife is doing wound care for several patients right now. She says Bandit's wound has healed much better than her patients', and she feels like she ought to use 'wound spray' on them! Of course, that is both unethical and utterly illegal. But she now knows why I used to use it on myself at times, early in our marriage, before she put an end to it.

Cowboy is settling in to his own corral very nicely.

We are now wondering if that would be a good permanent solution. He is grazing at his food. Give him hay for breakfast, and he'll wander by regularly, chew a few bites, and then move on. Breakfast lasts him until dinner. He also has been lying down more than we've seen before, and is NOT hanging out at the part of the corral closest to the other horses. If anything, he seems to enjoy having a bachelor pad.

So we'll see. My daughter suggested that desperation may have given us a better answer. Or it could be he had a very rough week and needs some time off. But he sure isn't showing any signs of separation anxiety. He acts very relaxed. In his past life, he has spent years living in his own 20 foot by 10 foot stall - and he has far more room than that here, and can always see the other horses. So....we'll see. He could afford to lose 50-75 lbs anyways.

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post #896 of 2024 Old 07-07-2017, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
But she now knows why I used to use it on myself at times, early in our marriage, before she put an end to it.

Back in the spring, I sliced off a huge piece of my fingernail with a chef's knife. I had to go to the emergency room because hours later I couldn't stop it from bleeding. They covered it with some sort of artificial scab that stayed on for a month or so, but when the artificial bandage finally came off, it was back to bleeding every time I bumped it on something. I finally sprayed it with Vetricyn, and I swear that was when a funky looking but solid scab formed and stayed put. I think that stuff is magic!
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post #897 of 2024 Old 07-07-2017, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I still use it, provided the ouchy is somewhere my wife isn't likely to notice the red or purple stain...

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post #898 of 2024 Old 07-13-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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The farrier will be here tomorrow. I think I'm going to have him pull Bandit's shoes.

On the one hand, the shoes REALLY help Bandit in the mid-high level of rockiness. They aren't enough when things get REALLY rocky - that requires a dismount to save his feet, regardless. And they are not needed on all the trails. But there definitely are sections of trail where he can go comfortably in shoes and not so without them.

On the other hand, I've been avoiding paved roads with him. Yes, horses can certainly be ridden on paved roads in shoes. But the loud "clip-clop" of the shoes reminds me with every stride that he doesn't have the grip he does barefoot. We can get to desert with just 1/4 mile of paved road, but going anywhere besides the area closest to me requires a mile or so on paved roads. I realize I am avoiding those, and also avoiding riding him on pavement solo. If we're alone, and I want to do a little arena work broken up by 5-10 minutes on the paved roads...I just don't ride. I'm not worried about falling off. Just worried he will fall and take me with him. On paved road, that sounds incredibly painful.

My youngest daughter actually likes riding through neighborhoods. She points out Trooper likes it too - easy on the feet, and Trooper can easily guess where we are going for the next 1/4 mile. I need to work with Bandit to get him comfortable in neighborhoods...but any riding outside of the couple hundred acres of desert next to me means riding on pavement.

And I'm avoiding it.

So I think the metal shoes will come off, and I'll try boots. I'll also try more barefoot on pavement, with the goal of the ride including ample time on paved roads. Bandit hasn't spun away to avoid something in a year or so, and it probably isn't fair for me to worry. But I do. Maybe too many memories with Mia that still need to be overwritten. I'm pretty comfortable handling things on pavement with a barefoot horse. I assume boots would work pretty good too. The metal shoes make me nervous.

I've been reading about trimming the bars, etc. It seems like everyone has a different idea. On Bandit, the bars seem to get spread out flatter and then break off in chunks. So I may include trimming the bars a bit to see how things respond.

Just before shoeing:



A few days after:

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post #899 of 2024 Old 07-13-2017, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Happy note: 12 years after we moved here, the Internet service was upgraded to day to 8 times faster than what we've had for the last 12 years. We were literally the last block to get the upgrade! There is only one company that provides Internet service here, so switching wasn't an option.

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post #900 of 2024 Old 07-14-2017, 07:16 AM
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You and Bandit might both like boots once you get the hang of them. If you get the right type for the horse's hoof shape, they fit well, and you get used to putting them on, they are great.

When I first tried boots I thought they were terrible and such a pain to put on. We didn't get a good fit and I kept having them come off during rides or rub the pasterns. But over the years they've improved boots tremendously and things like rubbing and the difficulty getting boots on are much better than they used to be.

Having the ability to gallop on gravel roads with good traction and no worries about sole bruising turned me into a boot fan. Having the ability to take them off and have the horse barefoot the rest of the time was also great. In the end I liked them better than shoes, because they ended up costing less (assuming I put shoes on year round), giving me more ability to go over rough ground than even shoes, and my horses' hooves were healthier. No worries about a shoe ripping off a huge chunk of hoof wall if it got torn off.
My favorite boots are Renegades, with Easycare boots coming in second.
I can put most types of boots on in 30 seconds per hoof if the horse cooperates.

I know what you mean about feeling insecure on asphalt with shoes. I haven't been on a horse that slipped and fell on pavement, but many times I've had horses' feet slip and slide when we were on asphalt and they were shod. Boots have great traction on pavement.
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