My 2 Mares were stars on Trail today! - Page 299 - The Horse Forum
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post #2981 of 3015 Old 05-08-2020, 02:39 PM
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Wow - so very sorry to hear about M!! Is her horse ok? She is in for a long recovery with those injuries. I hope that [email protected]@ss gets the book thrown at him, as he obviously doesn't care about anybody but himself. A shame some locals didn't find him first to make sure he fell down a lot of times between his house and the police station..

Super pleased that your ride with Fizz went so well. Reading about it reminds me of the stuff I had to do with Sultan. It was frustrating but it did work, so just stick with it.

Hope momma nature gives you a break with the snow. It's MAY for crying out loud!!
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post #2982 of 3015 Old 05-09-2020, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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@phantomhorse13 , I think the horse M was riding (this is a different M than my riding buddy M by the way; this M is the trainer who hosted the clinic Fizz and I went to last year ) is fine despite the scary incident. M is a bit of a superwoman and actually rode back to the barn after she got up, thinking she had just knocked the wind out of herself, and then back at the barn had her husband ride with them on his mountain bike just to make sure the mare had a good experience. She's a green 5 year old Morgan in for training with the ultimate goal of being a trail horse, so she'll see bikes and motorcycles again. M has had another person ride the mare a couple of times and it sounds like she's now wanting to bolt when she's asked to canter (the gait she was in when she got so scared), so that's unfortunate as she had just gotten going under saddle and was quiet in all gaits. So that will take some work to build confidence again. Just a sh**ty situation all around.

Yesterday the sidepull I ordered arrived. I asked for feedback about fit on the trailriding thread, but I'll post the pictures here too. I've never used a sidepull before so I am not quite sure if the fit is right. I was told to be careful it wouldn't twist and send the cheekpieces or hardware into her eyes, and I don't think that's a concern. It just seems like the noseband piece sits a little high. What do you all think?




I went out on a short test ride in it yesterday to see how she'd do, and I didn't really notice her acting any different than normal. Particularly when I switched my mental soundtrack from thinking "we are riding in a sidepull" to "we are riding," then I stopped worrying about her getting the idea she could go tanking off on me. All steering and brakes were intact, and we went through upward/downward transitions at all gaits. She was definitely thinking through the funny new feeling and I kept getting lots of ears flicking back and forth to make sure she understand what we were doing. We headed out to the beaver pond and looped around the field to admire the view. It won't be too long before this field is all overgrown again- it gets filled up with *****er bushes and thick, reedy scrub brush, so you can't really walk through it easily, definitely not without getting your legs all scratched up. It's pretty when you can get back to the pond though!


Used these little baby Christmas trees as "cones" to do some figure 8s and serpentines, and that all went normally in terms of steering, so she seems to get it.


My only worry is what happens if and when we're part of the way through a ride and she decides f* this, we're heading home. I guess the reality is I'd just do the same stuff I'd do anyway, which does not generally involve tearing her mouth apart with a bit I think we'll give it a go for a couple of rides and see what happens with it. Still no word on when we can get her teeth done, but am hoping it will be sooner rather than later!

As predicted, we did get snow last night. Booooo. Got the sled back out for bringing stuff down from the barn. I think Hugh is always going to be a winter baby and love snow. We just came in from a long romp through the woods, and he had a blast. At least one of us had fun!


No riding today, winds are howling outside and blowing snow everywhere. Temps are below freezing but wind chills are brutal. It's MAY for goodness sake! Tomorrow should be better, so maybe we'll meet up with the other M and Coalie. But today is definitely going to be an indoor work day. The old kitchen is completely gutted, and the nasty old bathroom that was next to it is also torn out. It will become a pantry. I just love seeing this house from the inside out- a lot of the old posts still have bark on them, and the accordion lathe is in every room in this old part of the house. I almost hate to put drywall back up. I wish there was a way to preserve this, like you could if you had a stone house. Oh well, we'll have lots of pictures, maybe we'll put them up somewhere once we put things back together.


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post #2983 of 3015 Old 05-09-2020, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
On that note, my friend/trainer M got in a horrible wreck earlier this week because of an idea dirt bike rider. She was out on a green horse doing a short trail ride with a couple of other people on steady eddies, and the horse she was riding had been doing awesome. A dirt biker going way to fast came up behind them but did stop to talk- she explained the green horse situation and asked him to slow down and go more quietly (apparently the bike was really loud and he kept revving it up). They parted ways and awhile later saw him again, and he was going even faster this time, not heeding her request to walk the bike if they met up again. Instead he flew past them, her horse bolted, and she rode it out until the horse was about to go over a bank so bailed off. She ended up with two broken ribs and a collapsed lung Through a series of FB posts explaining what had happened, many other neighbors reported they had also had serious problems with this guy- whether they were walking, biking, or just playing with their kids in a yard that backed up to the trail. Last night, apparently he saw the FB post because it had been forwarded around so much, and he actually turned himself in (state police had been involved). Now we just hope she heals quickly.
I can't understand the mentality of people like that - they seem not just oblivious to other people's welfare, but to enjoy annoying and endangering others. I've got to tell you, if I were making the rules I'd be blanket banning all motorised non-service vehicles from outdoor tracks so that hikers, dogs, horses and riders, and wildlife stay safe. Dirt bike enthusiasts could ride on private property (pending potential to annoy neighbours with their noise and on their veto) or dirtbike facilities, but not all over the countryside, and have the option of changing to mountain bikes and BMXs if they wanted to ride on recreational trails, thereby reducing danger, noise, fossil fuel consumption, accidents and bullying, and actually doing something for their own health and fitness - and it's so much harder to chase and intimidate others when you're having to pedal to do it.

When I had Sunsmart agisted in town in 2009, dirt bike riders like that were a constant source of worry for all the horse riders even using the specialised bridle trails on which these bikes were banned, but they would use them anyway. Nowhere was safe and a whole bunch of idiots was out there, not just riding how they pleased in disregard to other people's safety, but actively seeking out riders in order to spook their horses. I had many near misses - I was just saddle training Sunsmart and he was terrified of these noisy monsters (and they actually are noisy monsters - noisy and full of malice) - and an acquaintance with a pretty experienced Percheron mare got pushed through a barbed wire fence by these idiots and both had shocking injuries, but they never caught that rider and he and his horrible ilk continued to terrorise the neighbourhood. When these situations happen, people need to blanket ban these sorts of activities - and the "responsible riders" need to wear it, because it's such a problem and because the right of everyone else to enjoy these facilities without constant anxiety, and terror and injury, is more important than the right of one group of people to enjoy one particular type of recreation that even with "responsible use" is noisy and smelly and curtails everyone else's right to enjoy peace and quiet in nature - not least of all the wildlife - and I've read studies on what this kind of motorised noise does to bird breeding in adjacent areas...

Loved your wallpaper discovery - could that have been a children's room once? It must be so good to get rid of the mouldy walls at last - and I can't imagine how long you were scrubbing that old kitchen before you could even use it when you moved in, and I well remember your battle with mice and their droppings - yechhh!

Happy baking and cooking! We were so glad when we finally installed a kitchen in our house build. Ours was second-hand from auction but scrubbed up well!


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post #2984 of 3015 Old 05-10-2020, 10:28 PM
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I donít have a desire to blanket ban those things. We actually use them for work sometimes @SueC . That said though, I have never experienced such a thing! Not ever!

I heard that someone spooked someoneís horse intentionally because of an argument (court was involved and everything), and he got off his horse and beat the guy up. Most of us carry ropes. Many horses will tolerate a motorcycle here, so if someone was that terrible they might get roped and they might get pretty hurt. Everyone knows everyone too, so they might see it later if someone did get hurt....

Maybe it is that everyone knows everyone that makes me not see actions like that. Hmm

Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #2985 of 3015 Old 05-11-2020, 06:09 AM
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Sorry about M. How terrible.

The sidepull is very lovely and looks like it fits well. I had one that was too loose in the noseband so if you pulled back on the reins it would move up into the horse's eyes. Another one I tried would slide into the opposite eye if you pulled on one rein.
You want the noseband a little higher than a bridle, so it sits on top of the nasal bone rather than on soft tissue. Similar to a halter. You don't need it all the way up by the cheeks though, because again that makes it too wide and less stable. So I think yours looks great.

If you practice having your horse turn easily even in smaller circles in the sidepull at the walk and trot, then you can always just do a turn or small circle even if your stop gets a little iffy when the horse gets excited. Like you said, just like you'd do in a snaffle. If she turns just as well in a sidepull, you've got it made.
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post #2986 of 3015 Old 05-11-2020, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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I'd prefer that we don't allow those motorized bikes on trails here, since there are miles and miles of dirt roads that could still be fun riding for people who like that stuff. But I think they are allowed in most places. @Knave , I think you're right that when there's local accountability and respect for horses, maybe it can work. My experience- and I am totally stereotyping here, so apologies- is that the kind of young guys that ride those tricked out motorbikes tend to be less respectful and understanding of other trail users than people who ride mountain bikes or road bikes. ATV riders are a mixed bag- the guys from the snowmobile club who ride ATVs on the snowmobile trails in the summer are great trail partners and most will pull over or even completely cut the engines if you pass them on horses. I've been heartened to see them teaching their young kids that when we pass them out in the woods. The ATV riders who are vacationers from out of stay who come here to get drunk and "play" don't have a clue about what they're doing and I'm scared to encounter them even in my car on the road. Even motorcyclists around here tend to be older folks who like to ride to see the scenery, and slow down near horses. Last year Fizz and I passed some sort of classic motorcycle rally where there were easily 50 riders in a row, but they slowed way down and kept their engines quiet. As long as everyone is aware of each other and trying to make it work, I have no issues with that. Clearly, the guy who messed around with M was not interested in sharing the trail.

**********
Took Fizz out in the sidepull for a long ride yesterday. @phantomhorse13 pointed out that it is sitting a little high so that the ring on the side is pressing up on her cheekbone. I sent an email to the company that made it to ask if it might be possible to make any adjustments, since I'm out of holes to lower it. Fizz didn't seem to be really bothered by how it's sitting and is steering and stopping nicely. It was really blustery yesterday, with the wind howling through the trees, and she rode along nice and relaxed walk/trot, up and down the hills, so that's encouraging. You can't really tell in the pictures, but it was actually SNOWING as we climbed the hill to the overlook!


Weirdly though, there was no snow once we got up there


Let her graze around for a minute when we got home- weird to see such green grass in between snow piles!
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post #2987 of 3015 Old 05-11-2020, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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@SueC , your kitchen looks so warm and inviting to cook in. I bet that's a big hangout spot. Is your AirBnB business still allowed to continue right now with the pandemic? Here all of that has been suspended until mid-June at the earliest.

That particular wallpaper was a strange find- it looked nearly brand new, like they put it up and then immediately put a bunch of cabinets over it instead. I'm pretty sure that room has always been a kitchen given where it's located in the house, but it's sort of hard to tell with these old places that have been reconfigured and added on to over time.

I made another interesting find yesterday. Ever since we've moved in, I've been intrigued by a spot on some of the old property maps that's simply labeled "cellar hole." It's about 1/4 mile away from the house, down the road behind the horses' pasture. From the map, it's set back a little bit off the road, but not too far. Usually, that spot is overgrown with thorny underbrush and other wild growth, but yesterday while I was out walking Hugh, I realized it was actually fairly easy to walk back in there since it's not overgrown yet. So we went looking around, and sure enough, you can see the remnants of an old stone foundation with something like looks like a well- too deep to see the bottom. I was scared to walk too close to it with the puppy bouncing around, since I'm not sure how solid the ground around it is at this point, but it's intriguing. I found some old rusted out tin bowls or pots around it, and I'm so curious to see if there's anything (besides wild animals!) still actually down in the hole. If I had to pick my career all over again, I think I would have loved being an archeologist
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post #2988 of 3015 Old 05-11-2020, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
Fizz didn't seem to be really bothered by how it's sitting and is steering and stopping nicely. It was really blustery yesterday, with the wind howling through the trees, and she rode along nice and relaxed walk/trot, up and down the hills, so that's encouraging.
Sounds like Fizz likes it, so a win!
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post #2989 of 3015 Old 05-11-2020, 04:29 PM
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LOVE the new sidepull! Super cute color!

As I can probably attest I've been able to stop some pretty excited to go (go home, go chase the horse in front of them, go run to the grass patch...) horses with side pulls/ S hacks so I wouldn't let that get to you!
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post #2990 of 3015 Old 05-18-2020, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Last week got pretty hectic so I'm a bit behind here. But, lots of odds and ends as updates. Lovely husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last week, so we took Friday off from work and had a little pandemic-appropriate celebration. We got delicious Mexican food as take out for lunch, some fun beers from a local brewery, and had a little picnic in a local park. It was so relaxing to take a long weekend since work has been really busy, but especially so for lovely husband since he manages a big federal economic development program and is working 10 hour days at least 6 days a week figuring out how to ensure grants are being made appropriately.

Spring came on almost over night. One day there was snow, the next day everything was emerald green. So I was able to get Fizz out 3 out of the last 4 days, which has been great.



Last Thursday we went past the mini donkeys for the first time, and I was so proud of her for riding right past them. Last year she'd plant her feet and get completely freaked out by them and I wouldn't be able to get her past without getting off and working our way by them. But she did great!



We did get chased by the stupid pirate dogs again, but this time I was so irritated with them I turned Fizz around and we chased them home. That was satisfying

Saturday I was intending a long ride but we were barely 1/2 mile from home before we were overtaken with swarming bugs. Poor Fizz was tossing her head all around trying to get some relief, so that wasn't particularly fun. We went up to the overlook at back, which is a ride that's mostly lined with swampy woods, so there was really no escaping them. I really wanted to go a little farther than that, so when we were heading towards home we turned off away from the house and went out a different way where the bugs weren't nearly as bad, and took in some beautiful views of the local mountain, Mt. Ascutney.



As soon as I got Fizz put up, I ran over to the local tack shop to get a riding fly mask for her, as the bugs are going to be with us for awhile and I hate to see her so miserable.

Sunday we went for a long ride with M and Coalie- 7 miles, our longest so far this year. Fizz was MUCH happier with the fly mask on, rocking the Darth Vader look


Our ride took us through cow country, and just like with the donkeys, Fizz looked a little but she kept going right along without stopping. We also passed a free ranging flock of chickens and guinea hens, loose dogs, ATVs, and the mini donks again. She and Coalie pace really well together when trotting, so we let them trot along where the footing allowed (the roads have just been "fixed" with lots of really big, sharp gravel so in some places it is hard to do much but hug the ditch and let them walk where they're comfortable).


We checked out one of the woods trails and it wasn't quite as wet as we expected, but a connector trail we considered was deep mud so we turned back to the road. I think we're a couple of weeks away from being able to spend much time in the woods, it's just still too wet.


Even though Fizz is quicker than Coalie while walking, all the work we've done on backtracking away from home has helped, as we were able to circle back away and go behind him when she was getting too far ahead of him. It's nice to have company while riding to work on stuff like that.


I ended up sending her sidepull back to exchange it for one size up. I sent a bunch of pictures to the people who made it, and they agreed it was sitting a little too high on her face and she'd be more comfortable with a little more room. Hopefully the new one comes quickly, but she seems ok in the bit for now.

As far as the other two, I got bloodwork results back for Maggie and Izzy. Both were Cushings negative, which is great news. Unfortunately, Maggie's insulin levels came back high and put her in the IR range. I suppose it's not really surprising, but it's disappointing. So I'm working out a manageable exercise strategy for her, and the grazing muzzle went on yesterday. Vet has had some success with a relatively new product called Insulin Wise, so we have that ordered and will add to her diet. *Knock on wood* her feet are cool and comfortable but I am keeping an eye on that every day.



It was great to have a warm spring weekend, but I had to laugh at myself as I was reaffirmed in my belief that I am built for cold, snowy weather. After just one spring weekend, I already have sunburn on my face and am covered with bug bites from the awful blackflies- my right ear lobe is swollen twice its normal size because of a bite, and two of my fingers look like sausages from getting bites in the joints. Oh, the joys of warm weather
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