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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Time to start a journal! This is more for me than anyone else.

Today the weather was really nice and I've really been itching to ride. My kid and I cleaned our stalls and did some sorting in the tack room but she had school work to do so I brought her home and headed back out.

Brought Sunny in for grooming and he's finally shedding! I trimmed his mane and tail so he'll stand out in the field now for a bit.

While grooming my daughter called having an anxiety attack so my riding ended up being cancelled, but at least my boy went back to the field looking pretty! Hopefully I can get out on the trails tomorrow!
 

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Subbing! Also, my cat Squishy would LOVE to get her paws on that pile. She's weird... she gathers it all up in a ball with her paws, which are paralyzed might I add, and then LOVES on it and rolls in it, takes a BATH in horsehair. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today I was able to ride! It was a rough one. First time on him in over 2 months...
He started off good, a bit hyper, but considering it's the first ride this spring nothing odd there.

Then Don arrived and let his dog run loose. The horses are used to the dog, but not the deer it chased out of the trees! That spooked Sunny pretty good and it was a fight to get him close to the tree line. It didnt help that while walking to the field my boot sole came half off, so my foot felt off in the stirrup. Those boots have been dying for a while, but the timing sucked.
It was only a short ride... about 15 min tbh, but at least it was something! He was very prancy, which he's done before. Tomorrow I think I may lunge him before getting on his back... hopefully get some of that energy out!

Meanwhile my daughter and Mari were worse off... Mari is more energetic to begin with, and my daughter was doing some training to get her to stand still so she could get in the saddle. Between the barking dog, the draining pump they set off by the tack shed, and Sunny prancing about, that horse didn't calm down at all! My daughter wasn't able to get in the saddle at all.
After we head back to the barn Mari wouldn't even settle to have her tack removed. She even head butt me when I was trying to help (rude!). So I took her into the yard and got her to do small circle lunging with her lead line. When she finally settled and connected with me I praised her and then she was allowed back in the paddock. Tomorrow she will hopefully have better manners.
 

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@AtokaGhosthorse
That's a good idea! My kitties love my horse blankets... maybe I'll sew up some kitty toys and stuff them with horse hair!

I think domestic cats still remember in their DNA when horses were food. LOL (I think humans do too and that's why we love how they smell btw) Squishy acts like every piece of used tack that comes through the house is maarrrvvveeelllouuuusss and she's always rolling all over everything, rubbing on it, you name it. To her, the scent of horse is cat nip. LOL
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So yesterday I took my niece, Harmony, out for a ride! I put her on Mari and we went into the field where they spooked earlier this week. I had her on a lead line with Harkony on her back. We had a pretty good ride at the beginning, but the lil troublemaker figured out the holding her breath while I fit the girth and the saddle was loose. As we walked down a hill at an angle the saddle slipped. Harmony called out "I'm falling! I'm falling!" But I just reached behind me and slowly lowered her to the ground. Mari stood nice and still as I loosened, adjusted, and tightened all her straps again and Harmony got back on so we could continue our ride. We went through the woods and around the fence line again and all was well (she was still hyper) until someone else driving up the lane ran over some ice on gravel that made a huge pop noise. Mari spooked and took off like a bullet! I still had her on lead line so she didnt go far and Harmony didnt fall off again (glad the saddle was adjusted!) We continued our walk and I talked to Mari to try to calm her, and to Harmony trying to get her to relax. We kept going til Mari felt more comfortable and then headed back towards the barn.

I dont think my western saddle fits her properly, especially after her winter weight gain. It looks tight around her shoulders. I'll have to try Sunny's saddle on her but it looks like I may have to look into a slightly wider tree
 

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Glad the ride went OK even though she spooked, glad she didn鈥檛 fall off! Whew! But yeah it does sound like the saddle may not fit, may be causing her some discomfort. I had to get a saddle with a wider tree a few months ago for my mare, she has big shoulders. If that isn鈥檛 the case maybe try a non-slip pad. I swear by them!




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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dad let me try his aussie saddle on Mari today... it fit SO much better! No pinching at all (he has draft horses so his saddles are wider) and it had room for her crazy huge wither! He said we can borrow that for when Harmony rides 馃檪

Elizabeth wanted to try Mari with the bareback pad and we realized we have NO IDEA how to cinch it lol. So she rode with no pad. I walked with her on the lead line until Elizabeth felt safe/steady enough to take full control. Got my steps in that's for sure! But I was missing my ride so after she was done I brought her home and went back out to the barn for a ride myself!

Sunny was being an angel... last ride he was being a bit frisky but this time he was paying attention to everything I wanted him to. Even when 2 geldings got in a fight right beside us on the other side of the fence all he did was pin his ears back. He started a bit when we got closer to the house and I think it was the barbeque that had him wondering so I took him to the fence to inspect it and he didn't react next time we went by. I only rode a short time though... it was pretty mucky and I havent rode much all winter and didnt want to make him too sore with overdoing it.

On a side note I dont know how to reply to people on the forum.... so if I don't respond its cause I don't really know how.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@PoptartShop

I tried both my western saddles on her yesterday and sure enough, they both fit snug so anything faster than a meandering walk would pinch. Her english saddle fits her fine, but it has one of those plastic trees that has room to adjust to the horse. Mari has a super high wither and a tiny bit of a sway back (my dad thinks she may have had too much weight on her early in life, but we dont know for sure) so finding a saddle that fits is hard. My dad has a paint X (i think the cross is percheron) and a Friesian so both are a little wider, and he bought himself an aussie saddle that fit them and ended up not liking the seat so it's been sitting in his garage. He said if it fit Mari we can borrow it, I just need to give it a wash and condition. Mari is a halflinger x arabian x ? and has a thick neck and is a touch wide, but not too stocky so her sizing fit pretty close to the freisan:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So apparently I've been going too light on my guys lol. Dad said I don't have to start at 15 min rides after winter, I can do 40 min rides to start. So today Sunstreaker and I did a nice 40 min ride. We kept to a walk most of the time... when we tried a trot we slipped a touch (I thought we were gonna go down!) So we stuck to a walk. We went through the trees where the deer were and up some hills. Even went by the scary trailer that had him so wary. He did pretty good... even for his wary areas it took some coercion but he went through ok. After we were done he had worked up quite the sweat! With the cooling blanket and some oats I got him cleaned up and back out to the field, where he instantly started to roll around in the mud. I think we both enjoyed ourselves today!
 

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It's nice when you can make your rides longer. :D Sounds good to me! I try to ride at least 40mins-1hr. If I go on trails, I ride longer, but on the flipside even if I end my rides at 30mins on a good note, it's a good day.

Glad he was good with the 'scary' trailer and deer! Sounds like you definitely had a good ride! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Was going to ride Sunny with a couple people from our stable and Sunny actually walked away from me in the paddock! I was surprised, he hasn't done that before. We brought the horses in for a groom and he was standing funny... like he had to pee... and then he tried to lay down when I was picking his hooves. Apparently my poor boy's feet are sore again 馃槥 Suffice it to say I did NOT go riding... and we're putting turpentine on his feet again. I feel bad every time his feet are sore..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Posting 3 days late but...

On Saturday we had a good training day! I had my niece on Mari again and my daughter came and rode Sunny for the first time! Both horses did really well. Sunny tested Elizabeth twice... the first time was a bit scary, with a small buck and instant gallop and stop, but my kid stayed on and got him under control (whole incident was maybe 5 seconds but she felt like it was longer). The second time he just kind of got prancy but she got him under control right away... it looked really cool! She enjoyed her ride and is willing to try with him again some time. She said his gait took a bit to get used to. In the end she had him in a light trot and he looked annoyed but listened well. My daughter has an injury (replaced hip, leg length discrepancy, nerve damage, etc.) That causes her pain but the ride was smooth enough that she stayed on for over 40 min (we've been slowly upping her riding time... she was up to 25min so this was quite the jump!) She's still feeling it now, but who wouldn't! LoL
Harmony on the other hand was done before she started. The moment she was in the saddle she wanted down again. The spook and bolt from her last ride has made her really really nervous. She wouldn't sit up, she kept slipping her feet backwards out of the stirrups, she wouldn't hold the reins, and she kept saying Mari was acting up. Mari was so laid back walking with me she actually rested her neck on the side of my arm and matched speed with me... so relaxed. Every time she picked up speed I would walk her in a circle and she would walk with me again. She was very receptive and seemed good with the new aussie saddle. I kept Harmony in the saddle for half an hour though, until her parents arrived. They took pics of her and then she got down. She didnt want to do any hills or anything though so we kept her on flat ground. I'm wondering if putting her on a mini or an older lesson horse will help her gain her confidence back. My sister may have to put her in some lessons... my horses are both young and a little more high energy 馃槢
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yesterday we were planning to ride but a stablemate asked for my assistance. Her poor horse has a severe injury that has kept him stall bound for a looooong time. She got some tranq from the vet and was wondering if I could administer it for her, so he could go in the paddock for a couple hours. It's an IM injection and I have previous experience (15 year medical) so she trusts me to do it. When we ride we are beside the paddock and the other horses always spazz so I thought it would be in his best interest if we postpone our ride. I did some groundwork with Sunny though 馃檪
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Weather has been kind of crummy lately, it got cold and wet, so I havent been out riding for a while. It seemed any nice day i was busy elsewhere and couldn't find the time to ride.
Today was not one of those days. I was able to get out riding and give my dad a fright! I saddled up Mari in the aussie and took her out in the spooky field. We worked on spooking and just having a nice leisurely ride. I was talking to my dad through a bluetooth earpiece, telling him about how well she was doing and just talking about the day. He suggested to help her out of the want to spook I should trot her in circles. I said I was going in big figure eights, so he suggested trotting at the turns and walking for the long stretches. When I got to the top of my 8 I put her in a trot and she reacted immediately. Throuvle was, it knocked my bluetooth out (the earpiece is broken and dislodged from my ear easily) I didn't want to stop her since she transitioned so well so I finished our turn and then slowed her to a walk. Meanwhile my poor dad thought I'd fallen off the horse and wasnt responding to him. I let him know I didnt fall, just the earpiece, so he said he'd let me go so I wouldn't have to worry about it any more lol. We went for a good trot after that! It was a lovely day for riding
 

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I'm assuming Sunny's feet are better? They definitely let us know when they aren't feeling well. :sad: It is quite funny how they test new riders. LOL. :lol: I'm glad she enjoyed riding him, especially for that long of a time despite her pain. That is pretty awesome.
I agree, putting Mari on an old lesson horse would help with her confidence. She may just need a confidence boost.

Aw, my dad would've been scared too! LOL. :lol: He was probably freaking out. Glad you had a nice day riding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@PoptartShop
Yep, Sunny's feet are feeling better! I'm actually thinking it may have been a strain from our almost fall the other day, but he has been doing good and in high spirits since! He's had foot issues since I got him and I'm kind of to blame. He was in shoes his whole life and I had them taken off (about a year ago). I give him biotin and put hoof turpentine on them to try to strengthen them but he gets pretty tender if he steps on a stone wrong or the farrier shaves him too low. My barn mates said if I keep working on them they should toughen up though. Without their support I'd probably have shoed him again lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Went for a ride with my sister today 馃檪 Sunny did absolutely AWESOME. His one foot was bugging him a touch but nothing that really impeded our ride. I did take it easy on him though. I also got a book on teaching horses... more so I could learn what he's been taught lol. I used some of the stuff I learned I was doing slightly wrong and it made such a difference. He rode like a dream! We had a funny spook... there are boats in the field I ride in and he was watching one intently, so I walked him towards it. I could tell he was in high alert but we took it slow and steady. Right when I was going to turn him around he stepped on a twig and broke it and jumped a mile! I laughed and it was like he totally calmed down after lol.

My sister was worried that Mari would be bad but she was normal bull headed. She tried to trot when my sis wanted her to walk, and kept walking to the gate (which both told me my sis didnt have complete control) but she didnt do anything really evil. My sister said she enjoyed herself, and that she could tell all the training I had been doing with her 馃檪
 
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