Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Field, Saddle Fit, Equipment and More!

A friend sent me this photo she captioned "Pig Heaven?" I can't think of anything better!
A few updates, I'll go into greater detail on most of these later.

1. The "Big Pig's" move into his larger field has not come without drawbacks. Mainly, his new inability to have respect for people. This includes not wanting to be caught at feeding time, walking intolerably slow on the lead line, and an absolute inability to stand still in the cross ties or keep attention while being ridden. This is more than annoying, it's beginning to be dangerous.
So far, I've been combating his behavior by instigating "Mama is Boss Mare" rules. This has even included schooling him on the ground in his field with his mares. That worked okay, but I think this is just going to take some time and consistency (something I, unfortunately, don't have a lot of!). 
On the plus side, all of this testosterone has resulted in some pretty spectacular movement (when he can channel it).One the further down side, it has also resulted in some spectacular rider/horse arguments. One of these included Guinness bucking and spooking all the way around one side of the arena with me kicking and shoving him forward while tears streamed down my face and I screamed "I've already had a completely crappy day, DON'T. YOU. DO. THIS. TO. ME. YOU. IDIOT!" 
It was not one of my finest moments ... 

2. With the introduction of lush late spring grass, lots of suppling work and long conditioning rides, Guinness has been changing shape radically. He doesn't have any pain in his back, but I have noticed a disturbing trend in his sweat and saddle marks (see below). The saddle appears to be rubbing in weird places. I've been experimenting with padding and hope to have the saddle fitter out.

The woes of saddle fitting. Just look at that huge gap under the withers! Ugh!
3. Schooling show. We're going. May 12 at the Hoosier Horse Park. Wish us luck. Kay bai!

4. Finally, I've been trying some new equipment to try to improve our safety and riding ability. First, these Eskadron knock-offs by Centaur. They are pretty awesome. I'm sure the quality is much better on the Eskadron brand, but at only $16 (instead of $60), these were a no brainer. They do keep Guinness' legs cooler and drier, and they allow me to wrap tighter, thus helping keep swelling in his ankles down even more. Hooray!
Second, we've been experimenting with a loose ring snaffle with a lozenge. Apparently one of these with a thin mouthpiece in the $30 range is the holy grail of horse bits. Seriously hard to find. I finally tracked down this one at State Line Tack (wow, haven't ordered from them in years!). So far it's working well, and Guinness seems to chew on the bit more than just flip it. Hooray!

Climate Control polos. Probably not as good as Eskadron brand, but pretty darn awesome for only $16! Let's not laugh at my sad attempt to wrap with these ... it has gotten better, I promise!

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