Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saddle Fit Clinic

Pumpkin Ridge Equestrian Center hosted a free saddle fitting clinic the afternoon with Ilene Nessenson. Ilene owns Holistic Horse Bodyworks.

About twenty five clinic attendees showed up, saddles in hand to learn more about how these things should look on our horses. Ilene had us flip our saddles over and check the flocking and really feel every inch of the saddle. One of the saddles brought actually had a broken Next we learned how to find the last rib and saddle placement on the sweet spot. Also, a reminder to pull out that mounting block and look down on your horse. Look for symmetry and straightness and note sides that may need work or shimming. Finally we tried all our saddles on three different demo horses, applying information we had just learned to assess how well the saddles fit. Sadly, one or two saddles worked out of the whole bunch. It was very informative and it was a reminder to really feel your tack. We passed around a bunch of cinches, that look acceptable, but upon feeling them, had serious issues.

A fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon with girlfriends, each of us dreaming of our next perfect fitting saddle.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Truck

I got a new truck yesterday! Horse camping and trailer towing is going to be fun in 2010! I wanted to let everyone know I am recovering from my car accident. Thanks so much for all the care and concern from all my blogger friends. I didn't realize the swelling, the bruising, and the stiffness that would follow my accident. Having never had a concussion before, I didn't realize how "tipsy" you are and that nausea and headaches that come with that. I spent my weekend on the couch, not on the trails as planned. My stitches came out this week and I and waiting to see how bad the scar is across my eye. But I am on the mend and trying to figure out what car is next. The truck is a hauling vehicle for the boat and trailer, but it will tide me over until I find my daily driver.
I drove the new truck out to see Maddy. My little Cairn Terrier, Ellie, enjoyed the ride out into the country (she rode up front, not in the back---just in the back for photo). My dog and I went for a little walk on the trails, since I have to hold off the riding for a little while longer. I am ready to have life get back to normal...days of sleeping and talking to insurance people and thinking of dealing with car salesmen are no fun. As you all know, I'd rather be riding!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Horse Neglect

Notorious horse flipper Tania Herring of Mill City, Oregon finally busted for animal neglect. Investigators found 116 horses on the property, 70 showing severe signs of neglect. Two were found in a trailer with the worse case of strangles I have ever seen. They are the two pictured lying down. It was pretty sick watching the video of these horses the other day. Sores, starvation, and mange so bad some horses didn't even have any hair.
They seized 30 yesterday and figure more in the next few days. She is facing 30 counts of animal neglect and hopefully some jail time. Linn County Sheriffs deputies are saying this is the worst case of neglect they have ever seen. How about banning her from ever owning a horse again?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Non Horse Accident

I got into a bad accident yesterday and the only way it is connected to horses is that I was driving FROM the barn. I was sitting at a flagger stop by a construction zone and all of a sudden WHAM! A car plows into me from behind. Felt like a got hit in the head with a bat. My face hit the steering wheel and I have a 2 inch cut across my lid and a giant mass on the back of my head. I got to ride in an ambulance...I think my poor little Geo Tracker is totaled. She was such a good little car...sad she had to go out that way. I was wearing my riding clothes, so everyone thought I was bucked off a horse in the emergency room. I am hurting today, very sore with a big black eye and stitches, but recovering. Amazing how one little event can really rattle your world. Now I have to deal with insurance, no vehicle, possible truck shopping, and doctors. All I wanted to do this weekend is hit the trails, not sure if I will feel good enough to ride by Saturday, but I am working on it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Celebs to the rescue

Sheryl Crow is working to halt the roundup of 2,500 mustangs in Nevada which began last month.

"My main concern is that horse numbers not be dwindled down to where they can become extinct," she said, fearing the roundups are leaving mustang herds with too few breeding horses.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Crow said the romantic symbols of the American West are being sacrificed, in part, because of ranchers' drive for land. She disputed the government's position that booming mustang numbers are threatening the horses with starvation, and harming arid range lands and native wildlife.

"I think there has to be a better way than taking them away from their native lands," she said by phone from New York. "I feel so passionate about the issue because wild horses are one of the last remaining ties to the land as it was and our history in America."

Meanwhile, there are other celebrities pushing the cause, including Willie Nelson, Lily Tomlin, Bill Maher and Ed Harris.

The photo is of Crow and Ginger Kathrens, the maker of the Cloud documentaries.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get him a pony!

This is my nephew, Weston. My brother and his wife say they don't want any ponies, but I think Weston has other ideas. Since they won't cave, he has taken to riding Vader, the black lab. Not sure if Vader is enjoying his time under saddle, but it is clear Weston wants to be a cowboy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Banging" a Tail

Maddy has been blessed with a thick, healthy tail. It grows so fast, sometimes I trim it up and it seems a few weeks later it is brushing the floor again. I do put a conditioner on about once a week and I use Laser Sheen every time I brush it out. She also gets a cup of flax a day which may contribute as well. Some would look at that long tail and scream "Don't cut it!" I trim it because of a horror story I heard once.

A friend of a friend had a Lipizzaner with a tail that dragged on the floor. Well, one day he was lying down and went to get up, stepped on his tail and tore half of it out. The tail is so sensitive, it got badly infected and he couldn't be ridden for a couple weeks because he was in so much pain.

So I think of that story and out comes the scissors! After combing out completely, the secret to a good trim job is to use a leg wrap, towel, or boot and position it under the tail. This raises the tail up to is natural set so you can get a perfect straight cut. Make sure your horse is "ok" with putting something there before you try this.

Next, figure out how much you want to lop off. I think this time I did about 5 inches. Grab the tail in your hand and just cut straight across in one snip. Be conservative on your first cut, you can always take off more if you want it shorter. That is it. A perfect straight cut. Don't forget to remove your leg wrap and give your horse a treat for tolerating their makeover.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 off to a good start

A group from the barn hit the trails today. The three of us headed out in search of new trails for the new year. This winter has been so dry and even with the snow last week, there have been lots of perfect days to ride. Last weekend, I went out with the barn owner, Tammy. It seems that everyone is working on their water crossing skills and for good reason. We crossed quite a few extra large puddles and streams. We only had one little incident, Mike rammed a tree with his knee rounding a corner. He said it was feeling better by the time we reached the barn. I've done that quite a few times, once at the canter. Ouch! I haven't posted about Maddy in awhile and just wanted everyone to know we are putting on the miles and getting out there. Happy Trails!