Do you ever feel like you’re just simply can’t keep up no matter what you do?
I am so tired. The holiday season has been a bit of a bitch slap this year — last year’s holiday season was actually rather slow and almost enjoyable. This year was a full month of running around with my hair on fire and trying not to ruin too many Christmases at work.
|Baby Flynn adequately portraying how I’m feeling right now.|
Things are honestly going quite well with Simba. He is already proving himself to be extremely smart, curious, and willing (mostly) to do as I ask. We had a fabulous (but bitterly cold!) ride on Christmas Day that left me with a grin that I couldn’t wipe off my face. He was “there” with me the entire time instead of focusing on the stimuli around him, and didn’t offer one startle or spook! He and I had words about his insistence of popping his shoulder, and he was better about it (not perfect, but better!), and we practiced lots of stopping and standing still. He is NOT one to like standing around, so his method of “can we go now PLEASE?” is to offer a little pop up into the air. He hasn’t done it once since I majorly got after him the first few times he did it, but it’s still something I have in the back of my brain. His little pop ups are honestly pathetic, but if left unchecked, they could turn into something that I don’t feel like dealing with. So, laying down the law now is super important when it comes to his little half hearted rears. On the other hand, he was gaiting beautifully with minimal pacing. When he did pace, I was able to bump him back into a four beat gait with just my seat and a little bit of rein. It’s not going to take much to lock him back into his gait once spring rolls around and we can work more consistently on getting him muscled up. His gait is fun now but I’m trying to keep it to long walks up and down hills to build up his hind end as much as possible before spring hits. As for the canter button…? We’ll see what happens come spring when I can hunt down a ring to use. Or something.
|After our Christmas ride!|
Of course, we’ve now hit a minor (aka: major) snag: I’m out of a saddle. After riding in L’s saddle and realizing JUST how unstable my saddle is, I’ve got nothing to ride him in. I’m debating on what to do at this point. J, the owner of the black and white pinto Spotted Saddle Horse mare that I tried a few months ago, has offered to let me try her Bob Marshall endurance saddle. I’m going to give it a shot, even though it’s not the color I want (minor), has a lower cantle (also minor) and has the western rigging (major, but can be remedied easily with some aftermarket rigging converters). It’s not exactly what I want, but she and I could easily finangle something where I could keep my very special Bob Marshall and make it look pretty in my bedroom and still have one to ride in. Option 2 is to sell my very special Bob Marshall (sob!) and go all out on the Bob Marshall I really want: a standard endurance model in black with a 5″ cantle, a bright annoying blue Skito pad, and the Dixie Midnight pad to go underneath to provide even more stability. I LOVE treeless saddles. I love that when everything comes together, you have a very comfortable ride for both you and your horse…but figuring it all out is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I think I’ll be borrowing L’s Synergist saddle this weekend to see how that does, and then will go from there.
Simba is also proving to be rather tricky to figure out in the stall. We’ve started banking one side of Simba’s stall and leaving the rest of it swept back from shavings. He still walks the stall like a lunatic, but it’s cut down hugely on the amount of pee and poop he smushes into his face and body. Vainness aside, I was not really enjoying knocking so much dried pee off of him that if I accidentally inhaled, I was inhaling dried pee. He looks less disgusting and I’m less grossed out. However, if his stall walking doesn’t resolve sooner rather than later, he’s going to turn into an outdoor pony. I have a feeling that resolving it would mean consistent, 5-6 day a week work to get all of his nervous energy under control, but right now, that’s simply not possible with the weather, my work schedule, how far I live from him, and lack of an indoor/riding ring in general. There are a few other tricks that may be worth trying (toys, Likits, ect.) but my gut feeling says this is just how it’s going to be.
Image was also cuddly. Simba…well, he tolerates me hanging off him. Maybe he’ll surprise me and turn into the snugglebug that Image was, but I kind of doubt it!
|Please ignore non-matchy helmet. D was kind and let me borrow hers after I left mine in my car…which was sitting at the bottom of her very steep, snow covered driveway. Ginger Spice the Chevy Prism does not do snow well!|