Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gather Ye Poinsettias While Ye May...

OK, so things have sucked a lot lately and I've been down but once again the Dream Team (Barb Thelan and I) has managed to dig up some sidesaddle trouble by agreeing to ride in the Lisbon Ole Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade (   this weekend.  Last night Bruce and I excavated my red and green victorian habit out of storage, plus I stopped by Joann Fabrics to pick up some assorted goo-gaws to put on Owen.  Now, we all know that sidesaddle is my passion, but occasionally embarrising Owen really gives me a lift.  Last Easter I put bunny ears on him and rode in an egg hunt; reindeer antlers are too cliche, but I've got some other forms of amusement to attach provided he tolerates it.

I'm bringing along a nice bottle of ace.  What else would you carry in that little offside purse?

In the mean time, I've started Owen on his new special diet (which he hates) along with a supplement and am trying to get hold of Boeringer to order the new pergolide formulation.  According to my veterinary colleagues, this new version is far more effective than the compounded versions I've used in the past.  Owen also got a new clip job, one of my least favorite equine tasks.  Over 15 years of managing a Cushinoid equine (Chummie) mandated three to four body clips per year, and every time I swear I'm going to start paying someone else to do it.  Heavy sigh...I own the clippers so I might as well use them, and I'm always pleased to find a nice fit equine underneath all that shag.

I've also finished the last of the tweaks to my newest western saddle.  I realize the leather color doesn't quite match tho' it will darken over time, but I added a cinch and latigo hanger along with a tapedero stirrup.  The stirrup is rather ugly but functional, and I do have a fear of getting my foot caught up since western saddles don't have break away bars.

I also found this nice cinch with a roller bar that lets me for the first time tighten a western saddle while mounted.  I've really grown to love this saddle and am beginning to feel quite the centaur when I ride in it.

Our mouted training has stalled a bit, and the flying changes are non-existent some days, beautiful on others.  But I've really stepped up the in hand training and started Owen on the levade a few months ago.  It's a long slow process that may take a year or more to finish but he has progressed to the school halt, in which the horse rocks back on his hocks in preparation for the air but only lifts one foot, and he has a few times come off the ground with both front feet.  I think it frightens him a little, so keeping him calm is key.  Yes, I could just snap his hocks with the stick until he leaps up but the levade should be calm and controlled so he must be relaxed to pull it off correctly, and I only school it for a few minutes to keep him from getting sour or tired.  He's getting to the point where he'll even do it in a halter.

We're still having fun together...we'll see how the weekend goes.

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