Friday, February 1, 2013

And Never the Swain Shall Meet

One thing that's really hampering my posts these days is lack of internet access,  forcing me to write these from my phone. I suppose that qualifies as some sort of new literary genre similar to the new Twitter short story which should add a bit of charm.  But I'm also still bogged down with whatever illness I'm incubating and no doubt I was not improved by yesterday's foray out into the wind and cold.  Not good for bronchitis to have 40 mph winds raring down your throat but like most devoted horse people I had to put my own welfare on the back burner. ..doctors will never understand.   I popped out to the barn from my sick bed only to find Beamer shivering out in the cold...on 3 legs.  I will admit to 5 minutes of internal turmoil whilst in my flu befuddled state I frantically tried to text another vet. Yes, my previous experience in equine medicine told me this was a simple abscess yet the female middle aged horse owner in me won out.  I couldn't get a signal in the barn and was forced to stumble out from the shelter of the barn into the raw wind to find a signal.  We didn't name this farm Woodwind for nothing.

In the end the reasonable part of my brain was validated and when Liz arrived armed with hoof testers and a knife it was indeed proved to be an abscess.  Beamer totally charmed the Dr and her tech with big eyes and adorable little ears; they felt sorry for him but I think he's just fishing for attention.

Despite both of us being on the biddy list I do have some sidesaddle topics to report, mainly that Beamer is going to be a bear to fit.  He is narrow, slab sided, and has no withers.   Conventional saddle fit wisdom neatly compartmentalizes horses into narrow, medium, wide, etc. but the reality is more complicated than that.  Consider that the foretree has to fit several distinct parts: withers, rib cage, along with two moving shoulders.  We like to think of horses being consistent in their assemblage of parts, i. e. cobby and round, narrow and throughbreddy (that's an old scientific term!) but horses are illiterate and have not read the manual.

I am planning a more detailed and anatomical post but in the mean time suffice to say that keeping a sidesaddle well positioned on him is going to require professional assistance.   My little Martin & Mayhew has the best chance of fitting,  while Jeannie's Swain, for which I had hopes, is totally off the mark.  When I tried Beamer I only noted his mutton withers without assessing the rest of him.  I naively assumed he would be round bodied like an arab.

This long point of the M & M has a fairly good fit:

The saddle fits fairly level but needs some flocking in the front to make it stable.

But you can clearly see this Swain would be disastrous to ride in...there's a huge gap between the point and his rib cage.

 Who knows...? Perhaps little Beamer will need a compass point saddle.

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