Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Mustang" moves

While I have been waiting for my mare to  recover more fully from her injuries of falling on the road last month, I remembered my own fall on the road, and off of her, last year.
It was due to saddle fit issues and pain for Wa mare, I am convinced. My feet,  heals, ankles took at least 4-5 months before they did not pain me and swell constantly. I still do feel some residuals.
Age, and motion wearing...can be so unforgiving and I do know this...with most  injuries , you NEVER go back to the  same health  again.
 FACTS are facts, and though I hate aging and injuries...we are all heading down the same road of disrepair.We live our lives, accidents and repetitive motions happen and wear on us!
 We must all take care and do the best we can to stay healthy.
Sometimes changing the risk factor by discontinuing an activity and or it's risk level. And sometimes just getting smarter, more informed about how you may diminish ill befalling you, in that activity.

For me now, I have determined the saddle fit issue is a larger part of my mare's volatile responses to certain activities.
 Her first 30 days in an  arena, right before I received her from my sissy, did her in to start with.The ill mannered/educated cowboy trainer- re saddled her daily, by putting plastic wrap over her saddle fit wounds, riding her for an hour or so each time, and being tied down, into frame, she could barely be herself .

 Because of my great ignorance towards pain response( and memory pain response) in a horse, due to ill fitting and wrong gear, she and I have gone round and round with this issue.
 Me not wanting to die, by being catapulted off or out of the arena....

 I have been using my down times, this past spring, summer and now, to educate myself and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE, $ !!!
My research shows that knowledge costs one= to live up to what you have learned.

For me, when I learn something as truth..proven and tested truth..I can't 'Unlearn it". Meaning: I can not ignore it and keep on- keeping on. I dig in and do my best to do- JUST THAT-
Take the knowledge and go for it...

My sister likes to educate herself too...we share most things horse.
She found this CO. over the summer as I have had continued issues. It was born out of the Loss of a dream- of an Olympic team  rider.

After watching just the first 3 videos(out of 9) I am very interested, and hopeful too.
I couldn't have chosen a more expensive saddle...and reviewing the make of it and the fact that they have researched the differences in a man's saddle fit needs- verses the woman's body shape and different needs, they have me sold!
I love the fact that I may change the saddle fit, should my horse change in her shape or, I get a different horse in the future. These saddles are NOT cheap (like what I've been using) so I need to know I may trade it in, or have it changed. After all, it will fit me, no matter what horse I have.

I remember some of our best rides,the mare and me,  hardly any resistance from her in the arena and some soft attitudes from her,  to try for me, were in my "Cashel Soft Saddle". It is just closed cell foam. No tree, and stirrups...I could only use those stirrups in this level arena environment though...and undulations in a changing outdoor environment beneath us or that glorified bareback saddle, and you were over the side!

 Now, having moved to a stable with an indoor arena, I am nervous to try riding it. We have had some explosive results under some of the best (and worst ) trainers in the past 4 years.
 I MUST make sure I've not blocked her movements and caused my own problem- with the pain of an ill fitting saddle. She may still have residual mind blocks, towards arena work, but if I am certain she is not in pain...I will start over, slowly and cautiously with her, again. AND under an expert eye, to help us along.

I have NO GRAND ideas for us...just the basic 6 point German Dressage training scale:

Until I can ride the arena, I will do groundwork and connect the dots, is amazing what I may accomplish out of the arena.
 Just yesterday, we went out for a lovely wanting to supple my mare on both sides-without- using the reins directly.( her being so claustrophobic to being trapped -it is part of her mind block)
I did use a bit yesterday, and my goal with it was to  have light, low, relaxed contact. I kept my reins even and giving, using  my torso core and weight to dictate our direction and my desire for supple bending around my leg.
 When going straight. I wanted to see her eye lash, then her eyeball to each side. She gave and did almost a shoulder in, against my imaginary wall leg. There is one side that is REALLY tough for her to bend on...the left.
Yesterday, if anyone was around...out there in the wooded trails we now ride, all they heard was a RESOUNDING, " Oh, GOOD" a soft COOING Tone..she was so was a joy!
This ride only happened yesterday because she showed me something......

Her very own "MUSTANG MOVES"

(Mustang metal art piece from Sisters, Oregon)

She has been pretty resistant to moving like normal and has not once- bucked it up-  in the arena..when I let her in there to roll.
I think she has really enjoyed her new stable...I mean, it's the life of leisure and Therapy sessions, small -less than 5 mile rides on soft footed, forest flats. JUST  Rolling in an arena and not riding in it (yet). Healing is coming.
I also have been adding some joint sups into her feed. "JOINT HEALTH TREATS "They are little wafers treats you may hand feed them..or... (but  for therapeutic gain,there are quite a few, and I fear mouthiness would ensue) ... put into grain, as I have.
" Springtime Inc." makes them. I do love the devotion to pure and sound ingredients, this Co. has!

OKAY...after only 7 days of dosing her...yesterday...she had her own "MUSTANG MOMENTS"!!Of course...that taken after Mustang Cazi and his up and sideways moves-  with me on him!

I got to the stable...she was in her run , with everyone else in theirs too. The forecast was for a winter storm watch, and the owners would not be home till dark.
She saw me come in, waited for her apple..then proceded to trot down the lane of her 150 foot run...then, she quickly did a roll back and turned-full steam canter up the lane, then to a halt, and entered her stall again!

I got the's time to ride KK girl!!

And after the ride...guess what??
She got up from the roll in the arena..and bucked it up!!

She's getting her groove back-Yea, Wa mare!


  1. Oh, I'm so happy for you and WA!

    I decided a while ago that if I could ever afford a new saddle, it would be a Schleese.

  2. WOW>>> that is soo cool Terry!
    I am so impressed with his reasons for research and the fine attentions to the details!

    It may take me all winter into spring to accomplish the desire to have one(I'd love 2, the trail saddle is way awesome!)
    Getting closer>> with selling a saddle, my old car, and some furnature...I'm getting there...trying to figure out what else I may sell!

  3. Yay Wa! You take such good care of her. The saddle looks nice too.

  4. HOw much does that saddle cost!!! After having 10 years of saddle fitting clinics here I have learned plenty about what can happen when the saddle simply does not fit. It is so painful for the horse..... Unfortunately, too many people don't even know if their saddles fit. They blame the horses reaction on something else. I hope your find what you are looking for. The most popular saddle to come out of these clinics has been the Albion SL (dressage).

    Sounds like you and Wa are loving the new place.

  5. Way to go wa! I can't wait to see what Indigo is gonna be like tomorrow with this nearly week shes had off I bet shes gonna "mustang" it up. Longest shes had off since March.

  6. Yay! So happy for you and WA,it sounds like she is happy and contented in her new yard!Hope the new saddle is the answer to your "and WA's" prayers.

  7. saddles are just a big pain in the butt, aren't they? I don't know how to tell the hubby I need a saddle worth more than my horse though!

  8. Horsemom~
    On thinking on your reply, yes, the saddle would be worth more than my mare too...but, as I think deeper may allow my mare to live up to being worth much more!(and she already is to me!) Her dam sold for I know she had it in her. I gotta try.

  9. Sounds like a good positive plan KK, the groundwork is soooooo helpful for the ridden work and creates special bonds that transfer easily once on board. Good luck with the saving!
    ps love the pics

  10. pps just checked out the prices of those saddles, took me a minute to pick myself off the floor :o

  11. Sounds like a plan - nice that she's feeling well enough to do some bucking (without you aboard!). Looks like an interesting saddle. I'm probably going to get a Black Rhino for Dawn (and perhaps the new horse!) - they're expensive too but sometimes it's possible to locate a good used one with help from the saddlemakers.

  12. I prefer watching bucking from the ground too :) Glad Wa is feeling better and you survived the shenanigans on Cazi.

    I really love that b/w shadow shot - would you mind if I printed it for my future enjoyment?

  13. Ohhhhh how awesome ....sounds like you and Wa are both getting your groove back .....happy days

  14. Saddle fitting, yeah, I need one that fits both my mare and me better than the current one! But with her strange desire to keep herself in perpetual vet bills we have to make do with what we have. Those Schleese saddles are gorgeous though and I've heard so many good things about them.

  15. Thanks for writing such a detailed description of how you worked with Wa. It was fascinating, it really was. You are one gutsy rider.

  16. Sounds like Wa is feeling better? So good to hear. You get so anxious when something is not right. It would be so much easier if they could speak!

    And good luck with the saddle project - sounds like it is worth saving up for!

  17. I agree that a good saddle is very important, and it only makes sense that a saddle that is well made and fits both rider and horse would cost so much, but being that I don't work outside the home and my hubby is the accountant in the family (and non horsey) he thought he was doing a great thing by buying me the $1,000 saddle (and I love him for it!) he'd fall off his chair if I showed him that, lol. If I worked, didn't have kiddos, I would definitely invest in a saddle like that:)
    Off topic but has your hubby tried the Stubbs bbq sauce? Stubbs is actually a restaurant in Austin Texas and when we lived there we ate there. It was sooooo good!I was pretty excited when I saw it being sold in the stores.

  18. Yep, I do agree with you that a good saddle is VERY important. It's good to read that you're both happy in the new environment.

    How is Pantz doing?

  19. Pantz mare seems to be well and good. her mom also is rethinking the saddle fit...since I measured everything and took the time to check them agaist the Information I learned. We are riding bareback now...till we may get them fixed or?


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