Monday, September 26, 2011

Before the Horse. . .

...was this  Bridle!

Sounds kinda nostalgic, doesn't it?
Well, someone asked about the bridle this summer, think it was Terry. I have wanted to tell the story of it, so here goes...

Firstly- It's a Halter/Bridle combo. Endurance riders use them alot, or trail riders like me. See this snap-

It removes the bit from the halter, so one may allow the horse to be tied and eat.

Handy for long rides. I don't trailer with the halter it wouldn't break if it needed to-though I use "Blocker Ties" in my trailer, I wouldn't risk the messing it up.

So the story goes.... Years before I had my mare, I was on a trip with my husband to Ocean Park, near Astoria. We love to antique and were in a rather huge building with 3 floors of stuff . My husband went upstairs for a time...then, he came and found me to say, " You really have to go upstairs right now, there are things up there YOU will want to see." He had recently brought up the question, " what is it you really desire to a hobby?" I said, "I already do all I want to do..."... and he said, "what about horses?" I told him that was a HUGE thing to think about..because, "Once I start back onto horses, you'll NEVER get me to stop!"

I went upstairs to find all sorts of cool tack!! But I fell in love with this universal halter/bridle!

As I came back recently from a trail ride, I simply took off the bit and fastened it to the saddle's grab strap.

It makes for the BEST Oregon wet weather gear too, being synthetic!
I found these cool rubber reins to go with it, a few years ago at an endurance conference.

Snap them onto the halter ring and you have your tether for walking~

(note tail**)
I recently found my rear Renegade hoof boots(that are too large)fit perfectly for her fronts! She has Ruby slippers for the rocky roads now!
So, that is my story of the bridle before the $25, it was a really great purchase and I do not see it wearing out anytime soon! is just in time for our seasonal changes to wet.
I made sure recently that the mare's very long and draging on the ground-tail- got a wet weather change too.

Soft brush side to tail bone-large flat on horse duplicates the natural way they travel, with the tail raised.

WHAT ya doin' KK girl??

Before, during, after

(see above** picture- and how the brush tecnique makes the tail easy to cut hangs so evenly) 

Oregon Rains...bring them on!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Second Spring

Autumn  arrives in Oregon . . . .

. . .and is making a great attempt of looking like spring!  We like it, since it skipped us in these parts the first go.

I know that the weather in many of my blog friends worlds has been really messed up and also, downright scary. I think of you all the time. Thanks for checking in and letting us know how you are...hang in and know we are doing our best to send some better stuff your way.
The City of Roses sends many wishes for you(via prayers and pics) and the next season- for it to be calmer and also, riding freindly!

Giving my mare a break from jaunting about the countryside...Pantz mare went along for this ride to our Mount Hood, Twin lakes area with Big Skye horse and his rider. Her first time there, it was really fun to share.

With the temps being in the upper 80's..should have worn swimming gear!

Thanks Pantz for another special day in the wooded wonderlands with you~

Sending our friend JENI and her two mares a special wish...MOVING ON TO BETTER THINGS...Hoping You and yours are well taken care of and happier this season!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Confidence Riding

This is Pantz, my sisters 21 yr old Appaloosa mare. She inherited her for a dollar about 5 years ago, the current owner was afraid of her. while my sis is a TB fan of dressage & previously enthusiast/avid eventer, she has enjoyed her very much. They did Competitive Drill Team for a few years and now she mainly trail rides, with me.
My sister moved Pantz to my barn "at the time, late last summer, it was  -way the heck -out in the country.
The mares below, enjoying a romp through  in the large field they had to start with there.

My sister does not live in the Portland area permanently I looked in on Pantz, as I did my mare and had the privelege of riding her anytime. This was the second time I had had Pantz at a  stable with mine, and it was really fun.

My sis and me would take the mares to all my favorite riding spots, it was so nice to have her there more often, and so convenient to ride together from the barn!

Late in the season last year,  while I  ponied my mare from Pantz, we had stopped by a nearby pond for a rest. I was about to head on home again with the mares. Suddenly- in less than the time it would take to breath in and out-I was heading right for the ground, off of Pantz. She had done a tuck and roll move and was no longer under me, but the ground was!
I looked up once to see the mares standing there...but my mare, was pushing Pantz to go. It was terrible to see them running off and to track them to find, they had done the unspeakable!

What happened the NEXT WEEK was part of the history that lead me to happily move to my current stable. Too many chances for harm, availed themselves-plus- I wanted closer boarding w/arena and other amenities.

So, it has been a whole year since I have ridden Pantz solo, on the trails. I really did not think about it too much. Lately though, my sister really wants to get her in shape for an upcoming beach trip we have planned for October.  I have endeavoured a few times to go over to her  "new"current facility and retrieve her to ride at mine. (that is another post-"Pantz's move") While I am very confident trailering and riding solo...the doubtful thoughts had begun to hit my mind, " What if something happens? What if she dumps me and gets away again?" It was disconcerting for me to have to face these thoughts. And you know...these things are always present. I, while being confident in my skills and also very safety conscience while solo riding; am able to come off any horse, at anytime and have accidents occur, just like anyone can. But, it was the fact that I came off-while standing still, that had me scared somewhat.

Pantz was so good for me, trailered over to place and waited in the arena, while I got my gear out~
(phone photo)
My sissy's place is only 4 miles away. Pantz, she loves our arena, it's so soft to roll in! I set her up with some hay and water, as I groomed and tacked. I did NOT allow her to say hello to her best bud-My mare, Wa- out back in I thought it would be upsetting for her. They never saw each other, yet did answer each others call, once. One thing I do know about this mare Pantz is- she takes over and will not listen if she is takes alot to get her back.

She was great and I only had to confirm who was the boss once or twice..she is such a bossy lead mare...she does challenge sometimes should you waver.
This is something I really caught onto this ride, being extra vigilant is Pantz's thing.... look at those ears below!

While my mare would be looking over the pond and the ducks and whatever else would be swimming around...Pantz here, is concerned about her back. It was very hard for her to keep her head straight at all...I call her  "Looky Lou". She always has her head craned around to make sure the Lions are at bay! It is really annoying, when You are trying to do something, or get on...she is terrible at being still. THAT is what we practice the most, when I ride her. and THAT is where she dumped me last a moment of still.

Pantz, vigilant mare In a still moment, before I mounted up to go forth...

She was happy to be out and took to the trail, eagerly so.
I was  amazed at how quickly she was ascending the first hill- looser rein and no leg (both things I have to employ with mine) when- she spooked! I was not ready..but it was not a bolt or spin, was one of my mare's spooks too....a crouching stump, hidden cougar! Tall grasses hiding a 2 ft stump...ever since last years cougars attack...both my mare and this one, are wary of the stumps!
I don't blame them.

Our ride(s) were very insightful to I rode along looser reined, Pantz did become more aware of things..spooking more often. Now this is opposite of my TB mare..the more contact Wa mare has with leg...the more wound tight she becomes. This mare it seems, becomes less relaxed and more aware, having to take care of things herself on a long rein-translation-LOTS OF SPOOKS!

I learned a great lesson from this mare Pantz...she is confident with leg on, boundaries set and a light and constant contact. She gave me such confidence between the two days I picked her up to ride! I practiced being a strong we cantered down a road...and I felt her pushing away from something as we neared..I put the outside leg on and actually looked to the other side of the stayed straight as if there were only the middle to travel, instead of jumping to the far side of the scarey object. In this out house, tucked into a campground...we went back to investigate.

I am happy to have had the alone times with this mare to ride and to connect with her. She has helped restore my confidence again.

I just love you  Pantz!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Worth the Wait

There are a few things that have come to my celebrating-attention!


One year has gone by, as of this month, that I've had the mare boarded in the BEST facility ever- for us. She has been the calmest TB mare since the move. We have made some awesome friends and riding partners here... PLUS, I have been able to rehabilitate the mare's health, also attitude towards the trails;  through a better fitting saddle," Easy Walker horseshoes" and also, mental conditioning. We have logged in  340 miles alone from JUNE- AUGUST 2011 and ridden hours and hours of front, middle and back of the group rides!

Now,  I recently found some white hairs on Wa's withers and pocket from pressure. The thing about this is-she did not tell me about them personally so, by behaviour like before, when the saddle actually hurt. So,I am having faith my new" ANSUR"  saddle still is the right fit overall.  I have made some changes in padding...the "HAF" pad, I adore, will be for my bareback rides under the "Thinline" or  Cashel "Softsaddle".
 Below is from last week , Yes poachers have been spotted, pointing riffles at horses in the private woods next "ORANGE VESTS" are   appropriate! I particullarly LOVE this one I am borrowing till mine comes in the is a waterproof, woven net and does not add heat to the neck .
 My ANSUR saddle with the thinline pad under...and under those, a dosey mare~

I have been following Edward over at "My Equestrian World" and he has had some new padding venues to try too, trying to fit his NIKO horse. I've enjoyed following his venues to create healthy, happy horses, he has quite the herd.
He found a Wintec riser pad to solve his problem.

I am unable to raise the front pommel area at all, so a riser pad will not do, or it will set me off balance in my saddle. I sit perfectly over my legs at present, being able to" two point" at anytime and any pace- or stand to change diagonals, instead of sitting to accomplish the change. It is something my siss taught me to do from time to time, to make sure I am over my legs.

I am able to push this little cotton pad up into the gullet, over my mare's withers. So far so good says the sweat patterns. I do have one more option to try, and today I will. My "ENGLE SHEEPSKIN"  pad. While they slipped before with a tree'd saddle, my "KONKLUSION" ANSUR saddle doesn't move- being a "FlexCore tree".


So this pad, I found on the "Thinline "site, years ago on clearance- is doing a nicer job for us. I have used it several 90 degree rides(Oregon's September heat wave) and the sweat patterns tell me the pressure has decreased.

So, we have been celebrating our Boarding Anniversary by riding with my sister tons, at the trails just across the street from my stable and the ones below too...Pantz sure wishes she could be here with her bestest mare bud in the world, and my sister now regrets not taking the offer last year with me, as I moved. But $ and also she needed me to test the that they are proven so perfectly wonderful, at least she may ride with me here. Her place is nice for care and the price is right. And, it sports an all weather outdoor sand and pea gravel arena. My mare prefers an outdoor arena so, I will go there now, for lessons.

Some shots of us from the past 2 weeks. We are  getting fit and ready for a BEACH getaway- in October. Though during the heat wave, it was always at least 10 degrees cooler- while riding in the woods!!

Down the road she goes, Pantz mare, with my sister aboard.

Next up- another Anniversary ...riding through fear.... I had to get back on Pantz myself, after last year disastrous fall from her -as we stood- and were not even moving!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CLEAR the way!

Our stable went on an clearing expedition

I am so proud of my WA mare, riding rear position ~

Clearing started right away, on the normal trails we ride to get to where we were going to blaze one later

...and the eating began....

Mounted up again, we rode further onto our destination point

Through trails and some roadways we went....

Armed with large limb loppers, we arrived to our spot...

Two riding trail blazers took one end of the trail and two of us took the other.... this was, really, was there a trail here??

In a years time...the trail had sprouted up and small trees where literally-right in the middle of it....
Big Skye horse...where did you go?

Wa mare says, "KK, please don't go too far away!"
She was the only one that did not eat at all- the entire time we cleared. Was a bit nerve racking for her~

We had cleared and cleared till- we could do so no longer...sore hands and arms and needing a partner and me went around to see the other's progress....nice work...but they must be just about to us,  on the other end!

We see the horses.....

They finally appear

We follow them, as they get to where we stopped, and sigh relief!

We took a new way home, and I learned about several more miles of trail systems to expore for future rides!

Epsom Salts were my friend that night!

Hope you are all having  wonderful "Summer Sunset" times.
 That's what I call the last  fun times of the summer; they are just as the beauty of a sunset, a thrill of color at the end of the day.
And in some of my blogger friends casses...the summer is yet to come..hang in, it is just around the corner!

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