Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

SweetPea managed to squeeze some time out of her already busy weekend for me, and it just happened that she suggested this morning, my birthday.  So she greeted me with a hug and a "Happy Birthday," then we pulled the two saddles out of her trunk (a friend of hers is hoping to sell them and wanted me to try them), and we added them to the three saddles I had already tried myself but wanted her opinion on.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...  I arrived at the barn about an hour before she did.  Trigger still had hay in his stall, presumably from the night before.  I don't know if the people who fed were extra-vigorous, or if he moved it himself, but it was a little too close to the corner where he does his bathroom business, and some of the hay was on top of poo piles and some was damp, so I wonder if that's why there was so much left.  Anyway, the feeders were just getting started, so they threw some hay (in the proper corner, away from his potty corner) and I prepared his breakfast grain topped with oil, and threw 10 Tums in with them.  According to the places I've found online, some people recommend as many as 10 x 1,000mg Tums, and mine were only 750mg, so he could have had even more except that he's already getting a supplement that contains calcium.  So I split the difference and gave him more than he probably really needed, knowing he'd eat his way around them.  And he did--he left six of them behind.

Anyway, it was fun sitting there slurping my Starbucks drink and watching him eat his breakfast.  He finished the feed, started on the hay, and had some water, so I pulled him out to exercise him a bit, because we planned to attempt to ride him if one of the five saddles fit.  He wanted to put his head down to graze the second we stepped onto the grass, but I reminded him that I'm the boss, and made him walk on.  I offered to let him graze a little ways from there, though, and he sniffed around but wasn't interested.  So I took him to the round pen and trotted him around, the cantered a bit, then trotted some more, and finally a slow relaxing walk, making him change directions often and sometimes stop, come, and back away.  He was a GOOD boy.

I returned him to his stall and let him snack for a while while waiting for SweetPea to arrive, while I set up the tack out in the sunshine.

So...back to the beginning of my post, SweetPea arrived and greeted me, we caught up a bit and unloaded the borrowed saddles she brought.

We started with the western saddle from the tack shop.  SweetPea immediately agreed with my assessment, that there wasn't enough clearance for his withers.  Same with the tack shop Aussie.  I put the Craigslist Aussie on, and SweetPea agreed that it was the best of the three, and in fact, did seem to fit him.  I cinched it up a bit.  Yep, good fit.

Then we tried the two saddles from her friend (well, my friend, too, but I met her through SweetPea).  The Aussie seemed to small on ME, just holding it up under my butt (unfortunately, there weren't any saddle racks sturdy enough for me to actually sit in the saddles), but I tried it on him anyway.  It was better than the two saddles from the tack shop, but not quite enough wither clearance.  Lastly, we tried the endurance saddle, which seemed to have a little bigger seat, but probably still too small for my ample rear end.  However, it didn't fit as well as the Aussie from Craigslist.  

So, I will most likely buy that saddle, since it seems to fit him, although I still haven't actually sat MY butt in it.

So we put a pad on under it and put that saddle back on him, and proceeded to the round pen to try to ride.  SweetPea kindly offered to go first, and had me hold the lead line.  She laid across the saddle first, before actually sitting in it, and he did okay.  Then she sat in it, and his ears weren't too happy, but he did okay.  Then we asked him to walk forward, and he crowhopped.  Sheesh!  So, it's not just one saddle, but apparently probably ANY saddle with weight in it.  We kept walking forward a little bit, at SweetPea wanted to assess whether he just seemed pissy and needed to have it "rode out of him" but she thinks, and I agree, that it's really just pain.  We noticed he also seemed to swish his tail more, even after she got off, than he does without a saddle on his back.

Luckily, I have a chiropractor appointment scheduled.  Unfortunately, it's still eight days away.  I'll also keep up the ulcer treatments, and hopefully soon, I might be able to ride him.

But we had a nice morning together despite the pain.  We hand grazed him a little more on our way back to the barn, and I think I might have found a tender spot on his spine right behind his withers, but I'm not sure.  I saw SweetPea out to her car and we chatted for a while, then I put the saddle I'll most likely buy into the tack room and the other two saddles back into my trunk, then hung out in Trigger's pen with him for a while.  I rubbed his spine, and he definitely seems a little touchy, but not too bad.  I scratched him all over.  You should see the face he made when I scratched his armpit area--his lip quivered and he even started lifting up his front leg.  Very cute.  He also liked me rubbing his face, so much so that when I would go backward toward his neck and shoulder, he'd back up so I'd be up by his face again.  So that was a nice way to end a morning that was otherwise pretty disappointing.  So, I'll just keep messing with him for the next week until the chiropractor comes.

I didn't take any photos today, but here's one of the ones of him rolling the other day, as a sneak preview.

No comments:

Post a Comment