Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

For my birthday, mom sent me a raven puppet, squee! :D
She also sent me Trader Joe's gift cards. This is awesome, because Imaginethewolf and I discovered the utter awesomeness that is their roasted eggplant wraps yesterday. Roasted eggplant, sweet cabbage, and tahini. SO GOOD. Om nom nom.
Yesterday I offered Solomon a banana. Some horses like bananas, some don't. Solomon loves them! Actually I haven't found any horse-appropriate food that Solomon does NOT like. He's easy that way.
My fingers are sweating as I type. Weather.com says it is 69 degrees out. Weather.com is a big liar. It also says that Martinez is 92 degrees. I can tell you right now that if Martinez is 92 degrees, Richmond is NOT 69 degrees. Liar liar lair, weather.com! Of course, weather.com also told me there was a "chance of light snow showers" when I drove to Colorado, and I ended up driving through a terrible blizzard for a good 10 hours.
I am itching to do some training with Solomon today. I'm not sure it would be fair to him in this heat though. I'm not sure I can do it in this heat either. I have so many ideas, and every time we succeed in doing something, it helps.
Imaginethewolf rode Solomon yesterday. Bareback, because we still do not have a saddle. It is very discouraging for me, this search for a saddle that I can afford and that fits both Solomon and myself. Strange, I guess, that the cheap synthetic saddle the kids were using at the old place was so comfortable for Solomon and I. The new BO says I need a huge saddle because of my weight. A huge saddle seems to put my legs in the wrong place though. I'm very short. So I don't know what to do.
Anyway, Imaginethewolf rode Solomon, and she did really well. He has his challenges still, and he didn't obey every time. He did obey a lot of the time though. He trotted and it was hard for him because he is so out of shape. But he did trot, and he did not buck. He didn't look like he was in pain, just like he was working hard to trot, and maybe he was expecting it to hurt. But he was pretty calm and relaxed for the most part, I think.
The mounting block is probably the biggest challenge right now. Imaginethewolf was very calm and patient with Solomon, and worked at getting him to stand for a very long time. A nice (I think, so far) lady came by and chatted with me about Solomon as she tried. Eventually I helped to hold Solly while Imagine mounted, though I think that she will convince him to stand for her on his own soon. He just needs to learn that avoiding isn't going to get him out of work, and that we aren't going to beat the hell out of him.
I kept talking to the nice lady, who is a trainer as it happens. She is willing to give me lessons. She is giving me a good deal. So probably once a week, maybe on Weds. evenings, I'll have 45 minutes of lessons. We'll work on ground manners and stuff first, especially since I don't have a saddle yet, and then we'll go to riding from there. Imaginethewolf is very good with horses and has been teaching me a lot. It will also be good to have some formal lessons too. If things work out with the nice trainer lady, between her and Imagine and my bumbling through stuff, I think we'll get Solomon up to speed.
We had a picnic next to Solomon's paddock. He stuck his head through the bars and tried to steal Imagine's roasted eggplant wrap. Silly hoss. We moved further away, so we wouldn't be teasing him with our food. He had nice grass hay, and he got part of my apple, so he still had a good dinner as well.
I watched a dressage lesson today. It mystifies me. How amazing, they don't look like they are doing anything at all, though of course they give cues to the horses with their whole bodies, and the horses know just what to do. One of the horses bucked a couple of times, probably because it was really hot and he didn't want to work, but still he obeyed and was very good at what he did. His rider is a sweet girl who stayed calm the whole time. I try to picture Solomon and I doing something like that, and I can't. Hah. No, we will be going for gentle walks on the trail. We're both pretty beat up, though he's more sound than I am. And Solomon is getting old. I do not think it would be fair to ask him to do dressage. Certainly not now, anyway. Now we are working on "ho" and "back" and standing at the mounting block. The day we get those things down will be a big triumph. I will feel as proud of him as any girl at a fancy dressage show. And after that, we will go from there. Maybe he will suddenly show a desire to try something new and interesting. He is a smart horse and he gets bored very easily. Maybe he will be happy just walking around on the bridle path and in the hills with me. That would be just fine too.


MaggieMae said...

I have really enjoyed reading about Solomon. I thought I could help you a bit on your saddle search. What you need is a saddle with a large seat size, but a short flap, if you are looking for an english saddle. For an english saddle you are looking for a saddle where the padding underneath is broad (it spreads out the riders weight over a larger area). If you are looking for a western saddle, think along the lines of synthetics or anything designed for endurance riders as they will have less flap and less saddle between you and the horse. For seat size for you in both types, you should be able to put your hand behind you as you are seated in the saddle and not have it pinched by the saddle. Saddles like this http://cgi.ebay.com/Endurance-saddle-19-seat_W0QQitemZ180281459929QQihZ008QQcategoryZ160918QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem are great. As you can see the panels underneath spread the riders weight quite a bit further than most. Frankly, I don't think you need a 19" seat as you are not that big. Are there any tack stores around you with consignment or used tack for sale? If you so, you can go and test sit quite a few. You do need to find out from someone whether or not Solomon is narrow, regular or wide because fit for the horse is just as or more important. Good luck. I can't wait to hear further adventures.

Evergrey said...

Hello- thank you! That is very useful, actually.
And I like that saddle too. Hmmm. Pretty cheap right now, maybe I will give it a try. Certainly the fit on Solomon is the most important thing to me. It does need to be usable for me, of course, but the last thing I want to do is injure him.
It would be great to have completely mis-matched tack, discipline-wise, hah! We're just going to ride around on trails eventually, not compete, so why not have a Western bridle and an Eastern saddle, eh?
Cool, thank you. :)