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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I am so glad that I have a smart, calm horse.

I am glad that I have a smart, calm horse.
Well, I got the saddle today! I was so excited. It looked great. No maker's mark anywhere, no brand or stamp, so I have no idea who made it, but it's in good condition, all leather, nice and padded, and CRAZY light. I carried it to my locker on my head, heh.
UNFORTUNATELY it is a little too narrow. Is nice and high over his withers, but the nice lady who will be giving me lessons was there today, and said that it would make him sore. I thought it felt like it would be comfy on him, but she knows a lot better, so I'm really glad she was there to check him out. A nice woman with a lovely Hanoverian said I could borrow a girth and a pad from her to try the saddle out, but I still wanted a pro opinion before getting on him, and I am glad I got one. I will never use it on him, not if it will make him sore. So. Now I am going to try to resell it. I think I can eventually. I'll just ask for what I paid for the saddle and the shipping, and I think it will still be a very good deal. Bummer though. Solomon is a big guy, and I keep underestimating his size.

He scared me today!

I saw him lie down as I was coming up the walk, in the soft spot that the horses like to roll in. He saw me as he was lying down, so he just laid there, watching me come up the drive. I called to him but he wouldn't get up. I went over to him and he blew at me in greeting but wouldn't get up. I pushed on his side a couple times but he wasn't budging. Of course I had those scared new horse mom thoughts: what if he foundered? He's gained so much weight so fast! What if he colicked! OH NO!
I had to stay calm though, because I didn't want to scare him, and I didn't know if he was okay and just not wanting to get up yet or if something was wrong. I was worried that the vet would be gone for the day, and what would I do then?
Luckily a couple of people were on their horses nearby, so I asked them for help.
"Excuse me, sorry to bother you, but can you help me? My horse won't stand up!"
"Well, is he lying there or rolling?"
I had walked over to them at this point, and Solomon, seeing me walk away again, decided to roll around, shake, get up, and come to me. Heh. Whew. So the nice people on their horses reassured me, and we figured out that he was just watching momma, whose arrival interrupted him when he was about to roll, and he was just excited enough to see me show up that he didn't roll, but he still DID want to, only after I had come over to greet him. Silly hoss. And silly overprotective hoss owner! I've just been reading about horses casting, laminitis and colic, so I got worried. I'm just glad it was nothing and he was fine.
I got this really not very bright idea that I could get Solomon to help me carry his bad of senior feed to the grain room. It's 50 pounds, which is way more than I am supposed to lift. Now I know (because the barn owner told me after the fact) that I could have found one of the guys who worked there and gotten them to carry it for me. D'oh.
Anyway, we went to the car and I draped Solly's rope over his neck so he would stand and not trip on it. I picked the senior feed bag up, and he smelled it. He made his "oooh feed that to me" sound and tried to take a bite out of the back when I went to try to balance it on his back. Okay so yeah not such a good idea. Heh. Of course someone was walking past on their horse while I was saying "no, don't try to eat that!"
I'm really glad he's a smart horse and that he is generally of a mind to obey me, because he stopped trying to eat the bag immediately. So then I had this 50 pound bag that I had to lug to his grain room, which took both hands, and I didn't feel like I could hold his rope at the same time. Good thing I have taught him to follow me when I ask him to, lead line or not.
So he walked with me without his rope. Halfway through the barn he spotted a flake of alfala, ohh mama. He started to lower his head to it, but I said "NO" and he brought his head back up and kept walking, just like that. Good boy. He went in his paddock when I told him to, and waited while I put his new sack of feed in it's can. He got half a scoop of senior feed with some pro biotic and some sand clear. He watched me mix it through a tiny crack in the wall between his paddock and the grain room, heheh.
I saw a little coyote exploring one of the turn out pens. "Hey! Hey, you better get out of here or H____'ll shoot you!" I told him. He was unimpressed. H___ is the barn owner. She has a stuffed and mounted coyote in her living room. Hopefully that little 'yote out there wised up and left.
Also saw the three tom turkeys, which the BO has taken to calling "Tom, Dick and Harry." They are also rather calm around humans. Not afraid of them at all. I had to honk to get one of them out of my way when I drove to the barn today.
There was also a baby mouse, which one of the other boarders spotted. She thought it was injured, so the BO went over with a shovel to put it out of it's misery, but it turned out to just be young and unsure. I caught it (I know, I know, plague and stuff... uh I washed my hands afterwards?) and tried to let it go outside, but it just got scared and sat there, so I bought it back in and said "H____ help, I don't need another pet!" so she took it from me and found where the boarder thought it might live, under a tack locker, and let it go. It went in there, so I ended up not feeling like I needed to take it home to take care of it. Heh. I know, I know, I do not have to nurture every single animal I come across. I'm sure that mouse will quite happily thrive and make a million more mice, but the feed is well contained.
Also saw a little grey fox out there. Did not pick it up.
So. Yes. I have an instructor now. Y'all can breathe a sigh of relief, heh. My first lesson will be Friday. She and I did find a saddle that fit Solomon. It's a custom-made one that belongs to a woman whose horse she is training. We'll see if she'd be willing to let us borrow it. That would rock, though I can understand if she isn't, what with it being custom made and all that. I'm still really bummed about the eventing saddle not fitting Solly, but that's the way things go sometimes.
We took him to an area he hadn't been before to try some other saddles on him, and he got that "worried" look again. So tomorrow or Friday I think we'll do some exploring, wandering around the grounds so he and I become a little more familiar with the area.
By the time I took him out to the pasture, it was completely dark. I could barely see anything, but between the two of us we found our way out to his pasture without incident. When I took his halter off, he wandered off like he always does, so I suppose he can see in the dark a lot better than I can. Note to self: get a flashlight.


MaggieMae said...

Totally bummed that it didn't fit. Rats!

Well keep looking, something will turn up.

Evergrey said...

Yeah, it is such an awesome saddle too.

Gargh, the cost of saddles is really making it hard to find one at all, too. :/