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.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ooOoooooh! I CAN has ride!

Dragged my boyfriend to a potluck at the barn today. Poor boo got overwhelmed, is not a horse person, and has sinus problems, but suffered pretty much silently until it was time to go.
Next month I will not make him go with me, and I'll be able to stay all day.
Solomon was a very good boy today. I did have to meet him halfway in the pasture, but it was the middle of the day, and really hot, and he's not used to me coming by so early. He still came to me and stuck his nose in his halter, he just wanted to see that I was serious about coming out or something. :p
He DID let me check his feet in the pasture though. He was a very good boy about it. He walked fine except he was a little worried about some horses he didn't know who were charging around and bucking in one of the nearby turn-out pens. Horses from different barns aren't allowed to interact with each other generally because the BO want's to contain disease as much as possible. They haven't had a problem since the first year they operated, when they had a bad rash of strangles, and since then she has been very careful. There are... hmm well the paddocks and my horse's paddock count as the same because all the paddock horses get the big pasture, but other than that there's two little barns that have 5 horses total, and then three really big barns on the property, one of which is the one my horse's paddock is attached to. The end result being that he doesn't know all the horses, and the ones that don't have a pasture to live in get pretty high energy in their turn-outs. Even though Solomon doesn't have a really fancy stall, I think he gets a better deal by having 90 acres to run around on most of the year.

So three awesome things:
One of the boarders said she'd ride her old-hand calm horse with Solomon and I on the bridle path! He'll do much better ponying up with someone. This is the same boarder who gifted me with an old saddle pad. Awwh! :D
Another boarder is letting me borrow her fancy English saddle because it might fit Solomon. So we'll try it out and if it fits, we can ride! YAY! She is trying to get a new saddle that fits, and may sell that one, though I fear it's probably out of my price range. I like English saddles though- they are light, which means less extra weight stress for Solomon, and they don't have as much big stuff sticking up. That'll make it harder to stay on, but so much easier to dismount in an emergency if need be. I dunno. Have to see if it is comfortable or not.
And finally, another friend from fugly horse of the day shipped a bit to me! Yay! French link snaffle! So now we can try two kinds of gentle snaffle bits, and see which he likes better. The one we have is cool but my instructor wanted to try one that's a little thinner. This one is as thick as my pinky finger. The extra joint is supposed to reduce the "nutcracker" effect though, so that's good.

I am running low on Endure, so I figured what the heck and poured some skin-so-soft in the bottle and shook it up. Wow, it actually seemed to work REALLY well! Solomon had a bunch of flies chilling on his coronet-area, whatever you call that, and when I sprayed him they just kinda fell off. By the time I was done, there were no flies! he was also really really shiny, heh. That will translate to caked with dust out in the pasture, but for a little while he was sparkly like a show horse. It's supposed to extend the life of fly sprays- let's see if it does. Seems less likely to evaporate right away anyway. We had a little bit of a struggle with rubbing his face down with the stuff. I don't have a halter on him in his paddock, so we circled around it once while I tried to get it down around his nose via his face brush, but then he gave me an emo sigh and gave in, lowering his head and standing still so I could gently brush in the mixture. Bless his heart.
Anyone know if skin so soft is okay for mucous membranes? I'll look it up of course. But maybe if it's safe I'll put some pure skin so soft in a spray bottle, or dilute it with just water, and spray down his diddly-wink. Only if I am sure it owuldn't be an irritant though. I know by itself it doesn't seem to do much for very long, but still, I feel bad for the poor old guy. Damned flies.

Back to the pasture, and Solomon did great ont he walk. He was relaxed and his lower lip was flopping all over the place. Instead of being all impatient to go, he stood very very nicely for me, and did not take a single step when I laid the lead rope over his neck and asked him to stand. He picked his feet up for me and I took out a couple of small rocks that he picked up on the way back to the pasture. Is it obsessive of me to pick his feet three times a day? I did it in the paddock too.

I took his halter off and gave him the all-clear, but he decided to hang out with us instead of leaving. He was still chilling by the gate when we left.

Other little things- this time he actually stopped eating for a moment and backed up so that he was balanced for that last foot to be picked. He also backed up for me with just the verbal command when I was on the other side of his paddock. Good boy! He's come so far.

Now Thomas and I are off to dinner. Yay!

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