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, January 15, 2009

Back tracing!

Hey hey!
Today my lovely friend Imaginethewolf came out and helped me with my saddle tracing. :D yay!
There is an awesome guide here:
So, armed with the info I needed, some really gaudy wrapping paper with glitter (hey, they suggested wrapping paper, haha!) sidewalk chalk (pink actually showed but I had to lick the tip a lot, heh) a flexible curve (best thing EVER by the way) marker, etc, I went out to see my horse. While we waited for my friend, I did the stretches with Solomon. He did them perfectly today, with no hesitation. He has it DOWN. And once I ran out of carrots he did all three stretches a bunch more times without any prompting, hoping that I would give him more, haha. He'd do the entire routine, both sides and then down, and then look at me significantly and nicker. Silly way too smart horse! So now in addition do doing "kiss me" when NOT prompted to, he stretches. Well, the stretching on his own is a good thing! And he's still moving way better than he was before.
After the stretches and stuff we did some walking around, and then I hand-grazed him until my friend arrived.
So. Squaring up. Solomon does not know how to do it. Oh, but he was trying to figure out what we were asking, and he learned pretty well. It'll take a lot more work before he really gets it down (no, only move ONE foot, not two!) but he was thinking hard. You could see the three little wheels in his head spinning. Also when he's trying to learn something, he twitches his lips a lot. Up and down, side to side, it's just this "I'm thinking hard" thing he does. Heh.
So these first shots are not squared up, but not TOO far off. He's standing a little awkwardly because he's not used to standing squared up, and it is weird to him. Also his hips were out for so long he got used to standing with one foot forward.

Yeah I know, I know. But whenever he relaxes even a bit, he drops. Hah. Anyway I was looking at those pics versus his first pics, and at first I thought "HEY, his mane has gotten SO MUCH SHORTER" but actually it hasn't, not really, his neck has just gotten a lot thicker!

So... the tracing! I'll get a pic of that tomorrow- battery is dead in the camera right now. And maybe I'll have the other pictures too. But I learned some things. Solomon is very asymmetrical. Solomon really IS wide. And his scapula goes way far back. Waaaay far back. So saddles that look like they are in the right place often pinch because he needs a lot of room for movement in his shoulder area. The lines are crazy to me, but maybe it's just because I'm new to horse anatomy, not sure.
We tried my friend's saddle on him, just putting it on his back, and he is so hypersensitive and worried about pain from shoulder pinching that he giraffe-necked as soon as he saw her COMING with the saddle. We put it on him and sure enough, too narrow. And when she took it off him, he flinched big time and squealed. Poor baby. Some of that is just attitude but really he's just saying "this is WRONG and it will HURT" in a way he knows we will understand. He started out subtle, so subtle I didn't realize anything was wrong, and slowly bit by bit got less subtle until I heard him loud and clear.
Don't worry lovey, we'll find something that doesn't hurt you, and I won't ride you until we do.

Back in the pasture he wandered around, calling and calling. Venus had been brought in by her mommy, and he was upset that he couldn't find his girl.

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