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, February 28, 2009

Okay, so!

Worked out the cost of board, which will depend a bit on how much Sol needs to be fed.
When factoring in gas prices, it might not really be much less than it is now... but in return for writing a training log and posting it, we'll get lessons and training. So totally worth it. Also the place is very peaceful and I do not have to worry so much about the boarder rumor mill. Also we'll eventually get to try stuff that I don't think we could as much at Hossmoor, like taking an extended walk without a lead rope.
There's a round pen and no arena, hah. The soft grassy fields are the arena. That'll work. There are obstacles to work with, streams to cross, logs to jump (not with me in the saddle, hah!) and while he isn't getting a stall as it turns out, he's getting a 45' by 100' paddock with a shelter that has mats and all that good stuff. He'll be quite happy with that- he doesn't like feeling confined.
Ddranch, upon looking at Sol, brought up a point that has been bugging me in the back of my mind for a while- his back may well be too short for my butt. You have a certain length between the safe spot behind the scapula and the end of the ribs for the tree to rest on. Can't really go longer than what there's room for on the horse.
When I first posted Solly up on the forum I frequent, people were going on about how he had a long back. But... actually he doesn't! I had been going by that but really it's not so long. He might need a short saddle, which means he'll need a skinnier butt.
I'm going on a diet, not sure if it'll work but I'm going to try it.
Meanwhile we're going to see if I can learn to ride bareback. Ddranch feels that it is the foundation for good saddle riding... you have to feel the horse, learn how he really moves, and learn how to sit and hold yourself properly instead of relying on the saddle, is I think the theory. Well okay then, we'll try it. I'm sure as hell not trying it alone again, but with guidance I will. He can lead Sol at first. That might work. Or maybe one of his calmer quarterhorses would be willing to let me ride 'em bareback, until I get the knack of it a bit better.

I'm nervous! I'm nervous about moving, hoping it's the right thing to do. I'm often nervous about major changes!
It will be hard not getting to see Sol as much. It's a long drive, I can't do it every day. It's 65 miles each way... about a 2 hour drive, give or take.
*crunches numbers*
Ya know, actually... With bridge toll and stuff, I'll still be saving some money, if we go with the more expensive feeding plan (they feed their horses 2 flakes a day, I feed mine 4) I'll save uh $7 a month, factoring in transportation costs to the board. $47 a month if the vet says he doesn't need as much as he's been fed since he moved to Hossmoor. I was feeding him rehab-the-starved-horse portions. On the other hand he can be kind of high energy, and he's going to get fed what he needs.
They feed alfalfa in the morning and oat hay in the evening. Right now Solly gets alfalfa in the morning and grass hay in the evening. The oat might be a bit richer than the grass, so maybe he won't need as much. But if he does, he'll get it. I will be calling the vet.
Ddranch mentioned that there's a pretty open for fun gymkhana thing going on in a few months or so. He said hey, maybe I'll want to try it out by the time it comes 'round. Hm. Not for some serious competition, just for fun. Maybe trot around some barrels or something silly like that. There's one person who enters who always falls off his horse every year, so I'll not be the only one!
I am so tempted, if we were to do this, to get a giant foam cowboy hat both for myself and for my horse. We would be mocked mercilessly but it might be worth it!
Anyway, first things first... first we must see if I can stay on his back bareback at all!
Tell me it'll all be okay, and that Solly will be happy up in Pope Valley? He'll get pasture turnout eventually too, and he'll make new friends!


MaggieMae said...

Bareback is great! As a fat lady myself I rode my leased quarter horse over hill and dale bareback cause I didn't have a saddle that would fit me. I did that for probably 6 months to a year. We only walked, but that was enough to really build a great balance core and strength. I think I was a size 22 or 24 at the time, so was not a skinny mini. I don't think I ever fell off and we did a LOT of trail riding like that.

Evergrey said...

Oh awesome, that gives me hope!
I had thought Sol would be easier for me to sit bareback than he has proved to be so far. I think I'll probably have to learn to do it on other horses before I can try again with him, especially since we have a little crow-hopping issue to work out!
Heh, I didn't tell my BO about plans to possibly do this- she was concerned about me even riding in an English saddle because it isn't as safe and secure as a Western in her mind. :o I don't want to worry her overmuch, she's a dear.

MaggieMae said...

My only concern is that he is a bit taller than my leased mare "Maggie" who was probably 15.1 on a tall day.

Make sure you practice your tuck and roll and wear your helmet. Learning how to fall is always a good thing to know.

Evergrey said...

Hah, oh yeah, totally going to wear a helmet with my guy. I love him but I know my limits!

Falling is something I've done a lot of in my life, though not any serious falling off a horse. I will practice the tuck and roll thing, yes ma'am. :)