Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Giddy UP

What with the weather turning nicer, and lessons scheduled to resume in April, we've been trying (and succeeding!) at getting on the horses the past few weeks. Riding is always such a welcome change of pace.

Several weeks ago we had ourselves a right little adventure! The three of us decided to go for a trail ride. It was nearly the first time any of the horses had been out of the herd in months - since Thanksgiving really, except for the occasional leaser who braved the snow and muck to get someone out.

So they were all a bit rattled at the goings on - the ones we took out as well as the ones left behind. I suspect that we really should have just had an arena session and left it at that, but we decided to leave the property none the less. Long story short, the horses did ok, but 2 were entirely too worked up about being away from their comfort zone, such that we all eventually resorted to dismounting to walk them on the way back. I guess to some extent it's good to see what is the worst that could happen. We knew immediately that trail rides in lieu of arena classes for students were not going to be an option for some time.

Since then we've all managed to get some more riding in, though all on-property. The night Phyllis and Mike came through (after closing on their new Alpaca Ranch!) Dave was riding Rio. Rio was awfully curious to see what horses were in that trailer they were pulling. I chuckle to imagine what he would have done had we opened the door and introduced him to the 2 alpaca inside.

Last weekend was the annual used tack sale at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center. Chance has it that we've gotten almost all of the tack we own -- even that which we personally bought before starting Sun Pony Ranch -- from this tack sale. It's way cool. Of course like any rummage sale, you can't ever count on any particular item being there. But every year we go with our list of things we need. This year it was:

  • A larger hackamore (bitless bridle) . The one hack we have is a little too small for Joey, who we were told has only ever been ridden in a hackamore.
  • Any more cordura western saddles. The three we have are extremely popular, partially because they are so much lighter than the leather ones.
  • More western bridles.

Well - we found exactly zero of the above items. Haha.

However, we totally scored by finding not one - but two Australian saddles there! I've been looking for an Australian saddle for years for Jordan. They are known for having very high trees - meaning that it has a lot of "head room" between the saddle and the horse's spine when it is on the horse's back. Jordan, being a thoroughbred, has extremely high withers and it's hard to find saddles that don't just sit on his spine. (Saddles should be supported by the muscles on either side of the spine.) They also have a reputation of being really comfortable. They are sort of a morph between a western and english saddle. Ours look quite similar to this one:

Cause yeah - why buy one hard to find saddle at an astonishingly good deal when you can buy two?

Sunday when I rode Jordan it was somewhat under the excuse to try out the new saddle. Good news is it seems to fit him very well. Not so great news is that it doesn't seem to fit me terribly well. LOL. The stirrups are uncomfortably long. Not impossibly long, but long enough that I wasn't in the mood to play with it so I immediately switched saddles back to my tried and true dressage saddle.

Monday night was wanted to just get Jordie out for a walking ride. His arthritic hock needs some coaxing to get into shape every year, so I wanted an easy ride to just make him work that joint some after our more vigorous rides over the weekend. For that type of ride the saddle was fantastic.

Tuesday night I came home and Dave was riding Rio, with the other saddle. The other one is a bit smaller. I think Dave's going to try the bigger one next time out, but he said he liked it really well too.

I can't wait to get both Jordan and Bambi dressed up in matching saddles. They'd be so cute! Bambi hasn't been ridden yet this year. She very well might have to be next on my list.



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