Thursday 10 December 2015

Figuring It Out

Poor Ms Ginger had a slightly dramatic day yesterday. She got moved from sharing with Bridget to her own bigger paddock yesterday due to a space opening up. When I got to the barn this morning there was a smashed gate with Ginger on the wrong side of it. Since she is very respectful of fencing, it seemed a bit odd.  Until we saw one of the neighbouring geldings charging the fence and really threatening her. I guess the poor pony thought she'd best run far away from him. Luckily no one was hurt! Later on I got a text that her blanket was destroyed when the same gelding managed to grab on to it as she ran away. Again, over the fence. Silly horses. I'll have to take a picture, it essentially got torn in half and there was stuffing everywhere lol. On the plus side, I don't need to feel super guilty about the gate because the gelding starting the havoc/wrecking blankets is the barn owner's! The joys of boarding, I sure miss the giant pasture we had last year and blankets being optional. It's just too mucky at the new place to make that practical, not to mention I don't have as much time to groom and cool out sweaty ponies these days.  At least Ginger was standing her ground and making nasty mare faces at him as of this evening, so I think peace will return shortly and hopefully new blanket purchases can wait for off season sales. I'm not taking any chances though, for now she is wearing her oldest and ugliest blanket!
Goodbye, orange and brown plaid 1970's couch pattern blanket. It's been fun ;)

As for Ms Bridget, my saddle has been tipping to one side (the right) again. And pony has been VERY crooked and wiggly...she says she simply can't bend left and can only run through her right shoulder. The saddle fitter will be out this coming week to re check the saddle. In the meantime we did a little experiment and I rode bare back tonight to see if the crookedness was saddle related. Is it a chicken and egg thing - is the saddle making the pony go crooked, or is the crooked pony tipping the saddle? Or (most likely!) is it the rider?

The answer? The pony starts it, then the rider makes it worse. She definitely prefers to evade through that shoulder, particularly through transitions. It's quite dramatic and the initial motion is enough to tip me slightly to the outside. Once that outside seat bone is weighted, then it's game on as far as running out the outside - no amount of outside leg or rein is going to really stop her when my seat is tipped over there and she tries to re-balance us and get up underneath me! I think it's taken a bit to puzzle this out because I was taught to slightly weight the seat bone you want your horse to move away from. The visual I was given was 'opening the door' in the direction you want to go. This is pretty easy for a not so coordinated rider like myself because the action of using my leg to move her over weights that seat bone a little anyways, despite my best intentions of sitting up and staying centered.

Old pic of Ginger from the same day as the one above, re posting because I like the colors :)
Midge's inclination is to do the opposite of that, so my 'opening the door' really doesn't work that well. We've taught her to do it, but it's really not an easy button or one that comes without a ton of nagging. particularly when my saddle is tipped and in her mind, needing rescuing. I played a little with my body position on our ride last night sans saddle, and moving forward, I'm going to go with her preference. I've seen it taught/described as 'correct' both ways, so I'll choose the way that works for her. It still won't solve the whole popping the shoulder as an evasion thing, but at least it will make the correction a little more intuitive for us both.


  1. huh i love the visual of 'opening the door' - i wonder if my mare would too...

  2. Henry had the exact same blanket! I should try to find a pic.