Monday 19 February 2024

The Dude Abides

 And by The Dude, I mean me. It just didn't work for a blog title and once it was in my head I couldn't tink of another title. The T Abides? I Abide...ANYWAY. I have a title. Let's begin.

When we last chatted, the weather had been and was going to be horrible forever. I wasn't feeling happy about that. Sophie also had a sore back and I was questioning saddle fit. I was even less happy about that. I think I had an even longer list of complaints, but I don't recall them so let's take them off the list because  I must have either resolved them or buried the 'trauma' deep enough to forget it ;)

Since we live at the end of the earth, I went with another virtual saddle fitting for Sophie and it was decided that the saddle looks good and is not in need of any changes. Which really gives me no clarity as to why she was progressively getting more miserable with it. I'm trying to set up a travel day to meet up with someone in person, but even finding someone willing to meet within a day trip for me is looking like it's months away. So, not ideal.

Barn kitty proof of life

 In the meantime, it was suggested I play with girth options, because the other place Ms Sophie is/was super cranky about was her pecs, all the way from the center of her chest back under where the girth would sit. It's always been a bit of a touchy area for her (and why finding a blanket with front buckles she doesn't hate is a bit of a thing). It's hard to know with her sometimes what is a legitimate complaint and what is something she should reasonably be able to deal with...this is after all the same pony who has a full on tantrum if she gets a little sweaty and has maybe 2 brushes she finds borderline acceptable to touch her golden self.

Surprisingly accurate

But, there's about zero excuse for letting riding be uncomfortable for her, and she was definitely a bit sore. Feeling constricted/uncomfortable with the girth would cause bracing and a reduced range of motion in front, and that can actually also cause lower back soreness (as well as the tight pecs). This of course could be a pointless rabbit hole to travel down, when maybe the issues originate with the saddle (or my riding to be fair), but hey, it's only money, so I've ordered yet another girth that promises miracles. Wish me luck.

I've dug out every other saddle I own or have access to and nothing is even close to fitting so I have to admit I really don't see anything off about the one she's got. Ordering a nice sheepskin bareback pad is tempting but also might be a dumb way to die with my less than mad riding skillz and a winter fresh pony. We'll see.

For now, while we continue to try various saddles and girthing options in an effort to find something she's consistently happy with, we're doing a lot of in hand pole work and stretches (Jec Ballou's books coming in handy once again), plus long lining and then longeing in side reins one a week or so to help keep her muscles and fitness up. I have some goals this spring and I'm motivated to get back to a regular riding schedule.

As for the babies, they continue to grow like little weeds and they continue to cause chaos and destruction wherever they go. I've put the work in and they're actually really nicely mannered to handle, but left to their own devices one of their favorite games is stealing anything within reach and using it as a chew or stomping toy. 

Caught in the act

They're also not tidy creatures and their paddock and Pony Cottage looks like a bomb went off every morning. "This is why we had mares for so long!" I like to say to G. Even though the little guys are so, so easy compared to the mares I've had...they're forever cheerful and agreeable and generally have no opinions about anything, as long as I don't. Their gelding day inches ever closer and I'm interested to see if group turnout with Sophie over in the neighbour's big field is going to be a possibility in a couple of months.


Monday 5 February 2024

Country Time

I've typed out a few blog posts since my last one mid January but not matter how hard I tried it came out sounding like a depressingly bad country song.

In no particular order:

-The truck broke

-The saddle don't fit

-The hay didn't come

-The rain won't stop

-I'm tired

Obviously all of those are solvable issues and I think I got a handle on all of them bar the saddle fit thing still pending. Even the rain has given up for a couple of days this week.

Riding in the gloom. Apologies in advance for the randomness of the pictures in this post...they're basically everything I have since last time and for the most part the weather's been to gross to have phones and cameras out.


The saddle issue burns me a lot, because it's new and professionally fitted and I really thought we'd cracked the code, and also poor pony...her saddle making her sore (again) is beyond horrible. I trailered out to the big ring last week so I had a bit longer and more intense ride than normal (but not by much), which resulted in a very back sore pony the next day. I've been having some doubts for a little bit, and I was pretty upset to have those doubts confirmed this way rather than listening to my gut and getting it looked at sooner.

We had snow, then we had a big pineapple express and everything turned into an aquarium

Anyway, I love where I live. Mostly. This time of the year is always a challenge though, where I feel our winter gloom and lack of access to the outside world and it's equine services extra strongly.

If I can get the saddle thing sorted in a timely manner, Sophie and I do have some fun things to look forward to in the next few weeks. For now, though, she's having a little vacation. 

Longeing yesterday.

The babies remain the best little guys and are growing like little weeds. They're both about 13hh right now at 10 months, and Buck is substantially heavier than Reggie. At the end of the day we're expecting Reggie to be about 15hh and Buck more like 14.2. I wouldn't be surprised if Buck always weighs more than Reggie though, they're built very differently. It's probably about 0% useful for me to keep measuring height and using a weight tape on them, since previous experience tells me they grow at their own rate, but it's fun to document anyway. It'll be fun to see how they mature.


We've just started taking them on little solo adventures around the neighbourhood. So far, they've both been super about that (Sophie has the biggest issue with anyone leaving without her, of course!). 

She's claimed them as her own

Reggie off property is as you'd expect, a little sharp and very bold - he's interested in investigating everything. Buck is a bit of a pleasant surprise, he is of course a lot more reserved and cautious and I was ready to take it in very small steps, but he's very trusting of us these days and happily follows our lead. He's gaining confidence like crazy.  They have both been super about their feet and standing tied and being groomed lately as well. They're positively simple to have around after so many years of baby Drama Llama ;)

The llama herself