Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Snap's First Ride!!!!!

Today, I rode Snap for the very first time. And by first ride, I mean first ride in the John Lyons sense.  If you've read his stuff, you know what I mean. :) Basically, I sat on him.

I started off by asking Snap to trot briefly in both directions in the round pen, but before I even did that, I had his attention because he was following me around as if he was on a lead line. Daniel was not home, so I called him quickly to see when he would be home. Soon was the answer, so Snap hung out tied to the trailer for 20 minutes until Daniel got home.

Then back into the round pen we went. First thing we had to fix was something  bothering Snap on his left hind. We never did figure out what it was, but after some fussing, he finally seemed to settle about it.

Then it was TIME! Snap had no clue. Or maybe he did and he thought I was being very slow about it.

 Wiggle the saddle around. Snap didn't react. He wasn't concerned at all. He stayed quite still for me. Guess the work on getting him to stand still while I was by the mounting block paid off!

And, I'm on! I hopped back off fairly quickly. I got on and off several times, spending longer in the saddle each time until the last 3 or 4 times I stayed on for 45 seconds to a minute before getting off.

He did move off sideways one of the times I got on him and I hopped off quickly before he could get more concerned. Then I just repositioned him and started over. He stayed put the other times I got on him. I asked him to give to the bit to either side, just like we'd practiced from the ground. I also wiggled around in the saddle some. He wasn't exactly thrilled, but he wasn't bad either.

As a reward, I pulled all his tack in the round pen and let him go. He hung out with us for a few minutes before taking off at a gallop up to the other horses who were in the corral to keep them out of the way and out of line of sight for distractions.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2000 Miles!

This weekend, we went to the GERA endurance ride in Dawsonville Forest in GA. Tanna and I entered the 50 on Friday. We rode all day with Bogey and Joe, which is always fun.

We shared a vet check area with Dr. Ike Nelson, who rode Spiderman in the 25 mile ride on Friday to a 2nd place finish and BC! Yay! By the end of the ride, the feed and hay was so mixed up, Tanna and Bogey were actually eating their own food, probably because they didn't realize it was theirs! :)

We completed in 9 hours, 17 minutes ride time in 33rd place (34th really, there was one rider that elevated from the LD to the 50 and thus got completion only). Tanna and I got our 11th turtle (tortoise, really, as Dr. Megan Davis pointed out at our completion exam; tortoises are land based; turtles are water based!) and our 11th ride with Joe. :)

I'm so so proud of Tanna! 10 years, 38 endurance starts, 36 endurance completions, 2000 miles. All of those rides together. I have the same miles he does. Praise God for a great 10 years. :)

PS. I would love to do a longer ride story and I might do that later, but wanted to get this out there. I'm so proud!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sports Saddle Trial Rides

My Sports Saddle came a couple weeks ago and I have been able to use it on each horse. Here's Daniel modeling it. It's brown and in really nice shape.

I first used it on Serts, since he is my bareback horse anyway. I figured if I couldn't ride that saddle on him, I had no hope for the other 2. Fortunately, in my years of buying saddle pads, I had an Equipedic pad with inserts hiding in my storage room so I didn't have to wait for a new saddle pad to arrive.

The saddle seemed a little small riding on Serts. I had to adjust my riding just a little. He is a little sway-backed, though, so it was to be expected that the saddle would sink some. I rode him for 4 miles that first time. I would like my stirrups back just a little and I need to replace the leather stirrup covers with sheepskin or woolback covers, but all in all, I was encouraged that this saddle might work for Snap. After all, I bought the saddle for him.

My next ride in the saddle was on Tanna. I used the same set up on Tanna with the Equipedic pad. Tanna was a bit squirrelly with the saddle. He does not like anything new. Especially when I got on and he could feel me move a lot more and I could feel him. I wouldn't think I could feel that much with the saddle and the pad and the inserts between me and the horse, but amazingly, I could feel Tanna very well. It was an interesting sensation. Not exactly like bareback, but way different from a treed saddle.

Tanna and I did our normal 9 mile out and back ride. I did feel I had a bit more room in the saddle with Tanna than with Serts. The difference between a sway back and a straight back. I'm still debating if I need a larger seat size. The saddle I got is a 14" or 14.5" saddle. I might like a 15" for endurance, but for training Snap, I think the saddle I have will work well.

I have not ridden Snap yet. I am still waiting for the right time. The time will come. And I'll probably wonder why I waited so long, but I'm waiting until it's right for both of us. At any rate, I did work Snap in the round pen this week with the saddle on. And for the first time in a long time, we had a 45 minute session where he did not kick or buck!!! In fact, he looked awesome. He did this really nice long, lean trot that looked like it would cover ground and be very comfortable. I spent some of the session stepping on and off my 29" mounting block next to Snap on both sides, working on getting him to stand still for mounting.

Sorry, no picture of Snap with the saddle. My new camera ran out of battery and I had to set the battery on the charger. Definitely need to order a spare battery.