Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bareback

I've been feeling under the weather the past couple of days. I have an icky cold that just won't leave me alone! Speaking of weather, the weather here has been gorgeous, which is typical of my luck.

So I decided to tough it out and go ride anyway, despite feeling like garbage. Lilly was happy to see me (and the cookies) and whinnied to me from the pasture when she saw me walking down the lane. Both of my horses stopped grazing and came over to the fence. I sure do like that. :) I've determined that if I happen to give AJ a cookie before she gets one, it puts her in a foul mood. When she gets the first cookie, she's a happy pony. There's a little bit of sibling rivalry going on, I think.

While I was brushing her today I noticed that her muzzle is a bit dry. There are some areas where it's peeling and kind of rough, almost like it's chapped. I don't know if she got a little sunburn or what, but I was thinking about picking up some Vaseline to rub on it. Does anyone else use that? Some of the nose rub stuff I've had (like the shine-on I use for shows) will actually help burn her nose, so I don't want to use anything that's going to make it worse, but she needs something to help sooth the skin.

Her tendon still looks about the same. It's weird seeing the difference between her two front legs. When I remove her SMB boots and run my hand down her legs to remove any sand that might be stuck there, there is a huge difference between the two.

Poor legs...

I decided to ride bareback today. It sounded like much less work than dragging out the saddle, and since my sick self slept in until 11:00 this morning, I was short on time also. Boots, a bridle, my helmet, and that was it. We were on our way!

We did the usual:
10 minutes of loose rein walking on the rail
5 minutes of contact walking, 30-meter circles, and leg yields
5 minutes of trotting on the rail
1 lap at the canter in each direction
5 minutes of contact walking cool down
5 minutes of loose rein walking cool down

I was trying to decide if I wanted to canter, but I figured I might as well. I figured if I fell off I wouldn't feel much worse than I already do, so what the heck. Lilly was actually really sweet when I asked for the first canter. She took a few strides and then went back to a walk. She looked back at me like, "are you sure? you seem a little wobbly up there..." So I asked again and she very gently stepped off into a canter. Why she can't transition like that all the time I don't know, but I didn't fall off! :)

Going from a canter to a walk was the hard part, because I try not to bounce too much when she's trotting those few super fast strides before we make it to a walk. We did ok, though... I used her mane to help keep me steady. I should definitely ride bareback more often.

The canter in the other direction was just as nice. I thought she might get the wrong lead since I couldn't really set her up like usual, and I definitely wasn't as steady in the saddle. She got the correct lead in both directions, though. Maybe, just maybe, we've got that figured out. :)

It was good to be out riding again and spending time with her. I <3 my mare.

8 comments:

  1. Good for you riding bareback! And cantering! Sounds like Lilly was an angel.
    We get tons of sunshine here, and Paj gets crusty patches on his big white nose if I don't use sunscreen or a long nosed flymask. If he happens to get a crusty patch anyway, I use a cortisone cream (Dr. Gary advised me on the cortisone).

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  2. Thanks, Terry! Lilly was such a good girl... she seems more relaxed when I'm bareback and it's always a lot of fun.

    She doesn't usually get sunburns on her nose, and this is the first I've seen like this. Sometimes she peels a little bit after a show, but nothing like this. Her whole muzzle looks dry and chapped. Poor pony.

    I think the cortisone cream sounds like a better idea than the Vaseline. I'll get some of that instead.

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  3. My Arab gets burnt on her nose. I try to keep sunscreen on it as much as possible.
    That is great that you rode bareback. I have only ridden bareback once in the last 19 years, and I haven't done it since because my Arab has a very narrow, bony back and it's so uncomfortable! But I really should do it more too!
    Hope you are feeling better!

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  4. For sunburned noses, I've had good luck with Water Babies suntan lotion - it's designed to be gentle. No white noses in my (immediately adjacent) horse family now, but both Lily and Norman would get sunburned noses from time to time.

    Sounds like a really nice bareback ride. Dawn and I haven't cantered bareback yet - her downwards transitions from canter to trot aren't great yet and I don't think that would be too comfortable.

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  5. Aquaphor works great to heal that sun-damaged skin. Our bald-faced palomino suffered with the sun, and this stuff really helped.

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  6. Thanks for your suggestions everyone! I might have to get something to sooth and then something to protect, it sounds like. :)

    And thanks Paint Girl... today I think I officially feel better. Boney backs are never good for bareback riding. LOL

    Kate, Lilly's downward transitions aren't very good either. That's the worst part, but she only takes about 3 strides at the trot... so I just plan on trotting for a bit after the canter and set myself up for that.

    Cedar View, I've never heard of Aquaphor until now, but it looks quite versatile. I'll have to pick up some of that too.

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  7. Since moving to our new mecca of a boarding place, I think I've ridden in a saddle once! :) There's just nothing like bareback! Glad to hear you're feeling better.

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  8. I agree on the Aquaphor, great stuff. It is terrific for diaper rash as well.

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