Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Toys!

I have new toys!

I've been getting ready for the trim clinic coming up on the 19th and I desperately needed some new tools. My Hoofjack won't be arriving until Monday, but yesterday the stuff I ordered from NC Tool showed up. They have a lot of supplies to choose from and they shipped to me really quickly. I also like how they color coordinated my stuff. LOL

I decided to upgrade my cheap-o hoof knife to Hall brand knives, and I ordered a left handed one and a right handed one. I went back and forth about just getting a loop knife, but in the end I decided I wanted the regular style hoof knife instead. Add in a knife sharpener, a new rasp, and a nice rasp handle and you've got a poser who thinks she can trim hooves!! :)

I also received my new wool pad this morning from FedEx. It was nice of them to deliver before I went out to the barn. I had a tough time deciding on a pad because I wanted wool, but I didn't want something that was 32x32. I have a horse with a really short back and a saddle with a 26" skirt... I don't need 6" of extra pad hanging out everywhere. Classic Equine and 5 Star pads were out because of size, but I found a square "barrel pad" from Smith Brothers that was 28x30 so I went ahead and ordered it. I was worried it might be a little too small, but I think it fits her just right. The saddle fits on the pad and she's not running into it with her hips.

No more ugly, black, giant saddle pad!
I did move up the saddle and pad a bit after I took these pictures, but I'm always worried about having the saddle on her shoulders. I'll need to ride in it some more before I can find the sweet spot. I also ordered her a new bit so I don't have to keep riding in my english d-ring. Smith Brothers had a nice sweet iron, loose ring on super sale, so I snatched one up. I've never ridden her in a sweet iron mouth before, but maybe she'll really like it once it starts to oxidize and all that.

Someone needs to fix that mane... she looks like an orphan!
We had a really nice ride today. We did a lot of cantering, but I tried to keep it interesting so she didn't start anticipating what I was going to ask her next. We worked on our circles and rollbacks, we worked on figure eights with simple changes in between, and we did some cantering around the ring on the rail. She got a little hot and bothered at one point, so I slowed it down and we did some long trotting.

She did really well with all the cantering, but she's not quite ready for self-carriage. If I hold her together and keep her shoulders up, she'll give me a really pretty lope, but if I let her go to canter as she likes, she gets strung out and speeds it up. The circles help out quite a bit, though, and she's doing fantastic. I'm so proud of my girl!

Our gate work was outstanding today, too. She's learning to be more patient and to wait for me to tell her where to put her feet next... it's a miracle! I think this might help with our other issue regarding pushing objects too. At first she didn't want to get close to the gate and no matter how much I asked her to step sideways, she'd only get so close before stopping. Now she nearly smashes my leg into the gate when I ask her to move closer! It seems to be teaching her that objects that appear stationary can actually move. :)


  1. The pad looks great. Your saddle is too far back in that first picture. Remember where I put the doesn't bother her because it fits. If you don't put the saddle where its supposed to go then you are asking for a whole new world of saddle issues. ;)

    Self-carriage takes a while and a ton of muscle and communication. I'm glad you were there for her when she got a little fried.

    Let her string out and the collect her back....thats a GREAT workout for her. Just not too'll take a lot of muscle to control like that. Remember our reining conversation?

    YAY on the gate work. I'm glad she is picking it up so fast. She is a smart girl and will pick up on anything fast.

  2. Yeah, I guess I'm still gun shy about the saddle stuff... I'm worried it's going to sit on her withers. It looked good after I moved it up, so I need to make sure I put it in a good spot when I saddle her up.

    That's kind of what I did with her today... ask for a nice, collected lope, and then let her canter on her own for a while. When she got a little crazy strung out, I put her back together. I'm just excited that there's such a difference in the two... in the past there hasn't been a difference! :)

    My new snaffle is missing the special cow-pony reins... I need to get on that!

  3. I know you are gun shy but you don't want new issues from the saddle being placed wrong....might not even know that is the cause.

    Make sure you aren't "letting her go" as in she is making the decision. If you want a LONGER or QUICKER canter/lope you need to ask for aren't a are/should be the driver. She doesn't get to relax "strung out" its a cue too.

    I know, we need to get you a nice mecate!

    BTW, check your last post for my idea of what to teach her next. LMAO

  4. Good point... I'll make sure I double check the saddle before I ride.

    Ok... that make sense. What I was doing was asking for her to collect some of the time and then just letting her canter at other times. Similar to what I was doing with her before on the circles, with the exception of bumping her occasionally to keep her shoulders up.

    There are some nice ones on the eBays...

  5. The new hoof tools look great! And the saddle pad looks awesome.
    Sounds like you had a great ride :)

  6. Dang, your hoof tools look so pro! I'm jealous. And that saddle pad looks spiff on her too. Very nice!

    Regarding riding her canter... one thing I have learned, and it is HARD, is that you must ride every. single. step. That doesn't mean you have to be constantly nit-picking - you can sit quietly when things are going the way you want - but the moment she speeds up/falls in/gets unbalanced/looks at the skeery dog/whatever, you have to help her balance and remind her of the task at hand. If I'm just cantering 20 m circles then I tend to just sit there, but if I'm doing more "stuff" (spiral in/out, transitions, lengthenings/collection, etc) then I have to be much more active, and my horse has to be as well.

    Also, you should really talk to your groom about Lilly's mane. I mean, she looks soooo neglected. ;)

  7. Nice tools- that is the best sharpener I've found. I tried the little round things and they don't sharpen knives worth a darn! But the one you've got works great.

    The saddle pad looks very nice. The color suits her.

  8. Agree, I'm totally jealous of your cool tools! I bought a (cheapie) RH knife the other day because I finally got tired of contorting my LH knife around to do both sides, lol.