Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So Relaxed!

Before I get to today's ride, I wanted to talk a bit more about Lilly's bars. I decided to take a picture of her right hoof today to compare it to what I ended up with yesterday. I haven't been keeping track of her bars with pictures, but I decided perhaps I should. I love having a photo record of how things progress, so better late than never!

Her hoof yesterday after I was done trimming...
Her hoof as I found it today.
JenJ asked me if I notice a difference in her on concrete before and after I do the bar trimming, so today I took her out to the driveway and jogged her a bit before trimming anything. She's actually quite sound on the concrete these days, even on her right hoof. It's more on the rocks that she has issues. I brought her back in the barn and trimmed up the medial side bar just a smidge and left the lateral side alone since there wasn't as much on that side. Then I took her back outside and jogged her again. I didn't really notice a difference. I may have to wait a week or so, leave the bars alone, and try again when there would be a more noticeable difference after the trim.

I have been noticing a difference in her after I ride. When we're in the arena, her hooves tend to pack with sand and when I walk her out of the arena onto the concrete driveway, she walks very gingerly. Once the sand is out of her hooves she's fine, but those first five or so steps cause her some discomfort. Today after our ride, I noticed she wasn't quite as cautious and tender footed as she normally is.

I also took a look at the bars on her hinds, and wow! They've grown a ton since the clinic, so I went to work on those guys too. They were really folded over, and I could pick them up with my hoof knife. I don't pay as much attention to her hinds as I probably should... they always behave and never cause issues.

Now onto riding news... I didn't have a lot of time today because of some errands I had to run, but I wanted to get her out and ride. I contemplated riding bareback, but I thought shoppers at the grocery store I was stopping at on my way home might object to the layer of white hair that would no doubt be left on my butt and legs. So I grabbed the saddle and off we went.

I had one of the best rides ever! She was SO relaxed today!! I've dreamed of the day I would say "quit being so lazy" when I was riding my mare... I love it!! And she's not being lazy in a bad way because she still responds when I ask her to, but she just doesn't have that crazy get up and go button like she used to. She waits for me to ask and when I want a lope, I cue, and off we go. No drama and no booking it around the arena. I could actually feel each footfall... 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Normally I couldn't count them if I tried!

I'm loving this western stuff so much that I'm fighting with myself about selling my Pessoa. I have had zero desire to ride english and don't really anticipate having a desire in the near future. I've been waiting for SO long to be able to ride Lilly western that all I want to do is ride in my western saddle! I don't know that I want to get rid of my english stuff all together, but it seems silly to have such an expensive saddle sitting around collecting dust. Maybe I can find an english version of my western saddle... one that fits and one that is a super good deal!


  1. If your english saddle fits I'd keep it for now. You never know whats going to change, and you still might want to show her english!

    PS - Im going to post the photos I got of Lucas' feet after he got reshod/trimed. Want to tell me what you think?

  2. Congrats on another great ride! Way to go!

  3. In your case (liking to do all around), I would probably hold onto the saddle. I felt the same way a few years ago, I had my english and western saddle from all around days but never ever wanted to ride in the english one. I just rode western all the time but kept holding onto the english. Finally two solid YEARS of not riding it it, I decided I wasnt going to start jumping or going english (I was too in love with reined cow horse), I sold the saddle. But I'm glad I held onto it because at the time all around was still our focus.

    Im no hoof expert, but it seems to me that is her bars are growing so rapidly, that maybe she needs them a bit more than you are taking off. If she seemed better about coming out of the arena, maybe they are there for a reason? Not suggesting totally ignoring them, but keeping more than usual. I know based on your pictures, Milo's bars are a lot more noticable, but arent sticking out like you could grab hold of them. Could just be his hooves in comparison to hers, but my farrier doesnt seem to do a whole lot in the way of the bars.

    But all in all, Im secretly happy that you prefer western now. :) Theres just something to be said about riding one handed, relaxed, and at a steady pace. But for me too, western isnt just the tack, its a completely different lifestyle.

  4. I agree with everything you commented on. He's going to keep his shoes on for the summer while me and the farrier talk about taking them off. Unfortunately there are not a lot of options for farriers in our area, and the barefoot 'trimmers' have made multiple horses too lame to do any sort of work ever again. I love your notes from the clinic gives me lots to think about! Thanks!

  5. Sam, you're more than welcome! Let me know if you need help in the future... I'm happy to help how I can!

    Terry, thank you! :)

    Milo, I'm not sure I want to sell all my english stuff, I just don't know if I want to keep a super expensive saddle around if I'm not going to ride in it. I could sell it and get something else to ride in if I decide to start english riding again. I just know as soon as I sell it, I'll wish I had kept it, though!

    Regarding her hooves, she seems to be better now that I'm doing more with her bars. I might be a total coincidence, but I'm going to try to keep up with them every 2 weeks-ish and see if I notice her being more comfortable.

    It's like trial and error, but hopefully without the error!