Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Old Trailer and Trying Out the New Bit

Over the weekend we had some pretty decent weather so I decided it was a good day to really clean my trailer. This includes pulling out the mats and hosing and scrubbing. When I got the mats out I noticed that although the boards are still nice and solid, a good portion of the protective paint was gone. So that required a new coat of sealing paint. This took my one day job into 2 days.  But the end result was worth it.
Newly painted floor
One of my mats went in upside down
suckers are heavy and I ended up having
to roll it in because lifting was not an option. 

sparkling clean
 While I was slaving away Tc was in the house on the computer and he found this.

The price was very low for what it is, but we went to look at it on Sunday and ended up bringing it home, for even less than the asking price.  But there is a reason it was so cheap.
Living area gutted and smells like mildew.
seller said the hot water heater leaked all through the front.
Personally I prefer to have the storage rather than the living quarters
so I will put the insulation back in and then some sort of paneling.

Rear doors need to either be replaced or recovered.
I'm hoping for replaced. 

It needs new mats and all those rivets for the plastic  lining
are rusted and have a potential to rub sores.
Especially on my fat horses.  I'd like to cover them
with some padding. 
Someone did some low budget repairs.
Those bolts heads are right where they would rub.
Not putting my ponies in there with that kind of stuff.
TC says I am being ridiculous, I told him to let me put a bolt
under his butt for our next road trip and see how long he lasts.
The good news is that I have new mats already. I bought them for Danny's stall but ended up taking them out. They are not being used and I have just enough to do the whole floor.  The floor is aluminum and in good shape. The suspension is good and structurally the trailer is sound. It needs a good cleaning, some cosmetic and safety repairs and it will be good to go.  Everything that needs done TC or I can do ourselves, so it was a good find for us.

Now I have to sell the little trailer, but not doing that until I am comfortable using the new one. One thing I do not know is about contagious diseases.  I feel like I want to power wash it out, and then spray it with a coat of bleach or some other disinfectant, just to be safe. If it was a used dog crate, I wouldn't let my dogs go near it until I did, so that is where my reasoning is coming from.

I also purchased the Mylar comfort snaffle (without the roller) at one of the tack stores in town. I paid more than I would have on line, but by time I had paid shipping it would have been about the same.   I tried it out Sunday on a short jaunt down the road. But Trax was more interested in trying to find a way to turn around and go home for dinner, than actually moving out in a straight line, so I didn't have a good assessment on if it was a good bit for him.  When we turned to head home he sure lined out, and wanted to take off, so our course resembled a slinky...round and round and round again, on a loose rein till he would walk nicely.

Yesterday morning Mark came to trim Danny and Trax. While he was here he looked at Sassy.  He says she  does not appear to be very comfortable to him either, and one thing he said  is that it sort of looks to him that on the bottom of the clog, the way they are shaped (either from filing or wearing) is that her landing point- weight bearing area is only in the middle of her hoof, not the entire hoof. But if that is the issue, is unclear to any of us. He told me that if he was treating her he would put just regular shoes on her with the pads under her heels for comfort.  But he said more importantly, before he did anything else to her he would want to have a new x-ray on that coffin bone to see if it is still an issue.

I still have not made a decision on what route I am going to go with her. The bank account that foots the bill for vets and farriers is empty, so until I get that built back up, there is not much I can do for her. (pretty much everything I own is for sale right now)  I'll be honest, I keep going back and forth from putting her down, and thinking "If I can just get her healed".  But if I can't get her healed, either due to money or what ever, then the right thing to do is to put her down.  Lets just go with "this sucks".

Moving on to Trax....I did ride him yesterday, and once again really focused on downward transitions, as much from the ground as when I got on him. He is coming along. The other main focus was me.  Mark told me last week that I have to make it mean something when I take his face. He is so chargy most of the time, I react by shortening up my reins (without realizing it) and so when I make contact with his mouth it means nothing to him. So my goal last night was always be aware of what my hands were doing. As long as he was rating me, he had a ton of rein and no contact, but if he tried to run off, or if I asked for a downward transition then there was some contact until he changed what he was doing with his feet, then I gave it back to him again.

It really took a while for him to get it. He would generally pick right back up again the minute I gave his face back. So I would bring him back down and we would try again. I started throwing in the command of what gait I wanted. He seems to really listen to my voice a lot. I realize that the goal is to have him listening to my body, but right now if the voice commands help him make the connection, I'm okay with that.

We also worked on stopping. Stopping is not his strong suit. (At All!)  But I found that voice commands really help here too. If I give him some warning "ready aaaaand...Whoa"  When I say the whoa, is when I ask with my seat, but the warning seems to help him prepare and it really seemed to work for him.  In some ways I feel like using that is somehow cheating or even shoddy riding.  On the other hand, I think that with a horse like him who is working through so many issues, anything I can do to help him understand can't be all bad.   One thing I know is that giving him that warning made the difference between him trying, and not trying at all. His biggest problem is that he is still traveling on the forehand so his stops are not pretty at all, but at this point I just want him to stop moving when I ask.

Lets face it, I'm not a professional anything, I'm just an old woman trying to figure out how to help my horse.  I get in as many lessons as I can, but I didn't really have one last week, and I won't get one this week, because Marks schedule is crazy right now.  Hopefully I will get 2 more lessons before the show.  He had planned on being there at the show with his reining mare, but he isn't sure if he will get too, which means I am on my own.

Well I am big girl, I started this journey on my own, and I will finish it on my own as well. I just have to remember that it is all for fun.

I do think the bit was a good choice.  We had a little less head shaking, and a little less rooting.

When we were done riding I unsaddled Trax and then took him back to the arena and turned him loose. I was not sure how he would react to it this time.  The last time I tried this was at the old arena.  A place he had only visited. This arena we are using now is at the place where I bought him. It was his home once and there were other horses standing at the fence watching him.  He went and rolled, stood up and looked around and then walked back to me and put his head down for the halter.

Yeah, he got treats for that.

Afterwards I let him graze for a bit, but then he wasn't ready to stop grazing.  I said, "Get in the trailer."  He said, "No there is still grass here. "  I worked his feet a little and he decided I was the boss again.

I will give him the day off today and ride Killian tonight.


  1. I LOVE the new header, definitely made me laugh.

    Also, I love the new trailer! Thats so awesome!

    I don't think that you giving Trax a warning is in any way cheating....

    I really don't think that there is any way to 'cheat' with our horses, as long as we are helping them achieve what we want. It's always to 'suggest, ask, tell' but if you have a way to help your horse out and never have to get to 'tell' then theres no reason not to help them out!

  2. Good deal on the trailer! With a little work, you'll have exactly what you want. :)

    Cindy, I think you're doing just exactly what most of us are doing...the best we can for our horses. That's all that can be expected of anyone. I have so much sympathy for you in the search for soundness with Sassy. I went through it with Scooter, and in the end all we could do was let her go. I still wish it would have been different. Years later, I'm dealing with blindness of her son Harley, who was my perfect horse. I pray, I wish, I cry for things to be different. But in the end, it is what it is. I have to deal with what I'm dealt. I don't understand why bad things always seem to happen to good horses, but shit just happens, I guess. I've gotten 2 additional horses trying to replace Harley, and I'm still waiting to get back to riding...this August will be 3 years since I've not been riding hardly at all. I've been on Ladde a few times, but that's it. I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to ride Sugar, but that's not looking so good now. Eagle and I are still working on our relationship. I'm hoping we get to enjoy some riding soon, but time will tell. For some reason I don't understand, I've been grounded from riding. I hope to resume what I love more than anything else before I lose my abilities, or my guts. We'll see...the only thing I can say is to keep doing what you think is best. And take one day at a time. Personally, I think you and Trax have a pretty cool relationship...he is who he is, he's never going to be a perfect horse. They don't exist. Just have fun with your boy, and enjoy him. Nothing ever stays the same.

    1. Thank you, I think I needed to hear that today more than I realized. Because you made me cry, but not sad crying, just "its okay" crying.

      Yes I do love my crazy paint more than anything in the world. He is hard some days but never once have I ever thought, "I just can't deal with him anymore." I can honestly say that although I have loved every horse I ever owned, I have never bonded with one quite like this. I love him because of all his imperfections.

      Lorie, I did not realize that you had been "grounded". I knew you were struggling with a lot of horsey health issues, but I guess I didn't realize it had been that long since you had been able ride. That truly sucks. I hope you get to do some riding soon too. As we know it is so good for our mental health! :-)

  3. Sounds like you got a good deal on the trailer!! And I agree with you on the bolts, who wants a bolt rubbing their butt for a few hours? Not comfortable and dangerous! But once you get the repairs done..... you will have a nice trailer.
    And I know what your going through with the soundness issues. I have another vet coming out next week to do an ultrasound on Fritzy's hoof. The other option was an MRI at a tune of at least $2000.00. Don't have that kind of money hanging around. We don't know if she will ever be sound again... so I feel your pain.

    1. Yes, MRI's are expensive. If I can hold off until I get to AZ then it will be a little cheaper, but still not cheap, and that is just to see if they can see anything.
      I'll pray for your mare while I am praying for mine!