Thursday, June 26, 2014

Killian Gets What he Deserves

My neighbors moved the billy goats gruff over one pen, and put two of their horses in that pen which boarders my property.  This is fine with me, and even the Miss Melody was fine with it when we were riding the other night.  They don't smell near as bad.

The next day I put Sassy and Killian out for their pasture time.  The back of my pasture opens into the catch pen at the end of my arena. This borders the neighbors property as well.  It is separated by an 8 foot tall chain link fence.  

Sassy being the social butterfly that she is, made a point to over and say hello.  

Killian, of course, went over to start trouble.  

While I did not see the altercation, in fact I was not even aware that there had been one, I have evidence of what happened.  

The next morning I went out to feed and saw Big K with a large swelling under his throat latch and clearly there was some sort of wound because the flies were all over it.  

My initial response was to freak out (internally of course- externally I was cool as cucumber)  and think that my horse had strangles.  I have seen strangles first hand and at a glance it could have easily been just that.   Then I went into the pen to have a closer look.  

Ya know how the top of a chain link fence is?  With the hooked over pieces that are spaces exactly 2.34 inches apart?  Well Killian has two long scratches all the way down the length of his neck which match the top of that chain link fence perfectly.  

Under his throat is a fairly deep little gouge which is where the flies were congregating.  He also has another small gouge down at the bottom of the scrapes.  While they are not deep enough or big enough to warrant stitches, the fly issue demanded attention for sure.  

Because he is swollen, I went ahead and started him on penicillin for a few days, and have just been cleaning with Betadine and water.  For the fly issue I slather on my Natures Edge, and it does seem to be working until it gets so warm it melts and runs down his chin.  

From a forensic point of view it is easy to see what happened.  He went up on his hind legs and tried to reach over the chain link to get at the other two horses with his teeth. There is no stabilizer bar on the top so it folded down just enough for him to lay his throat over it.  Since the tops of the wires are folded down, he had to gouge himself on the way over.  I'm sure it hurt.  

I hope it hurt a lot.  I know that may sound mean but seriously, this is getting to be ridiculous. 

His whole, "Must have all mares" attitude is really getting to be a pain.   I think that very soon I am going to change my rotations to geldings one day, and mares the next.   If that doesn't work then he will start spending his time out...a l o n e.  

I also have shut off access to the catch pen.  I only had it open so grazing horses could have shade. However, I have yet to see a single grazing horse actually use it, so shutting that gate doesn't bother me too much.  Doctoring horses....THAT bothers me! 

Tomorrow we fly out to Wyoming.  We are going up for a memorial service for TC's dad who passed away in April.  The family decided that it would be better to wait until the weather was nicer for the actual memorial that people would actually come.   

I am super excited to see my son Colton and my Grandson Nikko, who just turned a year old last month.   I am also super excited to not have to go to my J-O B for several days.  The cool part is that we come back on the second, I will work the third, and then have 3 more days off.  

I think I will spend some time in church those three days. 

The church of the desert.

The one where I ride my horse to where there are no people and we re-establish our conscious contact with the God of our own understanding.  

We have not had any desert riding in a long time....we are past due.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Miss.....

My sweet old guy

My handsome guy

My always hungry guy

My Shiny Guy

My World Traveler

My Goofball

I will always wonder if I made the right decision

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Princess and the Pole


My new friend Trax said that this blogging place is the place to come to when I have a story to tell that needs to be told to many people at once.   He says that very many nice horse men and women come to this blogging place to share stories, encourage worried ponies, brag about wonderful triumphs and help each other through sad times.   This sounds like a wonderful place to be, so here I am.

Who am I?

I am Princess Mellypalouza.   (also known as "Just In A Melody")

 A few months ago I came to live at a new place.  It seems to be a pretty nice place and my area where I get to spend most of my time is bigger than any place I have ever lived before.   I have made some friends, although the one I'd really like to get close too, I am kept away from.  He is big and red and handsome and I just know that we would make beautiful babies together.  Trax says I am not supposed to go near him, but I just can't help myself.  I think Trax is jealous.

For some reason the human minions where I live, the ones who bring me my food when I am hungry, who fill my water when I am thirsty, and who spray the flies when they are bugging me...those minions...they also do not want me near the big red horse. They never let us in the place with the free grass together.

I spend my free time mostly with my friend Trax.  Trax is a very nice guy, and I think that he has a crush on me, but he is not baby making material.  While we do have much fun together playing bitey face over the fence, grazing where the free grass grows, and romping in my arena...he is still just not the horse I would want to make babies with.  He is kind of short, and kind of fat, and although he can run really fast, he just isn't "the one".  I'm sure you mares understand.

Anyway, the human minions are pretty decent here, and have become quite good at catering to my needs.  However, sometimes they do lose sight of who is wearing the tiara, and they expect me do things. There is one in particular who expects me to do many things and we often argue.

Now please, do not take me as being lazy for I am not lazy at all.  I enjoy having humans ride me, I love showing off my fancy reining moves, and I actually spend quite a bit of time even my my Princess Palace staying in shape by trotting back and forth.  It is important for a princess to stay in good shape. You never know when they are going to ask you to show off your fancy princess reining moves.

There was a time when I was a great show horse.  I was going to go to the world show and win lots of pretty ribbons. But then I went to live with some new people and they did not let me go to the world show. They robbed me of my moment in the spot light.   I keep think that maybe I will get to show again, but I do not think my new humans know much about horse shows.

Trax said they took him to a horse show 2 times, but he did not like it.  I can not imagine how he could not have liked it.  I love when I am the center of attention...all eyes are on me....the crowd goes wild...(heavy sigh).

So back to the humans.  The Lady...she is Trax's lady...she is very strong willed most of the time, or she pretends to be at least.  Sometimes though I can feel that I make her nervous. I can't imagine why I would make her nervous, that paint horse should make her really nervous.  He is a little bit crazy ya know.  

There is another human. A young girl human.  She comes to ride me too, but she does not live where I live. She just comes to visit.  I like when she rides me.  She is as light as feather and has very soft hands. She doesn't bounce all over me, and for the most part understands how to tell me what she wants me to do.

Trax's Lady, she tries I think, but she really just isn't getting it.  I think she wants to be a good communicator, but so far she is failing.  Well that isn't totally true. She does seem to be getting a little bit better.

However this lady she is a bad influence on the light as a feather girl.  For some reason this lady is absolutely freaking obsessed with making me step over things.  I mean it is all she talks about when we are together.  It is frankly quite annoying.  Does she not understand that I am a reiner?  I am not some slow plodding, peanut pushing trail horse.  I do not do trail obstacles.   Now she has the feather girl thinking I need to do these things as well.

At first it was easy, all I had to do was refuse and I won.  Of course I won, I am bigger than she is, and I can kick her, if she tries to push me too hard. One day she tried spanking me, and although I did not actually try to kick her, I sure reminded her that I could if I wanted too.  It worked that day. She did not make me go over the pole.  But now she has gotten smarter, and a lot more dominant. She taught feather girl how to be dominant too. So I finally obliged and went over the pole 2 times for the feather girl. But that was it I was never going to do it again.

Well a few nights ago, after the lady made me participate in a fashion contest (I won by the way) decided that she wanted to ride me.  I was a good girl and tried very hard to do all the things she asked. I had hoped that if I was good it would be a short ride and I could go back to my dinner.   But then she insisted that I do many things.  We worked for a long time and I was pretty hot and sweaty, but I was happy with her attempts to ride me better.  I felt that for the most part she was really working hard at it.  "Good Job, human lady..good job indeed."

But then she insisted that I go over that stupid pole again!

Sheesh Lady!  What is it with you and the pole?

I went over it once with only a little hesitation. I figured that would be good enough.

But No.  She wanted me to do it again...and again.

The 3rd time I decided I had had enough and when she asked me to go over...well I just backed all the way up to the gate, hoping to high tail it out of there.

It worked pretty well too because she turned me away and we went and did something else.

Ah ha!  I thought for sure I had her figured out.

She asked again, and again I said, "No way!"

I was feeling pretty smug with myself, thinking I had won a major milestone because she jumped off me and I was hoping that meant we were done for the night.

I was wrong.

Instead she started back in with that dominance stuff she pulled on me a couple of weeks ago.  She gets all mean and makes me step sideways and smacks my shoulder and my belly until I go.  I try to out bully her but for a little thing she can be pretty tough when she wants too. It was like I woke up her inner troll or something, cuz she got really ugly with me really fast.

So finally I backed off and stepped away when she said too.  Sheesh, she didn't have to get so brutal about it....I am a princess after all and used to getting my own way.

We went back to working, and although she didn't ask to go over the pole again she did make me go between them and also made me stand my them to catch my breath.   I thought that resting by the gate made more sense, but she didn't see my pint of view at all.   I think this human is pretty dense sometimes!

Of course she couldn't let it go, she had to make me go over the pole again.  I did do it.  In fact I did it 2 more times.  She said I was a very good princess and was acting like the big girl that I am.

Okay, yes I admit to a certain amount of pride over that. I still do not love the thought of foreign objects in my arena, but I suppose that if she doesn't try to turn me into a peanut pusher, I can oblige by at least trying to learn how to do a few new things.

She said that since I did so good we could quit working, but she was not entirely honest. She then made me open the gate to the arena and walk down the dark rocky area where the trucks and trailers drive.  That was another first for me, and I was sure that some sort of predator was just waiting to jump out of the shadows and eat us, but none came.

So I guess I will be okay in this new place, although I hope this lady gives me something more to do than jump over poles though.  I wish she would buy some cows for me to push around.  Princesses need many minions to push around and cows make great minions.

Humans....not so much.

Blogger Thieves

Is anyone else having issues with blogger?

They have stolen my reading list!

It never shows me more than one post at a time from any blog.  I have to go through and click each link on my side bar in order to find new posts. This also requires me going through a lot of posts I have already read.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix it?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Great Saddle Trading Escapade

Last week really wore me out, between the mixed up schedule, the company, and the preparing for company, I was pretty much exhausted by Saturday night.  In fact I slept a full 12 hours once I got home from work Saturday.

Sunday I woke up feeling better, but then it was time to go get some running done.  Horse feed to buy, human feed to buy, and a trip to home depot for a misting system for the dogs.

It was wicked hot yesterday with no breeze what so ever, so once the running was done I sat down and relaxed and soaked up some AC.  About 6 pm, I headed outside and decided to see just how well I had done on my saddles.

In some ways I was pleasantly surprised, and in others I thought something more like "Whoops, should have thought about that!"

I took each horse and tried each saddle on them to see who could wear what.  And of course I took lots of photos.

I started with Killian (please keep in mind that none of these saddles are cinched down)

This is my old Circle Y- It is my favorite saddle.
However when I cleaned it , I really soaked the heck out of it.
The stand I had it on when I was drying it,
allowed it to fold in some.  

Still it is pretty wide and seems to fit him ok.
It is a 1999 model with SQHB

While it is in much better shape than when I started
It still needed another round of
leather conditioning. 

Next up on Killian was the New Circle Y- This is a 2000 model also with SQHB  However this one is shorter in length and I am guessing it might be a flex tree because it is so much lighter than the 99 model.

It actually does sit on him ok, but looks so tiny on him. 

However I am super happy with how this one turned out.

This fender was completely bubbled out.
By wetting it, then oiling well and clamping between
2 pieces of ply wood I was able to get it to
go back into shape.  But the lines are where
the had been stretched. 

A view on his shoulder

I love that my breast collar matches- especially once I oiled it too. 

This was what it looked like before I bought it. 

Next up was the old Colorado Saddlery. This one is quite old, but in good shape. However it is also pretty narrow. Would be good for a TB or perhaps and Arabian.

Much too narrow for this big boy

Look at the beautiful red this saddle used to be. 

I removed the Easy Up stirrups and added regular ones

For as old as it is, this saddle is in pretty decent shape.
The leather is soft and supple.  

Last but not least is the one I have not worked on yet. The 200 dollar cutting saddle. At least I believe that is what it is. I could be wrong, and if someone has a different opinion, please speak up.   As you can see from the pictures it needs a lot of work, but is a nice size for this big old guy.

I am hoping that I can fix this one. 

This seems to be the problem area

It is quite wide in the front though
7" gullet, which is nice.
Also the seat is probably 17" so TC can ride in it.  

Then I tried everything on Melody
The old CS- She actually could wear this in a pinch

She is slightly narrower than the rest of my ponies

I did notice that when this saddle was drying
It had been pushed up against the wall
causing that back to roll under a tad.
It is currently soaking again with a brace to
fix that. 

Then came the old Circle Y- I don't know if it is because it is longer, or better broke in or what, but it has the same bars and gullet as the new one- and the one I just got rid of, yes this saddle fits all my horses so much better.  The only down side is that I have the latigo and cinch on the rear ring in order to keep from rubbing Trax's pink skin. That particular set up doesn't work so well on the rest of the horses.  But fit wise- it is the best. (IMO)

If you biggify you can see the drywall screw
holding it together.  :(

Last but not least- the New Circle Y.  I actually rode her in this after I was done with the pictures, and she was not unhappy with it. She likes it much better than the old cutter.  It was comfy for me, although it feels kind of small, but I think that is just because I am used to my old saddle.  Plus she is narrower so when I look down at her shoulders, everything looks smaller.  LOL
I am not unhappy with how this fits her shoulders

However, I think it is awfully short for such a long horse

I realize my breast collar is too long. I need to add some holes. 

Then it was Trax's turn to try things on.  He was less than thrilled.  We started with his saddle and his pad.  I have come to the conclusion that this saddle has been on him so much- it has conformed to his body.

Next up the old CS-  I'm sure you guess how well that worked.
Um no! 

You can see where the back of saddle is folding under

He has fat shoulders. 
Now the New Circle Y- while I could probably get away with it on him for a little while, I do not love the way it fits.

It seems to sit a little high on his shoulders. 

What do you guys think? 
Our final saddle fit of the evening was Trax in the old cutter.


This side seems to fold in a bit

This shot really shows the wonkiness in the back end of it

This shoulder isn't too bad. 
So here is where I am at with all the saddles.  The old CS will go up for sale. I will add the cinch and latigo back on it, and keep it clean and advertise it.  I will ask $400.00 I think- although I doubt I will get that much.  What ever I get will go into the "new saddle fund".

The old cutter will get a make over.  But because I think it needs some serious reshaping I will not attempt this until a have a really solid saddle stand made which is formed closer to the shape of a horses back. It won't be perfect but at least a little rounder. That will give me the ability to add some shape to my saddle.  Then I will go to work on it.  Once I am done with it, I will make the decision on if it is a keeper or a seller.  Knowing that I paid so little for it, I'm sure I can at least make a little bit off of it, if I decide not to keep it.  Well I guess I should say, as long as there isn't anything seriously wrong with it.

The New Circle Y- turned out beautifully, but I don't love love love it like I had hoped I was going to. While it does work on Melody, I really want a saddle that works on more than one horse.  I think that with the real silver breast collar and headstall I have a very nice set up there.  The breast collar and headstall are also Circle Y made, and the concho's on those are real silver.  At the very least I know that I can get my money back on the entire set up, hopefully I can get just a little extra for my labor.   I'd be curious to hear what you folks think I could ask for it, without being over the top.

I keep going back in my mind to the older Circle Y which I saw in Camp Verde.  It is a large saddle like mine, not a show saddle, but a working saddle. (I wish I had taken a picture of it)   It is not the $1200.00 trail saddle that was so gorgeous it made my mouth water, but it is a very nice saddle just the same.  I really want to find something with FQHB and since I now know how to read those Circle Y serial numbers a lot better, I think I can make a smarter decision when buying next time.

I do have another Circle Y coming to me from CO to try out in a couple of weeks.  It is actually a cutting saddle too, and I am excited to see it, and try it out and hopefully TC will want to buy it to replace his roping saddle he sold.  If not then maybe that will be the one I buy out of my own saddle fund.  We will just have to see.

So goes the continuing saga of the saddle trading escapade.  Who knows where it is going to end up? LOL

In other news, the last few times I rode Killian I spent a lot of time just pushing his shoulders back and forth, and I found that he really has some nice moves.  I may have mentioned this before. I made the decision recently that in the fall when all the sorting and penning practices start up again, I am actually going to start taking all three of my riders for some of these practices.  I think Killian will do well, and I know Melly will.  Trax will remain to be seen. My hope is that once he grasps the concept of why  I am asking for his feet to move like that, he will do better.  I know that is a pretty far reach, but it can't hurt to try.  

When I mentioned all of this in front of Simon, he said that it is something he would like to try.  I am super excited about that.  TC said that he might even want to give it a shot.  Finally something we can all do together that involves horses!

Okay...NOW I am done with this post.  I hit publish and update 3 different times while trying to type it out, so it has been sitting out there all morning half finished!  Sorry for those of you who only got the first half.