I’ve essentially been saddle-less for two months. Apollo has been lunged a few times a week and I’ve ridden bareback a few times at the walk. I’ve been playing it very safe since the crow-hoppy ride in the overflocked saddle early in April …which was followed by a crow-hoppy ride in the bareback pad. I know the fugly saddle fits him like a glove and he has no excuse to behave like a crow-hopping idiot…and if he does - at least I have some goddamn stirrups now.
After a quick pre-flight check on the lunge line I finally had a proper ride in the fugly saddle on Monday.
Yeah...he farted as I took this pic. Classy clydesdale.
It did not start off well. I put a foot in the stirrup and started to swing my leg over his back…the stirrup snapped. I fell back onto the mounting block and somehow the stirrup iron hit me square in the chest. I didn’t hook up one of my fugly stirrups properly. *face palm*
Apollo is used to my clumsiness so he pretty much stood there rolling his eyes. I will admit that it unnerved me a bit. I reattached it and proceeded to mount my horse like a normal human being.
He picked up a nice forward walk and seemed genuinely pleased to be ridden in his favourite saddle again. When I asked for the trot the crow-hopping demon returned. I just kept thinking about riding forward, ignoring the leaping horse tantrum occurring beneath me. Then all of sudden it was like he realized that the saddle felt great and he wanted to RUN. Like the mother effing wind. Good lord.
I decided to do a lot of walk-trot transitions and only allowing a few strides of trot until he started actually listening to me. There were quite a few dodgey moments in this ride but we did end on a good note. Eventually I was actually able to do a few nice 20 metre circles of trot where he was very cooperative.
I have been doing a fair bit of riding in the bitless bridle but I will be putting a bit in his mouth next ride for sure! Just in case the OTTFC (off the track flailing Clydesdale) returns. I'm planning to do quite a bit of riding this weekend so I will have an update on the behavior under saddle soon.
So my sketchy ride was incident of concern #1. There was an incident in the field that involves Henry that is #2.
Henry's usual state of being...
The barn owner’s son was catching horses for the farrier last week. As he caught them he was tying them up to the fence (but still inside the pen with other horses). I was grazing Apollo on the other side of the barn but I could see what was going on. All of sudden Henry approached one of the mares that was tied. He started playing with her rope and making grumpy faces at her. She was completely ignoring him.
Out of nowhere he started double barrel kicking her and generally going berserk. I quickly put Apollo in a catch pen and ran over. I untied the mare and shooed Henry. The barn owner’s son ran over to help. I asked him if she was in heat and he said “No, she’s pregnant”.
I felt sick. Henry random attacked a pregnant mare for no reason. I know that keeping pregnant mares with a herd of other horses is a small risk and tying a horse in a pen with other horses isn’t the safest idea….but still. I feel terrible and guilty about the whole thing. I honestly had no idea that any of the mares with the herd were pregnant.
I waited to write this post because I was pretty sure I was going to get kicked out of the barn, since it's been a week since this occurred I feel safe from eviction but still very guilty. :(
Mystic hasn't done anything wild or rude lately. #maresforthewin