Sunday, April 22, 2012

Here comes the rain, da, da, da, da....Happy Earth Day

The farrier came to trim everyone's feet today. By the time he was done, and we had Rolex and Harley tacked up, the rain began to fall in earnest. The forecast calls for the rain for the entire week, so we decided we'd tough it out and get in a short ride. We rode for about 30 minutes--just a little jaunt up the power line (our version of the Tevis Cup cliffs) and over Big Bump. By the end of the ride, rain was dripping off my helmet and my thighs were quite wet. I finally used my Cashel saddle cover which kept my ancient, but well-loved, Crosby Mark VI saddle high and dry. Thanks for the cover, John!

Ruffy watching me take flower photos
 I bought that saddle back during college, many moons ago, and used it for lessons as well as my summers spent trail riding at camp. Using it on wider-withered horses seems to have broadened it a bit, but it's so comfortable! With the cut-back, it seemed to fit many of the different shaped horses I rode. I think back to when I bought it for $350 and nearly choke at what people pay now for a saddle, especially when I look at the poor quality of the stitching, and they're priced over a grand! One of the unusual things about this saddle is the lack of knee rolls and thigh blocks. It provides nice close contact and works for people with different thigh lengths. I'll use it until it, or I, wear out.

Speaking of tack, we spent Friday morning at the Dover Saddlery Tent Sale in Plaistow, NH. Always a dangerous enterprise, we shopped wisely and only bought "wicked good deals", plus I had a gift card to use! John picked up a nice wool cooler for $35, and I found a $20 pair of Composite Reflex stirrups with hopes that the wider foot bed will alleviate foot pain/numbness. I also need boots with stiffer soles--I'd never buy another pair of Ariats! You can literally fold them in half and poke a finger up into the sole, plus I hate the elevated heel--not good for hiking with your horse! I know--they are called paddock boots because that's where you're supposed to use them. Any recommendations on stiffer-soled paddock boots or other all terrain footwear? Anyone tried Blundstones? Ariat seems to have cornered the market.

 After the shopping spree, we went to barn to try out our new gear and get in a ride with such lovely weather. Ruffy needs to spend time going over damp drainages. So we went to her usual "hot spot" and then did the Lollipop Loop ride. Bit I called a halt so I could photograph some delicate wild columbine growing alongside the trail. A sure sign of spring and a great hummingbird flower. On today's ride, we passed dwarf ginseng, but I didn't have my camera due to the rain!

American Columbine


  1. Looks like another great day in Maine. Thank goodness for the rain, even though it may mean no comeras on the trail. LOVE the dwarf genseng! So pretty. I meant to get pictures of the trillium here this weekend, but then forgot. Also pretty in a melodramatic way!

  2. I have a pair of Ariat paddock boots too that I bought years ago. They are horrid. I mostly ride in trail running shoes. I bought two pairs of Bogs that I love. The High Classic boots which do have a stiff sole. They are for cold weather. Also, I bought the ankle height gum boots. I ride in them now and they are great. In summer, I ride in Wellies too when I have shorts on to protect my legs if I have a saddle. Imel, I have had sore feet/numb feet my whole life when I ride! Even when I was in middle school. Every single time that I jump down off a horse I feel pins and needles in my feet. I think the blood must go to my feet and it hurts. The same thing happens when I climb trees (when I was younger - I am not running around climbing trees now) so I think it is me and not the boots.

    Great ride in the rain!

    1. I have metatarsalgia in my feet, which is why they get numb from too much stirrup pressure under the ball of my foot, and also when I wear heels (which I never do!)--hence why I hate Ariat boots. My Dehners have much stiffer soles, but unfortunately, they were made over 30 years ago and I need the calves widened! Can't do rubber boots in summer--swamp feet, but my look at some trail shoes to wear, especially on longer rides, where we might be walking a bit!

  3. This sort of isn't linked to your post, but I thought of you when I read this quote:

    "The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire."

    ~ Sharon Ralls Lemon

  4. Oh Imel! You definitely should look into the nice wide ENDURANCE STIRRUPS! I have some and LOVE that my feet NEVER go numb now, or get that hot burn sensation.
    I also have the "Cashel" stirrup cushions, for the "iron" traditional stirrups.

    Since I am bareback saddle still...I can wear anything I want! But usually wear my "Middleburg" tall boots...I tend to get off and walk alot .They have been the best for wear, and going through creeks and mud too!



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