Sunday, May 19, 2013
Here we go again...
So the local tack shop had an open house today and the Weatherbeeta rep talked me into trying the Bates Caprilli Close Contact. After swapping out the gullet, I trotted around in it for awhile and then let John try it too. I think it's a good fit, and it's the same price as the used Jaguar I tried that needed some extra flocking done in the front to really fit well. But I think I might swap this one for the Caprilli Hunter Jumper model--it's got a little bit wider channel and might have a nicer fit around his withers much like the Wintec AP I tried. I've sent pictures off to our very helpful saddle fitter to see what she thinks about this fit. Oooh boy, what a trial this has been! I do like the ability to adjust these new CAIR saddles with shims, but I'd like to know what other riders think of this as a good fit option. Any opinions our there are welcome!
We've had a wonderful stretch of weather and with these lovely long days, I've been able to sneak in evening rides before dark. The cool breezes have kept biting insects to a minimum, but I suspect they are just around the corner! This year, we're trying out fly predators at the barn. I've been holding off setting them out since it's been so cold at night! I think we're over that now and I've crossed my fingers that they didn't die and will kill off any fly larvae in the manure pile!
Well good 'ole gnarley Harley was up to his old tricks this week. Thursday evening I decided to hack him up the road towards North Point. He pulled his stunt of I won't go, trying to wheel left. I gave him a good smack which set him on the right track. He's a stubborn old nut when he's got it in his mind to say NO. Once we got past the scary goats, all was well. We had some nice trots down through the woods and he behaved just fine. When we came up on a deer though, he put on the brakes. The deer bounded off the trail, but then stopped and we had a staring contest. Heading for home, we even had a nice little jump over our favorite fallen birch.
But yesterday, the wind was blowing and there was a chill in the air. First, I decided to do a little ring work with him. He can always use some flatwork exercises. But when I tried to ride up the road, he decided we'd done enough for one day and gave a repeat performance of yesterday. A smack got him out of the barn yard, but we didn't get far before Mr. Prancypants tried to prove what a great roping horse he could be by backing up to go home! No, we had no steer on the other end of a rope, but you would have thought there was one out there spooking him! Then, to add to the mayhem, the gal who kept her yearling at the barn last fall came by with someone driving the pickup while she sat in the bed, leading her colt at a brisk trot (YIKES). That gave Harley an eyeful as his head shot up like a giraffe while he side-stepped and pranced in the road. I said, "OK, enough, before you kill us both" and went back to the ring for more flat work. Thinking I could take the edge off and at least ride down back through the logged area, I headed him for the woods, but oh no, he began thrashing his head and backing up again! I wasn't going to let him win entirely, so I jumped off and led him off into the woods. Jeesum--what a brat! Finding a nice stump, I remounted (he stood like a doll for this) and made him go down into the deep dark scary swampy woods--all within earshot of the barn, the big baby! So I kind of won, but I would say it was NOT a good ride. If I hadn't had the truck/horse hullaballoo, I would have dismounted and walked him up the road until we reached the woods, but he was so agitated, I didn't want to court danger. As my friend KC over at AllHorseStuff can attest, being tossed into the ground is no fun, especially when the ground is tarmac. So I decided to ride safely yesterday. As I trotted around in the Bates saddle today, he was playing I'm just a pokey school horse, circling round and round, but I know he has that inner fire, just waiting to burst into flame when the mood suits him. Ooooo he can be handful and a headcase--I just never know what horse I might get--Mr. Pokeypants, or Mr. I'm Terrified Of Anything Outside My Pasture. Just hang on and enjoy the ride!