Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Isn't this a cute picture of the wee man in the flowers? He was so sweet. Bella was concerned about something in the distance and went to check it out, but Scout came back to me to visit.Don't worry, the flowers aren't toxic. They're birdsfoot trefoil, which is a legume like alfalfa, but apparently doesn't taste good to graze on. I may have to hay this pasture next year because the trefoil seems to be really taking over. I think they're supposed to like it as hay, but we shall see.

Here we have a sweet picture of Bella and the boy that my daughter took. I've been visiting with Bella a lot more lately, and she's returning to being the sweet mare I'd come to love rather than treating me like a big smelly monster.

I think Scout may be a red dun after all. Just a darker color than Tonka. Check out the really dark bars on the back of his leg:

There doesn't appear to be any dun factor on his ears, but is there some on his face? He does have a few darker areas:
It doesn't really come across in the picture, but he isn't your usual chestnut or sorrel color. His legs are a dark chestnut, but his face is this neat golden color. His body isn't shed out enough yet to know what it's going to look like.

Yesterday I finally got to ride. For about 3 minutes, then a bit more later, but let me backtrack... I hauled him to my sister's house and picked up my dad's horse Sox from their boarding stable on the way. We were going to toodle around and my dad wanted to get a feel for how lame his horse was. He and Sox were on the other side of the house, I heard my dad yell, thought he yelled at the horse, then heard a kid start screaming bloody murder. I was off my horse, handed the reins to Ariel, and ran faster than I have in years. It was Liam, I could tell as I ran. I thought Sox had kicked him or run him over or something. All kinds of bloody mayhem going through my head. Turns out Liam had slammed his finger in the door of my dad's car and couldn't get it open to get it out again. My dad dropped Sox's reins, parts of the buckle on the stirrup, and run to Liam's rescue. He didn't remember dropping anything, just later realized it was all gone. Sox stayed put like a good boy and didn't seem bothered by the screaming at all. The stirrup leather buckles on that saddle are weird, in 3 pieces, he was lucky to find them all. Liam had to sit with an ice pack for a long time and he didn't really calm down until quite a while later. His finger looks good today and just hurts "a tiny bit."

I did get to ride again. We practiced water crossing. Tonka was being a putz, and I was in a bad mood, so it wasn't much fun. He didn't do anything really bad, just wasn't responsive. Spooked a bit at some grass and a stick he stepped on. He had fun crossing the water and climbing the steep bank on the other side, but didn't want to turn around and come back. I think he wanted to go for a long ride.

Today I switched bits on him, back to a broken mouthed snaffle, and better yet a twisted wire. It's a pretty thick one, not as severe as some. I don't give much credit to the bit, although I think it did help, but I had a totally different horse today. Quiet, mellow, responsive, interested, trying to get things right. I wonder if he was rotten yesterday because he had so much time off. And there was a dead sexy 28 year old swaybacked mare there to gawk at.

Not to mention this pygmy punk being worked in the round pen:

Newt belongs to my neice, or maybe my nephew, I'm not real clear on it all... But isn't he cute? He's an Icelandic Shetland cross. He's about as tall as Scout, but a lot thicker. He used to tolt, but seems to have forgotten that he's gaited. My oldest niece is working on getting him broke to ride. Mostly ground work so far, with some time being led around on his back.

Oh! I stuck a bit in Scout's mouth last night. Completely at liberty. He was trying so hard to eat the bridle I had a hard time getting it on his head, but I did finally get the bit in his mouth. He just figured it was another neat thing to mouth at. I really, really like that colt.


ARL said...

That's a nice picture of Bella cuddling her boy. Who's Scouts dad? He is cute!
I might be in the market for a new saddle one day, so I looked up Specialized Saddles. They all make their saddles sound so good don't they? I bought a Ortho flex saddle in 1989. I'd like to try a treeless saddle because I like really close contact when I ride. I grew up with English saddles or going bareback and I hate the way Western saddles feel. Some of them make me feel like I'm sitting in a chair plonked on top of a horse because there so much stuff between me and the horse. Some of them keep my lags pinned back instead of under me where they belong. Worse of all is the way the stirrup leather fender thingies make the stirrups hang. They twist my feet and ankle all wrong. I use a Abetta saddle mostly, it's not too bad and it's very light. My ortho flex saddle has springs in the stirrups! Have you heard much about treeless saddles?

Andrea said...

I haven't liked what I've heard about treeless saddles. The pressure they put on the spine, and the fact that you can't mount from the ground without the saddle slipping. I think there are some that try to get around those problems, but I don't know which they would be. I know some people really like Barefoot saddles, and there's a former Barefoot employee making similar saddles somewhere in Washington now.

I hear the Orthoflex saddles are definitely not close contact, and have heard good and bad things about them. I was looking at some Orthoflex type saddles at Ride the West and they were very nice, but he did admit that they're not for sports where you need close contact with your horse, they're more for trail and endurance.

I liked the close contact feel of my Circle Y saddles. One was a flex tree with the "softee" leathers, very supple and didn't hurt the knees/ankles. The other was an equitation saddle. I don't know if it had softee leathers or if it was just well broken in. I loved both of those saddles. I could feel every twitch of Tonka's back and I didn't feel like the saddle interfered with communication at all. I can't wait to get a good western saddle again. One that fits though. I think it's going to be a while before I can afford one.

Andrea said...

Oh, and I forgot to say Scout's dad was another mustang, who knows which one. She was bred before she was gathered.

ARL said...

Thanks for the info. I think I'm going to try to sell my ortho flex saddle so I'll have money for another saddle. I'm going to look up Circle Y saddles. The last time I was buying any tack was 1989 and now there is so much neat stuff on the market. I'm not even sure if I could even get on a horse anymore but I'm going to try.

Judy said...

Cute picture of the Icelandic cross. Do you have any info about the mother of Newt? Was it an Icelandic? or was the father Icelandic?

Andrea said...

Arlene, I'm sure you'll find a way to get on again. Horse crazy ladies can be very determined. :) I wish I could go saddle shopping too! You shouldn't have any trouble selling your Orthoflex, they seem to be very popular.

If I remember right, his mom was a shetland and the neighbor's Icelandic got loose and bred her, so he was an accidental baby, but at least he's a decent looking boy, with a good mind (other than a little of the pony attitude).