Sunday, January 11, 2009

We had a pretty good ride yesterday. Well, actually it was my worst ride in the last few months, but it was good in that it was a ride, and by the end of it I was riding a good horse. Well, a mostly good horse.

Kara rode Cisco and he wasn't very good right at first. I felt bad for putting her on him, she was having to do so much work to slow him down. Eventually he quit hurrying and settled into the ride.

Tonka was a nutcase. Just looking for something to spook at. We made it quite a ways before he did his famous "leap of the goat." I stayed in the saddle (just barely). It was just a stupid bit of garbage on the side of the road. Apparently it snuck up on him and yelled boo. A little ways down we were in a wooded area and a very pretty moose came through on the ridge above us. Tonka got very scared. He didn't know what to do. He got all twitchy. We did some circles because he just had to move his feet and then after she was gone he still didn't calm down so I got off and walked him for a little while until he started breathing again. I wonder why moose are so scary. Cisco was a good boy (although at the time I wasn't paying attention to him) and just watched the moose go by.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. A stroller went by. I got down and walked Tonka past that because I didn't want the guy to have to stand and wait forever while Tonka thought about whether it was safe to keep walking. Any time we passed horses on the side of the road both horses got sticky and wanted to hang around with them. I'm sure it looked funny to anyone who happened to be watching. I need to make sure I have something to whack him with next time.
The only picture I took all day was of a great horned owl in the willow trees. Not a very good picture. Tonka knew we were on the home stretch and wouldn't stand still (that's why I said he was mostly a good horse by the end), plus the camera was at full zoom and my hand isn't very steady.

Kara brought over a bunch of DVDs and we watched the original Mustang Makeover when we got back. That was pretty fun. It got me really excited about going to the one in Oregon in March. I'm making our hotel reservations today.

All-in-all, it was a great day! Thanks for riding with me, Kara. I can't wait to do it again.

Oh, and the saddle worked great cinched up like a regular saddle. I've been told I did the latigo wrong for the center-fire set-up, so I might have to try it again but do it right next time.


Kara said...

I really did have a good time. I don't mind working with a horse, as long as he doesn't break into a bucking fit and dump me.

How is the latigo supposed to be done up? I was probably doing it wrong too, which is why I had to resort to the regular cinching on my saddle.

Andrea said...

This is the advice I got:

"There are about 3 ways to cinch the Flagstaff up. You can do it like any other saddle, you can use the rear ring for the anchor point, or you can use the rear for sort of a turnbuckle just to hold the extra latigo."


"I usually run the latigo twice through the cinch, like you would normally cinch a saddle, then run it once through the rear ring to hold the saddle down in the back."

And on the second one, looking at a picture of her horse, it looks like she runs it back down to the cinch after running it through the back ring, then uses the leather keeper to hold the excess latigo. She said this was how a saddle fitter showed her to do it. I'm going to give that a shot today.

Kara said...

So, she's really primarily using the front cinch for holding the saddle to the horse. The loops through the back ring are not tied down, so don't have much of a role in actually holding the saddle on? Sounds almost like just using the front loops and ignoring the back, which would explain why with this rigging, the saddle also does not ride up. Regardless, I've found it unnecessary to use the back ring. I haven't ever had a problem with the back of the saddle sticking up. And I think that the front rigging is centered quite nicely. It works well with all my horses. I dont' have a single one that gets rubbed from the cinch behind their elbows. I hope you like this one and find that it fits Tonka well.