Today we did some saddle fitting trials, the donkeys and I. My narrower ranch saddle was way too wide. I thought the Fabtron would be wide also, but it was a pretty close fit. It sat better on Bob than Pedro. I don't think it's perfect, but it's ok.
I've got my eye out for an OLD saddle, narrow and fairly flat bars. There are a lot of those around, but maybe not many in a size that will fit me. I'd need 15-16 inch. Anyone local have something like that lying around? I also need a shorter cinch and some latigo straps.
I'm not sure what size bit they'll take. I'm guessing a regular 5" will work but I haven't tried one yet.
Bob wasn't super excited about playing dress up.
But doesn't he look like a cuddly teddy bear?
Pedro wants to meet the horses up close.
Speaking of which, I did take Bella over to say hi to them today. At first she wasn't real sure about them, but then she went up and sniffed noses with Pedro. Bob was too shy to say hello.
Now that Bella's had a few days to get used to her shoes, she's less lame when I trot her around in circles. (Just one circle each way, not overdoing it.) But she's also stabbing her toe into the ground with each step rather than landing heel first. Not good. I called the farrier and he wanted me to give it a few more days and see if she just needs more adjustment time. I think she's sore from too much pressure on her frog, myself.
Did I ever write about how wonderfully well behaved she was for her first pair of shoes? She was AWESOME. It was obvious from her expression that she thought it was beneath her, but she didn't act up at all. The farrier was really happy with her, said he's not used to horses being so good. I'm wondering if she'll be as good next time, once it's not new and weird. Could be she'll get comfortable enough to be a little naughty.
Back to the donkeys. I realize I haven't written much yet about their personalities. Bob, the older guy, is a little more stand-offish. He lets Pedro go first, and in fact prefers to follow him when leading them as well. He's also more accepting of everything though. He picks up his feet as easily as any horse I know, halters well, saddles well. He's just a good old guy. And after I picked out and treated his hooves today I was rubbing on him and he wrapped his neck around my body in what was definitely a snuggle. Awww, it was so sweet. Especially from him, because he doesn't give out love as freely. I think he just needs a little more time to get to know and love us.
Pedro is younger, more apt to wander around and explore, perhaps more energetic. He's very people oriented. If something is going on, he's in front checking it out and Bob is hiding behind (like when they met Bella). You could say he's a little more reactive than Bob. But using the word reactive is a huge overstatement. I have seen him walk hurriedly once, but haven't seen him run or jump at all. He got a little worried when I brought the saddles into their area today. They both thought it was pretty weird when I brought in a saddle on a stand. I don't think that's a scenario they've dealt with before. Pedro was more worried than Bob, and it took me a moment to convince him to stand still while I put the saddle on his back. He's not quite as awesome about hoof handling as Bob is, but then again his feet are in worse shape and maybe they hurt. I have to put some muscle into picking up his feet, but once I have them he's a good boy. I wonder if maybe he is just a little more inexperienced, or maybe had less training, since he is half Bob's age.
Time to go feed. I wonder if they'll give me a full-on bray one of these days. So far they just kinda whisper.