Friday, December 21, 2018

New Saddle #2

I've wanted a Cashel trail saddle since they came out. They're made by Martin, on their Axis tree, which has a great reputation, but for some reason they don't cost an arm and a leg and a spleen and 6 eye-teeth. When they originally came out they were pretty reasonably priced, but when the word got out about them, the price went up. Still, not as bad as most Martin saddles.

I like the simplicity of them, the weight, and the comfort. Halla likes it too. We had a very relaxed, enjoyable ride around home yesterday. I felt like we were more connected and she was less protective of herself. Not all necessarily because of the saddle, of course. It was just nice time together.

Judging by the wear and the style, this might be one of the original ones they came out with, which I like better than the later models. The woman I bought it from on eBay called me and talked to me about it. She had ridden many great miles in this saddle and it brought a tear to her eye when she sold it. She has a new horse though. You know how that goes. 

I'm trying to decide if I want to ride today or not. Between my shoulder and my cold, I probably shouldn't. But YOLO.  Hahahahaha, I hate that term. Also, I need to clean my house. :/ But the sun won't shine every day. Hey, speaking of which, HAPPY SOLSTICE! Heck, I might as well ride.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Books, farrier, etc

I am so bored! Sitting at home alone for days and days... Gah! My cold is getting better, but slowly... I've finished two books in the last couple days. A sci-fi called Retrograde (good) and an autobiography of Richard Feynman, which I was surprised to find I really enjoyed. I don't normally read non-fiction but his was fast paced and interesting.

The farrier came today. Everyone was well behaved as usual, except Scout, who was a tad bit wiggly, as usual. That horse needs a more challenging, active lifestyle.

I like my farrier and I want to make sure he knows I appreciate him, so I wanted to give him something nice for Christmas. I was thinking cookies or something he could share with his family but I have the cooties, so I made him a halter with a nice rope clip and a hand spliced lead rope. I had already made the lead rope. I figured if he already had too many he could re-gift it. He loved it. :) He's a guy who likes quality workmanship, so that made me feel good.

Gotta go - funeral planning. Wish me luck going out in the world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Saddle #1

Ever since I tried out an Ez Fit treeless saddle years ago and sent it back, I've kinda wished I'd kept it. I've kept an eye out for a cheap used one, but never found one cheap enough or at the right time.

Anyway, long story short, I had some saddle money burning a hole in my pocket and I bought a brand new saddle! 
Theses saddles are secure enough to mount from the ground, the pommel high enough for a high wither but flexible enough for wide or narrow. Seat size, stirrup position, and cinch position are moveable. Moveable panels under the saddle for wider or narrower spinal relief, and apparently the panels adjust for a wider or narrower horse, although I don't quite understand that. I left everything as it was, but lengthened the stirrups. You can also get a higher cantle piece that switches out easily.

Since it's not trying to look like an English or western saddle, I don't think it's that weird looking. But then I've been looking at them for years, so maybe I'm used to them.

I rode yesterday for an hour or more. They say they take about 8 hours to break in. The structure is foam and pig hair stuffed panels, I believe. Anyway, it was comfortable, but toward the end my low back was aching. I'm going to shorten my stirrups a notch next time. They felt a tad long. I felt a little unsteady when she'd jump a bit (my tissue fell out of my pocket & scared her-I'm producing snot like you wouldn't believe) but no problem going up and down hills. Kinda weird dismounting without a horn. 

I love how lightweight it is. Wish I could ride again but it's pouring down rain today. Gross.

So... The same day I bought this saddle, another saddle that I've wanted for years came up on eBay for a screaming deal. I shouldn't have... But I did. I'll just sell the Circle Y I've been having trouble hoisting onto her back. :) Yeah, I have a saddle problem. I'll write about that one once I get a chance to ride in it more. John stole it, he likes it.

Monday, December 17, 2018

What day is it?

I've lost track of the date. I know I should be working tomorrow but I'm sick. The stress finally got me, I guess. I know it's Monday. I know it will be the 22nd on Saturday, because that's when my sister's services will be held. I know that on Wednesday it was my niece's birthday, and thank goodness her mom didn't die until the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. Still, her birthdays have always been tainted by mastectomy, cancer tests, chemo... Poor woman-child, nursing her mom to her death in the darkness while everyone caught a few moments sleep, with only the sound of the rhythmic death rattle and the oxygen condenser.

Dying is such an active thing. So difficult.  Amy decided on Wednesday to go on hospice. She was done fighting. And the following Wednesday was the last time she spoke. "Shit!" was the last thing I heard her say that morning, tired of being told what to do. By the afternoon I was pretty sure she wouldn't last the night. The early hours of the morning are a natural time for death. An ebb tide of life, perhaps? A thinning of the veil... Thank goodness her last breaths did not drag out for hours. One long pause, two more breaths, no more.  Her face was so peaceful. No sign of struggle or pain.

Seeing her whole family rallied around her all night, holding her hand, stroking her forehead, bathing away her fever, stretching out next to her in her bed - paintings and sculptures should be made of such moments.

I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

I'm doing Ok, most of the time, until I'm not. It's unpredictable.  It's everyone else I'm worried about. We'll just have to take it day by day. We're in uncharted seas. Luckily, they have an excellent pastor/friend to help them through it, and other resources as well. We may not have done this before, but it isn't the first time anyone has lost a loved one. We'll be alright. Together.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Update & Stuff

My shoulder is much improved. Not better, but pretty good if I'm careful. I still couldn't saddle a horse. :( I still haven't seen my doctor. They decided to let me hang until their next available appointment, which was over 2 weeks away at the time.  10 days from now. It'll probably be usable by then but I still have a lot of questions. I love my doctor but do does everyone else, and it takes forever to get to see him.

I haven't even been feeding the horses so life is weird. The ground is muddy. The ducks are still laying. I'm hoping to buy a lightweight treeless saddle now that I sold my Orthoflex saddle. I might be able to saddle up one handed. I've got almost all of my Christmas shopping done, which is unusual for me. We might have to have an early Christmas. I've spent a lot of good time with my sister. She's going on hospice this week. The chemo wasn't really working, and she wasn't healthy enough to keep trying it anyway. But wow, she has been doing much better than we expected. Now the transition is starting, and she's starting to see people who are already gone. But she's still very much with us. We went shopping yesterday for a while & went out to eat. She just had to get out. Cabin fever.

Not much else to report... Just the last dregs of 2018. All swirling with stale coffee grounds and maybe someone flicked their cigarette ashes in there, but we gotta finish it out. Damn. I think I need a sunny day!