Thursday, August 19, 2010

A lazy day

I was going to hop on Coriander bareback today and work on bending, but when I got out to the pasture it was just too hot and muggy. I decided to do a bit of liberty work with Gwen instead.

Isn't she cute? I think  I actually managed to get the saddle in the right spot this time. See how the cantle sits up in the air though? That bothers me, this tree might be too wide for her. Can you get a saddle fitter out for horses that haven't even been started yet?

She's gotten quite used to wearing the English saddle around since I pop it on her back nearly every time I ride her brother. She's there, the saddle is already out, so why not? But since I'm planning on using the western saddle for the next mounting attempt, she really needs to get used to wearing that one too. She's not quite as comfortable when I tighten the girth on this saddle, I think it's because you can tighten the girth so much faster on a western saddle than an English one. I really need to concentrate on pulling the girth up very slowly for now. The good news is after I got it on, she was more than willing to walk and even trot next to me around the pasture. Those flapping stirrups didn't bother her one bit. I'll make a riding horse out of her yet.

Just because Coriander and I started exploring the wild outdoors doesn't mean that I've been ignoring my baby girl. Along with putting the saddle on her back 3-4 times a week, we've still been working on head lowering and standing next to the mounting block. I've also added standing on a mat to her repertoire. There are a couple short boards hanging around the barn that are just perfect for that purpose. I'm hoping that standing on wood and hearing that hollow sound will help when I work on trailer loading again. Right now she's more interested in pawing the board than standing on it, but I guess that's a phase a lot of horses go through.

Kate's coming out tomorrow for another clicker lesson. Maybe we'll do a bit of lateral work with my boy. In the meantime, here's a lesson I learned today: don't try to trim a horse's mane while they're grazing. It comes out all wonky.


  1. I envy the time you are able to spend with your guys and the relaxing training pace you have. A lot of times I feel rushed.

    The saddle placement look great! I wouldn’t worry too much about the cantle; when you sit in the saddle it should settle into place. As long is it is wide enough and fits comfortably on her withers, you should be ok. I know your concern about the girth. I do my girth slightly differently from how you do it. I use the cinch ring prong in a hole of the cinch, like a belt buckle, and then feed the extended piece of cinch through the latigo carrier loop. I find this way of “finishing” the girth makes it easier to tighten it after you walk around a bit….and you will need to tighten it. The weight of the saddle makes it shift if it isn’t secure. It’s hard to explain, but check out these pictures:

    I hope this helps. Great work with both of your babies!

  2. Gwen is adorable. I always say that slow and steady wins the race. She'll get there, you're doing a great job getting her used to things at a slow pace. Have a good session with the trainer.

  3. Sorry I haven't responded sooner, my browser had a weird setting that wasn't allowing me to comment.

    Wolfie- thanks for the pictures, I'm going to take a closer look at those and try it out. About the time I spend with my horses- I have no kids and my husband is a workaholic, I've got a lot of time on my hands ;)

    GHM- thanks! We're definitely taking the turtle track on training, it keeps her happy and me whole.