Sunday, December 24, 2017

on the first day of christmas, santa brought for me.....

A pair of black dressage saddles!! And a beer bottle cap telling me to stop being such a pussy!! And an extra special puffy fat fetlock!!!!

natty boh beer bottles have a puzzle in the caps. this one was special just for me, apparently.
In no particular order, let's kick off Christmas Eve in style, yea?

hey look, it's another barbed wire induced puncture wound!!
My day 2 evaluation of Charlie's gnarled limb uncovered additional wounds. 24hrs marinating tends to have that effect on wounds - they puff up and present themselves for closer inspection. This is generally a good thing. Each wound I doctored the day prior looked good, thank god - including the puncture previously inhabited by an actual metal barb.

The whole back side of the ankle is slightly warm with some puffiness, but nothing localized to those already-known wounds. Rather, there was another puncture that went unnoticed originally, right at the back of Charlie's fetlock that now has about a marble-sized swelling underneath it.

this one right on top of the sesamoids. it has me slightly squeamish but i still think we're maybe ok here
Again, tho, it seems very localized. It's warm but not hot, puffy but not generally swollen. Idk. The consensus with vet is that we stay the course: antibiotics and bute. And let the leg tell us what it needs to say, whether it's just going through the normal healing routine or if something worse is bubbling beneath the surface.

mmmmmmm bute
My zen in all of this is Charlie. He is happy as a clam. Totally relaxed. Cool with the poking and prodding and scrubbing and squeezing. Wished he was turned out yesterday but was also complacent with his overstuffed hay bag and bute-stuffed cookies.

He's still got his neighbor Maggie, after all - the long term rehab case who was his neighbor throughout his own surgery-induced convalescence too. He's got a thing for gray mares <3

bein honest here, i'd eat that lol
So. I'm taking my cues from him. Until and unless he tells me differently, I'm operating under the assumption that he's not brewing a massively infected joint. We're not amputating yet!!!

So....... In the spirit of Christmas, let's move on to happier thoughts!! Dressage saddle shopping!!!

LOL.....

"i would also eat that" - charlie, who did in fact eat that 
Some back story: Charlie wears entirely hand-me-down tack. His jump bridle previously belonged to another awkward large bay ottb with a weaving problem. And his dressage bridle was previously Isabel's, and Courage's before that. Both saddles were also Isabel's. The jump saddle was the product of many months searching. After finding the Bates of my dreams, I impulsively bought a second Bates as my dressage saddle.

Both saddles have suited nicely, esp given their adjustable gullets. But Charlie gained weight on stall rest and we hit an issue with the dressage saddle in particular - it doesn't have enough clearance in the gullet channel any more. Can't make it wider bc it will sit farther down on him, can't make it narrower bc it pinches. A conundrum. Considering Charlie had started standing up (literally) for his rights, it was time to move on.

sits well, naturally wants to sit back a bit - gives the shoulder an absolute fuck ton of room
Turns out tho, Austen was also at a crossroads with her saddle, for opposite reasons. We theorized that perhaps Pig and Charlie have a similar build. Charlie is generally a large creature, but damn if Pig doesn't have some shoulders and a wither too. Bast seems to be built a little less.... thoroughbred-y.

charlie is a nosy mother fucker sometimes haha
Perhaps Pig's saddle (pictured above) would work for Charlie? And Isabel's would work for Bast? Worth a shot, right? So we traded saddles and I'm honestly a bit heartened by the initial picture this saddle presents. It may be a touch narrow through the channel, and obvi I have yet to ride in it, but it looks like it's worth a trial ride (or three).

It wants to sit way back behind his shoulder, and the panels seem to evenly distribute pressure. I'm no professional, but after trying actual oodles of saddles on Isabel, I've got a sense of what will no way no how work. This looks passable. Professional input will be forthcoming soon!!

meanwhile, Bast shows off Charlie's old saddle
And in the meantime I was tickled to see my own Bates look like a similarly passable potential fit for Bast! Obvi I'll let Austen tell her own stories, but it's always reassuring when a trade feels relatively even.

and omg but that ear fuzz is so cute, i die
I say "relatively" bc... uh.... my dressage saddle should not be confused for anything nice. It's.... not. It's slippery and barely leather. But it's suited me well enough all these years, and nobody will argue if it can serve as at least an interim solution for Austen and Bast. Who remains, as ever, too goddamn freakin cute. And also really looking like a dressage horse in training!!

back to charlie, trying my trainer's hulsebos saddle. it has clearance galore in every dimension. perhaps a titch wide
Anyway the other contender in Santa's stork delivery (that's how it works, right?) is my trainer's first ever custom Hulsebos. She now has approximately one zillion custom Hulsebos saddles (one of which she sold to Brita last year, and Brita is now officially an absolute dyed-in-the-wool convert), but this is her first ever and she has a strong attachment to it.

Not least because it's made specifically for a large thoroughbred: built for a horse with a peaked back, instead of flat. And loads of wither clearance. For these reasons, it's not actually clear that she'd consent to sell it. But she's considering it, and has offered it to me on loan indefinitely.

doesn't sit down on him when i ride tho
If anything, this saddle is a titch wide on Charlie - but he's gone well in it so far when we ride. The Hulsebos rep comes regularly to our farm per my trainer P (and nobody else is allowed to touch this saddle) so we could potentially reflock it for him. And in the meantime, the fitter I already have scheduled can eyeball and assess it, she's just not allowed to alter it in any way.

unimpressed poneh is unimpressed
So. Ya know. I feel grateful to have options ahead of that visit. Especially all options with wool flocking. Even tho I kinda hate all saddle fitters and think the whole business borders on subjective sham-fulness..... Too harsh? Mebbe. lol....

Hopefully tho I'll have a chance to ride a couple times in Austen's saddle, and perhaps a couple more in the Hulsebos too for the sake of completeness. And to get trainer P and dressage trainer C's input. It would be nice to have more fully fledged opinions before the fitter, if possible.

But. Ahem. I also hope my horse doesn't fester into full blown joint infection in the meantime too. We can dream, right? And in the meantime, Merry Christmas Even, y'all!

25 comments:

  1. I really hope that the saddle works out. Austen's looks good- might need to some stuffing behind. And Charlie? What exactly did you get into yesterday?

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    1. My best guess is that he got into barbed wire but who really knows. The good news is that today the leg looks basically like a million bucks! Phew!!

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  2. It’s nice to have trial options and how awesome to be able to swap saddles with a friend. I hope one works out for you

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    1. Thanks it would be so super convenient if one of these worked out - definitely mutually beneficial!

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  3. Good luck with the saddle. Hope the bute moon pies (YUM) work!

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    1. Ha I was unreasonably pleased with how tasty that cookie turned out! Charlie's pretty good at eating his meds anyway but still ;)

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    2. LOL - I was thinking moon pies too! Feel better Charlie!

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  4. A potential reflock would probably do the trick! :D

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  5. Um, Santa kind of missed the mark with the puffy fetlock. Maybe try a little harder next year and upgrade to a lump of coal or something ;)

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    1. Yea seriously Santa! I would happily take coal over anything on my horses legs!! Luckily Charlie got the memo that this is supposed to be the season of good cheer and appears to be fully and rapidly on the mend!!

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  6. That bute sammich looks mighty tasty.
    Merry maybe-new-saddle Christmas, though!

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    1. Ha thanks, I'm hoping one of these saddles will be my present lol! Merry Christmas to you too

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  7. Reallllly keeping all crossables crossed that charlie recovers quickly so you can ride in the potential new Saddle!

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    1. as of today the leg looks like a million bucks. i'm hoping that if the puncture was serious, it would have already blown up. we'll see! fortunately both saddles are on loan indefinitely so there's no rush, but it would be nice to try them before the fitter looks at them!

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  8. Two saddles to try seems promising. And an indefinite loan is pretty nice and will allow you to save up more money. (Charlie, stop hurting yourself so your mom can save up money for fancy stuff for you and not spend it on meds.)

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    1. Ugh yea srsly Charlie! Luckily this particular injury hasn't cost anything bc I stockpile SMZs anyway lol. Considering Charlie is what he is, it's best to always have drugs on hand!

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  9. Is that really how you administer bute? Cause its genius if it works and now I want to try it!
    I'm currently in a $300 dressage saddle, that doesn't fit anyone well but refuse to purchase one until it is for June. So, I've got a while.... Excited to see what you end up with!

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    1. Yea I hear ya on that. Neither of my saddles are particularly nice or valuable, but I wasn't really willing to spend any more on a horse who wasn't mine - Izzy. And they've honestly worked out well. I'd probably ride in that dressage saddle forever if it didn't inspire such extreme reactions from Charlie lol. As it is tho, I'm hoping Charlie will be here for a while and am more comfortable with the idea of investing in something more suitable for him. We shall see!

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  10. Your saddle might be slippery, but it's a better fit for both Bast and I than mine was! I've been cramming myself in that Barnsby for years, and am so looking forward to a saddle with room for my long thigh. Lol

    Fingers crossed for a fit for Charlie and that the leg continues to improve!

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  11. I like to make moon pies with the bute too. I'm glad that the saddle swap going well (fingers crossed)!

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  12. Yay for the saddle quest! I LOVE Hulsebos! That is so nice that you have two choices, I hope one of them ends up being perfect for you and Charlie!

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  13. Damnit, Charlie. But YAY about saddle swap seeming to be a great interim measure for y'all. So awesome when you have an easy local solution.

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  14. The only objective judge of saddle fit is really the horse anyways. ;-)

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