Friday, April 17, 2015

getting reacquainted

I finally got to spend some quality time with Isabel that WASN'T related to her flu. We're planning to start back under saddle this weekend, and it seemed in my best interest to assess whether she'd gone feral or not during her 3 weeks off. 

'mebbe. feral is fun' - isabel

Also, I had some new cool tack to try out. The gullet plate in my Bates dressage saddle needed switching and I opted to take it to our local saddler so he could do it right (and also show me how). Obvi I had to browse the consignment section too... esp since they have a great rewards system and I'd amassed quite a few points buying the saddle in the first place.



Turns out they happened to have a nice Horseware dressage bridle AND another Herm Sprenger KK Ultra loose ring that would be entirely covered by my rewards points. The only catch? The bridle is pony sized lol.


I took it for a trial anyway, and whadya know - it mostly fits! The throatlatch isn't quite what I would like, and the browband will need replacing... but the rest is actually ok. It's in nice condition too - plus I snagged some black webbed full size reins, so we're just gonna roll with it. Yay for free tack!!


Meanwhile, back to getting reacquainted... Isabel WAS actually kinda rude at first. It didn't help that all the fresh grass was practically perfuming the air and she was dizzied by it all... But mostly she was ok - nothing crazy, but definitely ready to run all over me if I let her. 



She hand grazed while I got as much loose hair off her as possible (with a quick vacuum break), then headed down to the arena. You can see in the pic above that there were lots of ground poles all over the place, and we walked around all of them, plus a raised cavaletti, plus generally just seeing if she'd stop when I stop and go when I go and follow me around without hesitation. 

The verdict? Brain still very much intact. Good girl. 


Also, I can't seem to resist standing her on that pedestal haha... It's kinda ridiculous, but whatever - she's listening to me and thinking and I derive childlike glee from it. So there. We also tried a few turns on the forehand. It's not something I've ever really worked on with her, so I tried to just get a couple good steps here and there without a lot of pressure. 

All in all tho it was some quality pony time. Isabel took quite a few deep breaths at different points - especially after walking up the steep hill back to the barn (that I practically made her crawl up at a snail's pace) - and there was exactly zero coughing. I'll take it!

26 comments:

  1. The browband not fitting is actually perfect, because now you *need* to buy a sparkly one :)

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  2. So cute! Love the bridle....yay new tack :) Happy that she seems to be feeling well, too!!

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    1. yay new tack indeed! sadly the bit ended up being a bit too small too... but it's such a relief to see her feeling well and happy that i don't even care!

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  3. The bridle looks great, and so happy she is healthy again!! Love the pedestal... you should teach her how to kick a giant ball around. That's GREAT fun. :)

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    1. we actually do have one of those giant balls, and she's nosed it around every now and then, but i've never actually tried anything with it before... hmmm you've got me thinking now haha!

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    2. DO IT! I bet she'll pick up on clicker training SUPER fast!

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    3. honestly i'm not sure she'll even need the clicker - she's drawn like a magnet to objects in the ring: barrels, cones, the ball, unwitting innocent bystanders (preferably when they least expect it)...

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  4. Wohoo new tack! I tend to have the same problem with throatlatches being too tight. It's like my horse needs pony cheek pieces and a full size crown piece. Yay for horses with weirdly sized heads.... (arabs and arab crosses???)

    And hooray for some pony time! I don't know why I'm still always surprised every time I start working with Maggie after an extended period of time off...I always expect her to to forget everything she's learned, but she always just picks right up where we left off. Gotta give em some credit I guess!

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    1. this mare didn't used to be able to handle time off.. but that had more to do with not having any kind of consistency for years on end... now she's pretty reliable :)

      and she usually fits standard cob sized bridles pretty perfectly - tho even then the throatlatch tends to be either in the middle or towards the bottom, but plenty of room still... her nose and the length of her face are pretty tiny tho... so the pony size actually works fine for those pieces lol

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  5. Oh boy the bridle fitting game lol Pony sized stuff usually fits Quest fine EXCEPT for the browband- she has a huge honking forehead. Glad Miss Iz is feeling better and you got to spend some quality time together! Sometimes non-ride days are the best days.

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    1. haha yea izzy's forehead isn't massive (cob size is perfect)... but pony size is jusssst a bit too tiny. oh well, guess i gotta do more shopping ;)

      i'm so glad she's feeling better too - tho i have had a few too many non-ride days lately for my sanity lol

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  6. Hooray that she wasn't too terribly bad for her first ride back! And that bridle is too cute on her.

    I love the pedestal picture- if I could get mine to stand on one, I would never take any other photo again. :)

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    1. she was so very very good! i didn't actually ride yet (not til this weekend - but it's so soon i can taste it!) - we just hand walked around.. but it was a good assessment for her mental state all the same haha

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  7. She's just so cute. And if I had a pedastal thing I'd be obsessed too :)

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    1. haha i was trying to get all 4 feet up there this time... we didn't *quite* make it (got to three legs, that quickly shifted to only one hind leg haha) but maybe next time :)

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  8. YAY Isabel! And your outdoor looks LOVELY compared to those snow covered or flooded pictures from earlier. Yay outside riding!!

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    1. seriously! the outdoor is suddenly in great shape - even most of the holes seem to have filled in with the drier conditions. can't wait to actually get back in the saddle myself!!

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  9. Aw, yay for Isabel feeling better and getting to ride again! The new bridle looks good one her.

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    1. thanks! i'm so relieved she's doing well too. no riding yet - just hand walking - but hopefully tomorrow will be the big day ;)

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  10. I'm glad she didn't go full feral horse after her time off!

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  11. She sure looks happy on that pedestal!! Too cute!!

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    1. lol i suspect she's always a little proud of herself up there ;)

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