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February 17, 2013: Hold Yer Hosses

It was another big horse day around here – they seem to come in bunches. I got Raudi out and tried out the new saddle pad. She wasn’t as resistant to trotting as she was previously, but she wasn’t a totally happy horse, either. She trotted a bit, then bobbled in the front, then shifted into the pace gait. It’s like she’s throwing her front leg out, in order to keep her balance. When we trot and I post, I feel like I’m getting too far ahead of her. Then she bobbles. I’m hoping that the new saddle changes my center of balance – and that this is the problem. We’ll see. Synergist Saddles should soon start working on my order.

Raudi and I did have one of those clichéd teachable moments – it verified that learning does happen on short rides. We were about 100 yards from our driveway when we came to an ice boulder. Raudi wasn’t going to pass it. So I got off her and walked her up to it. When we were very close I said “touch.” She did this, and I gave her a treat. I then took her back a ways, got back on her, and rode her past the boulder. I like the way (sometimes) I do things. This worked really well, and neither of us got upset.

We next loaded Siggi and Signy into the trailer and took them over to Vicki’s place. There we unloaded them, and tied them to the trailer. Signy let the stallion up over the hill know of her whereabouts – neighing loudly, and repeatedly. This is a new side of her – previously, when she was pregnant, she was quiet. I jokingly said to Pete that perhaps we should again breed her – say, a few days before we start out on our trip. This way, she’d again be mellow and calm. Now, if say both Raudi and Signy are in season and in the vicinity of a stallion, there will be considerable talking going on. Don’t need that.

I groomed the horses while Pete heated the saddle mold in Vicki’s oven. He appeared minutes later, with the mold in the pizza box. Siggi seemed, as Raudi did, to enjoy the hot pad being put on his back. In record time, we had a mold for the saddle makers. Of course, the process was much simpler than it was when we did this with Raudi. Everything with Siggi is much easier.

When done, we went for a ride – Vicki and Hunar came along with us. We rode to the hay field, traveling there on a trail that had about three feet of snow on it. The horses had to break trail. Today, Signy was my number one riding horse. She had considerable energy; in fact, so much so that when we set out she was trembling. But she stayed behind Siggi and Hunar and did not once attempt to run out. She also did very well going up and down the trail – there were some very steep pitches – I joked that riding her is like being in a Laz-y-boy chair.

We finally got to the hayfield, and punched through the snow. It was cold and somewhat windy. I was relieved that Signy behaved so well because I hadn’t dressed correctly for this adventure. This is rare. I usually pride myself on being the one who has her gear act together. Not today. I was wearing a Carhartt coat with no outer nylon layer, and thin rubber gloves. My fingers soon began hurting pretty badly. When this happens, I get overall less flexible both mentally and physically. I was more than ready for the ride to be over by the time we got back to the road. Walking some warmed me up.

At the ride’s conclusion I gave Signy a big hug. She takes a very dim view of such things, but this makes me feel good. I think she knows that I know that she’s amazing. I have often thought that there was some uncertainty about our purchasing her, because at the time, her asking price was pretty high. But we did it – and I have never, ever regretted this. She is both a good riding horse and a good mom – Hrimmi attested to this upon our return, by racing around the pen as the trailer pulled into the driveway.

Tomorrow or the next day, we’ll get Siggi’s saddle mold in the mail. We got a call tonight – a woman in Pennsylvania expressed an interest in buying Raudi’s old trip saddle. This is good – we had it listed on Craig’s List – it’ll generate more interest when we put it on ebay.