Saturday, June 22, 2013

First Ride on Rock in New Saddle

Doesn't he have such a silly face?

The round pen looks huge from this angle.

Obviously, the stirrup length wasn't a problem.  I'm thinking I could go a notch lower, but then I'll be laying my heels into his belly instead of his sides.  We should have bought a bigger horse.

There doesn't seem to be that much of a difference between a 16" seat and a 17" seat.  I guess I'll just have to work on slimming down those thighs.  Being new, the seat was a little hard, but not distracting.  It has memory foam in it, so I was curious if it would be squishy and comfy, but so far it just feels like a new seat.  I definitely could feel that I was tilting forward with his downhill conformation, but my husband said I looked level to him.  I guess I'm just used to those upright Arabs with arched necks.  If Rock stopped to graze, I could probably slide right out of the saddle and down his neck.

The sweat mark covers the entire length of the saddle now that someone was actually sitting in it.  I like that the cinch doesn't get bunched up behind his armpits like it does on Lostine.  It helps that Rock has a big chest.  You can see little dots indented in his fur and sweat from the bottom of the saddle pad.  The pad has something like a neoprene bottom with raised dots "for air flow", but I think neoprene is just a sweat machine.  They say it helps grab so that the pad and saddle don't slip, but with all that sweat, how can you avoid slippage?  Oh well, I'm always willing to try new materials.  They all have their pluses and minuses.  I'm just glad I won't have to worry about stickers getting embedded underneath his pad.  I do like the way the pad conforms to the shape of his back.  Here's a link to the saddle pad I bought.

Before mounting Rock I tried some lateral flexation with him using the reins, and got not response.  I had to pull his head around with all my might.  My muscles are still hurting from working so hard.  I was baffled over how this horse could have been trail ridden on a daily basis with no steering.  I already knew that he was stubborn about being cued up to faster gaits, but I couldn't really check his steering when I took the test ride because the seller had us in this tiny round pen that was maybe 20-feet across from one railing to the other with a huge mounting block in the middle.  The horse just had to follow the railing.  I wish I had taken the time to ride him in the barrel racing arena like I did with the other horse I rode, but we had been there for three hours and another set of buyers had shown up.  I didn't even think to try the lateral and vertical flexation exercises during the test ride.

This morning I did work with him enough out of the saddle and in the saddle bringing his head around that I could see some improvement.  It's another point in his training that was missed, but I know how to correct it.  This will just delay my husband being able to ride him.  If you can't get his head around when he has a meltdown, you're in trouble.

Bombay is in recovery at the moment.  I walked out at 5:00 AM to feed the horses and Bombay wouldn't come in to eat.  He was just standing in the center of the arena bobbing his head up and down with his left front leg bent.  It looked like it was broken, and I nearly had a heart attack.  I found a hoof mark on his upper leg that had torn off what looked like the skin.  I was staring at it thinking there was no way we could stitch up a cut that wide.

I got the halter and lead rope, and amazingly Bombay walked normal on that leg.  Then I started cleaning the wound up and saw that there wasn't actually any cut.  It was just bruised and swollen.  When the horses get bruised, the hair around the bruise falls out, so you see the skin underneath.  Since his skin was black with a little blood coming through the pores, it looked like the skin was completely missing.  I couldn't believe how lucky we got with that injury.  He was obviously stunned and in pain, so I gave him some Bute and stall rest. I put a cold compress on the wound after cleaning it, then rubbed Swat around it, put antibiotic ointment on it, and then a layer of AluSpray.  Most of my veterinary medications didn't fair so well being moved from the freezing temperatures in Nevada to the extreme heat in Arizona.

Bombay's other injury is so bizarre that I'm not sure what to do with it.  He has a melanoma on his cheek.  It's been there for years and I've tried to remove it with Xterra, but that was the only time Xterra failed me.  It's too big and in too sensitive of a location to remove surgically.  Well, during one round of playing Bitey Face with Rock, Rock grabbed Bombay's fly mask with his teeth and also grabbed Bombay's melanoma.  So now there are teeth marks on both sides of the melanoma and it looks like it burst.  I'm trying the Xterra again to get it to slough off, but am not banking on getting results.

Bombay has got so many scars on his face and legs just from the past month of having Rock around that I'm not taking anymore chances.  I can supervise the horses during the day and yell at them if they are playing too rough, but have no idea what's going on at night.  So, I'll have to take turns locking up one of the boys in a stall each evening.  It's too bad, because I know they like to lay in the arena sand to sleep, but I'm just not willing to risk anyone breaking a leg during rough-housing.  Rock came to us with scars on his front legs, which was a clue that other horses had been kicking him, but I didn't know if that was because he was housed with mean horses or if he himself was a pest.  Turned out Rock was a pest.  I can't wait for him to grow up and get bored with all his macho games.

1 comment:

Reddunappy said...

Looking great!! I have those kind of pads, love them! Try feeding Bombey Flax seed, to help with the sarcoid, it seemed to work for my moms gelding. At the very least it will make him really shiney. Just a couple of tbspns. You have to grind it some to get full benefit, although my mom didnt. Health food stores have it, the feed store I worked at could get it in like 50lb bags! LOL but there in that heat it would go rancid!