Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The New Saddle Arrived Today and Red is HOME!!!!

I went this morning to pick my boy up from Dr. Schneiter's. He had his teeth floated this morning - he had some hooks in the back. He was still a little sedated when we got there. It was raining but Red got in the trailer after one attempt.

The bill was $599 with the teeth floating at $75. Way better than that $214 for Sarge! I did get a "colic pack" for Red. A hit of ace and banamine shots in case I ever need it. Dr. Schneiter was great and I really appreciated all of his hard work and his good care of Red.

We hauled him back to the barn and I put him in the little arena. He is going to stay there for two days and then I will put him out in the pasture.

Margaret and I went out to see him this afternoon and he was doing just fine. His feed arrived at the same time and he was eager to eat. Before we left I put his blanket on him. It is new and looked great on him. He is such a pretty boy.

My new saddle came in! It is the BOMB and I think Red is going to be gorgeous in it. I will have to wait til Friday to try it on him. I am so excited about it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Aussie Saddle will arrive tomorrow!!!!

I got a phone call today from UPS stating that a package would be delivered tomorrow between 9 and 7 PM and needed a signature! Woo HOOOO!!! It is my new Aussie Saddle. I am so excited!

I tracked the package to Dallas and it left Dallas at a little after 6:00 PM. It should be in Beaumont sometimes late tonight. I can't wait to see it. I ordered the woolie legging thingies to keep the leather from being scratched. Red and I will be trying it out Friday in the arena and then Saturday at Tyrrell Park when Kellie and I ride together. Woo Hooooo!

Red is almost better!

I think that Red could be a circus horse! He certainly can perform amazing tricks for a blade of grass. Could he be any more adorable?



I went to see Red today and he is doing well. Doc said he passed a huge pile yesterday and is coming along nicely. Woo Hoo I can pick up my boy tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM!!!

Some Improvement



I went out to the barn in the morning and Susan was there with Dulcie and her other horse! She said she had been admiring Red and didn't realize it was my horse! LOL It was good to see her. We visited and I visited with Red. He is doing better but still hasn't passed enough stool.

I talked to the Doc and he said rough estimate was $400 to $450. I asked him to float Red's teeth if it is needed. I will be getting his shots to give him too. Red will be vetted up!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Red is improving but still at the Vet's



I called the vet and he said Red was better and we discussed him coming home either today, tomorrow or Wednesday. We settled on Wednesday morning. He will be giving Red treatments.

Ms. Jean called and was all concerned about Red and gave me her cell number in case I ever needed it. Bless her heart. She is so sweet. She said Nebbie was trying to colic. Ugh. Colic bites.

I trotted out to the Vets and Susan was out there with Dulce and her other horse so we chatted. Red looked good but he is hungry! I hugged him up and petted him and took pictures.

I talked to the vet and he said that I got Red there in time so that he didn't have to do intravenous methods of treatment. The cost should be around $400-450. I can hang with that. I told Doc to check Red's teeth and if he needed them floated to float them Wednesday morning. I really like Doc Schneiter and will continue to use him. I like the other vet just fine and I know he is a good vet but I really do like Doc Schneiter. I like that his practice is on site to where he lives and if there is a major illness, he can watch my boys.

Barry went out and rode Sarge today and he said Sarge was blowing and snorting at the horses because they had blankets on. Sarge is so freaking funny - he makes me just crack up laughing.
I called about Red's Aussie Saddle and added fleece leggings and it shipped today. I probably won't get it til next week but that is how it goes.

Red is better


I went to see Red yesterday and he is better. Doc called just after 8:00 AM to let me know he was doing ok.

Barry and I went out to see Red. Bless his heart, he is hungry. He had two small poops. He got agitated around 11:00 PM when Doc gave him something for that. At 2:00 AM he rolled and Doc checked on him. He watched Red off and on all night.

I hugged Red up and took pictures of him. He hasn't pooped enough to come home though. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Red Colicks today - and I have known him one year

My Poor Boy
He is not feeling well
Laying back down
Ugh...my stomach hurts

I went to see Red for the first time a year ago today. Barry and I went out to the barn today to ride. I layered on clothes so I wouldn't be cold.

We went out to the barn and Red was laying down in the pasture. I thought that was odd and said so to Barry. I video'd Red from the front of the pasture. He finally put his front legs out. I got down there and he finally got up. He walked to me and put out his hoof and was pawing the ground. I didn't have a good feeling about this. Red walked towards Barry and then Barry walked Sarge up to the front. Red came back towards me and layed down flat on the ground. Then rolled. By then I was pretty sure he was colicking. I told Barry to get my cell phone. I tried to call Margaret....no answer. We started walking toward the barn and Red had his head down. I told Barry to put Sarge up and go get the trailer.

I wanted to haul Red to see if he would poop. I walked Red round and round the arena and he was walking with me but he would paw if we stopped. When we first got up to the front he looked like he wanted to drop and roll but I had a firm grip on him. Walk walk walk. Finally got ahold of Margaret. She thought he was colicking. I could hear some gut sounds.

Barry finally got there and we loaded up my boy and hauled to the Sonic on HWY 365. I got a coke and checked on Red. No poop. Hauled back to the barn...no poop. We got him out and walked him around.

I said, "Lets haul him to Tyrrell Park. I called Dr. Schneiter's answering service and asked that he call for a colicking horse. We got to Tyrrell and still no poop. Hauled back to the barn and there was a little bit of poop. We walked him around and Dr. Schneiter called and said he was colicking and to bring him to the clinic.

We hauled my boy out to Dr. Schneiter's and he lives down the street from Kelly. Dr. Schneiter checked his gut sounds and checked the poop in the trailer. We took Red and put him in the chute to examine him. The vet's arm up his backside was not what Red had in mind! His back was so humped up and his hinny was tucked under as far as he could get it. I kept talking to him and reassuring him. Poor darling. I kept hugging him today.

The vet said he was pretty packed up in there. I had told him about the hay and Red just pigged out on it. OMG - it is Archie's fault!!! LOL I will never give Red a round bale again. He can't handle a round bale. He will never be without alfalfa for this long again either. Alfalfa keeps them regular.

Dr. Schneiter said he was going to intubate Red and put mineral oil down him to get the packed stuff moving. He twitched Red - Barry held Red, I held the twitch and Dr. Schneiter put the tube up his nose and down his throat. It was going into his lung and he had to pull it back out and back down to the stomach. Poor Red. We put him in the round pen and he is staying at Dr. Schneiter's so he can keep an eye on him. He had gave him banamine and B12 in the jugular when we first got there. He said he'd give him more shots at 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM. I will be out there in the morning to check on my boy. I am just grateful that I went out to the barn today and didn't stay home. Red might have been too far gone. What a scary day.


Merry Christmas to my Boys!

I went to the barn on Christmas Day to see my boys. They were standing by the gate waiting for their dinner. It was just 3:30! Red didn't hardly move. He was like the rest of the people on Christmas Day...to full to move. I checked his hay bail and they had torn down some of it but they are eating it like crazy. Red looks like he has put on 100 lbs. His back looks like he has added VOLUME!!! I took some video of the boys and snapped pictures from the video to show his back.

Sarge was hoping for a treat while I was there but there are no more treats. I took several video's of the horses but they were really just standing there so none of the videos were too exciting but I am uploading one just the same to see how it looks on the blog. I will be having more videos as I make them of us riding.








video

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Woo Weeee it is COLD out at the barn!

It is Christmas Eve....I made a big breakfast for the kids. We had Stuffed Cinnamon Toast which was a big hit, pancakes, turkey bacon and turkey sausage, hot chocolate spiced with Tortuga Coconut Rum and mini cherry cheesecakes.

Margaret sent a message that there was a Santa! She got a 20 qt mixer that just fell in her lap - her brother in law had one and gave it to her. She was so excited. She and Ronnie came to visit and they loved the Stuffed Cinnamon Toast and Margaret liked the hot chocolate - added another dash of rum to it!

Kade and I made a gingerbread house together and after he left Barry and I went to the barn. Good grief, the wind was howling. It was 3:30 and the boys were eating their dinner. I guess the staff was getting off early. We checked on their round bale and they had moved some around...pooped on some but that is ok. It was WET out there. I think the hay will be good bedding for them too. It was only 54 degrees but felt like it was way colder than that. It is snowing in Dallas and Denton. The boys seemed comfortable enough and we just stayed a few minutes because it was FREEEEEZZZZZINNNG!!!!

Aussie Saddle on the way!!!

I measured Red for an Aussie Saddle yesterday. I emailed the picture of his wither tracing and called Ricki at Down Under Saddles today. She looked at his wither tracing and I gave her measurements. She thought he needed serge panels. She recommended the Down Under Wizzard Poley. I ordered it along with a breast strap and a saddle pad. The saddle has a medium chamber width. It was 25% off!!! It will be here hopefully next week. That would be great but it may not arrive til after the first of the new year. Hopefully, Red and I will be happy with this saddle. I am going to sell the Steele saddle. I am waiting to get the BC saddle back. I would like to keep the saddle and then I would have two!!! Woo HOOOOO









Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hay for the boys



This picture of Red just cracked me up. He is so funny!!!

Archie gave me a round bale of Tifton hay. He left it in his truck and Barry and I went up on the 23rd to get it. I left my car there and we drove the hay back to the barn and Edgar forked it up and into the run in. Red and Sarge were munching on their hay when we left!




Monday, December 14, 2009

Talking about my Saddle!!!


I told Barry yesterday that while the Steele is a very nice saddle, I feel I am sitting too far back on Red's back. Too much in the center of him instead of to the right behind the withers. I told him that as nice as the Steele Old Timer is - I don't think it is the saddle for me. I think their Outlaw or their Frontier would work for me. I like pommels! I have decided I am a POMMEL girl!! They make me feel more secure and I think I would LOVE an Aussie Saddle. I would like to try an Outlaw one day. Hummmm....

I told Barry that I love the way my Billy Cook feels to me. That I felt secure and comfortable in that saddle and while it didn't work for Red, it worked for me.

I called Billy Cook's today and spoke with Jody. He said Mr. Cook ordered a new tree for my saddle and they were waiting on it to come in! They are replacing the saddle. OMG what great news. I told him what I told Barry yesterday and that I felt that with Red's muscles in his shoulders that he needs a saddle that flairs at the front. Mr. Cook himself is working with my saddle...wow...Red will have a very special saddle. I just want my boy comfortable and can't wait to get my Billy Cook back and give it a whirl. I am going to order a new pad when I get it....I was looking at this one at the top.

Picked up the Saddle and riding a Steele




Christy and I picked up the saddle and had a good time visiting. I like the saddle and am excited about it. The next day I worked in Woodville and had lunch while there, with Archie and Margaret. Archie thought I got hosed - he doesn't know anything about Steele Saddles. Margaret thought it was very nice leather and well made.

I sent pictures to Fred at Steele Saddles. They are very nice to work with and generous with their knowledge. He thought the saddle fit well and was placed correctly on Red's back.

I got on it in the arena and it SLIDES around on Red getting on. The cantle is extremely high - higher than my Billy Cook. It will take getting used to.

Sunday Barry and I went out to ride. I went out originally to ride with Lee Anne and Krystina but I was too late. I cleaned the poop out of the trailer while I was there and called Barry to come out and ride. I went down and got the boys. Sarge was easier to catch than Red. He was being a little pill. Walks like he is 9000 years old going up to the barn. I was grooming him and he turned like he was going to nip me. I have never really thought Red was going to nip me but yesterday I did....he got a bop on the nose. I was grooming his sides and he turned around with a sour look and I bopped his side and said "straighten up". What a crab and he is usually not crabby. I took him into the arena and lounged him. He loped around on both sides and trotted. I guess he had the grimmly grimmlies.

I changed the neoprene girth for a cotton girth. It was hard cinching this rascal up to be tight enough! Finally got it tight enough to get on - and it was still loose!!! I rode in the arena and Red was moving slowly. If I pulled back slightly he STOPPED dead in his tracks. His tail switched some.

We rode out to the back and Red generally loves to go out there and is very forward. Not today. He didn't hardly want to trot and his tail was switching - not a ton but switching. Sarge was a hoot today. The cows were close to the fence and his head was up, he was excited! He had his eyes on the cows. One was next to the fence and he jumped into a cow stance and it was hilarious. Red walked right up to a cow but Sarge wasn't getting that close!!! We came down the side next to the refinery and Red spooked hard - in place. He is such a good boy. I had to hug his neck.

We rode around the entire parameter of the ranch after doing the half left side so we rode the ranch 1.5 times. I enjoyed it...we trotted and worked on neck reining. I think I can trail Red for endurance out there when I get saddle issues settled. I would say it is at least a mile or more around the back of the ranch. I will have to ask Lee Anne P. or Edgar if they know and if not, get Edger to track it for me. I could make figure 8's out there and do 5 or 6 loops around the ranch. Hummmmmmm....that could work to start.

I enjoyed my ride and Barry took the boys back down to the paddock while I put stuff away. We took them another bail of hay. I had gave them a bail of hay Thursday that Ronnie brought to me. They scarfed though that ball of Tifton and it was GONE. They have had at least 3 bales of hay this week - two from the ranch and one from Ronnie and Margaret. Hummm maybe it was 4. I want my boys to gain weight this winter and Red looks like he is. He needs it!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm going to pick up the saddle!

I talked to Carmen and I am going tomorrow to pick up the Steele Saddle. Christy is going with me and we are going to have a good time!

Steele Saddle



I found a Steele saddle for sale and Barry, Red and I went to check it out! I took pictures of Red in it and am going to ask for expert help on whether it fits. I think it is an ok fit and might work for my boy. I liked it.

I liked the couple that were selling it too! We are going to go riding with them in Louisiana and invited them to join us at Ebenezer! They have rode at Eminence, MO where I would like to go next year.

Here is the saddle:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow in southeast Texas!

It snowed this afternoon.....heavy furries that were flying around.

Barry and I went out to the barn in a freezing, drizzling rain. I wanted to give the boys a bail of hay. Jaimie helped me load it into the Rav4 and I drove it down to the paddock. The boys were in their shelter. I pulled the hay out and here comes Red. I had my pink galoshes on so I pushed open the gate and they were anxious to eat the hay and Red was running around. Sarge was pretty anxious to get his hay and dug in while I was trying to get it to the shed.

I set it down and wasn't going to cut the strings so it would stay together. Sarge laid back his ears at Red and ran him off so I ran Sarge off and he bucked up and kicked. Red ran out the gate and Sarge followed and down the alleyway. LOL Barry got out of the RAV, I got some hay, and went after them. Red came toward me and then started trotting toward the RAV with Sarge right behind him. Barry was standing there and waved them into the paddock.

I came with the hay and they were nibbling out of my hands. Off they went to the shed and I backed up the RAV so I could see them in there. They were happily munching and Sarge had decided not to be such a bully.

They were drier than I expected and seemed to be ok. I am such a worry wart where my boys are concerned!

Red, Sarge and Barry


We went to the barn to try a saddle tree on Red and take pictures of it. I am working with some saddle people to try and get Red outfitted with a decent saddle that doesn't hurt him.

Sarge was all up in Barry's kool aid. He is so funny. He loves to smell your hair and touch you with his face. He is so gentle about it though - never disrespectful at all.

Here is a picture of Barry with my two boys...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Learning about Saddle Fitting

I have been learning as much as I can about saddles and saddle fitting. I have chased down articles on how to fit horses and what type of saddles fit what type of horse.

Seems that Red needs Semi Quarter Horse Bars for his withers but I am not convinced totally. Red has pretty wide shoulders to go along with his higher withers. I am thinking an Aussie Saddle will work for him. I think he needs his Skito pad made into a regular saddle pad.

I am thinking about ordering this book:

"The Pain Free Back and Saddle Fit Book" by Dr. Joyce Harman. (Check Amazon used...can usually find it for under $20).

I read this article:

General Saddle Facts - Fitting Your Horse to the Saddle
There seems to be much confusion on the fitting of horse and saddle. One article you read tells you that even the least amount of wrong fit will permanently ruin your horse’s spine. They recommend an elaborate computerized measuring system, to be used only by a technologically trained expert, in the field, to recognize all possible pressure points on the back of the horse. The Feed store employee tells you that the saddles on their racks should fit any horse. Where is the answer? Probably somewhere in between these two scenarios.
Then we need to fit the rider. Which is the right seat size? Why do the saddles feel different when the specs show them all to have a 16" tree? Why do your legs feeling twisted? Does this mean you can only ride a used broken-in saddle?
Now there comes the selection of saddles available. Is a "nylon’ saddle good? How much money should I budget for the saddle? Don’t you save a lot of money at the horse sales? How do I buy a saddle if I have not sat in the seat? Why was that "show saddle" on E-Bay only $350.00 and all I see at saddle shops are $2500.00? Etc., etc., etc.
First, allow me to explain why I feel qualified to answer such questions. My parents have shown pictures of me riding a horse just after learning to walk. They tell me that all I ever wanted, as a child, was to be a cowboy. The Christmas that they gave each of their children bronzed first pairs of shoes, I got a pair of bronzed boots! My childhood heroes were Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Later in life, I listened to Roy and Dale give several inspirational speeches on their life experiences. And I was fortunate to know Gene personally. Mr. Autry once surprised me by recognizing who I was in a cafe in Denver. He even remembered my name.
This rambling does eventually come to a point....Early in life I learned the values portrayed in the "good guy" roles of TV cowboys. Even though our family lived in the suburbs, and we did not own horses until I was 15 years old, I had the burning yearning. At 15, we purchased a TWH and soon after, we had purchased a small farm and were breeding and showing horses. As the Walking Horse industry got bad press for the practices used to make "artificial" gaits, I moved into the Western market. Training riders and horses, several of us learned to make a team effort of sharing knowledge while in competition. As a team, we competed together in several breeds and various disciplines. English riding was in my roots with the TWH, so when several team members began riding English, I did too. It was easy to take the experiences of one breed or discipline and apply those basics to the others.
Over the years, I have been involved in Jumping, Rodeo, Gymkhana, Halter, ... almost every aspect of horsemanship. This vast, well rounded experience, plus having a tack shop since 1974, has given a lot of insight into the correct fitting of horse and rider.

The Western saddle was developed to aid the American cowboy. Almost every part was designed to help catch cows, or make a long ride comfortable, or to keep you in the seat when the going gets rough. This saddle had roots in the deep seated saddles of the Conquistadors. The English saddle was actually developed by the Germans as a lightweight solution for war horses that could move faster and jump higher than the enemy. This was an effective scare tactic used against the enemy footsoldiers and would out-maneuver the heavy armored knights.
The English saddles were first made for larger, wider backed horses that were bred for carrying the heavy armor of the knights. As the horses were bred for agility, their backs narrowed. So, different tree widths were developed to get better fitting. The Western saddles were first used on more narrow backed horses whose ancestors were brought to the Americas by Spanish Conquistadors. To make a long history lesson short, men have always made saddles for specific purposes to fit the horses they rode at the time.

Recent history: During the 1950’s and 60’s, horses were usually rather narrow backed and not tall, as compared with the horses of today. In Western markets, the favored horse was the Quarter Horse. This horse was developed for a short quarter mile race, but became a favorite for all occasions. The standard saddle of the day was one that was built on "quarter horse" bars. It fit most Quarter Horses of the day. The bars are the runners that follow the line of the horses’ back and whose angle is determined by the angle that is used on the pommel and cantle where the bars join those parts. Reference to quarter horse bars is actually referring to the angle of the bars on the tree. English saddle fans, this would be your narrow tree.
During the late 60’s and early 70’s, there was a movement to grow bigger horses. I think this was an American mentality at the time. Bigger cars, bigger planes, bigger horses, etc. Many breeds allowed appendix registries so that breeding could develop those larger horses. With these larger horses came wider backs and the need for the semi-quarter horse bars. Semi-quarter horse bars had less angle than the quarter horse bars and thus fit more of these larger, wider bred animals. The angle chosen was one that sort of split the difference between the QH bars and the wider angle that had been developed to fit Arabian horses. Today, semi-quarter horse bars will fit better than 80% of all Western horses. English saddle fans, this would be your medium tree. These QH bars and Semi-QH bars are available on different gullet widths. The most used standard is a gullet width of 6.5". Custom saddles can be made with other widths of gullet. The gullet width is the measurement across the width of the opening under the pommel. It is measured before the skirting and fleece is attached. If you are measuring your saddle, press hard into the fleece to get a more accurate measurement. Fleece will compact, but the leather of the skirting will not. If you are handy, you can detach, then raise or lower the skirt's attachment to the tree for some adjustment in gullet width. If you are not handy, take your saddle to an experienced saddler for adjustment. This is great to know if you just changed horses and if a small adjustment will let you continue to use your present saddle. English fans, you can have your saddles adjusted too. Often, the stuffing in the bottom of the saddle can be added to, or taken out, to adjust for your horse. With the English saddle, you can adjust the stuffing anywhere in the bottom. This allows you to "lift" the fit as needed, front or rear!

Over the past two years, in an effort to be more specialized, many production saddle makers are offering some saddles in the quarter horse bars’ angle on a 7" gullet width. This they call "full" quarter horse bars. It is designed to fit wide backed horses, those who tend to have a problem with saddles slipping sideways due to flat withers conditions or large bone structure. The saddle widens over the center back of the horse then has angles that hold the topsides. English saddle fans, this would fit the horse that needs your wide tree.
If, on the other hand, your horse has a high withers, you will not have problems with slipping sideways. Your problems will be rubbing on the top of the withers or poor fit on the sides of those high withers. Go to the quarter horse bars and request a high pommel clearance. This clearance is also called gullet height. English saddle fans, you have a distinct advantage with your English cutback pommel, open sky clearance!

The sad truth is that there is no true industry standards of measurements in tree widths or angles of English or Western saddlery. Often, in order to market to the masses, production saddlers will call the semi-quarter horse tree a "quarter horse" tree so you will better assume it will fit your Quarter Horse. Modern skirting techniques allow more general fitting than older styling. In today’s Western saddles, you simply assume that the saddle you order will fit 90% of horses. English saddles are often ordered by tree widths. The widths may be numbered, (1,2,3,4,5) or simply called narrow, medium and wide. This sizing varies by the maker and by the level of quality in the makers equipment and methodology.
Now that I have seemingly made everything sound hopelessly complicated, let me simplify in summation. Remember that the standard trees in most Western saddles will fit most horses. The medium tree width on English saddles will fit most horses with no problems. Most of this discussion is to help identify the problem fitting horses. Tell your dealer or saddle maker how your horses are built. Narrow backed and high withered, etc. Show pictures if you can. Discuss what saddles have or have not fit in the past. Has there been any injury that should be accounted for? What is the intended use of the saddle? With enough discussion, you will order a saddle that will fit your horse! Being an Internet source, and a location store, we suggest you call dealers with facts and questions. Be sure their sources use the same general theories that ours do, or have them explain the differences so that you can understand clearly. Saddles are not wise to order with a "BUY" button.

If you have enough budget, have a custom saddle built to fit each individual horse. Truth is that as your horsemanship needs get more intense and more specialized, you will need to consider this. If after discussion with the saddler, you still wonder about the fit, or if you have had problems fitting the horse in the past, follow these steps. Take a few tracings across the back of the horse at the top of the withers, and every 4" back from the first measurement, until you have the length of the back you will cover with the saddle tree. Do this by bending a wire across the back, then tracing the underside of the wire on paper that can be cut to slide under the saddle which you would like to ensure proper fitting. If your horse has an unusual top line, bend a wire to match it then trace on paper. Start from the mid withers. If the saddle is custom built, mail these papers to the necessary parties.
If you have a budget for one saddle that you need to fit yourself, but must use with all your horses, get a saddle built upon a medium tree, semi-quarter horse bars. Or if all your horses are wider backed draft breeds, or narrow backed gaited horses, buy accordingly. There are some wonderful pads made to adjust saddle fitting to an art.
If you have several varieties of bone structure with which to deal, use a cutback, built-up pad for the high narrow withered animals. Use a thin non-slip type of neoprene pad for those wider backed, flat-withered guys. There are also various wedge pads, pads with holes drilled for spine relief, contoured pads for the backs that seem to have more curvature, and gel pads that absorb the shock of hard work or a not quite fitting situation. Talk with your favorite tack dealer, Cultured Cowboy, about these needs in more detail.

Most all saddles are made with length of bars so that they fit almost all horses. Even when the seat sizes change, much of the change is done on top of the running bars. The cantle is moved forward or back on the bars, rather than elongating the bars to an uncomfortable position for the horse. Occasionally, you will have a short backed horse that is the exception to the rule. Semi-custom or custom bar lengths for trees can be made. We like to work closely with the tree maker and the saddle maker when this is the case. You do not want too much pressure on the kidneys. Or perhaps a round skirt will get the saddle off the flank area. Many Arab saddles are rounded for this reason.
Sometimes a "barrel racing type saddle will help fit a horse. They are usually made on the semi-quarter horse bars and are designed to fit a bit higher on the back of the horse. This is done to cut weight, but effectively makes fitting some horses easier. Most have a rather deep pocket and higher cantle designed for staying in the saddle on fast take-off. This tends to be very supportive to the lower back of the rider.
One of the features of the "treeless" or flex tree type saddles is that as you tighten the girth, it conforms to the back of the horse. Circle Y pioneered this saddle and Tex Tan also has a great version. Big Horn has just finalized their version. Moderate in price and toward the lighter weight of saddles, these units often fit when nothing else seems to be able. This flex tree is great for pleasure riding. However, if you need the rigors of ranch roping or wild cow catching, do not tie a rope to these things. They are durable, but not made for heavy pulling work. Go back to a regular ranch or roping saddle and use "too much" padding for the comfort of your horse.

What are some of the tell-tale signs of an ill fitting saddle? First, look for any places where the hair seems to be rubbing off. Hopefully you will catch the problem before there is a raw spot. If you find a horse with white patches on the area of the back, it usually had a problem with saddle equipment fitting in the past. Many pads are designed to allow air flow through them. If you are using one of these pads, look for areas of the horse's back that are wetter than others. Check to see if there is a tighter fit in this area than on the rest of the saddle fitting area. Other pads, such as wool pads, work to cool the back by wicking moisture. If there is a dry area, keep a close watch for problems. Especially watch for lines of sweat or dryness that tend to indicate the saddle is resting on either the top line of the bars without resting on the entire bars, or if the saddle is resting on the bottom line and not touching the top line. Saddles are designed for the entire bar width to rest in alignment, properly and fully along the line of the horse's back. If the saddle constantly slips sideways, use a three way breast collar with a neoprene girth and neoprene pad. If this does not stop the slipping, you probably need another tree type. If the withers area looks rubbed, use a cutback pad. If your saddle gusset is still sitting on the withers with no clearance, you need a different saddle. If your saddle seems to fit the alignment of the horse's back, but slips forward or back, check the tightness of the girth often. Change to a wider girth, and/or neoprene girth and pad to stop the slippage and a breast collar and/or crouper may be in order. If these tools do not stop the movement, you may need a different saddle.
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I am waiting to hear back from Billy Cook about the bars in my saddle. I know that the gullet is not that wide in my saddle but the bars are pressing into him like crazy so I don't know what to think. I am not sure what Bars are in my saddle but we will be finding out hopefully today.

I found a nice Aussie type saddle on Craigslist. I am going to call the man about it today.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We got the Ryon in!


The Ryon saddle arrived! It is a beautiful, well kept saddle and looks terrific. Ronnie looked at it and thought it was kept in a house and rode in very little. Barry rode Sarge in his new fancy smancy saddle and Barry said it was very comfortable.

Barry and I rode Sunday in the arenas. I rode in Barry's saddle which is different than mine but it is the only choice I have. It fits Red better but I am not convinced it is the right one for Red. I did notice he didn't stumble! We loped in the arena and Barry rode him so I could see the speed Red was going at a lope. His stride is so long it feels like he is going really fast when he isn't!

While Barry was riding Red I was holding Sarge. He is such a love bug. He kept creeping closer to me so he could smell my hair or just touch my shoulder. I turned around and rubbed his forehead and between his ears. He kept leaning into me...he is such a sweetheart. Just a darling boy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my horses!! I went out to the barn awhile ago to hug their necks and say I love you to them. They each got their grain from me along with big pads of Tifton and Alfalfa. I am thankful that Barry, Pat, Morgan and Mom are ok....I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to get Red and Sarge. I am thankful for all of my blessings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will I get a new saddle?

I didn't hear from Billy Cook today so hopefully I will Monday or Tuesday. I'd like to have my saddle back so I can go riding next Sunday after I do the wedding I have. I will be really busy this week so I doubt I'd have time to ride. I have a wedding this Saturday, Barry's birthday is Monday and we are supposed to have the kids over Sunday to celebrate. I have a small wedding Tuesday and then it is Thanksgiving and I have a huge wedding on Saturday. So I will be ready to ride!

If he calls me Monday and says it is fine I will order me a new saddle. They should be able to get it here by Wednesday or Friday.

Will I get a new saddle?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Boy is a Race Horse!!!!!!!!!!!

I watched Red's racing tapes today - woo hoo...that was fun. My boy was thisclose to being a super race horse.

Barry and I went to the barn and gave the horses alfalfa and Tifton hay. Red loves his alfalfa. He is looking good but I'd like to see 100 + pounds on him. Working on it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My saddle returned to Billy Cook

I returned my saddle to Billy Cook. It shipped out Monday and I called Billy Cook to let them know that it would arrive today. I asked when I could expect some feedback and he said late this week or first of next week. I thanked him for his time.

Don't know what is going to happen with the saddle but I am making plans to purchase another saddle - it will be an Aussie Saddle. I called Down Under Saddles and discussed what would be best for Red. She made several suggestions and so if they tell me the saddle is just fine and just doesn't fit Red, I am going to purchase the new saddle immmediately so I can go ride!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Red is now a paint horse



Red has some UGLY marks on his back. I feel like a total heel that my boy has marks on him.

We bought a Ryon Saddle on EBay

We bid on a Ryon saddle on ebay and we won. I am looking forward to receiving it. Barry wanted a second saddle to use and this one is a good looking saddle. Pictures to come.

Calling Billy Cook

I called Billy Cook to confirm the serial numbers in my saddles and the trees in them. I spoke to Jody, the manager I believe. I told him about Red's issues and about the marks on his back. He asked me what kind of pad I used and I told him SMX. I said that Red's saddle was much smaller than Sarge's but they are supposed to have the same tree.

He said "send it to me with pictures of your horses marks". He said he is going to tear my saddle down and check it out. I cleaned my saddle today and packed it up and shipped it to Billy Cook. Cost was $39 but I think it is worth the $ and effort. Before I haul and buy another saddle I want to make sure that I get the right thing!

The saddle will arrive in Oklahoma Wednesday...I will call Billy Cook and let them know it is coming.

The Boys go to the Beach







Barry and I took the boys down to the beach Saturday to ride with the Rockin'R Riders. We got out to the pasture and my little 4 legged darlings didn't want to be caught. LOL took awhile to get gone! We finally got loaded up and down the road. We arrived at the beach and tacked up. I put the Skito pad on and then the SMX pad and then the black felt pad.

The boys were pretty excited. Red was dancing sideways and that always makes me a little anxious. It was one year ago Saturday that I got hurt so bad on a horse. I am grateful to be alive, literally, and grateful that I have a wonderful horse but I never forget that Red was a race horse! We circled quiet a few times! I told Barry I was a little anxious so I followed behind Sarge and Red finally settled down. He just gets a little excited. Kelly, Denise, Kent, Kenny, Pam, Susan and others were on the ride and we had a good time. The beach is just a blank now which is almost surreal.

I think every shell and rock between Cuba and Texas was on that beach...so many shells it looks like a driveway instead of the beach. I thought Red would be a little ouchie but he was ok. I tried to get him in the water and he was looking at it funny. Later he walked in it behind Sarge.

We did get to gallop down the beach - I was riding with Pam. Red did very well when I told him "Easy - Easy - Easy" and he slowed down. Red and Sarge seemed to have a great time. Sarge was so excited he was dancing to beat the band and he was the only horse really sweating....he is so funny.

We ate lunch on the beach and visited with some of the riders. I told Kelly and Susan I wanted to ride in Tennessee next year and they said they'd like to go. I am going to get information and show it to them and perhaps next year we can go on a horse vacation...a dream come true for me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Red thinks he's a Grand National Contestant and Killer Geese

I went riding with Kelly and Susan. I hauled Red out to Kelly's following Susan as I didn't know where I was going! We rode down the canal and Red was behaving like a doll. We trotted some but mostly walked along.

We got to the end of the canal and doubled back. We crossed down by a deep ditch and crossed a ditch and crossed the road. We went on down and then to a dirt road that went behind a bunch of houses.

We came upon a house with a huge backyard that was fenced. A big ole pond had some geese next to some cattails and a grey plastic storage unit by the corner of the fence. Red stopped in his tracks at the sound of the geese. I really had to urge him on and he was almost side stepping and keeping his eyes open for KILLER GEESE. We went down further and then had to turn around. Red had his eyes on those geese and was almost side passing. He is so funny.

We went though an area that was wet and the giant mosquitoes nearly toted us away. We were trotting through there fast and nearly took flight! We came to the ditch that he'd walked through earlier and he was trying to decide which way to go when Kelly's horse jumped it and I knew that Red would jump it too. Woo HOOOO he bunched up that hinney and LEAPED across the ditch. It was probably about 5 feet or so and when he landed he kinda stumbled and caught himself up and hit a gallop. I nearly was unseated but was held my seat. I slowed him down...woo hooo it was fun.

We stopped and visited with Kenny and his wife. Red stood there so quietly that Kenny said "he is so quiet!" I said he generally is unless you take him to a race!

I couldn't get the trailer backed up so Kenny came and backed it out for me.

When I first took Red out of the trailer he cripped up on his back right foot - holding it up and shaking it. He is such a cary grant boy. I got my hoof pick out and checked it...it was fine. He was fine on grass. He is just a little tender after his trimming.

He is such a sweetheart.

I need a flat space for my trailer - seeing RED and I don't mean my horse

Ok...good thing my husband was at work...I think I could have drop kicked him for a field goal this morning. I go out to hook up my Brenderup. It is in a place that is high and my car is low. I can't get it on the ball so I did like I have done before and pulled forward and it grabbed the ball. I slowly inched forward and it pulled but never fell and locked onto the ball. Tried to inch it out of the yard...it fell off the ball on the concrete pad going to the street. I saw it moving backwards and almost had a COW. I almost busted a gut. I had already called Barry to tell him my difficulty because of the uneven yard. He said we'd figure out something but he was NOT putting in a pad or anything like that. Ok....I am now seeing everything in a glowing RED haze.

If it was difficult for him to hook up his truck he'd pour a slab, level the ground, whatever it took...like he did when he built a patio and ramp for his Harley House. I had begged for and been promised a patio for years...but he couldn't get his Harley into his shop without the patio/ramp. I am seeing RED.

My darling Tater was home and is very strong as he lifts weights. The tongue weight of a Brenderup is not like an American trailer and he was able to lift it so I could put the wheel up. It was going in the wrong direction though, Dev shifted it to the wrong side bless his heart. We managed to get it right though.

I want a level place on some flat pavers so I DON'T have this problem again. This is the second time this has happened to me and it is so frustrating and it shouldn't be.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I ride Sarge and he gets a hair cut!

I want to learn to ride Sarge so we went out to the stables and saddled him up. I got on him but was apprehensive. We went around the arena and then Sadda and Charlie started hauling hinny and he got a little excited. I told Barry to grab him.

I got off. Barry rode Sarge in the big arena and the small arena. I was surprised that he felt smaller than Red! Red has a much bigger girth than Sarge yet Sarge looks like a little fat sausage. I am not apprehensive anymore about riding Red. I can control him the majority of the time and make him listen to me. He is not perfect but pretty close to it. I bought the right horse for me.

I want to work on his lope in the arena. I wish it wasn't by the highway! I will work in the smaller arena with him. I want him to go into a lope without going into a gallop. I know that is just work.

I got back on Sarge from the ground!! Woo Hoo I can get on him!!! Can't get on Red and don't know if I will ever be able to get on Red but I will work on it!! We rode round and round and I will ride him again til I feel comfortable riding him.

The Boy's get a manicure!!!

David came out and shod Red and trimmed Sarge. He is the only one (other than Jason) that has been able to keep shoes on Red. He is a very nice young fellow. We set an appointment for December 16 to have Red's shoes done again. I'd like to take Red barefoot but will wait til February to pull his shoes - after the endurance ride I want to try on January 2.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Map of Ebenezer Park


Raymond gave me a map of Ebenezer when we went on the Buna trail ride. I washed it in my pants! He gave me another yesterday, bless his heart. I made several copies and scanned it so I would always have it!!!

The Waterfall at Ebenezer Park




Ray took us to the waterfall at Ebenezer. It was beautiful....so serene. We came down a hill and then the waterfall was right there...falling about 4 or 5 feet. Barry took these pictures for me....

Horse Racing, Camping, Saddles are a pain, found a cousin!






Barry and I left for our camping trip Friday afternoon. I received the Skito pad and off we went. We decided to stay at Archie's since it was so wet - that way when we set up the tent it would be dry.

We stopped at Archie's and turned the boys out into knee deep Tifton - I didn't see it but Barry said they started running down the fence with the other two horses in the next pasture.

We got up early and loaded up the boys - they were not too thrilled with leaving such a lush pasture! The day dawned gorgeous after all of that rain. We got up to Ebenezer and pulled into our spot. We unloaded the boys and talked to Randy and Kelly and a few others from the last ride. We finally saddled up and my saddle looked like it was setting down even further now that I had Red's back leveled with the Skito. A young lady there that knew about saddle fitting said it didn't fit right. Red was already switching that tail and shaking his head.

I got off and resaddled with a different pad...still no good. I told Barry to go on and go riding and I was going to haul to Margaret's and get another saddle...Red was not to happy to miss out on a trail ride. I called Margaret but she was going shopping for a costume for Dawson but said Ronnie would help me. Bless his heart...he got a pad he thought would fit better - he didn't like my pads. He put a wool fleece pad and a heavy layered pad on Red and a 40 year old Ryon saddle! He checked my saddle to make sure that the tree wasn't broke and he said it wasn't and was in good shape. He put my cinch on, he liked my cinch he said and the back cinch too. We put on my stirrups and off I went. Thank God for Margaret and Ronnie!

I got Red back and tied him up and about 10 minutes later in came the trail ride. Sarge was calling to Red and Red was about to pop a cork he was so excited.

Barry had a good time. I made us some sandwiches and later we put up the tent. We finally saddled up and off the Rockin' R Riders went. We went through the left side of the trails as they had been to the lake that morning. We went through a deep gully almost up to Red's stomach. He and Sarge just plowed through with no problems. We rode over down and around and later heard a gun shot so we turn around and went back!!

I was talking to a lady Terri and she said she lived in Winnie. I said my cousin Bruce H. lives in Winnie. Kelly turned around and said "Bruce H? He is my cousin - we must be related!" I said "You must be related to Aunt JoBeth?" She said no...to his father! I nearly fell off of Red. I said "What is your maiden name" and she said T!bbits! I said "OMG you are Ansley's daughter!" What a hoot. Kelly is my second cousin. I don't know who was more surprised - me or Kelly. I told her Archie was the one who helped me find Red. We jabbered about family and were shaking our heads of that!

We got back to the trail head and some of us decided to go down the road. While some were using the rest rooms I trotted Red up and down as he really was ready to go. We went down the road leading into the park and we trotted quiet a ways. We turned down by the Spillway and started down and it is a straight, mowed area and they all decided to gallop. I was NOT in my own saddle and this one had less pommel than mine and the cantle was pitched back...not a race day for me.

Red was not a happy camper. He was going side ways and NOT listening to me. He lunged forward with his big giant back end and huge motor running high RPM's. Uuuuggghhh no... He reared up and I was making him go in circles and he was just impossible to control. I yelled at Barry and he came back and I got OFF. I am a sissy. I know. I am a sissy. But I say if you can't control...get off and get the situation under control. I guess it is alot to ask of a race horse to take him to a race and say "no...just walk". If I had been in my saddle I could have loped him but not in a saddle I was pitching around in. Barry got on him but the stirrups were too short. He offered to let me ride Sarge but I am not used to riding Sarge but that is on our agenda.

Red calmed down quickly. I was not to happy with him. He should listen NO MATTER WHAT. But, he is still a horse!

I talked to Margaret finally...it is hard to get a signal up there. Sigh...anywhoo, she is coming up in the morning. I talked to Ray and he and Bruce and Raymond are coming tomorrow to ride too.

Barry and I ate our gumbo and it was ok. We visited with the trail riders at Kelly and Randy's camp fire and later ambled off to get showered. I slipped in the shower and banged my wrist. duuuhhhhh.

We were more than warm in our sleeping bag and my flannel pj's. Too warm sometimes. The horses across the way kept making racket all night - fighting, screaming, kicking the pens. Once I thought it was ours and I nearly killed myself and Barry scrambling over him. I told him to put the tent the other way so I could see the horses out one of the screen windows...he didn't.

Next morning we got up and ate breakfast. I made Barry tea and he had his Famous Amos cookies. Ugh...not a good breakfast. I had my General Foods International coffee and made a cheese sandwich out of my Thins sandwich bread that is so good and two kinds of cheeses (Weight Watcher Pepper Jack) and toasted it on my electric skillet.

Margaret and then Ray, Raymond and Bruce arrived. Margaret and I tacked up Red in my saddle but her pads. She thought it fit just fine - just need different pads. Ok....going to give that a roll instead of buying a new saddle.

Off we went - we went on different trails than I had with Ray before. We did go to the pond - the Rockin' R had called it the Beaver Dam...Ray said "it's the pond". We sent to the right of there over down and around....crossed roads, etc. We went down some steep stuff and up again to see the water fall. How cool is that. Kept going down gorgeous paths and up hills, past a little old cemetery...think it was for pets too. Up tall hills.

Butterbean stepped on a stob or something and was going lame so we had to walk slower...I still trotted and loped Red some but would circle back and walk with Butterbean and Margaret. We went through some water several times that had to have felt good to Butterbean. We rode for about 3 1/2 hours...it was fabulous. Red was rearing to go but I kept circling him to make him slow down.

I have to remind myself that Red has really only trail rode since May and he is a former race horse...not a western pleasure horse. He does well...just don't take him to the races and expect him not to want to race!

Ray, Bruce and Raymond pulled out. Raymond gave me another map to Ebenezer...bless his heart...I try not to wash this one!

We made sandwiches and bees were EVERYWHERE. Margaret and I killed a bunch of bees and I was stung in the back of my arm. GAAAAA. Margaret pulled out and Barry and I started breaking down the tent. Kelly and Randy pulled out and she should "bye cousin!" and I yelled "bye cousin"!

We hauled home and were unloading and Barry popped the snot out of Red. He said Red nipped him. I got Red in the paddock and was pouring his feed and he was about to pop a cork to get to it. I stopped him and made him back up fast and far and did that again. He sometimes is a little pushy about food. Can't have that...it is bad manners.

I got out on line and looked for the pads Margaret has...no show on the name. Found some that I think might work...forwarded them to Margaret to get their opinion.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Calories used in Horse Back Riding

I checked out the calories burned in horse back riding. Woo Hooo!!!! It is considerable

If I groom my horses for one hour and then ride them at a walk for 2, trotting one hour and galloping 10 minutes the calories expended are:

grooming: 634
walking: 535
trotting: 690
galloping: 143

total: 2002

No wonder I get wore out grooming Red!

Wooooo Hooo!!!!!! That is fabulous! I have lost 7 and a half pounds going to Weight Watchers. I have been eating very healthy food....lean meats, salads, berries out the wazootie....watching what I eat so that I can run endurance races next year with Red. It is a goal...don't know if I have a cajones for it but I am going to try!!!

I need to lose tons of weight off of my butt so Red can cart me around easier!!

Get a new saddle - don't get a new saddle

OMG my mind has gone round and round this week. I think I have looked at more saddles and saddle companies than you can shake a stick at. I have talked to Southern Trails saddles - they are such nice people - about customizing a saddle for Red. I have sent pictures to them and talked to the people at Steele.

Lee Anne B and I put her Steele saddle on Red....gracious! Is it ever comfortable. I talked to Steele and they were very nice. I truly considered getting a new saddle - but I don't have money sticking out the wazootie. I asked on the forums and got some really good information about pads, saddles, etc. I looked at Skito shim pads and discussed Red's hollows with them. They suggested a back bridge shim so I ordered one and had it over nighted to me. I am waiting on it right now. I have tracked it from Idaho!

http://www.skito.net/prod03.htm

I am hoping to keep my saddle so we shall see if this works. They were very helpful and the reviews on this product were wonderful.

I am packing for our camping trip. Woo Hoo...watching the weather - it has been raining and blowing but it is pretty much over and it is sandy up in Jasper so it should be ok. I got out blankets and have changed my mind on blankets! I am getting sleeping bags and taking back the sheets. I took back the lantern - the tent LED lights are brighter and WAY WAY WAY cheaper than D cell batteries!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Riding in Evadale - Did Red throw a buck?


Susan H. called me Saturday evening about going riding. I called Ray and we made a plan to ride at his hunt club. I called Lee Ann B. and she joined in on the fun.

Susan and Lee Ann met us at the barn and we cleaned up and loaded up the boys. We hauled over to Evadale and met with Ray, Raymond and a nice lady named Gail (who is the mom of the lady Stacy that I rode with a few weeks ago).

We saddled up and I discussed with Ray and Raymond about Red's issue with the saddle. I had a new gel pad I bought in Houston. Red's tail was swishing to beat the band. We went down the dirt roads, trotting quiet a bit. Lee Ann's horse was trotting along and I got to see some of his fancy Tennessee Walker walking! Raymond was riding a Tennessee Walker too.

Red was very forward but swishing away and OMG he shook head to tail and toe about 10 times today. He nearly threw me off doing that.

Barry, Ray, and Gail were ahead of me and I let Red gallop (he really takes off) and was slowing him some and I felt him slip in the back end and then buck up or kick up. I shrieked "RED!!!" Whoa! LOL I know I sounded like an idiot.

I trotted him out later and a good clip and he was still shaking me like a blender. I know there is something up with this saddle and it has to go. When we got back to the trailers Ray called a friend that wanted to sell a Tucker and the gentleman brought it to me to try. It is dirty but not tore up. I cleaned it later and it is ok.

I am now in the market for a saddle. I called Margaret because I was so caught off guard that Red would even buck up kickup or whatever. That is not in my boy's nature.

I have looked at a bazillion saddles. I like the Australian saddles. They are nice looking. Next weekend I am going to try out the Tucker, try Lee Anne's Steele and use of on Margaret's saddles. I spoke to Archie today and he said that Millard had an Australian saddle that perhaps I could test. Sigh.....I just want my boy comfortable.

I called David the farrier and he is going to shoe Red Friday. I really want to take Red to barefoot. Perhaps David can just put new nails in Red's shoes? I'd like as much sole to grow as possible.

We are going on our camping trip with the boys this weekend at Ebenezer! I can't wait. I am going to make a chicken/sausage gumbo for Saturday night's meal. Sandwiches for the rest of the time. I can't wait!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pictures from our ride at Ebenezer



There is Barry and me in the middle of the picture coming down the trail. It was so much fun!!!



Enjoying the day in the woods. Gorgeous!




Going carefully through the woods - stepping over downed trees, going through little creeks and little streams.



This is the only place where Red refused to go. He wouldn't step over this log. I asked 4 times - he refused. I later went back with Margaret. He still refused. Next time Margaret will ride him over this...she is braver than me!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I think I will have to get a new saddle







I think Red will have to have a new saddle. This one is not working for him. I am going to ride him with two pads until I can find a new saddle. I took these pictures of him in the saddle without the pad.

I am trying to upload pictures but due to an internal error they are not uploading. Ok...they are now uploading.

I am checking out different saddles on line and talking to different people about fitting saddles, etc. I am going to try the two pads and order a special "shem" pad. I checked out our pads today and they seem a little compressed and they are expensive pads. Hummmmmmmmmm

We went riding today out at Tyrrell Park with Lee Anne B. and Rouge. Thank God she brought her step stool. I am going to get one and leave it in the trailer. We mounted and off we went. Red was stepping high and wanting to GO. We met up with Susie and Alice. We rode with Susie at Ebenezer a few weeks ago. We went through Cattail Marsh. OMGosh the bugs were horrendous. I sprayed Red really good and sprayed my arms, neck, and my clothes. Red shook himself 4 times while we were riding and darn near unseated me. Good grief that is a hoot.

I did lope Red down the side of the canal - I don't think I like riding at Tyrrell. The grass was high and I can't see where Red is putting his feet. I don't like that at all. I guess I am still a sissy.

We went over the big bridge - Sarge led. He did a good job but spooked once and Red startled because he startled but it was nothing. Red stopped and looked at the cracks - he is cautious but not spooky.

We got over the bridge and the pipe there rushes with water. Sarge gave that a REALLY wide berth and Barry turned him to look at it and Sarge wasn't too excited about getting close to that!!!

We rode down farther and turned around to go across a little "bridge" over the canal. I was approaching it and Susan came up at a gallop behind me and Red actually raised up his front quarters and struck out with his front right hoof! Wow. That surprised me that Cary Grant would do that! I reprimanded him and we went on. We rode around the curve to another curve and Barry, Lee Ann and I decided to turn back as we didn't want to get way over there for a really long ride and the mosquitoes get worse!

I led the way over the bridge and I was so proud of myself. I am still scared of being in high places. We went on down the canal and saw a little alligator in the water. Red really wanted to go and go fast and I had to stop him. We worked on the "you don't go just because Sarge or anyone else goes off". I had to stop him, make him back up and turn around at quarter turns. It helps Red to focus on what I want instead of what Red wants.

We walked back on the top of the levee - rocky as all get out and Red gimped some but not bad. He does have shoes on the front. Margaret called as I was heading for the truck and we chatted some.

Hauled the boys home and I fed them and gave them hay. Unloaded the trailer and went to Subway! Margaret and I later talked and skyped for the first time. That is a hoot!