Wednesday 17 January 2018

And Three Steps Backwards

Le sigh. I got my hopes up that my few clicker sessions had cured Cisco of his terror in the scary end of the arena. Stupid me.

Tuesday started well. I found my chaps, and the missing black Micklem bridle and black rubber lined reins that I couldn't figure out where I had placed. I still don't know where my balaclava-helmet cover thingee is - the bin that I thought had the helmet cover is where I found a bunch of leather strapwork that I totally don't remember putting in that bin.
It wasn't quite this full when I first opened it, but I found more to add to it while looking for a couple of other things.
I arrived at the barn and made sure my chaps sort of fit and went out to catch Cisco. I walked out of the barn and saw all of the horses in his field running around like idiots. No idea why. So I waited until they had calmed down before going through the gate to catch him.
The tail end of the lunacy outside. I wonder who the instigator was...

When I brought him in he was still a bit up, and spooking at everything on his way in. I tacked him up in a surcingle, bridle and cavesson, as the plan was to lunge then long line to remind him that he knows how to steer.

The hamsters in his brain were still spinning on their wheel on the walk over to the arena. There was someone else riding when we entered, and she was riding at the scary end. I took Cisco down there to twirl him for a few minutes and he was totally opposite from the day before. Spooky, bolty, head up, wanting to get the f out of there. And that was with another horse riding around him. Ugh.

We stayed down there lunging for a bit until it got a bit better. I think part of the problem was that it was a bit windy outside, and there were a few creaky noises coming from some vents. That and being up from running around outside.

The other person left just as I was getting ready to long line. He was a bit of a twit while I was getting him set up, but surprisingly good once we got going. He steered really well, he mostly stopped when I wanted, he was a bit mouthy with the bit but wasn't rooting down. It went better than I hoped (and expected).

That was it for him. He got swapped out for the feminine grey model.

Phantom is a little, um, Rubenesque. Her normal girth is a very stretchy Le Tixerant girth that she is quite happy with. Because it is so stretchy, I usually can only get it on the bottom couple of holes when I put the saddle on, and then tighten it to about the 5th hole on each side. Today, I put it on the bottom hole on the right, and tried to pull it up on the left. Wasn't going to happen.

So I grabbed the Pro-Lite girth I picked up for Cisco to go with the new, still-to-come short flap saddle (hopefully arriving within the next week or so). It fit, probably a size bigger than ideal, but it would work.
I wasn't sure she would like it, but no complaints.

The bad thing about this girth is that there is no elastic. And since I'm so short, I have a really hard time tightening a dressage girth while I'm in the saddle (I'm a pro with a long girth). So through most of my ride I kept slipping to the right. Oops.
Time to do something with that mane.

But overall Phantom was pretty good through the ride. I'm starting her back lightly, using a interval training type of program. I have a running watch that I have downloaded a couple of workouts to so it's nice and easy.
The temperature in the arena was just under 0.

I was dressed okay for my ride - long johns, winter fleece breeches, chaps, a long sleeve merino base layer shirt, a fleece hoody, my helmet with the ear warmers in, and a neck warmer that I could pull up around my jawline. I was comfortable through the ride, but cold afterwards.


  1. ugh i hate tightening dressage girths from the saddle, tho i recently bought a much longer girth for the new saddle that has shorter billets, and it makes a world of difference (esp when i'm leaning precariously off to one side when my might steed decides to march off somewhere or another.... lol)

  2. It's not always easy to tighten a dressage girth from the saddle but it gets better with practice.

    1. Being super short makes it extra difficult. The buckles are below my feet - I'm not flexible enough to bend that far over and nor fall on my head!