Saturday, March 14, 2015


I haven't been on the computer much lately...but thankfully, I have been on my horse! Lol, not as much as I usually am in the winter because we have had a bit of a cold on here in Ontario. (Coldest in 114 years!) I love winter riding, so I am very happy that the last few weeks have been better for it.

I got some nice pictures of Linus one day while he was running....after I encouraged him to! Linus is a horse that when he sees you coming with the saddle, meets you at the gate with his head over it. He loves getting out. We've been through a lot of saddles! He is a very hard to fit horse and on this particular day, he turned and walked away as I was about to put the saddle on. He came up as usual and I put his hack and blanket on. I had kind of suspected the saddle was a bit too tight in the gullet, I noticed afterwards that the tree sharply narrows whereas Linus doesn't! Luckily, I was able to rehome the saddle easily enough. I have another one that fits him, but bothers my hip! Of course!

So, I went back to square one and started doing some more research...and then some more.

In the meantime, we did a lot of bareback riding! Well, I do use a bareback pad. Linus and I both hate the feeling of butt bones!

Being without a saddle for a couple of weeks did wonders for my own confidence and seat! I do ride bareback a lot as it is but I really pushed out of my comfort zone and not only rode further up the road than I had before but even did a trail ride! 

These pictures above and below were taken on my bareback trail ride! I didn't intend to go as far as I did that day but Linus felt so good and the weather was so perfect, why the heck not! I kept thinking of a quote I had seen on a horse picture "What if I fall? Oh darling, but what if you fly?" and fly we did!! We cantered and galloped!!! It was AWESOME!!

I think he is part beaver too:

He is Canadian after all...hahahaa, The backhoe had scraped this tree. Linus is a very mouthy boy and had a blast peeling the bark right down to the snow.

Such a beautiful place to ride!

Then we had trim day. I snapped some headshots while waiting for my barefoot trimmer.

Still hard to believe sometimes he is all grown up!

Just after we started his trim, a visitor arrived:

And Linus had puffed himself up so much, the one fella thought he was a stud!

We got back to work and Sarah asked Linus to hold the cushy handled rasp while she took some pictures of his hooves.

Long story short, we have been rehabbing his hooves since last January. Some bad trims and an error in feeding (he was getting too much sugars/starches when unbeknownst to me, my Dad was feeding when I thought he wasn't) So, we got the feed straighened out, I pulled all the horses off of sweet feed and now they get a supplement of vitamins and minerals and Linus also was on magnesium to help strengthen the new growth. What a wonder that worked! We were also changing the angle and correcting some toe cracks. The cracks thankfully were superficial and not causing him any discomfort. They appeared days after his last farrier trimmed....unbalanced : ( 

Sarah has been the trimmer here for over a year now and his hooves are looking brilliant! She says now he's got "that Curly hoof" again. His frogs have doubled in size and I think another 2 trims will see all remnants of crack GONE!! hip, hip hooray! She is a wonderful trimmer. Loves the horses, very knowledgeable and takes her time.

So, in the meantime. The fruits of my earlier mentioned research had been picked out, paid for and was on its way to me. I finally decided with all the saddle trouble ( I was getting so discouraged) to go treeless. I got the last one in stock from Rocky Creek Hill in British Columbia. What I liked about them over most other treeless saddles is the removable and 2 sets of different sized padding that came with the saddle. These pads coming on the saddle eliminate the need for the high priced special saddle pads that typically accompany treeless saddles. 

I was a bit apprehensive. Mostly worried that it wouldn't fit right or I would hate it etc etc. But, I was very pleasantly surprised by the fit and feel. I used the thicker pads today and have already changed to the thinner ones to try tomorrow. I think given his shape, the thinner ones will probably feel better for him but I got no negative feedback from him today. He is a picky boy with tack fit so I would have had tail swishing, ear pinning, skin twitching etc if something wasn't right. 
And guess what?? We trotted and cantered on the road!!! What an incredible feeling to have the hooves and the saddle all working right! It all clicked and I was super, duper happy! The extension I was getting out of Linus was incredible! I have never felt him move the way he did today. The trail versions from this company had overlay type seats and zippers, which I did not like the idea of either. This model is from the barrel line, which they also recommend for trail riders too. It is a lot more structured, but definitely has a higher pommel than I am used to!! If that is the biggest adjustment for me though, I can definitely deal with it! 
Happy trails RACers!

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