Monday, July 18, 2011

Got 'er done

Well, I went and rode. I was in a complete tizzy about it all day, and I finally just settled on a plan and did it without thinking too hard about it. I hauled Dixie 9 miles up the road to the end of Antelope Valley - it's a little different from our usual trails, and there's a couple miles of mostly flat packed sand roads. We did 4.8 miles in 53 minutes.

It's been a while since I really rode Dixie, so it was a good chance for me to notice what a good horse she is. Her "I don't wanna you can't make me" dead slow dog walk is 4 mph. Her super easy smooth jog, the one that's almost easier to sit than to post, is 8 mph. She gaited a bit for me but I didn't try to get her to stay in it. She's pretty bored with the trails right around the house and she's awfully barn sour if I ride her away from home, which is why I wanted to trailer out - but out in a new place she was alert but not spooky. I rode the whole hour on a loose rein.

We rode up a road about half a mile to a T, turned right and rode another mile to a cattle guard, turned back to the T intersection and kept going up the road for another mile, then turned around for the trailer. I really thought the poor horse was lost again (bless her heart) because she wasn't at all excited to turn back for the trailer. But she didn't perk up at all when she saw the trailer, and in fact she tried to duck onto a side road when we were just a few hundred feet from the trailer. I really think she wanted to keep going. How cool is that?

I brought the butterball, aka Cersei, with me. Poor Cers, I didn't ride with her much this spring and then this summer Dixie's been out of work so this was her first ride in months. You have never seen a dog so excited to fling herself into heat exhaustion. I should've brought some water for her, but I honestly didn't think she'd need it on such a short ride. Bless your heart, fat dog! She's sacked out on her couch now.

I kinda haven't mentioned our weather because I don't want anyone living east of me to hunt me down and kill me, but... I went in the hottest part of the day and it was a scorching 85 degrees with a soggy 29% humidity. When we got back, I hosed Cers down, then Dixie, then Cers again. I have decided that Dixie needs her face sprayed more. It's just not that unpleasant on a hot summer day. She makes horrible faces and flings her giraffe head up in the air, but when I quit rinsing her face and point the hose at her lips, she does the flappy lip thing. :)

Endurance stuff:

Yall, I need a new pad. The stupid woolback bunches up under the saddle when I ride hills. It's completely unacceptable. I've had a couple of recommendations for Haf Pads so I'm thinking about one of them. Here's my criteria:

Dixie has skin like an elephant and thick hair.
She's round with medium withers.
Saddle is western-type so it's got fleece underneath.
Saddle fits fine with minimal padding - the Woolback is maybe 3/4" or 1" thick.

Any suggestions?


  1. Hooray, you rode! Now, let the slow, steady, re-conditioning begin...but most of all, hooray for your very good horse.

    I've gotten excellent wear from my Skito pad, amd recommend those. I removed the foam insert, don't need it with the Specialized saddle. I have a a woolback; the dog sleeps on it.

  2. Yeah for good rides your horse doesn't want to end!

    As far as pads go --- um... can't help I'm afraid. Dressage pads don't go with Western type saddles.

  3. Well bless your 85 degree heart!! LOL! 85 seems like a dream! Where is that blizzard when need it!

    I am thinking Dixie didn't want to stop at 1 hour. Sounds like she has healed just fine. Isn't it good to come back to riding your own horse and really, really appreciate them? (Bless her heart! :)

  4. (Bless her heart)...I LOVE that soooo much. LMAO!

    I wished Moon could get 'lost' like that. He is soooo annoying if I don't trailer out and even then, I swear he has a GPS on where the trailer is.

    Red Dog was absolutely beside himself this evening because I rode at home. He has become very depressed because he sees horses always being loaded in the white trailer and he knows that means he cannot go.

    Now the gray trailer...that's another matter. I think he would throw himself under the wheel if I tried to leave the yard without him pulling that one. LOL

    You just have to admire their dedication don't you. ;-)

  5. Have you looked at The Full Monty Cavallo western saddle pads?

    Google it, and have a look, I got one as a last resort, all my other pads were too thick.
    Now, my saddle fits like a dream and does not slip, and the pad stays where its supposed too!

    But not just that, my horse has become more responsive, more settled, and relaxed, which tells me the old pad wasnt doing its job. Plus this new pad is thin, thin thin!

  6. Glad you are back on Dixie again. Really good to hear. :)

  7. I am going to hunt you down, kill you, and steal Dixie's mane. *grumble*

    Glad to hear that you're back in the saddle and have a very willing horse. Go Dixie!

    And, yep, can't help you at all with saddle pads. Good luck!

  8. 85 degrees?!? Where?!?! Watch out, I'm coming and bringing my whole herd. :)

    Glad you had such a great ride. Her easy moving trot is 8mph? Holy cow!

    As for pads, do you want something with wicking properties for your extreme heat (sarcasm, lol)?

  9. I can hate your twenty something percent humidity from afar where it is hotter and stickier than bloody hell!

    Yay! Dixie is back in the groove.

  10. 4 MPH slow walk?! I'm so envious.... Rose and I have to book it through the forest to even hit a nice 6-7 MPH. Course now that I've ridden a gaited horse I understand and totally have lustful dreams of owning one some day but still...

    As far as pads I have a Skito that I'm in love with. A bit bulky but Rose moves so much better with it than our prior versions. I'm super excited for you be out riding your horse again. I know that must be thrilling on so many levels.

  11. Yay - Funder and Dixie ride again! Don't jinx your (enviable) weather by bragging on it now!! ;)

  12. Sounds like a great ride! Love that she ducked out on going home.

    If we put it right out there I know zero - 0 - about endurance, I'm riding dressage in a borrowed *western* Skito equalizer pad until I can get one of their half pads. Foam has no rebound, and is extremely comfy (says Hudson). If you put it in the gullet, it stays there.

  13. *Considering hunting you down now... I sunburned yesterday and our heat index was 108* I've been working hard to make sure the dogs don't play outside so hard they get overheated. I watch Rox for the slightest amount of discomfort and then whisk them all back in. Bear would stay out ALL.DARN.DAY. Copper? He'd love to but the sun bothers his poor, messed up eyes and makes them water something fierce.*

    Now that I'm done thinking about hunting you down and taking away your cool weather...

    I wish I knew more about endurance riding. I wish I knew more about saddle pads. But, as only the kids are currently riding, and only Doodle at that (Dude is having growing pains in his heel and is banned from real exercise of any sort outside of swimming for another 4 weeks). Doodle is so nearly weightless that neither of the ponies complain nor care that she's up there, so padding doesn't make the slightest difference at all.

  14. What good news that you have ridden - well done.

    As for the saddle pad, you could try a woollen blanket folded lengthwise then into three giving six thicknesses. That way a single bed size is just right to go under a saddle. I've used these for years - they don't slip and are easy to wash.

  15. I'm so glad you were able to get out there and ride! Sounds like Dixie had just as much fun as you did. :)

  16. Okay, where are the videos of Dixie having her face sprayed down - flinging her giraffe head and doing the flappy lip thing?

    As for your 85 degree temp - the comments from others made me chuckle as here on the west coast of BC we STILL haven't had any true summer weather and our temps haven't gone above about 78 (26 C, in Canada). Most days they've been considerably lower. 85 seems like a scorcher to me.

  17. Congratulations on your Ride!

    I found the Cavallo pads hot -
    Now using a borrowed pad that is some blend of wood & synthetic. Have no idea where I can buy it now - so may Never give it back!


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