Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Party on, Wayne.

Whoa, can you say sensory overload? I did find out that Jasper does not have a future career as a petting zoo horse. To his credit, there were probably 200 people at the Arena Warming party and kids everywhere jumping off hay bales, riding the "bull", going for pony rides... He had to walk on a blue TARP to get to his pen. The horses next to him were NOT running away when he made his very meanest ears-pinned-back-I-will-kill-you face. They pretty much ignored him. He did some nice bucking in place...

Nom nom nom. I don't even want to know how many pounds of oats he was fed. And carrots. The horses were so saturated they quit eating them and the kids just threw them in the pens. At the end of the party it looked like a giant carrot graveyard.

The kids riding the "bull" were not as scary as when the music had people clapping in it.

Oats? Carrots? Small children? Don't mind if I do.

Serena and Roxie are borrowing my Konklusion treeless jumping saddle. Serena gave me her HDR to try even though it's a wide tree and she had it stretched even wider for Roxie. Uh, this is what it looked like when I set it on his back:
Really??? This is an X-wide tree???

Granted, after it was cinched up it did a little bit of a nose dive. But still. Either Jasper has some wacky conformation or HDRs are seriously narrow.

I really liked it. I felt like my leg was solidly in place and not moving around. I love the big knee blocks, and they saved my a** a couple of times when we did some sudden sideways airs-above-ground. I haven't had a chance to jump in it but am looking forward to giving it a try.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Newly Toothless

The vet's reaction to me pointing out the lumps on the front sides of Jasper's hocks was, "Huh, that's weird." Which was obviously not quite the reaction I was looking for. She poked around, decided they were hard, and flexed each hock. He was fine. I'll keep an eye on them, she suggested Cosequin as a preventative measure, and that was about it.

The teeth, however, were a different story. He still had his WOLF TEETH. Apparently the vet that did his teeth two and a half years ago did NOT pull them out. She filed them down. Say what?? Which of course made them that much harder to extract. There was a lot of digging to get them out. Poor guy! Wolf teeth are sensitive and are right where the bit sits in their mouth. I wonder if I can blame them in part for Jasper's tongue problems. If he was trying to protect his teeth by putting his tongue over the bit...? Time will tell.

I've decided against getting the saddle. It's not a perfect fit, it's an older saddle, it has foam panels, and it's quite pricey. I would love to find a Jeffries JMX to try. Actually I did find the perfect one over in the UK and sent the gal an email. The saddle was already out on trial, but she recognized my email address from this blog and knew who Jasper and I were. Small small world. So cross your fingers it doesn't work out. :)

Alexandre has moved to his new home. I drive by there on my way to the barn (they're practically next door, they saddled up their horses and rode them home) and this morning they were all staring at something off in the distance. Then they all turned and pranced around, soooooooo scared of the Thing In The Woods. He's in a great big paddock with a little black Arabian about half his size. It's a breathtakingly beautiful place, every horse should be so lucky.

And, we're having a barn party on Friday. A celebration of the new indoor going up, sweet! I've volunteered Jasper to be in a corral in the arena for petting and treat eating- free desensitization experiences always welcome. Norm has been working on building a big wagon for hay rides, there will be a bonfire, horse rides for kids (not toothless Jasper, duh), food, and more stuff. And after that, a punk-ish band is playing at my favorite bar downtown. Life is good.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saddle fit- help!

I have this Jeffries Flyover on trial. It's a forward flap x-country jumping saddle. It's great to ride in, very balanced. It just doesn't look like it fits very well to me- it looks like the pommel is way too high. Like he needs a wider tree or something? (This is a medium, they don't come in med-wide).

Is it just me? I really like the feel of it.


After I rode in it and it settled a bit.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good Things.

Who knew that when I found an ad for Valley Chapel Farms two years ago on Craigslist that it would turn out to be such a great situation for me. Newly unemployed (and then soon back to school) with two horses to take care of had me desperate to find good, affordable board. VCF was a godsend with their options for pasture board at very reasonable prices, which turned into stall and paddock board at the same very reasonable prices. Trails right off the property. Alexandre has found a new family. Norm and Lisa have put in a brand new huge outdoor arena, Norm helped me build jumps, they've put in a little obstacle course. And the latest and greatest (and totally unexpected) addition... an INDOOR arena!!!

It has been SO long since I have had access to an indoor. I'm really excited. They're just finishing things up, Jasper and I had our first real ride today.

He, of course, is absolutely THRILLED.

The vet comes out on Wed. to check his hocks and his teeth. I'm no longer too worried about the hocks as we had a good ride today, although it's hard to tell if the "lightness behind" was from the sand hitting the panels, the light from under the door, or if there really is something wrong. I'm pretty sure it's excitement related.