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Please visit www.bootsandsaddles4mel.com for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Warhorse

I'm currently reading "Warhorse", a fabulous book on the horse as a weapon throughout history. I highly recommend it if you are at all interested in the history of the horse. Like it or not, the horse was used as a war time instrument AND much of our current riding equipment and "traditions" have come from the horses use on battlefields. I am currently reading about the Steppe tribes (Attila the Hun and then later Ghangas Khan). Absolutely fascinating.

On a different note, here is the modern day "Warhorse" for CHAS members.


Minx and Trailer update















Minx is lame....again. I tell you, I will be the EXPERT on horsey lameness if this keeps up. I had an absolutely fabulous ride mid January in the BLM lands near Marina (Monterey), CA. I enjoy Farley and she's a great little horse, but nothing compares to the content feeling in my heart when I ride Minx. It could be the fact that it doesn't happen very often as she spends exactly 52% of her time lame due to something or other....*sigh*


Last Tuesday I took her out after a very rainy week. A very easy, flat, with good footing, 4.5 mile ride. Maybe her frog and soles were soft because of the mud? All I know is that she felt normal at the trot on the right diagonal and WEIRD (like - "is she racking?" weird) on the left diagonal. Trotted sound after ride but doesn't want to stand on her right hind (left diagonal while trotting....) when tied or standing still. I'm thinking stone bruise. So the ride I had planned for the 3-day weekend in February is out. I'll see how she is for a March ride.



On the plus side I got the trailer tricked out for the 2009 season! Interior lights, bucket hooks, exterior lights, and various bolts ground smooth. My father also replaced 2 running lights that had shorted/corroded out. Lots of stuff was done, not because it was necessary, but because it's those small luxuries during a ride that really matter. Here's a pic of my brother using his grinder. He's 16 and is starting to get power equipment for his Christmas presents. LOL



And now - let's play catch up




The 2009 AERC (the national endurance club for the US) season has officially began. Farley, my 1999 (that would be a birthdate....) Arabian mare did herself proud at Death Valley 4 day LD ride and we start the season with 110 LD miles. She felt great the entire time, especially considering she had completed her first real endurance race - 55 miles - one month prior at Desert Gold in Monterey. The picture left is Farley and I completed day 3 at Death Valley, headed towards camp at Ballarat. I have great hopes for Farley, including (perhaps? maybe?) the Tevis. If she continues to stay strong this year, who knows? I have a 65 miler scheduled for 2/28/09. Here's the action plan:

1. Put weight on her. She was a BC of 5.5-6 2 months ago! what happened?! She's now a solid 4, which means I need 50 pounds on her. I floated her teeth 2 weeks ago and have been supplementing with beetpulp (and LMF gold when I ride) since December.

2. New saddle blanket. I have purchased a skito pad for her. It's a pricey endeavor (~150 bucks), but the Toklet woolback adds too much bulk under my leg (wide horse + wide twist saddle + bulky pad = unhappy mel...) and doesn't dry in between days at a multi day. So far I really like it. Here's a picture along with her new boots.
3. Interference fetlock boots for hinds. Farley demonstrated at DVE that she needs fetlock books for her hinds due to her taking large chunks when navigating miles over rough footing. I have had recommendations for Griffin boots (doesn't hold heat in), and so far I'm very pleased.







I'll talk about Minx in the next post.....needless to say she is lame....AGAIN

Welcome!

Hello everyone!

I have so much fun reading the blogs here at blogger, I thought I would set one up for my own friends and family. My hope is that others can find this blog as entertaining and as informative as I have found "endurance granny", "fugly horse of the day", "Cake Wrecks" and "Endurance Stuff". This blog will be no where as good because I lack the superior writing skills that those bloggers obviously have *sigh*, but on occasion I hope to have my very talented sisters chime in.

Why "Boots and Saddles"? Boots (and shoes) and saddles in addition to being a civil war bugle call, are probably the most important pieces of equipment for the horse and rider. In addition to endurance riding and other modern horsey pursuits, I am a reenactor, focusing mostly on 1863 artillery and supporting units. From time to time I will post my reenacting adventures with CHAS doing a variety of activities including Cavalry games, driving horse-drawn ambulances, and portraying mounted artillery.