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Monday, May 4, 2009

Wild West - 20 days

Wild West 50 is only 20 days away! I must admit I'm getting a bit "cocky". I have the fittest horse I've ever had who is in beautiful condition. I am hitting my running mileage goals for the first time in 2 years. AND I feel my riding is better than ever before! What could burst my bubble?

1. I have an ultrasound on the 18th to check the tendon. I'm sure it will be fine. If I still had the added expense of 2 horses, I would probably even blow the appointment off.

2. I found a couple of white hairs on Farley's back, on either side of her spine, in the center of her back. Mmmm.....there's been several tack set up changes and tweaks.

Did they come before I switched saddle pads (skito from a woolback)?
Before I bought my new saddle? (I was using a not-so-good Borelli that didn't really fit until the middle of last summer)
Because I was using my stirrups too much (more a problem in the Mcclellen Saddles) due to my riding?

The current sweat pattern doesn't show any pressure in that area. My gut says to leave everything alone for the moment, check and make sure my saddle doesn't have lumps in the flocking in that spot (would be unusual since it's even on both sides), keep an eye on everything and watch for more white hairs. The next step after that would be to contact a person that reflocks saddles in my area and perhaps have my flocking readjusted. I think it's probably time. Anyone know a good saddle adjuster/flocker in central California?

Thought of the Day
Does anyone know when the summer coat starts to "grow" and develop? If white hairs are caused by pressure (damaged hair follicles), then the pressure must have started/been worse when the summer coat was developing or prior to the summer coat right? Would LOVE some insight on this. It might help me track when this issue originated. I try to get pictures of her white hairs soon.


  1. It's my understanding that the hair that was damaged by the original saddle pressure (i.e. summer hair vs winter hair) will show the white spots every year. I just wish I could remember where I read that. Grr, old age sucks.

    Good luck with your milage goals. I was hoping to get 250 miles on my novice mare this year(she's 7 now, and ready for the work) but we were suddenly able to buy a place of our own, and building fences has sucked up all mt training time this spring, not to mention all my entry fee money.

    Sigh. Another year of pulsing horses. Ah, well. At least YOU will be enjoying the trails! Have fun!

  2. These stories sound awesome. Your sister should be on a deadline!

    I fall like her, by the way. Whenever I come off (which is usually because I have pointed the horse at a low tree branch like an idiot) I let go of the reins and watch my horse wander away to eat grass. I am always so surprised to be on the ground!

  3. especially when your horse looks down at you as if to say.."what are you doing down there" :)


  4. I just read an issue of Equus with an article on that (or maybe it was online??) that said the winter hair grows in about July and the summer hair grows in about December/January.

  5. Great - so now I have a time table. Because this is the first time I've seen the white hairs, I will assume that it happened in the November/December/January time frame.

    If that's true, then is possible it was a weight issue that caused a saddle fit issue that I didn't notice - she lost a lot of weight through that time period. She has since (mostly) gained it back. The saddle doesn't appear to be putting any pressure on that spot now, in fact there seems to be increased pressure at the back of the panels, not the center where the white hairs are.

    Obviously something I'll keep a VERY close eye on.

    Soon I'll do a white pad test and post that along with the location of the white hairs. Then I'll let everyone rip into it :)

    Oh Loreleigh.....are you reading??? You have some requests! The following stories are requested:

    1. How my older sister made me bear bait

    2. How I almost killed my older sister by trampling her (or - she just won't die!)


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