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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fortunately.....but unfortunately.....

Today is a 3 part-er. Brought to you by (or at least temporally at the same time) as "Respiratory Defense Mechanisms and bronchopneumonia", a lecture that is just not doing it for me this morning.

In the "fortunately....but unfortunately..." story that seems to mimic both real life and endurance, this morning was the "best of times" and the "worst of times".

I got my new saddle.....but something happened in the paddock over night or yesterday and Farley is lame.

Yep - my very first non-endurance related horse injury. *sigh*.

Part 1 - My new saddle

It's big. It's heavy. BUT - it's comfortable, and secure, and I really like the weight distribution on Farley's back. I like the more western "underside", it puts me so close to her back and her movement.

Like most saddles, wither clearance is an issue. With my equipedic pad, wither clearance is fine. However without a pad, the saddle is touching the withers. With a thinner pad (my Haf pad that doesn't have thick inserts) I can't tell whether the clearance is OK, which means that it isn't. I've emailed pictures to the company to see what their opinion is. Chances are, I'll probably keep the saddle and use it for as long as the wither clearance is fine with a pad, just like I did with the Duett. At some point I will probably have to sell and move to a different saddle, but for the price, chances are getting my money back out of this saddle won't be an issue.

When trotting the seat puts me in an almost dressage position which is really nice - I'm going to try and construct a seat saver out of an old woolback pad I have (made to fit a very small, like under 16" english seat) to give it a little more cush. Other plans include switching out the irons for my synthetic, lighter irons, and deciding whether I want to stick with these wider leathers, and whether I'll then need to get fleece covers for them, like what I have for my english leathers. I'm also considering whether to get a different overgirth that will switch it to english so that I can use my mohair girths for rides etc.

So, some things I need to tweak and adjust on the saddle. But I'll have plenty of time because.....

Part 2 - Farley is injured

After waking up at 6 am and leaving for the stable at 6:30a in order to try out my new saddle before school, I have to admit I didn't do the best job checking legs. I checked the front legs because I always check the fronts (I'd be a fool not to after Farley's history), tacked up, and took off. The plan was a light walk/trot hack around the orchards. Farley was very forward at the walk, but relunctant to trot after the warm up. Not altogether unusual if she thinks she's missing breakfast back at the stable, but after urging her forward a couple of times and not getting a sustained trot for more than 25 yards or so, I got off and starting feet and legs. Fronts are OK, LH OK.......crap, all I had to do was touch the RH and I could feel it was totally blown up.

Crap crap crap.

Walked home of course (as in, MY feet were on the ground walking). Farley was sound at a walk, ameable to jig and trot when she pretended to spook at some bushes etc., so I don't think it's serious, but hard to tell with the effusion/edema and the fact I have no clue what happened. She's in a pipe corral so it's possible she got a leg caught and banged it up, no obvious wound or break in the skin. Seems to be more sensitive around the top of her fetlock.

So, did some cold hosing, and applied surpass. Then, keep an eye on it. If it doesn't resolve by the end of the week then consider getting a vet out. Assuming it does resolve, then all next week will be light walking around the orchards, and then keeping an eagle eye on it as we return to regular work.

The timing is lucky - we just finished a ride and don't have another planned until November. Assuming that it completely heals up and isn't anything serious, another LD at the beginning of November isn't out of the question. I have finals next week so it's not like I have a lot of time to ride anyways......

It's my first horse injury not related to riding, so a little apprehensive, especially because I don't know what happened. I don't think that I'm being too conservative by deciding to watch it a couple of days.

Part 3 - What's for lunch

Got out the habit of bringing my lunch in a box and what do you think happened? Yep, tried throwing some items in a bag and ended up eating out, overeating in the evenings, craving all sorts of things, and went on a one week ice cream binge. It was fun, I gained a pound which was probably worth it considering how good the ice cream was, BUT obviously not sustainable. Back to boxes!

This lunch has:

-a chunk of homemade banana bread that Matt's mom baked for me

-slices of cucumber

-redleaf lettuce with a lemon wedge with boneless chicken wings from chili's (left overs from Matt's dinner over the weekend)

-string cheese (not pictured)

Annnnnddd....for those of you that have no time, I present a pictoral summary of this post.



  1. Love the pictorial summary, especially all of Farley's orange accents!

    Bummer about her leg. :( Mimi's done this a time or two -- and she's always been in pipe corrals. They're amazingly good at whacking the sides of their legs on the bottom bars. Hopefully it clears up fast!

  2. You crack me up.

    Same leg on Q was swollen at end of short jumping jaunt last night. Not lame. Slightly tender. I freaked - of course - but then realized that I shouldn't freak until today and tomorrow if she is still swollen and/or comes up lame on it. *exasperated* HORSES!! Sigh.

  3. Haven't commented in a while but your Aussie saddle prompted me 'cause that's what I've been riding in for the past year or so! I switched out the wide leathers for some Wintec "webbers" and regular english stirrups. You lose some stability, but also lose a lot of bulk. I can ride all day in that saddle!

  4. Saddle looks nice and secure, but damn on the leg! I think being conservative is just fine. Major came up with a similar injury last week, 2 days after a hard ride. I thought it was maybe the ride, but the lag time was weird. Cold hose, let him hang out, 5 days later just fine. He had a scrape in the area, so maybe Farley has a scrape you can't see causing all the edema. Or just whacked it. Good thoughts for a healing pony...

  5. So...what kind of saddle do you usually ride in? That Aussie can't be *that* heavy - I know my Aussie is about 1/3 - 1/2 the weight of my Western saddle. The few times I rode in the Aussie, I liked that I was in more of a classical riding position, but the saddle was hell on Estes' back. Looked like it fit her correctly, didn't fit me so well. Sigh. We're back to bareback, probably for the rest of her old life, unless I dish out approximately $1,000 more than I paid for her to get the beautiful flex tree saddle I want. I'm not seeing that happen.

    Bummer about Farley's leg, but I loved the Reader's Digest Condensed Version in pictures :)

    1. I usually ride in an english saddle. I did do western at a wild horse sanctuary - guest trail rides where I tacked up 20 horses with western saddles. I don't remember them being *that* heavy but I was younger and fitter.....I think one thing that makes this saddle SEEM heavier than the western is the long flaps - it's harder to swing onto the horses back. One thing I might do is have the flaps cut down for me.

  6. Sweet! Looks like that saddle is from my neck of the woods...Down Under Saddle Supply in the Denver area. Keep updating on how it it since I'll be most likely getting one myself sometime, just not sure of the model. Which one specifically is this one?

  7. This is the "Daley". Like it so far. I will keep you posted!

  8. I enjoyed reading your post. Plus the pictorial summary is just amusing. Hope Farley's leg injury will heal fast. By the way, how much room should there
    be under the front panel when the saddle is on and girthed up?

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by "front panal"? Under the pommel there should be at least a couple of fingers. The angle of the panal should be fairly close to the angle of her shoulder and not any "room" perse.

      One thing that may be complicating these photos and assessing foot the placememtn of the saddle. The company emailed me back and let me know that I should have the saddle placed more forward, which will change both the wither clearance and how the front panal fits, so I need to go back out and retake the photos etc. Most of my visits lately have been 5-10 minute quickies to check her legs since I've been in clinics etc., but hopefully this evening I can make more time.

  9. Love the picture summary! Eheheheh.
    I don't think you're being too conservative about Farley's leg either. Frustrating it is and not nice to see a horse not quite right but it doesn't look like a major injury - maybe she did knock it. Hopefully it improves for you shortly!


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