Saturday, June 13, 2015

Chrome Ride 109 - Also Salt!

We were soooo busy today!!  We did TONS of yard work (the stuff we got behind on while building the house and also cleaning up from multiple high wind thunderstorms this spring with lots of downed trees and limbs).  I managed to snag a ride on Chrome in the new saddle.  I rode for about forty minutes (I can't believe it's been a month since I last rode Chrome).  I was just riding in the yard, on the driveway and on the road in front of our property.  I was going from the front gate back to the house relaying messages between my dad and hubby lol.  We even carried the mail back.  Pony express!

I'm not one hundred percent sure what he thought of the saddle.  He seemed a little tender footed (due for a trim and I probably need to do another thrush soak since it's rained almost every day for the last month).  I think the saddle was fine, but the girth might be bothering him.  I'll explain why below.

 Not bothered by the four wheeler, even when it's pulling a trailer.

 He hated standing still.

We did some lateral flexion because he did not want to stand still.  His sweet itch is really bothering him, so all he can think about when standing still is how much he wants to scratch.  I feel so sorry for him.  I'm hoping that the rain will go away so I can start doing his neem oil to get him some relief.  I'll be doing a sweet itch post soon.  I have a lot to share!

 Watching my mom and dad's twelve year old Yorkie mix.

 So handsome!!!

At one point when we were walking back up the driveway Chrome's head shot up and he started seriously balking.  My dad was on the outside of the fence on the other side of the pine trees, pruning limbs.  He's never seen anything on the other side of the trees so he was freaked out.  I asked dad to talk to him and he finally chilled out.

The saddle looks good on him.  Sorry for the bad picture.  It's hard to get far enough away while holding him hehe.  Notice how the girth is right up against his elbows?  It does that on Rocky too.  I don't know how to fix it.  I'm used to the center rigging on the Aussie saddle now.  I haven't used a western saddle (that's what I grew up riding in) in so long I don't remember what to do.  I can't really slide it back anymore.  It's well behind his shoulder... the only thing I could think of is maybe using the rear cinch?  If it has that piece between the two girths would that prevent the front one from sliding up behind the elbows?  Any help is appreciated!

Weird picture above lol.  It's hard to take pictures from that angle, but I had my leg swung across the horn so that they were both on his left side.  I used to do that all the time when I was a kid, but I haven't on Chrome because he's green and I never knew if he would spook or turn suddenly.  In the western saddle it felt natural to just swing a leg across.  I like to sit that way when my hips or knees start bothering me.  He wasn't bothered by it, although he was mildly confused at first.

 I managed to talk hubby into taking one picture... narcoleptic pony is narcoleptic haha.

I'm happy to see my leg position is pretty good in the new saddle.  It's not perfect, but it's way better than a year ago.  :)  I wish I had remembered to pull my shirt down.  I hate the way my Kerrits tights wrinkle at my hip...

Then while untacking he had to help.  It looks like he's holding the tailgate open for me haha.  He was probably actually rubbing his face... at least he doesn't do it on me!

 His sweat patterns looked really good, but a longer ride will tell more.  
I'll check for any soreness tomorrow.

Then when the downpour started we went to town and got...

 Himalayan rock salt on a rope!

I've never bought any before, but I've always wanted to get some to see if Chrome likes it.

 Rocky chased Chrome off, sniffed it and walked away.  
He was more worried about when supper was arriving.
He's doing fantastic at feeding time now!

 Chrome came back.  After pushing it off in the dirt (I picked it back up), he started licking it.

 Can you believe how flea bitten his face is getting?

Some of those are actual bug bites, but most are flea-bite coloring coming in.

 Finally got his tongue!

He's rubbing the crap out of his mane by the withers... I have to decide if I want to roach him again.  I was enjoying him having a mane for a change.... I may give him a while with the neem oil to see if it grows back in again before I decide to cut it... I hate uneven manes though so we shall just have to wait and see how long I last.

 Zep liked the rock salt!!  He was gnawing on it.

I couldn't get lined up so you could see his teeth.  When I moved to the side he thought I was chasing him off and he ran away.  :\  Also if anyone has ever wondered why I post a lot of head shots of Zep... uhh it's to keep things PG related haha!!  Being a jack he tends to expose himself a lot.  ;)

We also got a big bag of loose salt to hang in the barn because they've been doing a lot of sweating just standing in the pasture (been a heat index over 100 for a couple of weeks already) and I know they can't get enough salt off the block.  They were all more interested in waiting for supper, but Rocky showed the most interest.  I think they will really like having the loose stuff available.

 We hung it in the barn in a rubber bucket so they can't break it by rubbing against it.

We also had to bungee strap it down so they can't tip it.
Our boys like to play with anything in the pasture and have destroyed many buckets.

Hubby put a hook on the pole where I groom and tack up Chrome so I can hang the rock salt from it.  I don't want to leave it out in the pasture because they would probably eat it too fast.  With the salt block and the loose salt, it's not like they need a third kind of salt available free choice.  Since Chrome loves licking salt blocks I figured he might like to lick the rock salt while I'm grooming him and tacking up.  It will give him something to occupy himself with hehe.

We were going to take Chrome and Rocky on a trail ride together for the first time, but hubby was too busy helping dad with the yard work.  Dad can't do as much as he used to, but he still tries to, so we like to help or hang nearby to keep an eye on him.  Then when dad went inside we tried to ride, but every time we'd go to tack up it would start raining again... ugh!!!  Both saddles have suede seats, so even though they are synthetic I really don't want them to get wet... oh well we will try again tomorrow.  :)


  1. I'm not a western saddle expert, but I think that saddles girth rigging is too far forward. You'd need to have a saddler move it back. I also think the whole saddle needs to go back an inch or so.

    1. I think you're right about moving the saddle back. I'm so used to English saddles and Aussie saddles that I'm not used to the way western saddles look anymore. I do remember when I started taking dressage lessons, thinking they put the saddles more forward lol. I'm going to try it. If that doesn't help I'm going to try a read girth and different methods of cinching, then I'll go to a saddler if none of that helps. Thanks!

  2. I agree with Olivia about the saddle. the girth is too close to his elbows. I don't know enough about western saddles to know how easy a fix that is. Or perhaps a string girth would work better (not as thick)?

    1. I had thought about using a narrower girth, but I really like this one! It's 100% natural wool.... I will try a thinner one though if moving the saddle back doesn't help. Thank you!

  3. I have this problem with my Lipizzaners. Now that Chrome has matured out maybe he's just showing his Baroque side! The problem is their roundness!
    Or it could be the girl points are too far forward. You could try a contoured girth? They make ones to avoid this problem.

    1. Um... yes... Chrome is a little.... errr FAT right now, so that's not helping. I have a couple of things to try, but if they don't work I'll definitely consider a contoured girth. I've been wanting an excuse to get one of those anyway hehe.

  4. Yeah, saddle looks too far forward :) You could try a thinner girth.

    Looking forward to the sweet itch post! :) Right now Red's favorite thing is SWAT, helps keep the bugs away. I put it everywhere and he's gotten a lot of relief!

    1. I'm definitely going to try moving the saddle back (if it ever stops raining) and I'll try a thinner girth if that doesn't work. I really want this girth to work though because it 100% natural wool.

      Don't get your hopes up on the sweet itch post. I'm pretty much back to square one, so it isn't really going to be a helpful post, just an update on what I've been doing that hasn't worked haha.

  5. Everybody loves the salt :) I"m no help on rigging western saddles but it sounds like you've been given some great advice!

    1. Yes they do! I can tell they've been tasting the loose salt but I think they still need to get used to it hehe.

  6. Just move the saddle back a bit more - western are definitely different from English/Aussie. Rear cinch can't be used on its own - and when you do use it it should be loose (but not hanging!). Its purpose is more to help keep the saddle in place on hills and when working (think cow work). A too-tight rear cinch can lead to some crazy bucking fits! I speak from direct experience/observation.I can usually put 2 or 3 fingers between the horse and the rear cinch when it is done up.

    1. Eek!! Yes I do remember about the rear girth! I know people who leave their rear girth hanging a foot below the horse's belly! So dangerous. When I used one I would snug it up but not too tight. I could get my hand between their belly and girth. Obviously since Chrome has never worn one I'll go slow introducing him to it. Rocky is an old pro at them. I was thinking about trying three way rigging. I think that's what they call it. Where you use one latigo strap in a triangle for both the front and rear girth.

  7. he looks cute in western tack!! (no clue on rigging tho haha). also i can't believe how white he's getting!!

    1. Thanks!! I was just thinking the same thing about how light he's gotten. I love that he's dappled a little now but I'm sad because I don't think they are going to last long. He is fading out too fast.

  8. Every time I go outside it seems I'm looking for the mineral tub - what have those horses done with it now? upside down under a feeder. Under a wire & halfway down the edge of the pond. Jammed between 2 trees. On & on.

  9. Hey, NO hating on the Kerrits tights. You look cute, your horse is gorgeous, and you have three times as much hair as me! It's all good.

    And yes, he looks so cute as a flea bitten grey - what a huge transformation since he was a yearling!

    I find that I have to add my loose salt to my mares feed. She won't eat it in a free feeder, and with the heat we have, and the work she does, I KNOW she doesn't get enough.
    So, I just add 1 full TBSPN of salt to hear feed supplement. She eats it no problem, that is a very small dose, and then the rest of the already added salt in her supplements along with the small amounts already in the hay and pasture sort of balances it all out.
    When we trailer somewhere, I add a little more, and then as a small treat again when we come home.
    She's got 1 salt stone and two mineral rocks (spoiled thing) but I don't think she licks enough at them.
    (We always think they're not doing enough of something....)

    1. Hehehe thanks!! I'll quit hating on the tights. :D

      I think I'm going to start adding salt to Chrome's feed too. Rocky is the one eating the loose salt out of the bucket. I don't think Chrome is really eating it at all. He just likes his salt block too much I guess.


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