Sunday, September 4, 2011

Surcingles and Saddlepads

Today I decided to try to put a saddlepad on Starbuck for the first time since the other day I sacked her out with the plastic bag, so I grabbed the lightest weight rectangular saddlepad I could find in the tack room and set out for her paddock.  So she would accept it with no fuss, first I folded it up as much as I could and let her come up to me, sniff it and satisfy her curiosity and then rubbed her around the head and neck at first with it then all over her body.  Then I unfolded it a little and repeated the process until it was completely unfolded.  The first unfoldings went really well but the last one took a little longer, I guess the full sized pad freaked her out a little but after many approaches and retreats finally she let me rub it all over her and then put it on her back.

When my friend Virginia saw our progress she offered to let us use her surcingle, which is a padded strap which goes all the way around the girth, and after our success with the saddlepad I couldn't say no!  Starbuck accepted the surcingle surprisingly well and didn't seem to mind even when I tightened the girth a little, although she bucked and farted like a malfunctioning rocket as soon as she really started to move around with it.

Then I put on her rope halter (I wanted to see whether the other day she longed badly because of the cavesson) and took her out to the arena to longe a little.  At first she didn't want to cooperate and kept turning  to face me and stopping and after maybe about 20 minutes of this I kind of gave up and decided to work on leading a while.  However, Javi, one of the owners of the stable saw that I was having trouble and came out to show me how it was done; in the end he got Starbuck to walk, trot and canter on the lunge line.  So I need to work on following through in the future and remember to never let her win the patience game.  It was a real treat to watch her from afar though and I was able to take some great photos :D

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