My Stubben Siegfried is Fixed, Hurray!
Last Tuesday I went down to the tack store to pick up my Stubben, all ready to ride with new front billet straps. It did not take very long for the local tack specialist to replace the billets and it just cost me $87.00 USD. Now I do not have to worry anymore about a billet strap breaking and I can relax and enjoy riding in my ancient 43 year old saddle. When I got it home I put on stirrups and stirrup leathers, my sheepskin seat…Continue
Hard Feeling Mouths
I have been thinking a lot about the new challenges Shannon’s Arab-Welsh mare Cider has been presenting me. I went through my old calendars and I started riding Cider regularly in 2006 until January 2012 when I switched to riding Merlin and Bobby until I could get Cider a saddle that fit her properly since her back had changed. At the end of those 6 years Cider was super responsive to the bit (Dr. Bristol snaffle), aware that a twitch of my little finger…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 28, 2013 at 2:16pm — No Comments
Slightly More Security in the Saddle
Many, many decades ago Piero Santini wrote in one of his books that one reason to wear the knee high boots was that when the leather of the boot was against the leather of the saddle flap the rider’s grip was stronger. It has been decades since I rode in the high leather boots, but I do look back at them with fondness, and every once in a while I consider getting high boots again but they look so HOT. With my MS anything that makes me…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 21, 2013 at 2:41pm — No Comments
I Wish I Had Cider’s Energy!
This has been a slow week for me since I have not gotten back my energy after being sick with a head cold weeks ago. By the time I get to the stables, the horses are groomed, tacked up, and I get to the ring and mount I am already tired, and after the second trot I am exhausted, wrung out and hung out to dry.
Wednesday I got my lesson on Mick, using my new EZ-Fit treeless saddle of course! This time I decided to go back to the Mullen…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 14, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments
A Wonderful Ride on a Wonderful Mare
After a long week and a half of no riding I was excited to get out this morning. Last night when I talked with Shannon she told me that her mother was sick and would not be out, so I asked if I could ride Cider (an Arab-Welsh pony mare), and she said yes! Cider is one of the horses that I got my EZ-Fit treeless saddle for and I was really wanted to try it out on the widest back that I ride. Since it is finally getting warmer down…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 7, 2013 at 12:03pm — No Comments
Trouble Dismounting Again
The past few weeks I have been suffering from a head cold, serious business for someone with MS. Last Wednesday, since I had not ridden in twelve days, I dragged myself out to Debbie’s stable though I was still weak and unsteady on my legs. I wanted to ride more in my new treeless saddle! By the time Mick was brought in, groomed, and tacked up I was wondering if it was a good idea but since he was all ready, the sun was shining, and because we had to…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on March 31, 2013 at 1:13pm — No Comments
I Got to Ride in My New Treeless Saddle
First, as an introduction, I want to relate my ideas on riding in treeless saddles. Several decades ago, stuck riding in just a few pastures and facing a long, hot, boring summer, I decided to ride bareback all summer. Luckily for my horse I had read “Stable Management and Exercise” by M. Horace Hayes. On page 342 he writes “A groom should not be allowed to ride without a saddle, because, by doing so, he is apt to give the animal a sore…Continue
Trying to get Magic Moving
Today I got to ride a horse I’ve never been up on before in my life. Finally, a different horse!
Magic is a teenaged Tennessee Walking Horse mare, black (really brown) with a star on her face. Still furry with her winter coat she looks sort of thin and rangy. She stood peacefully for grooming and then I got to see if the saddle I picked fit at all. I spent around two hours this weekend cleaning, larding and putting stirrups on my old dressage…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on March 3, 2013 at 2:42pm — No Comments
R. I. P. Bobby
Yesterday, when I called Shannon about riding today, she gave me some sad, sad news. Bobby died as a result of severe impaction colic on Thursday, after hours of vet care, IV for rehydration and all.
I am very sad.
No, I did not own Bobby, but I was riding him and finally starting to make some progress. I was hoping that the EZ-fit treeless saddle I ordered last week would be more comfortable on his back than the Wintec Wide saddle I’ve been using,…Continue
We Got a Nice Snow Down Here
So I did not get to ride today. I sort of have mixed feelings about it, I want to ride all I can but I am sort of relieved that I won’t be struggling with Bobby today, but on the other hand there is the thought that maybe, just maybe, today would have been the wondrous day that Bobby finally decided to cooperate with me. I know, that fantasy is highly unrealistic but, hey, I ride horses and I live in constant hope that THIS day will be the day we…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on February 17, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments
Bright Sun This Week
First of all, I want to extend my sympathy and awe of all of you horsepeople trudging out in the deep, deep snow to take care of your horses. I’ve done it in the past, I know how hard it is to carry water, hay, and grain out to the critters. You all have my admiration. Good work, keeping your horses and other animals going through the bad weather! We have been fortunate down here in NC in the weather department. This week we got rain on a day that I did not…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on February 10, 2013 at 2:27pm — No Comments
Switching Back to the Spirit Bitless Bridle
The past few weeks, ever since Mick’s little girl switched to the Nurtural Bitless bridle for jumping, Mick has been somewhat hard to bridle--he’s just been telling people that for right now he prefers the bitless options. Mick has a right to his opinion and I decided to honor it because I had been able to ride with a bit all summer, in fact for most of last year. Mick had been somewhat entertained with all my experimenting with my saddles…Continue
Tiny Little Steps of Improvement
THIS is the way most horse training goes.
Wednesday there was a cold, cold wind blowing when I took my lesson even though my lesson was 2 ½ hours later than usual (it was in the low 20s F at dawn.) I got to the stable and Debbie did not look like she felt very well, her sinuses were acting up. I had brought my Anxiety and Nervousness homeopathic combination remedy and lent it to Debbie, and she chose to give him a dose before we started…Continue
Winter Comes Back to NC
After last week’s balmy spring like weather in the 70’s we have had 2.2” of rain, a trace of snow, and I won’t be able to have my lesson next Wednesday because it will go down to 17° F. I remember when I was young that winter got cold after the fall and generally STAYED cold until springtime. No longer, and it is hard for me to adapt to all the temperature changes.
Wednesday I made the type of progress with Mick that a person…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 20, 2013 at 2:21pm — No Comments
Back in My Old Crosby Saddle Again
On Tuesday evening I fell in my house (NOT off a horse) and I ended up with two scraped and bruised knees, a scraped foot, a scrape down my right arm, and shaken confidence about my walking. I had been practicing holding my head up when I walked so I would form a good habit for my riding instead of what I really needed to do, looking down to where my feet go. Since my fall I am putting practicing good riding posture while I walk into the failed…Continue
Me and My Saddle, We Just Aren’t Getting Along.
This week, since I haven’t gotten the girth billets on my Stubben fixed, I was riding in my Wintec 250 GP saddle for both my lesson with Mick and for my ride on Mia. I had put the rear shims back in my Corrector pad but this week I did not feel as secure as I had before when I used them, I guess something in my body changed yet again.
On Wednesday I woke up to rain, and Debbie called and we rescheduled for Thursday. So I was…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 6, 2013 at 2:06pm — No Comments
A Few Brisk Winter Rides…
In between the rains! Last Wednesday I couldn’t get my lesson because it was raining. I was disappointed of course, but since we really need the rain it was so nice to get 1.3”, it sort of made up for not riding. A week ago we were over 10” short for the year so any and all rain is welcome even if it does interfere with my riding.
I got my lesson on Mick on Friday. Debbie brought Mick to the wash stall and showed me how to take off his turn-out…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on December 30, 2012 at 2:26pm — No Comments
It is Cold This Morning!
When I woke up this morning it was at my cut off point--24-25° F, luckily I did not have to get to the stable until 10:00 AM when it was above freezing. I was fine this morning until I started to get my homemade bit warmer ready, then I stubbed my left little toe hard. PAIN. I hurriedly put Arnica cream on it and put my paddock boot on in case it decided to swell up. Hobbling piteously I finished with my homemade bit warmer (old…Continue
Messing With My Saddles
Two weeks ago I gave my 42 year old Stubben Siegfried its yearly deep larding. When I got to the girth billet straps it became clear to me that I have to make some decisions, however much the horses prefer my Stubben Siegfried it is no longer safe for me to ride in as the front left billet strap could split all the way down the center without warning. GRUMBLE, I have been avoiding this decision for a year, hoping things would last long enough so I could save…Continue
Looking for an Added Edge
If you have been following my blogs you know I am riding ruined horses, horses who had lost faith in humans, horses who never really learned to trust the bit or the rider’s hands, horses with deep resistances, just basically horses who have been subjected to bad training, bad riding, and who then were sold to people who did not ride as well as the trainer. You also know that I have this deep faith in the ability of Forward Riding (Forward Seat, Forward…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on December 9, 2012 at 3:14pm — No Comments