Monday, May 31, 2021

A Trail of Painted Ponies: Rosemary

 This post is much later than I normally do, but her pony took a while to arrive and it just hurt too much. 

In 2010, not long after we lost Sherman,  Mom and I were drooling over video's of Castleberry ponies. I decided to find out if I could afford one of the foals. Surprisingly the breeder asked if I would be interested in Rosemary who was in foal. Plus the price was so low considering she had been backed.

 Her video

I  somehow convinced my parents and we set off in November to vet her. This shy, Amish bred mare was hard to catch with a history of a mysterious lameness. Eventually she was caught and vetted sound. 

The day we met

I paid a portion and signed up for payments. We now owned a pregnant, 3yr old. Rosemary quickly fit into our herd and her true sassy personality appeared.  And for nearly 10 years she filled our lives and opened doors we never thought to pass through. 

Two heavenly ponies 

So when I looked at Painted Ponies, Mystic Dreamer was the one for her.

Mystic Dreamer" was conceived as a guide on the journey to new beginnings for those who chase their dreams. 

From the beginning she guided us into breeding, driving, showing and cob ownership. Plus the statue has feathers. 

Without Rosemary there would not be Roscoe or Ember. She truly loved doing things for her people and protecting her herd. Little mare could be fierce.  She was also so gentle with the kids. 

She was a one of a kind mare who left us too soon. She lives on in her one of a kind son, and the grandfoals. One grandfoal was born on her birthday, Aderyn du Carousel,  which is today. 


Memorial day,  her 14th birthday felt like the right time to write this post. She touched so many in the short time she had and left her mark. I will always be grateful to have owned this mare. She revived the joy of horses for u

Into the light, forever bright

PS last day to guess her next grandfoal 
This was made for us by a friend 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Where There is a Will

 DaVinci has been maintaining so far. We will have to watch him once the heat sets in. I did manage to pull his shoes a few weeks ago. But I have not been able to trim him. 

He is the type to grow a ton of toe. He has not worn off much since I pulled his shoes. With his balance issues, long toes are a problem. 

So I kept looking at the area to see where he could stand while I trim. Could he stand on the edge of a raised mat and give me enough room? 

After work on Monday, rain prevented riding. I was determined to try to trim him while he stood.  How?

Step 1 Sit/Lay on the ground

Step 2 Dig the pea gravel out from around his hoof

Step 3 Begin hack job, put nippers under the toe and cut what you can.

Step 4 File the rough edges and avoid getting hit by his knee

This worked better than I ever expected and he only kneed me once. The Cob boys were racing around doing airs above ground almost the whole time and DaVinci stood still.

He is definitely walking better. 

Where there is a will, there is a way. Such a relief especially since we found out our retired farrier has not fully recovered from Covid. Treasure every day and make them as good as possible. That is where we are at.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Saddle Made Me Do It

 After I got my saddle, Roscoe was a different pony. So I had an amazing ride, the third in the saddle, and it made me feel like I could do anything. Add in the fact that the show was filling up and I took the leap and signed up for First 3. Let's not think about the last lesson where my trainer said to stick with First 2.

Lesson/show prep Magna Wave session which resulted in a "happy ending."

When I went to my lesson this Wednesday I told her "My saddle made me do it," when I informed her about the change. I asked for a low key lesson so that neither of us would over do before the show. Fortunately as she went about picking on my pony's transitions and leg yields, she said we would do well. Since I have no where on the property to put a 20x60 ring, except on an uphill dodging trees, we rode the test in the outdoor ring at the end of the lesson. This went surprisingly well considering it was the first time in a full size ring. I had hope.

Downward dog or bowing to his dad

I made a change to the saddle pad and my spurs during a ride prior to the show. FYI another benefit of the interchangable spurs, you can put a different head on each side as needed. The change helped with our yields and the pad change helped unlock his lengthenings that were sticky at the lesson.

My nerves were still up and Roscoe knew something was up. I have been trying to desensitise him to the wash rack and getting bathed. He is not a fan of water. I gave him a prewash after my last ride and he was fine. Then the day before the show he got the whitening/yellow out wash. He pitched a fit, not as bad as last year, so some improvement. My boy is a total drama king, stomping his feet and posturing.

This morning we got to the barn early, why did I not ask for a later time, and set about morning chores. As the boys ate, Mom had a brilliant idea and put his halter/lead on him. No gingerbread boy antics. Score one for reducing show stress. He was not too dirty and thankfully the Wow kept his white clean with a little brushing.

I knew I wanted about 20-30min for warm up which we got perfect. The problem was the judge was the teaching kind and took the time to talk and advise each rider. Good for a schooling show, bad for trying to time your warm up. Roscoe was full of it and he took a bit to settle. When he put himself into work mode, man he felt so great. He was the smallest in the ring, but he drew the attention of many spectators. To preserve his energy, we walked until the horse before us went into the ring.

As we went around the ring, Roscoe felt focused. The judge blew the whistle and we headed to A, with a wiggle around the still departing rider. First improvement was a fairly straight halt. The second was an actual lengthening. I have to work on showing a definitive change at the end, but after last year being disappointed, this was major. Our leg yields were a weak point today, I totally syked myself out about them. Roscoe then decided that walking was optional, dang pony. Then came the canter loops which were a worry for me. Today they were more balanced than previous efforts. We actually got an 8 on our left loop. The 15m circles were tough and not our prettiest moments.  But we ended on an 8 halt. 

All together the test was his most consistent to date. The judge remembered us and was pleased with the improvement. We got a 69%, which gave us second place. That walk cost us first. People kept commenting on his trot and lenthenings. We have work to do, but right now I am really happy. Now I have to figure out what test to do next month. 

Speaking of next month... don't forgot to post your foal pool guesses. And come on guys are you trying to torture me with such late dates? I am impatient to see this foal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Product Review: Compositi Hot Spur Interchangeable System

 As we ask more of Roscoe in training, I found I needed more in the spur department. Mom bought me a set of heavy weight rowel spurs for about $35 from Dover. These spurs definitely got Roscoe's attention and helped when learning new lateral movements. But he seemed to overreact during transitions.

So I started looking at different spurs. Karrigan recommended buying lower end versions of different ones before spending a ton on one kind.

At one point I landed at Riding Warehouse and found the Compositi Hot Spur Interchangeable System for $29.95. One polymer spur with the option of five types of heads: Two Prince of Wales models, as well as a round, hammer, and smooth rowel.

When I received them, I worried about the durability and how well the head would stay on. Well so far, they are great. They fit on all my boots and the change is easy. I admit I put them on upside down by accident. Mom tried them and realized my mistake.

Now I can ride Roscoe in the rowel and then switch to the small rounds for Ember without taking them off my boots. My toolbox has expanded. Definitely worth the price.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Foal Pool 2021

 The promised Foal Pool post features a new mare this year.

Meet MHS Gypsy Jazz

Her as a foal

She is a 2016 Welsh Cob Bay Mare. 

She had a chestnut colt by Roscoe's grandsire.

Bred to Roscoe on 7/18

We actually tried breeding her mother too last year. Fingers crossed she takes this year. These mares are part of an established, well run breeding program and we are really excited they chose to utilize Roscoe.

Getting ready to do his breeding job

Same parameters as usual.
Basic: Date/Gender
Bonus: Color/ Chrome(head, body, legs)

Guess below until 6/1

Prize is $25 gift card from store of choice

Framed cross stitch.

Last years prize

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Say Yes To The Dress

 Ok I know I said the Foal Pool would be next, but this just happened so it jumps the line. Plus I needed another post because my bad news post was number 666, talk about coincidence.

Well Wednesday I had a long awaited lesson where I updated my trainer on Roscoe's issues and the need for a saddle. She mentioned that Sprieser was having a saddle fitter coming Friday and Saturday. Convientely Lauren Sprieser came in riding one of her fancy boys. She quickly agreed to fit me into the Saturday schedule. My pony is a hard fit and I really needed a used/demo saddle due to my finances. She was going to ask the fitter is she had anything close.

My lesson was the first time riding in draw reins. Roscoe was not sure about them, but quickly figured out he had to deal. He has a tendency to pop up in the transitions especially the canter. We worked on those with my trainer critiquing. 

Then at one point a different voice commented that the transition was better. Turns out while Lauren was half passing she blocked my trainers view, so she filled in on the commentary. Imagine being able to ride lateral movements and assess someone else's transitions. It was a bit startling to be watched, but at least we did not embarrass  ourselves. 

Afterwards I looked up the saddle fitter and the philosophy was different and refreshing. Here is one point:

The more complicated the horse’s back, the simpler your solution needs to be in order to work. Some horses are much more complicated to fit than others. In the face of weird body proportions, think sweatpants, not skinny jeans. Think generic horse- shape and please put the notion of “custom” way out of your mind.

I also figured out from the website, I would not be able to afford their saddles in new condition. No prices listed. So on Saturday we loaded a slightly confused Roscoe and went to Sprieser. He was even more confused to have his bridle on and go to the indoor, but not begin to work. He was really well behaved. It was a long process, two hours, filled with education and sinking feelings of what my pony has been going through with his current saddle.

He has had a hollow spot along his back that has worried me for a while. Turns out the saddle is curved so when he tries to lift, he hit the curve and was blocked. The saddle fitter tried a bunch on but they were not quite right. Roscoe is deemed a hard fit and needed a flat saddle.

Then Lauren brought out a brown saddle which had previously belonged to a dear friend of hers who passed away. The saddle was now being sold by a former Sprieser trainer. The fitter put it on his back and said "voila." I could not believe it was close enough to ride in and try. 

The goal is to make the saddle neutral for Roscoe, like a good pair of underwear. I felt a bit out of whack, it was a different feel. Plus my stirrups were a bit too long even though they are my normal ones. When I say the change was immediate, I mean right away in the walk it was noticeable. He was coming through the shoulder freely and stretching down. Even at the trot he stretched and was more open. Lauren, who has seen him a few times, could see the difference. At the canter, it was like a rocking horse. The fitter took some slow mo video and you could see him finally come through at the canter and lift his back. Sadly she had an iphone and could not send the video to my android.

Another telling sign of success was Roscoe stood square and did not immediately cock a leg. And he was quiet. They said I could take it for a trial, but I needed to know the price. I was having a total Say Yes to the Dress moment and worried that it would be too expensive. How could I walk away from that feeling?

 The fitter did the math and came up with a price and Lauren checked to see if I could make payments. I inwardly cringed at the price which was higher than I liked, but low enough I could swing. Once I agreed the fitter worked on fitting it to Roscoe. She does not believe he will outgrow this saddle and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

When we got back to the truck, we noticed the blue welt

So I said yes to the 3yr old Detente Spencer for $2880. By August it will be all mine. Fortunately the Bates Isabell sold today and will cover a payment and the stimulus check will be a big help.

Hopefully Roscoe's saddle saga is over. Now to save up money for Ember and for brown tack. All my stuff is black because I am a bit traditional. But just like you don't ride the color of horse, the saddle color does not matter either. I will learn to love red on red. At least it is a darker brown.