Monday, November 9, 2009

Mouthy Mondays

Yo! I'm back! Long week, glad it's over, glad I did it. I truly appreciate the input on stretching and loosening my mare. I'm inclined to lean towards some of the long, slow, dressagey kind of exercises, I liked HOC's recommendation a bunch.
Ruckus Butt almost busted me...yes I do have a lot of opinion and thoughts on flexing and loosening a horse. But I love getting outside input. My mare has more emotional issues than physical, I'm not ruling out the chiro, but I'm going to try riding her through her tightness first.
She has stiffened in defense. My guess is it has to do with the weaker side of her rider (not me) and how she turned a little tightness into an evasion, then on into a locked up fearful mess. By listening (reading) to all of you I get a much bigger picture on what I want to work on to get my girl back on track So thanks. If you want I'll come back to the program I'm putting together for her.
This is a cool story. I'd have posted it sooner, but it was sent to me as a blog link. Pleeeeaaaassssse don't do this to me. It creates all kinds of work for me. I love to share the space, but prefer to be able to cut and paste.

I have a barn buddy who is actually a guy. He doesn't go out to the barn for horses necessarily, but more as our junior fix-it guy when the fix-it guys aren't there or need help.

He likes horses. That's about the only horse-related thing we have in common.

He can ride, but only if he has to (and I laugh when he does).

When it comes to carpentry, I can drill a nail in, drill a hole, and use a hammer. Barely.

We both laugh when I'm given the task of driving a nail into some piece of wood. I'm usually only given it because I'm a last resort. And it doesn't need to be done well. I admire his handiwork, he admires my dressage riding. Nonetheless, we have other teenagery things in common: football (he plays, I watch with an educated eye) and school, friends, movies, the like.

So I was excited to show him a bit of my horsey world when we and and his grandmother -a friend of my instructor - made the long trip from Austin to Seguin (near San Antonio) to visit a gigantic tack store. His grandmother and my instructor were to pick up other items for their horses, I went to try out a saddle I had seen online.

We walk in and my jaw drops at the size and selection of the place, and then we all dispersed. They go and look for bridles, and I go on to admire the beautiful tooling of all the western show saddles.

My guy friend tags along with me and asks questions like "who would pay this much for a saddle?" and I tell that someone who wanted to look good and get attention in the ring would.

"God, I miss riding western sometimes. All the tack was super pretty. Dressage, everything is just black."

"So, get one of these! You're looking for a saddle right?" I look at him in horror.

"I'd get disqualified!"

He laughs. "Damn, they're that picky?" I laugh too.

"You have no idea..... oooh, they have an English section!"

I drag him over there. He watches me gaze in awe at the $3,000 Passiers and delicately set them on the plastic horse model and try them out.

"This is amazing!"

"It's just a saddle."

"Just a saddle? It's a Passier! A Passier!"


I jokingly scoff at his ignorance, remembering that my instructor and I were probably the only ones in the group who realized the amazing-ness of a Passier. I then saw the saddle I actually had intention to buy elsewhere: my Wintec synthetic. I try it on, and my instructor and I gawk, and then go to look at bridles. I, of course, eye the pretty ones with the padding and the crystal browbands. No intention of getting one, just admiring what I usually only see on the Internet or in magazines or on Grand Prix horses.

Guy friend finally speaks out, "Why do you want to get all of this stuff?"

"I don't. I'm just admiring. Greta and I already have everything we need."

"No, I mean, why get stuff like this in the first place for your horse? She's not top of the line."

Why I oughtta....

I could not laugh this one off. My instructor froze and turned around. He had just pushed the envelope. Not top of the line! He knows just how much I love Greta! How much I dote over her and spend an hour-and-a-half after a 30 minute ride just grooming her. Again. I was being a bit materialistic, true, but how could he say this?

"She most certainly is top of the line! Her sire was imported from Sweden!" my instructor says, and lightly pops him on the head and walks away, leaving me to deal with it.

I sigh, cross my arms, and shake my head, trying to give the best "I'm very disappointed in you" look I could give: something I have learned from watching the parental units. Not the best, but I tried.

"I don't care if she had been sired by a godawful-looking grade and then [foaled by a goat] she is my horse and I am allowed to spoil her. Besides, it's none of your business what I do and don't get for my horse. Just stop me if you see me getting one of those wire bits they had over there."

He shrunk away. We didn't really talk much afterwards until he apologized later during lunch:

"Sorry about what I said in the store-"

"I could see where you were coming from." He raised a brow.

"You just worded it very wrongly. What you should've said is, 'I understand you love Greta very much, but she doesn't care whether or not you get her the $3,000 Passier or the $50 used one off of Craigslist. She could care less if you ride her at all. She could care less who her parents' parents' parents were. What she does care about is that you are her human and that you care for her and watch out for her as she does for you despite all of your antics. You do, and that's all that matters. Though nice saddles are great, too.'"

"I don't know if I could've thought that one up...."

"You didn't need to. It was just a personal eureka." And then I went on to sprinkle some salt on the chips.


  1. Great story! I'm sure many of us can relate to a situation like that.

    Lol Mugs, I know you like hearing everyone's thoughts...I just couldn't resist!

  2. Oh wow-that was handled much better than I would have done!

    My horses(okay, ponies really) have never been the prettiest or best put together but THEY'RE THE BEST THEY CAN BE AND YOU DON'T TALK SMACK ABOUT THEM!!!!!!!!

    Yep, I definitely would have overreacted.....

  3. boys..., men... It really is amazing that they live through some of the thoughtless things that they say. And he sounds like a really nice person to boot.

    If we began counting all of the clear signs that he had that this comment would not be well received, I think that we would be going for a while.

    Sounds like an awesome trip, I had a roommate that would make a day of tack shop hopping with me on a weekend day several years back. Good times!

  4. Cute story! I love D&D it is the best tack store in the area as far as selection, my jaw dropped the first time I walked in there too. Have tried many saddles on that plastic pony as well :) LOL at the instructor thumping his head! Some boys need a thumpin to jumpstart the thought filter.

  5. Cute. :) My farrier (has done my horse for many years before he was mine) sometimes (though he loves my boy) tells me about him before he was mine during his show days etc.. He says things I want to smack him for like... oh he's back is a bit long or his neck it a bit short (which... I don't really see nor does my instructor so I dunno where the farrier is going with it...) BUT he also says he's the best he's ever looked in all the years he's known the horse - especially is topline and that I was doing a great job with him. THAT totally made me forget anything bad he muttered.

    Sigh... going through some rough critter times. Missed checkin' in and I have some catchin' up to do. Aussie shattered her leg - Sx full plate, 9 screws and 8 weeks in a crate and you have to go down stairs to get to the yard from any of our doors of course. Horse's scratches raged out of control while dealing with the dog and now he's on antibiotics twice a day, has a puffed up lower leg and an awful mess of a left rear pastern I'm doctoring. Oh, car needed a $700+ repair too.

    Been a great couple of weeks I tell ya'! Wish us luck!

  6. Great story! I'll never forget when my instructor (gently) told me "I hope you don't intend to show, because Oliver will never place in MQHA"

    Even though she is right, he's short and compact, of course he's not going to place in western pleasure (her chosen discipline), and she told me in the nicest possible tone, I still wanted to run her over with my short and compact little gelding!

  7. It's interesting how somebody's comments about our horses can set us off.
    Personally, it's the folks who offer input I haven't asked for that get me ramped.
    If I asked my shoer what he thought about my horse's conformation and he told me he was long backed and short-necked, I wouldn't be upset.
    If he offered the info unasked I'd be highly insulted. Highly.

    If I asked my trainer to help me prepare for AQHA events and she told me my horse wouldn't cut it, I'd appreciate the honesty. If the information was volunteered while I was working on my horsemanship I'd be pissed.

    As long as my horse does what I want I consider them perfect. Unless I ask an opinion I prefer to go on dreaming that everybody else feels the same.

    Men who aren't into horses (and many who are) tend to look at horses the same way they look at cars. To their mind, buying a $5000 paint job for a $1500 car makes no sense, especially if the engine needs work.
    To my mind, buying a $3000 cutting saddle for my horses is like putting my husband in a tux. It shows how I value both my horses and my husband, even though they all still need engine work.

  8. Thanks for the story!
    The sad thing about being a long time horse owner is that you really have most of the things you need.
    So when I enter a horse tack store it is always with a bit of a bad conscience.
    I have a weak spot for numnahs/saddle pads. Lack of impulse control, hehum.

    And I have to ask...what is the name of Greta's sire?

  9. My dad once asked about my beloved spotted pony "Why don't you get rid of that ugly one and get something else?". That was almost 30 years ago and I still hold it against him. (I didn't listen by the way, I only lost my boy 4 years ago).

    Our farrier told us a funny story about a time he was asked to comment on someone's new horse. Bearing in mind that if you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all he struggled to think of a reply. Eventually he heard himself saying "Erm, he's got lovely fluffy ears"!


  10. If only my farrier was as tactful as anon's!

    It was unsolicited comments from my farrier. Since he then said something nice I let it slide...

    (okay, I'm still a little bitter.)

  11. Hey Mugs! You ought to post "heart". Seems like a good addition to the comments.

  12. The bling-bling-think-they-are-world-class-western-pleasure-hunter-eq-trainers-now-at-age-21 kept saying how my mare was only a trail horse (in an insulting way) and not athletic...blah blah blah. Funny, she can do side-passes at a canter - I found that out by accident a month or so ago...and doesn't even think about it! Collects beautifully for a horse trained by me. My boss/friend, whom I *finally* went riding with, said without any prompting "you should do dressage with her."

    I hate it when people judge a horse as unworthy just because that horse doesn't fit into their chosen discipline.

    Anyone hear me growling from Michigan?

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  14. Mugs, I love your comment,

    "To my mind, buying a $3000 cutting saddle for my horses is like putting my husband in a tux. It shows how I value both my horses and my husband,"

    We all need to dress up once in awhile! I have a pretty blue pad that I've been waiting to use for a long time for a special event. I haven't used it yet. Why do we do that? Keep something nice for a "just in case" moment! Maybe every day needs to be special and I'll start using my pad every day I ride!

    I have loved reading everyone's stories! Thanks for sharing!