Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Feeding and Blanketing, and Repeat!

Wearing Cisco's huge size 82 blankey
That is all that has been going on here lately! And more COLLLDDD weather is setting in tomorrow through at least Saturday I think. Single digits! BOO. This is the SOUTH!!

So I've been stuffing Harold with senior feed twice a day (A scoop, lol, not literally stuffing) which he has been quite pleased with. He greets me with the cutest hungry nickers every time I get there. Also as much hay as he wants. I don't see a huge improvement but I think we are getting somewhere, and at the very least not losing ground anymore. I've been keeping him blanketed on cold nights, or when it will be rainy/cold as well. I was just putting Daisy's rain sheet on but it doesn't have any fill in it, so on the colder days I put Cisco's mid-weight on him that we still have. The father in laws horse wore it once last year and somehow ripped the front gusset seam on it, so he's going to buy my mom a new one. It doesn't cause a problem so I just put it on him anyway, lol.

Picture from this morning, terrible footing for on, o well!
In other news! I've been shopping around for a good using/trail saddle for Mr. Harold. I've almost bought a few older Hereford Tex Tans, but never did close the deal. Well we ended up spending way too much on Christmas so there went my saddle fund -_-. But! I happened to be digging around the in laws shed the other day and found THIS:



It's an old Simco, which I totally did not recognize, but the husband was able to read the writing SOMEHOW on the leather keeper. I can't find a serial number but did find a 885 under the fender way up next to (and almost under) the tree. It also says "for pleasure riding only not recommended for roping", lol. Maybe it was made August '85? If anyone has any more thoughts, let me know!

It's not as good as a older Tex Tan or Circle Y, Bona Allen, or something like that, but I'd say its a 'good' saddle. The leather seems in good shape and not cheapy, even though I know the Simco is a lower level maker. I gave it a good cleaning/condition Sunday. The rawhide is pretty ugly (and dirty) but I can live with it. I might be looking into a seat saver after I do a couple of rides in it, especially on longer trail rides, that seat has NO give to it, lol. So, that solved my dilemma of having my 'own' saddle to use. (I was using the bro in laws some of you may remember, but there was an issue there...yeah, lets not go into that)

I took a wither tracing a couple weeks ago to take to a tack store with me with some coated power wire the husband cut for me, and traced onto a cardboard piece. It seemed to fit up into the gullet well, so hopefully it will fit him AND me. I haven't even sat in it, much less tried it on him. It's been cold, rainy, and dark along with the holidays. Plus the two little ankle biters of course take up a lot of my free time :). (And an ENDLESSLY dirty house does not help!!)
So we have been working on the 'ugly' faces he likes to make a grain time. What I did to begin with was walk into the pasture with the bucket and if he starts coming toward me with a nasty face I'll run him off both directions a few times and then allow him to come up to me again. If he is nice and stands patient, I'll give him a handful of grain. Then I will back him up with pressure on hsi nose a few times and when he stands again nicely he gets another handful of grain. All of this is reinforcing that I can move him around, and he gets to eat when I say, and when he is being pleasant and not trying to call the shots.

Now I can usually go in there and he perks his ears up at me and I just put his bucket down. Sometimes after I adjust his blanket I'll pick it back up to show him that I control his food. He probably got all this from being the low man on the totem poll in everyone herd situation he has been in, and that is what he has had to do to survive and get something to eat! But he still needs to make the distinction between LEADER and FOLLOWER. I am of course to be followed, so he needs to act accordingly. One time my Miniature Schnauzer was in front of him looking for loose grain and he DOVE at him with ears pinned so fast I was shocked. He is usually so easy going I definitely didn't expect that! 

Well not much else to add. Next post will hopefully be about how much I like riding in my 'new' saddle. :)


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