Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weekend/Rufus update

We're farm-sitting - well, I helped for the weekend. Sheep to feed and waterers to check for the sheep, cows & horses. It was rainy on Friday, just drooling down in cold, windy strings all day. Bleh!

Saturday was better, but no time to ride. The horses are looking round and starting to get their winter coats. They were happy to see us, and happier still that the bugs have mostly died off now that it's getting chilly.

Sunday was grey and damp but not too windy, and we made plans to ride in the late afternoon with J. Simplest plan was to load up Rufus and Buddy and trailer over to the farm so I could ride Sunny. We helped J, who'd been fencing all weekend, finish up his last gate, caught horses, and loaded up.
Rufus's abcess is healing nicely. In addition to the soaks in warm water, Epsom salts and iodine, he's been wearing a boot on that foot. The boot gets 4 4x4" gauze pads layered in it soaked with iodine so that it will squish up into the drainage hole when he walks. He hasn't taken an off step since the abscess drained, and isn't sore to pressure, which is good. On the other hand, he has a heel bruise either from the boot or from over-reaching, so it's back to soaking for that....
Anyway, we loaded up and headed out but at the second stop sign J got a call out. Rather than go on over and leave Buddy tied to the trailer while we road, we just circled around and headed back to J's.

T and I figured we have a short ride, staying close so that if J's call went quickly, he could still ride with us. Sure enough, he reappeared in time to catch another horse. His daughter came home from decorating the high school for their homecoming dance and saddled up as well.

Buddy vs. Sunny
I've mentioned the size difference, haven't I? Simply put, Buddy dwarfs Sunny. And at no time is that more clear than when mounting. Holy smokes... I'm so glad I have a short horse!

Turning Buddy is like turning a Cadillac. Don't get me wrong, he's not stiff or boggy. And he'll pivot right around in one spot. But the spot has to be a bit bigger.

And trees? Well, let's just say that watching for low hanging limbs was a priority in more than one place!

I'm also not used to a horse that... placid? He was definitely awake and watching for things. He didn't spook at the deer or at the pheasants flying up, and kept close track of where the dog was at all times. His ears were swiveling around listening to us talk, etc. But there wasn't the bright alertness that Sunny telegraphs when I'm riding him. It was sort of odd having a horse mosey along feeling so relaxed.

And while Sunny can do turtle-speed with the best of them, he's so much shorter coupled that he always feels like he's moving faster. Buddy's so much longer that he can walk more slowly and still keep up with the group. It was sort of like driving a very quiet car after driving an old noisy one - you keep wanting to press on the accelorator until the noise level reaches what you're used to - LOL!

Buddy has gears. Sunny doesn't really rate well at the lope. Getting slow, medium and gallop isn't a dependable thing - something I really need to work on more. Faster is not a problem, but slowing back down can be interesting. Buddy has all three speeds and a few more, and I had fun experimenting. And he has a great stop. Of course, he's been roped off a fair amount, so that's not a big surprise.

It was fun to ride Buddy, and I'm glad I got the chance to compare - and to ride at all this weekend - but I'm getting kind of anxious to do a bit of riding on my own pony!


Kate said...

It is fun to ride different horses - it gives you good perspectives on your own.

SunnySD said...

It is fun - but you know as much as I used to love riding strange horses, I'm getting more and more leery of getting on them, even the apparently push-button ones. Sigh....

Promise said...

I've been so behind on my reading!

Buddy sounds great, but I know what you mean. Riding a different horse, whether the difference is good, bad or indifferent, always makes me want to ride Promise.

I have to get back in the saddle this weekend!

buckpony said...

Hi Sunny!
Glad to see you've had some time in the saddle, even if it isn't on your own pony. :) I'm still jealous! :)

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the comment about using a Wintec dressage saddle. It's nice to have other people's opinions - I need all the advice I can get these days!

Hope all is well with you -