Here’s An Idea, Let’s Change Several Variables At Once, Saddle, Schedule, and Diet, Part 2, Rodney

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. The first customer service rep could not help me because the words and numbers on the computer did not match physical reality. The map is not the territory, Korzybski. We forget this at our peril.
Rodney’s Saddle
If we are trying it for Milton, maybe a wider gullet plate is the answer for Rodney as well?

On our second trip to Stepping Stone Farm, he absolutely refused to trot. He’d try to canter, dink along, or threaten to blow. His feet were fine. It was another of his many issues.

Swamped by frustration. Again. What is the point if it is this hard? If no one is having fun? There may have been sniffles. (Note, sections of this post were drafted before we tried the new bar. Feeling better now. Incorrigible, unfounded hope has returned.)

We walked down to the round pen. Got away from the jump. Maybe anxiety? Took out one of the wither pads. Maybe saddle fit? I’ve always thought two thick pads were too much. He seemed to like them. Until he didn’t.[Padding]

Back home, rode bareback until we got our hands on a wider bar. (The widest of the standard Wintec set is white and labeled extra-wide. The smaller of the “wide” set is a pale purplish white also called extra-wide. This is not confusing at all. Picture me on the phone with tack store when the item I am holding in my hand is an item they do not sell. Supervisor was awesome. Asked the right questions. Figured out problem was with their inventory. They had the item I did not want incorrectly tagged as the item I did want. Or they are shining me on. Either way, told me to keep the first bar and they would send a new (hopefully) correct bar free of charge once they restock. Since I can’t figure out if this counts as a good review or a bad one, store name available on request. But I digress. Friends hooked us up.)

Rodney’s new set-up is same saddle, same girth, one pad, wider bar. It is a hair lower in front than I’d like but good. The first day, I felt tipped forward. The previous configuration could have been tipping me backward and I had gotten used to that. Second ride much better for me. The part under my seatbones is more comfortable. Seat feels wide. Makes sense. Rodney is a wide horse. He approves.

A solution? For the moment?

Maybe there is no single, fixed answer. Maybe I have to keep changing his padding around. Maybe his back is simply not set up for a saddle. Maybe all we can do is plod around the field bareback. Maybe my horse is unrideable. Maybe I need to move on the next topic.

Rodney’s Diet
Feed. Same.

Hay – coastal. Milton eats his hay and then takes Rodney’s. This I knew. Milton continues to eat while there is hay available. Rodney eats his fill and then wanders off. This I knew. Milton eats fast, as in vacuum cleaner fast. This I did not know. Maybe it’s a racetrack thing? Previous Horse was also obsessed with food.

Last month, we started putting Rodney in the stall for his breakfast hay. With them separated, I could see how quickly Milton whistled through a flake of hay. The dinner-shift feeder thought Rodney was being a weenie about defending his hay even when there were two piles. Milton can’t eat from eat two hay piles at once, but he can sure try. [Routine?]

Rodney is now put up for breakfast and dinner. More me time. A chance to finish his hay. Milton is not pleased. He was getting less before. Now, he’s getting even more less.

Hay – alfalfa. I really need to do a post about the whole alfalfa adventure. Short version. Started because we had no choice. Kept with because rxed for horses with weight gain and stomach problems. Brief, unsuccessful foray into bagged alfalfa.

Since Rodney has both weight and stomach issues, we had stayed with alfalfa over the summer. Now that he is getting all of his coastal, I’m hoping I can reduce the amount of alfalfa. Since they like it and don’t seem to be going ballistic, I’m letting them have an amuse-bouche with breakfast. They could probably get a flake each and be fine with it.

Bottom line, I am overly, possibly unduly, suspicious of Thoroughbreds on high-test hay.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

2 thoughts on “Here’s An Idea, Let’s Change Several Variables At Once, Saddle, Schedule, and Diet, Part 2, Rodney

  1. Alfalfa seems to work well with my older appendix quarter horse and we feed a lot less equine senior feed – forage first, then good hay, then grain is what has been drilled into me…

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