Petey had a very big day today. He had moments that were all over the spectrum from calm and connected to…..well, a little unglued. (The hoofprints in the picture are what he left on the front lawn.)
My wonderful, amazing sister came out to draw blood for Coggins for the upcoming Indiana adventure. And, as usual, we had a few other questions and tasks for her to help us with. One of those tasks being to share her opinion, advice and suggestions on saddle fit for Petey. Four western saddles did not get a thumbs up rating at all. Thank goodness that Dave was there to help with all the lifting. I am still pretty clumsy at dealing with those saddles, and Petey’s height doesn’t make the experience any prettier. Fortunately, a dressage saddle I had for years fit him. I came close to thinking that I should sell that saddle, so glad I did not. It was Bob’s saddle, and the emotional attachment is why I hung onto it, I will admit. Thanks again, Bob, for still keeping an eye on me!
Not only did Mary give her approval to the saddle, she helped us pick a pad that would work the best. She is so good at helping me understand things, and so very wise. I have the best sister in the whole world.
After the photo shoot for the Coggins papers, Petey was turned out again. He stayed pretty engaged even with all of the commotion of the saddle fitting, so he got a little break. Mary finished up, and we formulated a plan to let Petey wear his new saddle and pad, and ideally to see if I could sit in the saddle without the discomfort reaction he had before.
I brought him back into the arena, and did some ground work with him. It was all going very smoothly, so I put the saddle pad on his back. Ever since Petey has been sporting my assortment of jackets, his concern about the pad, or maybe what comes next, has diminished considerably. However, he had the tiniest worry flicker in his eye, so Kathy helped me come up with a plan to let him graze on the front lawn wearing the saddle pad. This was also influenced by Dave’s generosity of bringing us delicious pizza for lunch.
This is where the thundering strides of the title comes in. Petey was just fine grazing for a while. I was able to walk up and adjust the pad on his back without any reaction at all. Then, I’m guessing the combination of my going in to get some pizza, and him losing sight of his red girls flipped a switch for Petey. Let’s just say that he can run!
Thanks to Liz’s quick reactions and good thinking, she had the arena gate shut when we encouraged Petey to direct himself into the arena. Once in there, we got his brain back in his head through a bit of loose lunging. He made a great recovery, and within moments, was back connected to me on the end of the halter rope. What a good boy, Petey!
Since he made such an awesome recovery so quickly, we put the pad and saddle on Petey. Minimal to no worry reaction or response from the big brown horse. We went out into the round pen to continue the adventure.
Petey did a wonderful job staying connected and with me, so we proceeded with the plan to see what would happen when I climbed in the saddle. I am happy to share that there was no reaction of discomfort. We have a workable combination! I was so relieved to find an outfit that Petey found acceptable. And, I don’t have to go through the embarrassment at our pcoming clinic around my ineptness at throwing a western saddle around. Bonus! Mostly, though, I was so proud of Petey and how he went from one extreme to the other in such a short time. I am getting more and more excited about the Bryan Neubert clinic. I think it is going to be such a great learning and bonding opportunity for Petey and me. Thank goodness he has his new outfit!