Back in the (Clean) Saddle Again

Hooray. I’ve got my horse back! It’s sure been a long road for Apache. Last night, I saddled him up for the first time since the dang abscess, and I made sure he was doing okay in the round pen by trotting him a lot. He was deemed okay, so I mounted him while Sara got on Spice, who really didn’t seem happy, though she behaved fine. I’d say the ride wasn’t a complete success, though it wasn’t a failure, either. Apache indicated what he wanted to do instead of what I wanted, fairly strongly, a couple of times. Still, I got through it and did a good job getting him on my schedule before I got off. I did give him a nice rinse-off, which delighted him.

This morning, we got out bright and early. We were delighted to see that there were clouds in the sky and a breeze. That made everything much more pleasant. I was happy to see that he was still clean, even though I KNOW he rolled in the pens.

Today, Sara decided to see if Bonnie Pumpkin, the horse who’d hanging out with us for a while, would be ridable, and she put the bareback pad on her. I decided to use the hackamore with Apache today, and apparently, that was a good decision. After a fine warmup, Sara carefully got on Bonnie, and she was fine! Hooray!

A happy moment for all.

I got on Apache, and off we went. He was a different horse today, very responsive and calm. He didn’t break into a nervous trot once, nor did he start spinning around if I dared to ask him to turn right. He must be feeling better. We went through the dreaded line of trees, and neither horse did anything other than walk, and occasionally stop to look at something. None of the usual spots bothered him. We made an entire circle, walked over some obstacles, and then, in a shocking display of obedience, I got Apache to walk past the barn before turning to go back.

Fiona wanted to be in a picture, too.

Sara and I both had FUN. That was so great. I felt so good (and not overly hot) that I decided to clean all my tack. I got all sorts of stuff off the saddle and got it gleaming and not all scuffed up. Apache’s girth was also really dirty and covered in hair, so I cleaned it, as well. The worst thing was the poor hackamore, which had been sitting since Apache was last ridable and had gotten all yucky and moldy, so I cleaned it all up again, too. I’m ready to go somewhere, once I have somewhere to go with him.

Everything got saddle soap except the suede parts, which just got wiped off and brushed. Horse people, this is a hybrid saddle made by Parelli back when I could afford such things. I intend to use it the rest of my life (it is SO comfy), though I’ll probably have to get a Western one at some point.

I hope that will be soon. Now that I am not spending so much time in Austin, I hope to be able to take lessons and fix some of my riding gaffes, then work on Apache’s horse gaffes. We both have a lot of work to do, but we do love each other!