Over the river and through the woods

Friday, March 13, 2015

Today was another farrier day. Faygo now has front shoes on for the season and is looking good. Khaleesi got a trim and her feet are also in good shape. The bruise from 6 weeks ago has hardened and healed up and with the hoof trim you can’t tell it happened now.

Judy on Faygo
Judy on Faygo ahead on the trail

Judy came out again today and rode Faygo so I could ride Khaleesi on her second trail ride. She was great! Still moves slower than Faygo at a walk, but I try to remember it’s only her second time and the footing was muddy and slippery.

I talked with my Farrier again about our riding goals and how to move forward on hoof care. He also recommended a local rider to get to know who has time and miles in the AERC and is successful in finishing 100s. I think I’ll be able to meet her in April.

IMG_8212I have also been doing some research on gaited horses, saddle fit, bits, and how to help them gait. I believe that Khaleesi will have either a rack or a running walk and I hope to help her find that without frustrating her with unnatural aids (like a martingale to make her hold her head in place… or a bit that would use pain avoidance to force her to collect herself in form… or weighted front shoes to encourage her to pull her front feet up higher).

I ordered her a gaited horse bit that is identical to the one I use on Faygo and I’m going to at least try to start working on getting a gait from her a more “natural” way first and see if I can get somewhere before going the “old school” way of forcing her into it. The research I’ve seen tells me that if you have the right IMG_8205equipment and the horse is comfortable then you can ride the horse at a walk to it’s “breaking point”, meaning the horse wants to “break” into a trot at that speed, but continue to hold the horse in a walk- then you will start to get it’s natural gait to appear. I’d like to at least give that a try with her first.

We rode an easy 5.5 mile trail and both girls were great. I think Khaleesi and I are ready now to ride with other horses and not only Faygo. Here is video of her crossing a little stream.

We had a blast… I couldn’t be happier with how well she’s doing!

LOVE this girl!
LOVE this girl!