Saturday, November 21, 2009


Well to start off with, the Brigit situation might not be so bad. Her nose has gone from runny to only slightly wet, maybe things ARE clearing up? Fingers crossed!
I ventured outside for the first time sidesaddle this morning. It was so nice to get outside and have a bit more room to move in. I was so impressed with B, normally she gets a bit spooky at things but not today. She was really moving out and relaxed. It was a really enjoyable ride. I attempted the "posting" trot sidesaddle today. Definitely a little tricky! I have no idea if I'm doing it right but it felt ok. Maybe one of these days I'll have to see if I can get a video to post.

Anyways, I just love looking at all the different sidesaddles. Not one looks the same. They're so unique and have such interesting little details. I thought I'd share some of my favorites. This is a saddle I saw at the clinic I attended this summer. Isn't the tooling just gorgeous?

This is a lovely english saddle. The safe and seat have gorgeous stitching (quilting?) on them. I was so tempted to buy this saddle but I was set on getting one with a doeskin seat and pommels.
Isn't that seat gorgeous?

There are so many neat western saddles out there. This one is really interesting with the light doeskin seat and the leather wrapped cinch rings.

And how about these three? All three have such neat details on them. The one in the middle is a saddle that I found on ebay from Peru. It has some amazing tooling and silver details.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not so good news.....

Well the antibiotics didn't work. Brigit had her last round of them on Sunday evening and she had a runny nose again 24 hours later. Not *as* bad as it was but I'm pretty sure it will get there. Uuurgh.... I was really hoping the antibiotic would do the trick but the vet had warned me that it might not. I talked to the vet today and we're scheduled to go back on November 28th. We're likely going to scope her again and do another round of xrays (this will be the third time). The vet said that it'll likely result in surgery of some sort or another, he's hoping that we can find something obvious this time. That's been the problem, at first they thought it was a tooth and we were going to have it removed but when we went back, they weren't 100% sure so I opted not to do surgery and try the antibiotics. It could just be a sinus infection or it could be a tooth causing the problem. Our options are to do surgery and treat for a sinus infection, and leave the tooth. Or do surgery and take the tooth out and treat the sinus's. I hate to be taking teeth out without being sure.

So it looks like she's going to be laid up for awhile. I guess that means I can work on my other project horse Shadow or ride some of the school horses. There's definitely no shortage of horses to keep me occupied!

Here's Shadow.... I'll write about her another day, Right now it's time for bed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Getting more confident!

It's been a little while since I posted again, sorry! I keep forgetting! I'll make up for it today with a couple of posts.

I took my sidesaddle down to the barn tonight and had a friend take some pictures. I'm definitely feeling more and more comfortable, I just love this saddle. The doeskin seat and pommels are so secure. I was really nervous my first ride in it and it took some getting used to but I think I've found my balance and have realized that I'm not going to just tip off the side. I can walk, trot, canter, halt from any gait, figure 8's (with simple changes in the middle!) and have experienced the odd crow hop or two.

I think Brigit is getting used to it now too as our transitions are getting much better. I'm really pleased with her, she can be a pretty nervous "squirmy" horse but she's doing well with this and really listening to me.

I attempted to ride her with the fancy new whip the other day and she was definitely not ok with that! She's not used to me riding with a whip so when she saw it she went shooting sideways (*I* was not so ok with that!) so I ended up just dropping it. I think I'll have to get her used to it when I ride her astride first.

Anyways, here are some pictures from tonight! I realize they're pretty poor quality, my camera isn't that great in the dark, dusty arena. However my photographer did a great job considering what she had to work with! lo

Some trotting. I like this pic, I think I'm sitting nice and tall and have my hands in a good spot.

(if anybody has any tips for me, please feel free to post them in the comments! I'm just starting and on the "do it yourself" program, so the more help the better!)

Another blurry trotting photo......

And some blurry cantering. In the last one I feel like I'm tipped a bit too far forward, maybe it's just the part of the stride we're in? Brigit's got a big round stride that's hard to sit in an astride saddle so it's a bit tricky aside.

That's all!

Something I didn't expect to find!

Some friends and I went out antique and vintage store shopping on the weekend. We usually go once or twice a year and always find something interesting.

We had stopped in this one shop that specialized in antique military stuff. It's just crammed full of everything from uniforms, helmets, small lead toys, medals and all kinds of other stuff. So interesting to poke through.
As I was looking through the store I noticed something that caught my eye sticking up out of a round sort of umbrella holder.....

An antler handle.....

It was exactly what I thought it was! An old hunting whip! So of course, I had to have it. I was suprised when the price tag said $35.00. From what I've seen hunt whips can be a lot more expensive.
This one doesn't have a maker's mark on it anywhere. I know it's real antler and the end part is lashed on with a very fine string of rawhide, I have no idea what kind of wood it is. What a find though!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The cleaning process

When my saddle came I noticed that the leather and straps were all really dry. The Billets were good but all of the panels, safe, balance girth & overgirth were all very dry. I think someone must have kept it in their house for a long time and it dried out?

I wasn't really sure what was best to use on sidesaddles so I emailed a few experts in the field. One of those was Linda Flemmer from the Side Saddlery. What a wonderful lady! I have to admit that over my search for a sidesaddle I've inundated her with questions and she's always been so helpful. I was told to use a soap/conditioner that would have been used when the saddle was made, because the leather was tanned differently than saddles of today. I started out using Lexol but apparently that isn't the best thing to use. I found some glycerine soap and "leather balsam". The main ingredients in the leather balsam are lanolin & beeswax. I gave the saddle a good coating with it last night and it absorbed every bit of it. It's starting to look like a whole new saddle! The panels are getting a bit more flexible and the straps are so much better. Not to mention that all of the scuff marks on the cantle and top of the pommels have pretty much disappeared.

The stirrup mechanism was pretty gummed up and all of the metal fittings including the stirrup were dirty and tarnished. (They had a greenish tarnish on them.....silver plated maybe?) My boyfriend actually took quite an interest in the saddle, it's so different from an english or western saddle. He cleaned up all the metal on the saddle with some polish and oiled the stirrup mechanism.
Doesn't it look nice?