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Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm so TACKY these days!

dragonflyhorsetack.com
Wow! That horse's hindquarters look just like mine.
 I re-made a roper noseband today. The noseband was already perfect, but the head strap was so long, certainly would've fit a Shire Draft. I looked at it in the store and wondered why the noseband and strap was only $4.00, it was new, made from heavy quality leather. I told Steve that I couldn't live without it and it got popped it into my shopping basket with a Cob-size bit. The Cob bit was planned. I needed a 41/2 inch mouthpiece and the only one in the store was on sale, too. I even bought a brand new pink, full fly mask for $2.00. A mistake made by the store and now I'm the lucky owner of a huge draft-size mask. I know that it was huge, but it's a project re-do.
The Square Box Is A CD Case--Mask Size XXXL
I'm thinking this county is filled with average-sized horses with big prices and big prices for all their equipment. Must be a lot of people that attend the show circuits. If the size doesn't sell and hangs in the store a while. It's "sale time" and I should be checking the store more often, or not. Roper Noseband, surprise, doesn't even fit our stocky little quarter horse! Re-do, but I'm good with that, I've had a lot of practice repairing everything in the bunkhouse aka. tack-room. It should be named Rat House.

The noseband part was okay. I just cut the modified the -- in there forever -- Chicago Screws off with the loops that went through the noseband. The head straps needed two more holes on each side and I looped each piece on each side and through the band. I put my new Chicago Screws in and now it's perfect. Tools used, a one-size fits all ancient hole-punch, an ice pick that had been used on "Ol' Blue" when he had bloat, a really rusty screwdriver, the non-Phillips version. Old style, real old style. Oh, and a pair of scissors from the Dollar Tree to trim and bevel the edges of the leather. I was set, the screwdriver worked great after my work with my improvised awl. The Chicago Screws fit perfect and tight.

I don't believe I'm unique at my age of 60, that when we were all growing-up in California, we were only taught about the breeds that were developed in the United States and with the exception of the Thoroughbreds, drafts, and the relatively "new" import of the Arabians. My father always talked to all of us about our Dappled-Gray Arabian, Smokey. Insert "unpronounceable name" nicknamed, Smokey and he was the son of one of George Patten's Egyptian, Arab mares from Poland. It was so evident to see in "new" Arabian's faces, that the breed has even changed so much in the last forty years. The horses from other countries were mostly unheard of and if I'd been asked, "What's a Warmblood?" I would've said a real "roundup race horse"  Most importantly, I was constantly taught by my grandfather, a California State Judge and real rodeo eventer, grandstand announcer, and even a rodeo clown. My dad was a rodeo star in college and also a gymnast. I should've said that the other way around. By being the gymnast, I think that he had incredible balance and could stay on anything he rode ... and with his strength, he could hold to anything. My two experts constantly fed me what they knew and by looking at my dad's college books, from the 1940's, that's what I learned here at Danger Ranch. Did I say they whisper in my ear all the safety precautions, over and over that I learned by rote to the tenth degree? I need to listen and maybe our place would be known by my dad's ranch name, Rock 'n' Oaks Ranch and not Danger Ranch.

The 4-H and FFA members are still asked the major breeds of the animals as just one of the many judge's questions during showmanship competition. The dairy goats, were NO SALT. Memory aid for: Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen, Alpine, La Mancha, and Toggenburg.  I was on the Internet, when the web information all  was new and I was using it to try and find information, right in the middle of Larin's showing years for beef cattle and goats. I was searching files and files for information on pigs and sheep, because when you're in fair long enough, Master Showmanship requires a showman to know about all the breeds that were exhibited at the fair. I about fell off my chair when I saw a college list of the breeds of livestock around the world, and I couldn't stop myself. I ended-up looking at the horses. I knew there were Welsh Ponies, I had one, but even the Shetland ponies .. I thought they were "Made In America" I suppose I never thought about where they were from and why the breed was developed.

We raise Bashkir Curly Horses and have owned them since the early 1990s. Curlys were made in America and all by themselves. The horses are pretty unhappy when we have really hot spells with the East Winds during our winter months and the horses have this huge pile of long curly hair covering their bodies. I know they miss the cold and even the granite rocks. Our foundation mare from the BLM used the rocks to rub her hooves against granite for a medi/pedi and she had perfectly formed, hard feet. Our farrier couldn't believe the perfect condition of her feet and they never changed, ever.

Snaffle Bridle
Western Outfit with Curb Bit on the Bridle


 I'm still learning everyday about horse tack, disciplines, health and hoof care,conditioning, techniques, and even clothing for me. My grandfather had the Western Wear and Saddle Shop. I thought I knew so much. I had to sell, clean, and rehang and rearrange every piece of equipment and clothing in the store. I did have my Poley Saddle from Australia, it was a gift to my grandfather when he imported all the Australian dogs to raise and sell. He wouldn't have ridden a non-western saddle, and he couldn't sell it ever, so I asked for it. The Poley was so comfortable, but 100 years old. The shop had all the English saddles,and all those, and the shop sold a lot of them, to my surprise. English saddles look to me like expensive bareback pads. Everyone shied-away from the very old Australian saddle because it wasn't sleek, dressy for show, and it was really old. I loved it and didn't push anyone to even look at it. It snuggly fit my rear perfect and never, ever became saddle-sore, but that's a good thing, because I'm working cowgirl.

THE BEST SADDLE EVER!
The Poley Saddle Is Just Like Mine
Not Tooled, Less Padded & It Has
A Western Girth & Breast Collar and Crupper
The Crupper Keeps The Saddle From
Moving Forward Over the Withers, When Going Downhill
Hooks to the Back of Saddle &  Loop
Fits Under The Tail of the Horse
Could Happen-New Fashion Statment
Yesterday, I brought the training bridle from my trainer, called a Weaver Gag bit. It reminds me of something I brought a long time ago. Sally-Horse has her head-set and I want to go from her gentle snaffle and then the hackamore and then back to the Weaver and then use it as needed. It's a training device.
 She's new at all the training and so she has soft mouth. Sally-Horse stops with voice commands now. The combination bridle can only be described as a robe headstall  with a nice latigo leather earpiece. The mouthpiece is sweet iron and I know Sally-Horse likes that. The real difference is that the bridle has sliding gag that only is used when necessary. I only have to use it softly and she collects herself and I love how she now has responded with my voice even before I ask her with the reins. I laughed out-loud when I was waiting for my mom to see her on the driveway and she was a little impatient. Old habit revisited. I promptly said, "Whoa!" and she stopped and then, stepped backward four steps for punishment and stopped. I knew my trainer had done that with her over and over and she was really "putting herself in timeout" I'm so anxious to do this all over again, and again. So many ways to train, so many ways to make mistakes. I'm going to try and make myself and the horse that I have been intrusted with in my life, better and better. I wouldn't have picked her, she wouldn't have picked me, but we're together.
 Remember, I'm just writing a journal here. I want to remember when I looked at this Weaver Gag it suddenly brought me back to the time I ordered a training hackamore contraption out of the Western Horseman in 1963.
 It was in the classified ads in the back and was headlined as the training device that taught all horses fancy tricks. I was determined to teach my horse to lay down, shake hands, stand on a stool, and bow. I didn't know my dad already taught my horse to shake hands. I thought I was teaching her so fast, I could accomplish anything. My dad and grandfather laughed when they saw what I had bought. It was a scam, with strings and pulleys.
 I can't believe it! I found this piece of junk still in the bunkhouse! Gotta check-out the thin cotton strings and all the pulleys. Honest, I didn't know it was lighter than kite string in the ad. This so called "training piece" was so bad even the rats didn't eat it. I could never prove my grandfather or my dad wrong because I couldn't figure out if it was inside out or upside down, or even backwards. This contraption was never once on any horse. If I did figure it out, ever...just the strings alone, make it worthless.

The truth is I still have trouble with just about every halter and rope combo, some bridles, and always have to redo the reins to the flat inside on the horse-side. I put a little orange yarn on the nose band to help me see where I am.

This morning I had the hardest time snapping my blouse, it took so long getting dressed. I had to hurry to get to my mom's house. I grabbed my phone and tried to put it in the snapped pocket of my blouse to carry to my purse-phone-holder-goody, I couldn't get my hand in my pocket. No pocket. I need to tie an orange string on my clothes? My Wrangler snap-front blouse was on...inside-out. OOPS! I thought I turned it right? Smile, not old setting in, just still the same

 Please No, No, No...I'm not eating dirt again, ever! Memorizing the rules as if I was wasn't drummed constantly with rules my whole life and if you stick to the rules...you still get hurt! However, I LOVE being saddle sore. Weird, huh?

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