The silence from my blog this week has been deafening.
Why have I been so quiet? Because I have little to write about. W has been sick, so I have been making trips home over lunch and then to the doctor yesterday to get him some antibiotics. Poor little guy has another ear infection. Time to talk tubes!
My new girth came in the mail yesterday. :) The 18 inch I had ordered was on back order and won't be available until next week. But then I emailed them and asked if the 18 was too big, could I return it and order a 16? The wonderfully nice lady said not only could I do that, but they happened to have a 16 inch available. Would I want them to ship that to me now and I could test it out before the 18 arrives? You betcha! If I had my money tree, I would definitely buy more stuff from County Saddlery. They have been really great with such a relatively wimpy purchase (everything else on their site is $$$$$). And actually I may end up purchasing the shim pad they have some day.
I excitedly opened the box and took out this wonder girth that would solve all the problems of the universe and.....it looks pretty identical to my current one. I'm trying not to judge it without using it, but it really does look awfully similar. For over twice the price. Of course this one should actually fit (or at least one of the two sizes should) and that should solve the girth gall issues, so that's one thing. It also lacks any elastic. Most girths these days have elastic on the buckle straps so that when you inexpertly over tighten it, it can expand some when the horse breathes. I have read online that the elastic makes the forward slide of the saddle worse, so maybe this one detail will make all the difference. I will really need to be careful about over tightening it.
Also, I looked up my girth that I already have. The name has changed to the "Shoulder Relief Girth" and the price went up from $90 to $125! Ha!! Suckers! Out of sheer stubbornness and principle I wouldn't buy a shorter version of that. I refuse to pay more for a name change.
The hubs went out to ride Pete last night for his first ever nighttime ride. He hasn't been to the barn since the Pace two weeks ago (Bad Rider!) so it was time. Pete was happy to see him and I think they had fun. Pete took off at a merry hand gallop (kinda like a gallop, but more controlled - more like a really fast canter) around the arena. He was super sweaty so the hubs borrowed Gem's fleece cooler to help dry him out. The boys always have fun.
I am planning to head to the barn tonight to try out the new girth. I am going to try it sans (that's for you hubbybear) fleece girth cover to see how it really fits her. I like the cover in general though, so if it works I will probably still use it. I do like how the edges of this girth are rounded and softer. Even if it isn't perfect, it may not rub as bad. Time will tell.
Plans...plans....plans....how I do loathe you. There is another Pace this Sunday that I had my eyes set on. Multiple problems have come up that makes this seem unlikely to happen :(
1) Our babysitter is potentially unavailable due to a surprise birthday party they may or may not be throwing for her grandmother. Even if they don't have the party she said she wouldn't be comfortable coming to the ride and watching him there. So that would mean a 7 hour lapse of W and I don't know if I want to do that. Plus he isn't feeling too well.
2) My back up plan was to have the hubs come but not ride. He would watch W while Gem and I ventured out on a solo Pace together. Fun and nerve wracking. The hubs wasn't too keen on missing the ride, but oh well. He has his running hobby. Plus W isn't feeling too well.
3) Remember that puppy we had show up at our doorstep a month ago? She had found a nice home locally with a mom and twin 2 year old boys, but the mom returned her saying it was too much to deal with a pup and the boys. Hmmm...who would have saw that coming? The hubs has a friend in Ohio who has been wanting her from the beginning but getting the two together has been an issue. With the pup needing a home again, we contacted her and she can make it all the way down to Knoxville TN this Sunday if we can meet her there. It is only a little over 3 hours for us, so we need to make it happen. Now, being the way I am I figured that her leaving from OH could put her in TN late afternoon/early evening. If that is the case and the ride last time took us until 2, there might be a way to sneak the ride in and then send the hubs off to TN afterward.*Diabolical laugh inserted here*. But that probably won't work because then the poor girl won't get back to OH until super late. I can't just go to the ride solo because I don't want to put W through a 6+ hour round trip drive for no reason, so the hubs is travelling alone and I will be with W.
Sooooo.....my new plan is to head to the trails at Fants grove Saturday afternoon after the hubs is done with work to ride Gemmie solo. The hubs is going to bring the pups and W and go for a hike. Why Fants? I didn't really like the trails much. But..it is a nice 5+ mile loop that is super well marked and extremely hard to get lost on. Keep all trail markers to the left (or right...I can't remember but it is listed on the sign) and you are golden. Or as golden as you can be when you are prone to getting lost. While I would prefer Isaqueena, the trails are poorly marked and I would easily get lost up there. A nice, hilly and technical 5 mile loop should give Gem something to think about so she doesn't decide to try to kill me instead. I need to start putting more miles on her and the weekends are going to be my only chance. If I can't make it to a Pace to use for conditioning, I will have to go hit somewhere alone. The only problem with that is that the Pace with Pete along keeps us moving out at a nice trot, but solo I think we will be working on her mental game more than speed.
Back up north, everyone is getting settled in for the winter. Rides up there end in October and don't pick back up again until May. Mentally I am still thinking like this. But down here the rides begin in February with a lull in the summer months due to heat, so she needs to be 25 mile ready by then if I want to get in a multi day prior to a single day 50 in the fall. EEEK!