An Arabian Mare Can Touch My Soul
Summer has arrived down here in North Carolina, and so far this is the type of summer I remember from decades ago, HOT, MUGGY, and with many afternoon thunderstorms. Within a minute of stepping outside the sweat starts, and unless there is a breeze the modern summer tech fabric shirts and tights do not work very well. At least we are not in a drought this year,…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on June 17, 2017 at 3:44pm — No Comments
My New Wellep Full Cheek Double Jointed Snaffle
A few weeks ago, on Ebay, I found this listing for an “extremely rare” Wellep Full Cheek Double Jointed Snaffle. Yes, this bit IS extremely rare, I have been haunting Ebay for seven years, frequently checking for any Wellep bits for sale, and this was the first time I had seen a double jointed Wellep bit for…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on May 27, 2017 at 12:12pm — No Comments
Signs of Progress
This has been an amazing week for my riding. I finally managed to stabilize my new saddle so it stays centered on the horses’ backs, and I stopped slipping and sliding around in my saddle. The horses were happier, Debbie, my riding teacher was amazed, and if I were not exhausted I would feel like I was in my twenties again.
Two lessons ago, Debbie was please with a lot of my riding and Bingo’s responses, but she was NOT pleased that I could not keep myself…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on May 6, 2017 at 12:47pm — No Comments
Winter Tries to Return
This week was full of physical soreness for me, and changing weather for the horses.
When I arrived at Debbie’s stable Wednesday morning for my lesson I told Debbie that I was not up to much activity. That suited Debbie just fine; she had to give her soon to be endurance horse, the Arab gelding Tercel, another ride before her first formal long distance ride to get him used to his new endurance bridle and breastplate. She also wanted my opinion on how…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 8, 2017 at 12:05pm — No Comments
Sitting Up Straight Takes a Lot of Effort
Ever since I started using the Equicube for one to four minutes a week, I have been tired. The rest of the time, I try to replicate the spinal alignment I get from using the Equicube, both on horseback and just walking around on my own two feet. I have to retrain my body how to stand, sit on horseback, move with the horse, and how to walk on my own feet while keeping my spine straighter and my face vertical. I get some muscle aches too, in…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on February 18, 2017 at 11:37am — No Comments
I Prove that I am not a Wimp
Yesterday morning it was above in the low 40’s F, thick clouds, and with a brisk north breeze/wind. It was cold and raw, and when Darryl put Mia in the wash stall, she looked at me pointedly and I put her BOT butt blanket over her back. Then I rushed to groom her head, ears and mane, and I put her BOT poll cap on. Finally, Mia stopped giving me emphatic LOOKS with slightly unhappy eyes, she was just warm enough where she ached so she could relax and…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on February 4, 2017 at 12:35pm — No Comments
Another Set of Eyes
When I got to the barn on Wednesday, Debbie’s daughter, Sam, told me Debbie was sick, but that she would be glad to give me a lesson. Since a fresh set of eyes can often see things that become “normal” to my usual teacher I was happy to take her up on her offer (after checking to see that giving me a lesson would not put her behind for her other work at the stable.) As we groomed Bingo, I was able to tell her some problems I had noticed when the little girls…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 28, 2017 at 2:26pm — No Comments
Increasing My Stability in the Saddle
When I got my new Pegasus Butterfly jumping saddle, I noticed that the saddle leather was more slippery than the leather in my old Stubben and Crosby saddles. My riding teacher, Debbie, started getting after me more about the position of my lower legs. Where before, when I was riding in the Stubben or Crosby saddles, she was pretty much content with the stability of my lower leg, she changed to correcting my lower leg several times each…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 7, 2017 at 4:53pm — No Comments
I am Riding Mia Again!
When I stopped riding Mia three months ago, she was not pleased with the way that my new saddle and pad combination was working on her back. She “muttered” under her breath that she was too old to put up with such shenanigans, that the shifting saddle was just TOO IRRITATING, and that she would appreciate me not riding her until I figured out how to keep the saddle stable. So I worked on figuring out how to stabilize the saddle on Bingo and Cider, and when I…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on December 24, 2016 at 11:52am — No Comments
I May Have Found a Partial Solution
In my last blog, I revealed my latest problems with my riding. Since I could not get myself satisfactorily centered in my new Pegasus Butterly saddle, I blamed the whole problem on my MS messing up my proprioceptive system. But then I thought further on my problem, and I came up with the idea that the shims in the Pegasus pad may not have worked satisfactorily in filling up Bingo’s (and Mia’s) sway back or in ameliorating Cider‘s…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on November 19, 2016 at 2:50pm — No Comments
I Start Riding Bingo More
During my lesson on Bingo on Wednesday, he did fine until we were trotting around, when he did a twisting evasion so he would not have to trot at a particular place at the rail. He had caused another rider a problem at the same place during another lesson (by breaking into a canter), so Debbie went to that spot, dug down, and concluded that she would have to have the base of the ring repaired at that place. Bingo was obviously trying to tell everyone…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on October 9, 2016 at 2:23pm — No Comments
My New Pegasus Butterfly Saddle Gets Baptized in the Rain
I did not get to ride Cider last Sunday so I did not get to see if putting the shims in the Pegasus pad was the answer to our problems during our last ride.
On Wednesday morning, as we drove out to Debbie’s stable, it started drizzling with some bigger drops of rain. I decided that hey, I’m tough, I ride hunt seat, and foxhunters often ride in the rain. Luckily for me, Debbie agrees that a light rain is really no…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on September 24, 2016 at 12:35pm — No Comments
My Pegasus Butterfly Saddle
First of all, my condolences to Ronnie, who sold me my Pegasus Butterfly saddle, his mother-in-law died and he was at her funeral the day I first used my new saddle. I chose not to interrupt him during that difficult day, so my challenges with my new saddle are not his fault, or the fault of the saddle. At least he went ahead and sent me the saddle when he said he would, so I got to ride in it this week. He also told me last week that to “break in” the…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on September 17, 2016 at 12:19pm — No Comments
Gee, I have Written 300 Blogs so far on Barnmice!
A little over seven years ago, I started writing blogs on Barnmice. I appreciate my readers (though a little more feedback would be appreciated) for continuing to read about my boring rides, stuck in the riding ring, proceeding mostly at a walk. I do hope that you, the reader, have been inspired by my writings to listen to your horse!
Last Sunday Shannon figured out how to put my new Amigo Fly Rider flysheet on the…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on July 23, 2016 at 1:43pm — No Comments
I Finally Got My Grandson Up On a Horse!
During the decades that I owned horses, I had a fantasy of horses in my grandkids lives. However real life interfered long before my grandson appeared on the scene. Since I no longer have horses my grandson did not get to meet horses, and I could not just pop him up on a trusted horse.
But now I have a big enough house to have a spare bedroom, so my son, Tally, and grandson, Will, can stay overnight, and since they live just a few…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on July 16, 2016 at 11:11am — No Comments
I Just Ride at a Walk Until I Get Heat Sick
The past three weeks I have been sick, again. My digestive system has decided it does not like food and that it does not particularly want to digest food. Between constant nausea and diarrhea that will not quit permanently, I have spent most of my time collapsed in my bed. However, after one week in bed I ended up with horrible back spasms, so I have been trying to ride as much as possible, at a walk since I am so darn weak. I am hoping…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on July 9, 2016 at 12:33pm — No Comments
Further Adventures with My New Saddle
This week I rode three horses using my new saddle. Doing so made me appreciate my Corrector saddle pad even more than before! While my new Crosby looked like it fit the horses’ backs, withers and shoulders much better than my other English saddles, the two horses I used it on without the Corrector shortened their strides at the walk, did not move their backs as much, did “stabbing” trots, and otherwise indicated some…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 30, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments
Spring is Here
Yes, North Carolina in the spring. This is the best time of year here, the gnats and flies are still mostly absent, even the colder mornings warm up nicely, the birds are tweeting outside the window, and the horses are shedding what is left of their winter coats. The trees are flowering, the leaves are sprouting, and it is simply gorgeous!
Grooming Mia has been a hairy adventure in more ways than one. Of course, gobs and gobs of hair fly off her coat and the…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on March 19, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Debbie Says I am Looking Stronger in the Saddle
I have ridden three times since my last blog and all three times I made it to thirty minutes, and on one of these rides I made it to 37 minutes! I am losing track of time in the saddle since I no longer get totally exhausted after 20 minutes.
Both Mia and Cider are accepting contact better, so my weakness obviously affected my stability in the saddle. Both mares had been rather polite about my worsening hands, but as patient as…Continue
I Finally Rode for Thirty Minutes Again
Last Sunday I rode Cider, barely made it to 25 minutes, and I got even more discouraged about the present state of my body. Cider did great, when she started twisting herself up she readily obeyed my aids and straightened out, she kept contact fine, and she started backing up from me just advancing my waist. By the time I hit my endurance limit at 20 minutes, my back and thighs were hurting so much I got horribly depressed, and decided…Continue