Grey horse still doesn't have a name (thought for sure Ian was it *sigh) but I do want to chronicle the struggles we've been having since the first time I rode him at home. So grey horse gets rubbed easily. When I put Katy's 75" Rambo Protector Fly Sheet on him out of necessity and it rubbed his shoulders lightly, I thought NBD, that makes sense and when his 78" fly sheet came in I slapped it on him and was like yass, I win. Except that rubbed him WORSE than the smaller one. Seriously? I slapped a Weatherbeeta Adjust a Neck 81" (a Jade extra) on him and it didn't rub his shoulders but it did rub his withers.
Eff my life.
Grey horse lives outside naked now. Anyone want a fly sheet?
So the bigger thing is his saddle pad. Granted the boy needs to fill out his top line more and we're trying to work on that but when I got him he was only being ridden in a poly pad so I thought cool, its not an issue, right? So I supposed mistake #1 was when I was at Pine Hill I put a Roma Impact pad on him PLUS my Thinline thinking it'll just buffer tons of things and be awesome. I was only hopping over a few logs so why not? That combo rubbed his withers (only) slightly and our issues began apparently.
Next up was trying out a regular pad with the thin line to clear withers and cushion his back. That rubbed the holy hell out of his back scar and I was like o.O. I recalled I had a Roma faux sheepskin pad as well and tried that alone on him. Nope, rubbed as well. I ordered a Steffen Peters fancy pants REAL sheepskin dressage pad (my dressage saddle/riding style seemed to be the biggest offender to him). This was probably the minimal rubbing but still.. rubbing. We're talking enough to remove the top layers of skin and he's also been fussy about cantering to the left (could be me, could be him out of shape for what we're doing, could also be his scar is on that side and getting rubbed - or all of the above). I ordered an EcoGold Memory Foam pad and tried that on the Roma fleece shaped pad under my Devoucoux and while it DID distribute the rubbing more evenly, it still rubbed but again, that Roma pad did rub him so it might just be that thing.
This weekend we were in Houston and I stopped at Dover to just buy a poly pad. Hopefully this fixes it because going high tech and expensive hasn't seemed to help much.
I think combos I might try moving forward in case "just a poly pad" doesn't work, are adding the Eco Gold Memory Foam to the poly pad, adding that to the Steffen Peters sheepskin pad, and I do have my "only used once" EcoGold Secure XC pad that I can't imagine it working (grippy on the scar?) but trying to pick things that will move with it haven't been working so who knows. I just dread having to buy more of those and I really don't like the way they feel but maybe the grippy + air flow is the answer.
As far as riding him, he's doing well (naturally) while I struggle to be able to work him purposefully for longer than 20 minutes. He likes to lean on the inside during our left lead canter and I stupidly don't realize I'm holding him up until my arm is about to die so yeah, I need to work on that more. Derp. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with how we're doing (only had him two weeks yo!) and he's a true gentleman and just a good boy. Our Thursday jumping lesson was legitimately jumping over (baby) things and he did well. I did ok/good once I got all my body parts to work together for good not evil. We tried out our PS of Sweden High Five Breastplate during this lesson and it rocked, but when I put it on him for Saturday's ride it seemed to start rubbing him. (Seriously?!).
I think we're going to work on a combo of "just riding" aka hacking out/light work (for him) with cantering so I can get used to him and him to me and we'll add in the "fancy" things on alternating days. It's times like now I long for the barn I was at in high school where you had miles of trails and fitness was not only easy but interesting. My most convenient choices are trotting around my 2 acre riding area or working the 1/2 mile track at the barn.
We'll figure it all out, but its hard when we're SO close to being a team already and I have to remind myself its only been a drop in the bucket time wise since I got him. Normally patience is easy for me, but its definitely hard for me to be patient with my body.
Also, Grey horse got a hat:
Also, also he's been chowing down on hay all week and I SWEAR he's gained weight so yeah!