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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sore Shoulder

Several years ago I blew my right shoulder working on an old Datsun 280Z.  Friday our new horse re-injured it for me, but not near as bad as in the past.  So my plans of sighting in the 2 rifles with new sights will have to wait.  No way I'm going to be thumping that sore shoulder until it heals.

Once again I've been trying to ride a horse with little or no trail experience, and as yet doesn't truly trust me.  She's an absolute joy to ride when in familiar surroundings, and even when a bit nervous.  I've never been on a horse that's more smooth and sensitive to reins.

The first time we went up the road she got scared by a lawn mower, and walked fast back to the barn.

Friday we got up the road, quiet road, and into the field quite comfortably.  Everything was wonderful as we made our way in the grassy area between the corn, until she stopped dead in her tracks.  She just stood there staring into the corn.  I got her going but she stopped again, staring into the rows of corn.  At that point she was determined to head back to the barn. 

She fast walked the way we came, I turned her around but there was no way she was going up the trail again.  So we did a series a J manuvers getting closer to the road all the time.  I was trying to get her to go on up the trail, and she was insisting on leaving the area. When we were close to the road she acted like she was going to buck, so I got off and started walking her back down the road toward the barn.  She was still nervous when I saw a delivery van coming.  I got her off the road by the time the van got there, thankfully, because she fast walked in circles around me with fright.  Then I saw a dump truck coming, and got her about 30 feet off the road.  When that truck went by, the poor mare was in panic.  She reared up on her hind legs and jerked very hard on my arm holding the reins, hence I now have an extremely sore shoulder.  The same shoulder I blew years ago.

The mare is a bit nervous by nature and doesn't really trust me as yet.  She also needs to learn some ground manners.  It's supposed to be near 90 degrees all week, so I think I'll forget about riding and work on trust and ground manners a few days after work.  I then need to get her to be less sensitive to strange and unusual encounters.

Maybe next weekend I can get the rifles sighted.
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When the Boss rides, her back is pain free.  Another horse owner we know says the same is true for her. For me riding has been a series of small adventures, dispersed among tranquility.  There's something special about being around horses. 

I now have 2 effective stress relievers.  Shooting and horses.  The rest of the world disappears when I'm involved with either.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our Horses

Been posting about the horses lately, so why not share some pictures.

That's our granddaughter on Toby.  Seventeen years old.  He's the one I keep falling off of.

 That's Rowan when we first got him.  Twelve years old. He had a rough winter, out in the
weather on his own.  The Boss and he have bonded.

Rowan, Toby, the Boss and I took a break.
After a few months of good feed and shelter he's looking much better here.

And that is Gigi our new mare.  Six years old. She's black with just a hint of red, especially the tip of her tail.  She was in worse shape than Rowan when she first came to the stable.  She could still use another hundred pounds of muscle on her bones.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Is This a Joke?

I just heard that the 2 unarmed US servicemen who took down the AK toting murderer in France, are a clerk and a musician.  And naturally the train personnel went into hiding, being France you know.

Just imagine the result if the US took to killing terrorists seriously, and sent combat troops after them.

The whole story must be a joke, because I'm sure having an AK is illegal in France.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

This And That

Got a 4 day weekend coming up, so maybe I'll get to the range to adjust the new sights on the Ishapore and the AR.  I'll certainly spend some time with the new horse.

This morning, after cleaning stalls, I worked with Gigi on her ground manners.  When on the lead rope, she tries to pull me along or leans into me.  I didn't work with her very long, but she was getting the idea.  A chain wrapped across her nose and attached to a lead does get her attention.

The Boss has had surgery to remove arthritis from her spine and then later electrode implanted to reduce chronic pain.  Strangely, riding a horse helps her, and frankly she's a hell of a lot better rider than I am.  If she's in pain riding eliminates it, at least while she's riding.  The more she rides the less intense the pain.  It appears to be good therapy for her.  Even if I didn't like horses I'd be riding anyway.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Saddled up the TWH mare last evening.  She gave me THE LOOK that only females can give, the whole time.  The Boss and I headed up the road towards the park entrance, but didn't get there.  It started out very nice, but then somebody started a lawn mower.  She got nervous, stopped, and started to turn around.  I got her headed up the road when the mower stopped, but when it started again, she turned around and headed for the barn.  I elected not to fight her on the pavement as one of us could get hurt.  I got her calmed down in the barn so we rode a bit in the small pasture. 

I found her to be very smooth at the walk and flat walk.  She was also sensitive to every command.  A very nice horse in a familiar environment.

Still not sure how she will be on the trails.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Horses & Guns

Rigged up the old Aussie saddle on Toby for the granddaughter to try, and she loved it.  It also fits Toby almost perfect.  I haven't tried it as yet, but ordered new stirrup leathers and an Aussie girth.

Stable owner has offered to sell us a TWH mare.  Tried riding her a little in the pasture with someone else's saddle.  Didn't stay on her very long due to balance issues.  My head felt funny and I was having issues when she was just standing still.  The Boss rode her some and was impressed.  Still don't know how well she'll handle trails and Rowans antics.

Not interested in caring for 3 horses, and doubt the granddaughter can handle caring for Toby on her own.  I'll have to get better at riding, and Toby needs to calm down some.  Not going to stop riding because it's helping the Boss's bad back.
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Bought a Nicon LER scope for my modified Ishapore.  I'm impressed with the optics especially for the price.  Mounted it and replaced the dead holosight on the AR.  Maybe one of these days I'll get the chance to sight them in.  The AR should be close now because the dot is co-witness with the backup irons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ground Bouncing

Hit the dirt . . . . again.  My horse, Toby, is a relatively high spirited Tennessee Walker.  Got him this last spring.  He's 17, but very new to trail riding.  The Bosses horse, Rowan the Kentucky Mountain horse, is trail experienced but I suspect in groups.  So long as Rowan behaves, Toby is a little nervous, but OK.  When Rowan acts up, like a small temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way, Toby loses control.  That's what happened Sunday. Toby took off at a fast trot or pace over uneven ground.  Being a rookie rider, I lost my balance and hit the ground.  Toby left the area at a canter, briefly visiting Rowan first, and I walked back to the barn. Either I need to learn to be a better rider, or I need a calmer horse.  If not, I'm destined to have more than bruises.

The stable owner has an old Australian saddle the fits Toby better than the one I've been using.  No stirrups and no Australian girth, but I'll rig up something.  I want to give it a try.  If Toby is more comfortable, maybe he'll be more relaxed.