A mixed bag

My mini-lesson with John went well.  Sudi is a really, really nice horse.  He’s smart and willing.  I can’t ask for more.  I did get that saddle I was lusting for and it ended up being less money than I thought it would be.  John is an incredibly honest person.  When we got there he told me that he told me the wrong price for the saddle.  I thought he was going to tell me that it was going to be more money.  Nope.  He said he bought some halters and bridles with the saddle so the price for the saddle was $20 less than he originally quoted me.

The saddle fits Sudi about as well as any Western saddle is going to fit him.  My farrier came out yesterday and I asked her to put it on him and check the fit (she came while I was still at work).  I feel that it’s a bit too wide; she felt that it was a bit too long.  I think with the proper padding we can get it to fit properly.  It isn’t going to be a saddle I’ll use for long rides so it should be okay.  Also, once the grass comes back, Sudi will fill out quite a bit.  He also still has some maturing to do and he will widen out as well.  It’s much easier working with a saddle that is a tad to wide than one that is too narrow.  Sudi has a huge stride and because of that, his scapula movement is big so I need to make sure the front of the saddle does not interfere with that.

Unfortunately, we discovered last night that we are going to have to take it to the saddle maker to have a repair made to the stirrup leathers.  Not sure what the rationale was for the previous repair to the leathers, but it was not done properly so it will need to be fixed.  My friend Jenn is supposed to come out to ride with me tomorrow and thanks to my mini-lesson (not sure why I call it a “mini” lesson, maybe because it was so cheap), I feel like I can ride him with my endurance saddle and feel secure.

The sorting, well, that wasn’t so great.  We thought we’d see some more advanced horsemanship and cattle handling, but it was nothing more than human entertainment at the expense of the animals, both the horses and cattle; I actually think the horses suffered more than the cattle.  I won’t be going back.  What we saw there was akin to some of my experiences with sheepdog trialing.  I highly doubt many of the people riding at the sorting competition have cattle or work cattle with their horses or otherwise on a regular basis.  It was a weekend-thing quite like sheepdog trials.  Such is life these days.  Very few people raise and care for livestock on a daily basis so they’ve lost touch with the reality.  Today, I care too much about livestock to have anything to do with this sort of event.

This brings to mind the quote from Patience Gray that I’ve had on this journal before: “Once we lose touch with the spendthrift aspect of nature’s provisions epitomized in the raising of a crop, we are in danger of losing touch with life itself.”  My livestock is and always will be too valuable to allow them to be used for entertainment.

Given that I haven’t had Sudi out since last fall, he behaved incredibly well, especially at the sorting given how much craziness that was going on there.  He’s very green and needs a lot of schooling, but he’s a very good horse.

Monday morning, Wally and I were lying in bed talking about the animals and how much work it seemed like they were.  I said that we should just sell Sudi because I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to find time to ride him.  Then I thought about it and said, no, he’s too nice a horse and to find another one as nice as he is would be close to impossible.  I feel the same way about all of the animals we have now.  I’ve toyed with selling the two Saanen/Alpine X doelings, but to replace them in this market would be really difficult.  I see some of the local goat dairies are advertising baby bucklings for $100 if they are picked up at less than a week old.  $100 for a just-born goat kid.  That’s freaking ridiculous I don’t care what the breeding is or how many damned tests they’ve had done on their herd.  Highway robbery!!!

We got a bit of frost this morning and I hope it didn’t damage anything in the garden.  It’s supposed to get up close to 60 degrees today so it should be okay.

We brought Gwen home last night and gave her a barrel of alfalfa hay.  I don’t think she lifted her head from that barrel until she ate the whole thing.  I know she’s happy to be home.  Probably not as happy as I am that she’s home.  Riding up on the hill this morning would have been ugly.

The baby buck that came with the Nubian died yesterday afternoon.  Rose guarded him until we removed the body.  She’s a good dog.

I’m blessed to live with such a wonderful man (he comes first!) and all of the animals.

Until later …