Jan11collage.jpgHere are some photos. Winter can be beautiful! The first one shows it snowing on the farm. The second one has Socs and Picasso in the snow. The third is the sculpture Bill commissioned Ann Clifford (who owns Socs and Picasso) to make for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary early this past December.

The temperature got up to minus four today and it was so very pleasant!!! The last few days my fingers got very cold holding onto the mucking out fork. I had to stop every minute or two to warm them up and I was INSIDE the barn!

I received a gift certificate for a tack store this Christmas. I went there and found a type of gel pad that inserts into the saddle pad on each side of the spine. It doesn’t go over the spine. Now, my Luistanos are ROUND, with no spine protruding. A gel pad going over the spine shouldn’t cause either one a problem. I bought it because I only have one gel pad at home and we often ride both horses at the same time. The store didn’t have the traditional gel pad that comes in one piece and sits over the spine.

I placed the gel/saddle pad on Zelador, put the saddle on top, then carefully began the girth tightening process. You see, since day one this horse has hated being girthed up. I’ve had the saddle checked to see if it fits properly. It does. I’ve changed girths. Early on I learned that a girth with a pattern in the leather was totally unacceptable to Zelador. My vet suggested that I use a girth with elastic at both ends OR a girth with no elastic whatsoever. She felt that a girth with elastic at one end would also be uncomfortable for him. Even with these saddle checks and girth changes Zelador doesn’t like being girthed up.

HOWEVER, the first time I put this particular gel/saddle pad on him he stood quietly when I did up the girth.

He’s had this gel/saddle pad on for each subsequent ride and he has not reverted to his old behavior.

And, another interesting thing… Ron has ridden him a few times for a few minutes. Each time Zelador is ready to race off. But today he was calm and relaxed. Ron could drop the reins and Zelador didn’t bolt forward. In the past Ron has always been amazed at how quiet Zelador is when I’m on his back and couldn’t figure out how I accomplished that.

Bill and Christi also have a freight-train under them when they get on Zelador. I’ll see if the new saddle/gel pad works the same calming way with them.