Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hunter Pony in Progress?

I finally got to ride Misty! Poor girl has been so neglected lately. Luckily she doesn't seem to mind. I took off her blanket this morning and dare I say, she looked like she had gained weight since I last rode her? She has absolutely refused to gain weight since I got her. She's filled a little bit out, definitely gained some muscle, but the goal was to get an additional 100 pounds on her and she got, like, 20. But she's not looking quite as ribby, so fingers crossed she is actually starting to gain and the 6 pounds of grain + fat supplement + 3 meals of orchard grass + 2 flakes of alfalfa a day is starting to work. Geez mare. And I thought Jetta was a hard keeper?

Foggy, cold morning at the barn!

My friend ML and I decided on going to a hunter/jumper schooling show (tentatively) the third weekend of November. My plan is to hopefully take Jetta on Friday evening and do the 3' jumper classes then take Misty and ML's horse to do the baby hunter classes on Saturday. Dear lord I haven't jumped in a while...

ML is originally a hunter rider, but she got really burned out on it for some reason and now does dressage. I think part of the reason she got burned out is just because of the snobbery that exists in the circuits she showed, despite the fact that she always placed quite well and definitely had the money to compete. She kind of laughed when I told her I wanted to take Misty - my short, roan and tobiano paint horse? But hey, I don't care, it's just for the experience! She decided that if I was going to ride my (very) nontraditional horse, I might as well try to fit in and insisted that I try her standing martingale on Misty. It's one she never used and since she doesn't do hunters anymore said I could have it if it fits.

I think it fits? Also, doesn't have a rubber stopper, is that necessary?

I've never used a standing martingale. I don't typically use any kind of aid like that - standing/running martingale, draw reins, etc. so I was curious to see if it made a difference at all with Misty. One thing she does if I half halt her too strongly is to fling her head, so I was hoping it would make that impossible for her to do. It appeared to fit ok, but the leather needs to be oiled a few more times and rolled/broken in because it's quite stiff. Misty didn't have any objections, but I think we need to jump in it before a final verdict is made.

I'm excited to take her, regardless of how well she might do. I plan on showing her in Jetta's hunter bridle with her own Happy Mouth (which she seems to like!). I'll switch out the reins to the laced ones and since I don't own a shaped fleece pad anymore I'll just either use my white square one or just my white half pad.

Can I join you in the tack room??

I'm getting excited already! Lots of jumping is on the schedule for the next few weeks :)

But speaking of our ride, it was really good. She definitely prefers the hunter headset to the dressage one. We worked on a more forward stride, especially in the canter. Worked on flying changes, specifically from right to left. They're hard for both of us, but in the opposite direction it's pretty much flawless. Transitions have become tons better and ohmygoodness we have real circles now! She can maintain a lovely bend on a 15 or 20m circle.

Good ponies gets treats

Other than that, not much new! Both horses look absolutely feral. Misty needs a bath very badly and her mane needs to be re-braided. Both girls need their bridle paths trimmed. Jetta needs her endurance number scrubbed off her butt and her mane pulled. If only there were more hours in the day! Hoping to squeeze in lots of ponytime this weekend.

Model status


  1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the martingale doesn't fit. I'm more familiar with runnings than standings these days, but no martingale should be engaged while the horse is standing with the head/neck in a normal position. Needs to be adjusted quite a bit longer if possible or else you need to go up a size. Sorry...

    Have fun at the show. She is super cute!

  2. I'd get a rubber stopper. It will help it fit better, but what Hannah said is right, it's too small right now. Can you adjust the part around ner neck any smaller? That to me looks big. I've always had it right against their chest. The part from her chest to the bridle should be able to come up and reach her throat latch.

  3. Good luck!! I know absoloutly nothing about martingales to I'll leave it to the pro's^^ Lol!!

  4. I was going to say it looks a bit small too. As others said you should be able to lay the leather flat along the underside of her neck into the throat latch. If she stumbled or fell she'd feel very trapped. She's going to be such a cute hunter!!!!!!

  5. Agree with the rest: piece around her neck need to be smaller, and there needs to be more length in the piece that runs from the girth to her noseband. Also, a rubber donut will help the martingale to stay in place: without one the slack needed for proper movement of the head/neck can fall down to in between the horse's legs, and potentially, the horse could get a leg stuck.

    The purpose of a standing martingale is to prevent injury to the rider: if the horse flings its head up while you are in your two-point, you could get a broken nose. In all honesty nowadays I think most people use it because everyone else does... but it still does serve a safety purpose.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone! I should have scooched the neckpiece down before I took a pic. It isn't engaged when her neck is in its normal position, there's slack around the girth, which is obviously what the stopper will help do! I did make sure it could go all the way up to her throatlatch before fastening it to her caveson. And I will make the neck piece smaller :)

  7. She is so cute! I need one!! :)

    I don't think the martingale is to short, i think if you move up your saddle a little that would be good but it's not tight or strained IMHO :)

    1. Good thought on moving the saddle forward! The martingale definitely didn't even come into play on the flat, so I think it's good. It also looks funky cause it's so stiff so much more oiling is in order!

      I will mail her to you, she really is just too adorable :)

  8. Ok make sure you send her with a big red bow please ;)

  9. Definitely do not move the saddle forward, then it will be resting on her shoulders. The martingale is WAY too short, there should be sufficient slack to press it up into her chin with room to spare.

    1. Like I mentioned multiple times before, there is plenty of slack, it just ended up out of the frame of the picture closer to the girth, it just migrated downwards since I don't yet have a stopper