My daughter and Maisie safely completed their trip to Paradigm Farms in Tennessee. I talked to both my daughter and Jason, and Maisie is doing well and resting comfortably. The only problem they had on the way down occurred in the first rest area where they stopped. My daughter left the trailer briefly, and when she returned there was loud banging and the trailer was rocking from side to side. Maisie had somehow managed to get a front leg into the top opening of her hay bag! She must have been striking the front wall of the trailer, but who knows how she got her foot that high. My daughter, after some effort, managed to undo the bag, drop it to the floor and then went into the trailer and got it out from under Maisie's feet. Note to self: use small-mesh bag next time and also be sure the truck is equipped with a utility knife in case of emergency - we used to always carry one but it may have gone missing or at least my daughter couldn't find it.
Maisie apparently is none the worse for wear - she was wearing leg wraps and we don't think she was stuck for long. She walked off the trailer sound and her leg looks fine so far. Here are some pictures of her settling in:
While my daughter was there, she got to visit Norman and Lily. Norman was the epitome of cute pony:
Lily was more interested in the treats Melissa was holding than in visiting! I always forget how beautiful her head and neck are.
She did deign to greet my daughter - love the fuzzy ears!
A big thanks to Melissa and Jason for all the wonderful pictures!
While I was waiting to hear about Maisie, I did get in a brief ride on Dawn. In our continuing effort to find a saddle that fits, we tried a couple more saddles. First we tried an Australian-style trail saddle that Jill of Buckskin and Bay had made for Scout. Nope - it was too narrow at the top of the withers - Dawn has withers while Scout really doesn't - and Dawn made it clear she didn't like it from the moment it was on. Then we tried a Western saddle that Jill has. She's not sure what brand it is - she got it from a friend and it has no obvious markings. Jill said it fit many horses well, so we gave it a try. Dawn made not a peep of protest, even during girthing. The saddle sat well on her and wasn't too tight in the shoulders and withers.
Now as far as I know, Dawn's never worn a Western saddle. We got her just after she came off the racetrack, and she's only been ridden English or bareback since. She was clearly interested in the saddle and turned to look at it a couple of times. The straps for the back girth (the girth itself was missing) and the latigos in the back bothered her sides a bit - she was twitching her sides - so for our first trial and for safety's sake we tied them up. The only other thing that gave her pause was the fenders on the stirrups - she wasn't sure that they should be brushing her sides. I lunged her briefly to be sure she wasn't going to take off bucking, and she was fine and moving freely. So I mounted up and we walked around for a bit and even did a bit of trotting. I didn't want to do more because this saddle clearly needed a properly fitting back cinch, which I don't think Jill has - we'd have to do a bit of trying that out first on the lunge! Other than being a bit perturbed by the fenders, she was great. I'm always impressed by how willing Dawn is to let me try out new things. She looks really nice Western - it suits her compact build. This may be the excuse I need to get a Black Rhino saddle, either used or custom-made - they are very well-designed and have a bit of flare in the shoulders that should suit Dawn well - and I've always wanted one! I really can't lift a leather Western saddle, so I may go synthetic this time. Shopping for horse stuff - how fun!