Even though it was only our third ride of the new year, and it was cold and windy, this morning Dawn and I had a wonderful ride this morning- one of our best ever, I think.
After being in for two days due to ice, the horses finally got out for part of the day yesterday. They were out today, and I wasn't sure about how Dawn was going to feel about coming in to be ridden, but she was perfectly fine with it. And while I was grooming her, she was very snuggly - some days she ignores me entirely but today she was very interested in communing while she nose rested.
When I saddled her, I added extra shims - she's lost a little bit of weight and the saddle was sitting a bit too low in front. I use the shims that come with the Mattis pad, but not the pad itself - I like to be able to arrange, or fan, the shims as I want. Dawn and I are currently using three shims on each side at the front of the saddle, between it and the pad, fanned so they fade off to the back. Dawn also wasn't at all girthy today - she's often a bit snappish about girthing.
We went on to have a wonderful ride - she was relaxed, and soft, and responsive and just delightful. She seemed to be having fun as well - her ears were up and her look was relaxed and happy. Since I'd done so much shopping for Red yesterday (more on that), I decided that Dawn needed some stuff, too. I stopped by Dover, and although I didn't find the royal blue dressage pad I wanted for her - all she has is black pads - I did get a quarter sheet, so that we can ride on the days that are too cold for her to be naked while riding - we haven't been riding unless the arena temperature is in the 20s, but now we can survive if it's a bit colder, and it doesn't look like this winter is going to be a warm one.
Yesterday's shopping was fun, although time consuming to find all the items I needed for Red due to the new saddle, so that I can go back to riding Pie in his old saddle, and Dawn can have exclusive use of the bridle she and Red have been sharing - I ended up buying from several different sites. I almost never buy horse gear as I rarely have occasion to.
Another set of aluminum barrel racing stirrups, this time in the silver color (Pie's are copper).
A new Mylar bit, very nice looking with black rings with silver-colored dots. It has a slightly different mouthpiece than his existing single-jointed Mylar, but I think he'll like it.
A new black headstall with chrome fittings.
New yacht rope reins in blue with silver-colored snaps - Pie's has brass snaps.
One saddle pad, and another saddle pad.
Another mohair cinch - this one may turn out to be Pie's as it's in brown leather and Red may use the one Pie uses now which has black leather.
And it turns out the back cinch that came with the new saddle (and was original as the tooling matches) is too short - it's 28" and we need a 32". I've been in email correspondence with Dave Genadek, the About the Horse saddle maker (both my western saddles were made by him), and he's going to make me the longer black back cinch and connector to match the tooling on the saddle.
Whew! My credit card is hurting but now all three horses will be properly outfitted.