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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

July 9, 2011

Mare Wars have erupted again

My poor Phebes (yes, I really said that).  Journey has declared World War III on her.  Phebes keeps say okay OKAY OKAY...I give, I'm beneath you, please don't beat the life out of me.  Phebes attempts to scramble away, Journey spins and kicks the crap out of her.  A little hair off from a bite now and then?  Some herding behavior?  That I can handle.  Phebes got kicked in the head this week and had the equivalent of two black eyes.  She's been so miserable.  I've had her on banamine for the pain and swelling, antibiotic salve for her eyes "just in case."  I makes me very sad to see Phebes hazed especially if she is getting hurt.  The worst outburts have arose at feeding time.  Journey doesn't want Phebes to get let into the barn before her and even though we are letting Journey in after Cree and Phebes is waiting out away from the barn, Journey still come after her cocked and loaded.  *sigh*  So tonight I'm going to halter her royal spotted highness and lead her to barn by hand and put her in her stall and tie her until the other two are safely in their own stalls.  I'm afraid if I take Phebes out and put her in first that Journey will see her mare position as being threatened and really give Phebes heck.  It's kind of crazy...I thought Phebes would terrorize this little mare, and I thought that Cree would give her some hard knocks.  In fact, my little beaten up Phebes is between a rock (Cree) and a hard place (Journey).


Work with Journey has gone back to the ground.  We had a really intense and incredibly hot session today.  I was focused on getting her to yield her front end AWAY from the training stick, and to move off AWAY from pressure on the longe line.  That sounds simple doesn't it?  I thought so.  It took us an hour and some real horsey melt-downs to finally get that aspect working. I point with my right hand...GO THAT WAY.  I point with my left hand....GO THAT WAY.   She never did get soft, but at least she was getting the idea and going the right direction, finished up by lowering her head to the ground, and licked and chewed for awhile.  After getting hammered last week I feel it is vital to get the leadership thing worked out.  Phebes never built that to the degree I'd have liked, and that is because I bore quickly with round pen and arena work.  But this mare, I want it crystal clear who is the leader, who gets out of who's space, and when a turkey shuffles through the woods...who she needs to stick with.  I'm concerned about losing her trust still.  It takes a lot of pressure to get her to move away.   Her hind quarters are pretty loose and responsive, but her front end is not.  Today the stick on her neck only managed to make her mad at me as the tapping escalated, but I did have some success using my hands like I was shoving the air at her.  It isn't that she doesn't want to comply, she just doesn't know what I mean with a lot of things that I take for granted with Phebes (because I've hammered at it so long with her).

Journey has had her second cycle hoof trim, and we put gravel in the long alley that leads from the pasture up to the barn. Trying to toughen up those little hooves.

I had a ten mile ride in the Specialized Euro size 16 (thank you Michelle at Trailwise for trying so hard to help me with my saddle fit issue) and the rise again nearly ate me alive.  It is not that I don't feel balanced.  I feel very balanced in it, fits Journey great, but still I find myself slipping forward onto that rise so badly that I was bruised after ten miles.  These saddles I know work very well for many people.  But I'm not completely alone in my angst as a woman posted on the Specialized yahoo site on that very issue with her Euro built on the new tree (as mine is).  I'm going to try again with a suede seat, and I'm going to adjust the panels to try and get it tipped slightly back rather than level and see if that helps, and if Journey tolerates it if it does work.  If not, it is pretty and I'll sell it to someone who has no issues with that much rise.  I'll lose a lot of money, but such is life when you are buying and selling saddles.  I've measured Journey at the withers and if all else fails I'll buy her an Abetta Endurance, which should be a very good fit for her.  I put the wire into the saddle my daughter rides and it looked really good.  I know I can ride an Abetta without issue for under $500.  My original saddle I started out in was one of those, and they only weigh in at 15 pounds.  I would modify it to leathers, and caged stirrups and not look back.  I could also put her into a Crestridge, but that would be more money, though Crestridge builds a high quality durable saddle.  At this point I'd be thrilled if I could get $950 on the Euro ($400 under the price of new).  ~E.G.


  1. When you ask her to move out of your space, have you tried making noises - pops, hisses, raspberries, whatever - with your mouth? Some horses seem to respond better to noises than hand gestures.

  2. Oh, poor Phoebes! And I'm sorry to hear the Specialized still isn't working out for you. I am trying to get used to minor woes with my saddle - since I lost weight I slide around in it more, and a sheepskin makes it fit better but I get no grip, and argle bargle it's so frustrating. :(

  3. What seat style is your Euro? When I got my trailmaster I had a choice between endurance seat or trail seat. The trail seat was considerably deeper, I chose the endurance seat. My saddle has very little rise at all.
    I hope you can get it figured out so that it will work for you!

  4. I'm looking for a saddle if you really want to sell yours. Aurific at windstream dot net

    I tried to send an email through yahoogroups but I'm hopeless at it.