Back in March I introduced Lucky, the youngest and latest addition to our equine family. Lucky’s real name is To Catch A Thief. A registered Arabian, Lucky was bred to race. A few years ago he bowed a tendon on the track. After pasture rest, I purchased him to train for endurance and whatever other activity he wanted to try. (Notice the human-looking eye. This comes from his great-grandfather Wicking and is common in his bloodline)
My goal is to get Lucky under saddle and on the trail over the winter, to start competing in rides next spring. I thought readers might enjoy following Lucky on his journey.
This past week, I got Lucky’s tack set up. While I normally work with rope halters or a simple snaffle bridle for starting young horses or retraining, Lucky comes from the racetrack and is capable of extreme speed and sudden starts at a gallop. For safety a trainer suggested I use a low-port slotted kimberwick for stopping power in a crisis. The chin strap is loose to minimize the pressure and most of the leverage is at the crown/poll.
I ride with a very loose noseband, just tight enough to prevent the bit ends from sliding into his mouth. I don’t like tight nosebands because they prevent chewing, which clenches the jaw and affects the entire spine down to his hindquarters. I also want to be able to see if something I am doing is causing him to evade the bit by opening his mouth, and a tight noseband hides this. (The bridle you see him in now is temporary until the biothane bridle arrives. You can see in the top photo that the throatlatch is a bit too tight, and the noseband, which was a flash noseband, doesn’t sit at the correct height. Lucky accepted both, so I am confident they are not making him uncomfortable for now)
I worked with Prudence Heaney at http://www.twotimetack.com/ to fit a saddle to Lucky. He has a lot of memories associated with tack, so my first couple rides I just slid on bareback. We’ll be starting with the saddle this coming week.
I also touched up his trim, because hoof length is critical with old bowed tendons. There are some great links to trimming websites with good photos on my links page at http://www.carrieeastman.com/ I’m a particular fan of Pete Ramey’s work.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.