Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday Bunday: Make Mine Chocolate!

I know it's been awhile since I've posted, sorry!  I've been battling a cold that turned into a sinus infection while working some extra hours and trying to keep Chloe going so that we can attempt our first show in a few weeks.  Anyway, without further ado, here's Monday Bunday!

With Easter being just a few weeks away, I wanted to write a post about bunnies and Easter time.  Many rabbits (and baby chick for that matter) are abandoned, released outdoors or surrendered to shelters each year because people don't understand rabbits and the time, energy and care that they reqire.  They require a vet that specializes in exotic animals and they cost (in my opinion) as much if not more than caring for a cat or a dog. 

Rabbits are not cuddly creatures by nature because they are prey animals and generally do not make great pets for children.  When we adopted August from the Humane Society, she came with a free health exam from a veterinarian clinic.  When I took her in, the vet determined that she was approximately 9 months old (in September of 2011) and due to her age, was most likely a surrendered Easter bunny.  I can't help but think that that is most likely the case with how terrified August is of being held and how scared she was of us when we first got her. 

 The Make Mine Chocolate! Campaign was created in 2002 by the Columbus House Rabbit Society in order to educate people about living with a rabbit and to discourage the giving of live rabbits as Easter gifts and instead encourage the giving of chocolate rabbits.  There are several other organizations that promote chocolate Easter Bunnies over Real Bunnies like Rabbitron, who help raise awareness by purchasing billboard and public transportation advertising space.  If you are thinking about adding a bunny to your family or know someone who is thinking about it, please please PLEASE go to www.rabbit.org and take the time to read about all the care and time that bunnies require.  In my 5 years of experience with bunnies, they can be almost as much work as having a horse.
Image from www.makeminechocolate.org

Image from www.rabbitron.com
I do want to share some basic bunny care info, but I think I will save that for the next post and share some cute bunnies with you instead!


Bunneh snuggles

We are Snuggle Buddies

I really adore these two!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Saddle Saga - Highs and Lows

It's been a range of emotions for me this last week, guys.  I've been looking since January to find a saddle that fits my oddly shaped mare (dip behind the withers, full shoulders, slight curve to the back) and something that fit my meager budget for a few months now.  After looking at several, I FINALLY found a saddle to call my own: A Marcel Toulouse Joelle Platinum with Genesis tree.  The saddle fitter I ordered it from seemed fairly confident that the saddle would fit Chloe and since it has flocking in the panels, she would be able to add flocking if we needed it.  I happily handed over my credit card information and the saddle shipped on Thursday.

Fast forward to Saturday.  It was blizzarding outside (okay, we only got 4 inches, but still!!!) and I stalked the USPS tracking page all morning when finally...IT ARRIVED!  Of course it was my Saturday to work and cover the office so I unpacked and admired my new saddle in between phone calls and customers.  As soon as I was able, I rushed crawled through the snow out to the barn having made plans with my trainer to meet her there to get her opinion.  Guess what, guys!!!  IT FITS!!!

Look!  Its a saddle that fits my oddball pony!!!
Squishy soft panels
Pre-final adjustment, but look! Wither Clearance!
We will need a half pad until the dips behind Chloe's withers fill in, but that's totally doable.  And Chloe seems to really like the saddle too.  The snow melted on Monday so I was able to really ride in it on Monday and last night and Chloe is much more relaxed and willing to reach into the bridle.  This saddle also puts me in a good position and I can actually RIDE my mare!  I was floating on Cloud 9 after a brilliant ride last night, until I got off and saw THIS:

WTF is wrong with my new saddle!  WTF!!!

This photo gives me heart palpitations
So there you have it, two rides in and my saddle is breaking.  I immediately emailed the photos to the retailer/saddle fitter I purchased it from and heard back from her first thing this morning that they will send it to the supplier and repair it for free.  I'm waiting for a tracking number so I can send it back but all in all, I'm pretty bummed.  I'd done a lot of research on the Toulouse brand and I know there are people out there who think that Toulouse saddles are poor quality.  Then again, when I was researching Prestige saddles, I had read that some people didn't think they were worth the price they were selling for.  I also saw a lot of people that love their Toulouse saddles and haven't had any trouble with the quality or the saddle.

My trainer had a student that switched to a Toulouse saddle and her horse improved dramatically with the switch, which is why I was willing to consider the Toulouse brand.  She likes the saddle and feels like the fit is the best we've had yet.  There is a boarder out at my barn that has a Toulouse with Genesis tree and her saddle looks to be in decent shape with normal wear.  I'm starting to feel a little bit of anxiety because I have never had a saddle come apart like that, especially brand new with 2 rides in it.  So keep your fingers crossed for me that this is an easy, permanent fix and a painless process.  Otherwise, it will be back to the saddle search once again....