Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter with Bruno ... or ... Horse 101

Bruno, in his shed, having a quick munch.

I wonder what we are doing today?

Blanket coming off, fastenings undone from back to front of horse.

Ready for a good grooming.

I use a small, soft brush for his face and ears.

For a great massage and to remove excess hair, I use a round, rubber grooming pad. I go all over his neck and body, carefully over the bony and sensitive spots. You can see it is most effective at removing loose hair. 

Then I go over Bruno with a short-bristle brush, to remove the loosened hair and dander. The metal comb is used to clean the brush, and sometimes for really heavy muddy patches.

I remove his boots to groom the legs and clean the feet. The boots are to protect his front feet - he has a long stride, sometimes over-reaching and hitting his front feet with his hind feet. This causes trauma, and can twist or remove the front shoe.

Tools for cleaning his legs and feet.

Before picking his feet ...

... and after.

Now, we are getting tacked up.

He is wearing a green saddle pad and a sheep's wool pad under the saddle. The saddle pad basically just keeps the saddle a bit cleaner. The woolen pad I use because this saddle was not bought specifically for Bruno. I had it for my last horse, and she was much more round in the back than Bruno. So to make it absolutely comfortable for him, I bought the woolen pad. Saddle fitting is a whole other story ...
This is an English saddle, specifically for dressage.

Here, I have buckled the girth on one side. I gradually tighten it over several minutes. A snug girth is a MUST - I have had a saddle swing around the horse's belly with me in it [not for long].

Here we are - starting to lunge. Lunging is done for several reasons. In Bruno's case, I do it to let him warm up, and for me to see what his frame of mind is that day.

Here he is, at a lovely trot!

After lunging, I take off the side-reins, check the girth to ensure its snugness, and get on.
We had a fantastic ride today!!! I think he liked having his picture taken!!!
You will notice that his mouth is all frothy. That is an indication that the horse is relaxed and comfortable in his work. Also, he has a very soft and gentle look to his eye  - he is a happy boy.

The frothy bit - I use a light French double-linked snaffle. Again, as with saddles, the fitting and use of different bits is a LONG story.

Finally, after the tack [saddle and bridle] are off, Bruno gets LOTS of healthy goodies. Then he is allowed out onto the back lawn for some grass.

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome!