I’m sure there’s a lesson in this somewhere
|December 9, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Meet Brimstone. A Standardbred of average temperment that mostly does his job in a mostly unspactacular way.
His favorite gaits are trot and troanter.
Why does Brimstone look uncharacteristically unhappy?
Do you see what I see in the above photo?
Ruh Roh. This is probably not going to end well.
*wince* That definiately looks like it's going to hurt.
So what happened? Here's another picture in case you missed the tack malfunction in the first picture.
I don't think that using a surcingle is very common among endurance riders, but it's (in general) designed to make a saddle safer, not cause more issues. The surcingle shown here is a required peice of gear on the McClellan saddles we use for civil war reenacting (and I used that same set up for Minx on all of her endurance rides). It wraps all the way around the saddle and buckles underneath the horse, either on top of the girth or just behind it, depending on rider preference and horse conformation. It is snugged up as tight as the girth and acts as a second girth if the first one (attached to leather billets on the saddle) breaks. It's also very handy for strapping saddle pads on for impromptou bareback rides on bony backs. A surcingle is NOT the same as a “back cinch” on a western saddle that is often loose, and tethered to the (tight) front cinch.
99% of the time it works great. I've never seen an issue with a surcingle, but with horses there's always a first time. In this case, the surcingle wasn't tight enough and during maneuvers managed to slide over the “hump” of the Brimstone's stomach, into his flank, where it firmly lodged.
A very painful lesson indeed. That most definitely goes in the “monkey see”, NOT “monkey do” category.
PS. The pictures were taken by a professional photographer who is also a friend of the family. I absoluely love how it apparently didn't even cross his mind to stop taking pictures even as my dad sailed off :).
PPS. Some more background on how this could have happened if you are curious. [This is an edit – my Dad messaged me because my original story had some errors]. From my dad: “I saddled my own horse. In this case it was distraction. In endurance terms being late for the start cut off combined with a lack of backup. We did not have a breastcollar I looked. Long and hard. ” During reenacting there is lots of stress and pressure at times and the focus isn't necessarily on the individual horse – it's on whatever maneuvers we are suppose to be doing. So you can imagine how easy it is to be swinging a leg in the saddle while simulatenously yelling orders and trying not to trip over your sabre as the battle scenario begins….and not check the tightness of the surgingle (or, being used to riding with a loose girth, and not realizing the “possibilities” of a loose surcingle.).
PPS: Beyond just tightening the surcingle, another thing that could have prevented this is putting the surcingle through breast collar loop, which is my preference (My dad looked for one that day but couldn't find one). I found that the girth doesn't move as much because the saddle is adequately anchored with the breast collar near the shoulders, and looping the breast collar through the surcingle not only anchored the surcingle, it also kept the girth loop off my horse's skin since I centered the surcingle over the girth when tightening. Probably a detail that matters more in endurance riding with this set up and not the shorter, less intense riding that is done on reenactment battlefields.
What I posted…
Three years ago: I have an annoucement
Five years ago: Random Thoughts
Yeah it’s a bummer to get on a rocket horse and discover tack issues, good lesson for us all to run that flashlight over the endurance pony a little more thoroughly before a ride start
Absolutely. I think it’s also a reminder that if an experienced horse is acting out of the ordinary, check for a tack malfunction. I can recall at least three times that I was so frusterated with farley being a witch only to realize that something was totally screwed. Up with the tack and it was a minor screw up!
That should have said *not a minor screwup. Ie farley was being very kind to not just dump me.
Always happy to provide a bad example to everyone. Just goes to show that you can never be too obsessive about your tack.
That’s probably NOT the best thing to say in a group of already obssessed about tack group of endurance riders. Or, as I like to call it, the sport where you are never ever completely happy with your gear.
In other news… I knew a standardbred named Brimstone back in the day! His registered name was Fire and Brimstone.
I definitely agree Mel on your comment about an experienced horse is acting out of the ordinary. The hunter jumper circle of people I know in my area often give me plenty of friendly harassing about my ” OCD issues” with saddle and gear fit ever since I started wearing funny colored tights , strapping all kinds of gear on my horse and doing distance riding. Laugh away I say, but guess who they call when they have a saddle or gear fitting issue or question????? The girl with the colorful gear . I am certainly no expert on saddle fitting but I get by and have learned to problem solve for others who have horses with so called” behavior” issues just by helping them sort through bad fitting saddles or tack.Sometimes, it pays to be OCD on some things I guess.