Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hackamore Adventures

If you saw a beacon of light shooting up into the sky yesterday, you shouldn't have been worried. It was just me, exposing my albino legs to the world.

Yesterday was the first time I tried Bobby in the hackamore. I got to the barn about an hour before Sarah and I had decided to ride with grand intentions of cleaning Bobby's sheath, fitting the hackamore to my bridle, and having Bobby groomed.

Instead, I spent the entire time digging through the barn in search of a leather hole punch before giving up and fighting with the bridle of the 12hh pony that spent a week at the barn last month. I got the cheek pieces to fit so that the hackamore hung where it was supposed to, but the throat latch proved to be a touch short. And by a touch short, I mean that a 12 hand Appy/Welsh pony does not have quite the same sized head as my 17 hand Thoroughbred. So I ghetto-rigged a longer throat latch with my flash strap and some braiding bands. Classy.

not good listeners.
Sarah arrived and since it was a gorgeous day out, we decided to ditch the dressage school and take the boys to the creek to see if the mega rain we got were enough to make a swimming hole. Clearly this meant we should go bareback. In shorts and sneakers. With Bobby's first time ever wearing a hackamore. And Memphis being a worrier on the trails. We did keep safety in mind: we both had our helmets on, and I had my phone stuffed down my bra in case of an emergency.

Both boys were good starting out until we approached our galloping hill. Bobby started leaping sideways in anticipation and contemplated being naughty about the deer directly in front of us. I decided there was no way he was going to politely walk up the hill and just let him go, trusting he'd remember his manners and pull up at the top. However, he was seriously unimpressed with my riding and grudgingly settled for a big trot instead.

We didn't run into anything exciting until:

(warning: nsfw)

That was literally the biggest spook Bobby has ever done. Look out.

We got to the creek and where we usually go was up at least a foot and flowing really fast. Bobby could have cared less and happily splashed right in. However, Sarah and I didn't think it was a great place to be so we headed back into the woods to find a quieter spot.

memphis didn't think it was a great idea either.
After a slightly terrifying cliff scaling experience that saved us from falling off a ledge into the creek, and the resulting turn-around drama when our trail dead ended, Bobby went crashing down a bank, through trees, and back into the water. Memphis was all, "You're fucking dumb. I'm not going down that." and they rerouted to a normal spot.

memphis didn't think this was a good idea either.

The water was quiet, there were less rocks on the bottom, and the water was way deeper. We ended up going up to my knees and Bobby's shoulders. However, having ten foot long legs and a ten foot long neck kept us firmly grounded. We splashed around for awhile and then Bobby decided we were done for the day.

It wasn't a bad trail ride, but spending two hours bareback on your high withered horse is not fun. My seat bones are killing me, not to mention the amount of debris I picked up on my thighs.


Today I trudged back out in the rain to clean Bobby's sheath. The joys of being a gelding owner. I gave him a thorough grooming first and noticed some funk on his back legs. Since my hands were already going to smell like dirty penis, I figured they might as well smell like dirty penis and bacon. So on went the MTG.

Bobby's a star for sheath cleaning. He doesn't like me digging around for a bean, but once I start scrubbing the actual sheath, he drops right down and stands immobile until I'm done with everything. Thank God, because I can't imagine having to fight over that shit. Like it's not a gross enough job as it is! 

Once he was all squeaky clean, I couldn't resist trying out the hackamore in a controlled setting; I had no steering on that bad boy yesterday. So I threw on his jump tack and set up a 2'6 vertical and a big X in the indoor. I rode for fifteen minutes total. My butt hurt, not gonna lie.

Bobby trotted calmly to the X, picking up the canter in the last stride and cantering off without fuss. Did a few circles, a shallow serpentine, and changed directions. Trotted to the vertical....and kept on trotting right over it. Like, literally just took it in a trot stride. He clearly pulled the rail down with a hind leg. But you guys--he trotted a fence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He didn't trot the turn and then take off once he saw the jump!! 


I set the fence back up and picked up the canter to come to it again. He cantered right over like it was no big deal. No rushing, no tension, nothing. Same for the X in the other direction, and same taking the vertical at an angle. 

So it wasn't a full course of 3' jumps, and it was in his comfort zone of the indoor, but if it's indicative of how he feels about the hackamore, we are in business. 

the door was latched so he couldn't open it himself.
he's staring down the bm on the other side.
He'll have tomorrow and maybe the entire weekend off. Then I should probably run through First 3 and start to actively memorize all the tests. Maybe.


  1. jingle fights sheath cleaning... which, as we all know, makes the human feel like A BIG GIANT HORSE MOLESTER. I hate it.

    1. There's nothing like trying to firmly hold your horse's junk in place in one hand while vigorously scrubbing with the other to make you hope like hell a non-horse person doesn't walk in.

    2. I always seem to pick the worst times to do this.. the lesson kids and parents are always scared for life. oops

  2. Bre LOVES her hack. It looks just like his. They sell a cheap version on valley vet. I have several now.

    1. I got this one at Stateline for about $17 bucks. Because I am the cheapest. :P

  3. I absolutely love the videos. I can hear Bobby now, "My face, my face itches, my face, TURKEY!, my face..."

  4. Penis and Bacon.. oh what a wonderful combination lol!

  5. I'd say the joy of mares, despite crabiness, is the lack of sheath cleaning BUT yesterday Cara's udders oozed something nasty on me, so I revoke any sort of mare superiority.

    Glad the hackamore works so well, braiding bands are so multipurposed.

  6. Archie went awesome in the hackamore...until we starting doing courses. Then he kept throwing his head wayyy up to get away from me. Its great to see how much we interfere with their face though, they jump so much better without that!

  7. I've never actually minded sheath cleaning, it's all just part of the deal when owning a gelding. Yay for baby oil since you don't have to rinse it!

    SO happy that the hackamore seems to be a good choice for Bobby! Keep experimenting and have fun :) Don't sweat the small stuff

  8. I have that same argument with my gelding, only he's sheath nastyness is like tar. Yea, last time I clean it, I ended up elbow deep. Its SO much easier when they agree to it.


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