Because things come in threes, yes? Eli’s flat work, my dire saddle situation, and how best to address hock rubs.
I’ll start with the hock rubs. Eli has gotten a few:Typically, he is in a very well-bedded stall, bedded with wood shavings, cleaned daily, new shavings added weekly (at least; sometimes added twice a week) and doesn’t get hock sores. However, he is temporarily in a different stall while his stall is being stripped and treated for fire ants. He developed rubs basically overnight. His temporary stall has had shavings added to it a few days ago and yesterday, so I’m hoping the rubs don’t get worse. (Also, the longer mark right below the hock on the back of his leg is from god-knows-what he must have done in turn out and is just missing hair, not an abrasion.) As soon as he returns to his regular stall, I suspect the rubs will disappear. Thankfully, they are pretty superficial and not bloody messes. In the mean time, I’ve just been putting Corona on them (which is an adventure–Eli is still pretty weird about me messing with his back legs and sometimes he tries to cow-kick me; work in progress is my motto with him). I have recently read that duct tape can be used over the rubs to prevent further rubs and let the current rubs heal. I have also read tons of bad reviews about every hock boot or wrap I can find online, i.e., they don’t stay on, they don’t work, they make the rubs worse, they aren’t durable. I’m curious to see whether anyone knows any tips, tricks, or ideas about combating hock rubs … What do y’all think?
On to the dire saddle situation …The tear pretty much speaks for itself. I need a new seat. I need to get the saddle completely re-flocked, and honestly I think it needs new panels, too. Like, new leather, not just new wool. I have only casually priced all this, and haven’t contacted Delgrange about the repairs and what it would take to ship the saddle to France to have it repaired. A new-to-me newer model Delgrange looks like a better investment at this point. Also, I’ve been eyeing the Voltaires … does anyone have experience with Voltaire? Thoughts on any of it, such as fit, balance, customer service, do they really plant a tree when you buy the saddle? That last bit about the tree would be if I were buying new, and that’s out of my price range, just curious. There are a few other brands I might consider, but Delgrange tops my list. I am going to make do with my current saddle and the Ogilvy half-pad for the next few months, but I’ll be ready to buy probably by February or March. Eli isn’t showing signs of discomfort or soreness related to the saddle, or at all really, but if that changes, the saddle purchase will happen sooner.
Speaking of Eli, I’ve been stepping up his flat work very gradually, and only recently. Before I bought him, his job was kind of up in the air as to whether he would get his leads sorted and do the hunters or not, so I rode him pretty much to exercise him and nothing fancy. But now that I own him and his job is now non-negotiably lower-level jumper, I’ve been asking a little more of him on the flat. We do more by way of collection and extension at the trot and canter and I’ve thrown in some lateral stuff, mostly just at the walk. My immediate goal is adjustability, although I would like much sharper turns eventually as well. Speed on course is the last thing on my list, and I think tight, clean turns are they way to accomplish that, rather than just running at everything. In the back of my mind, I am considering a dressage lesson. For now, I think Eli’s ready to try lateral work at the trot. Had I a crystal ball, I would see trailing haunches in it! But hey, we gotta start somewhere.