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View Full Version : So I found my Trail Pony



dreamswept
Feb. 17, 2008, 12:16 AM
It's been a long hard slog, gang, but I found the pony of my dreams. Which means I get to join H2 and A2 in the category of Grownups on Ponyback™ since he's only 14.1hh.

Meet Mitch

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v197/dreamswept/MightyMitch/mitch.jpg

He's a 9 year old Haflinger who pretty much shares my birthday (just 24 hours between us) and I have him at my barn on trial until the 25th. He's a sweetheart though, he arrived yesterday and settled right in, and I rode him today with no problems. Today, he left his dinner, and walked up to me when I called his name, and I was sitting at the other end of the paddock. He's a keeper, I'm sure. I love his calm easy going temperament, he's pretty laid back. A friend says he's like a stoner pony. He crosses water, and is just loads of fun, easy to hop up on, and off (provided of course I remember I'm a lot closer to the ground now :lol: )

He's one of those low withered broad backed little fellows, and my Abetta fits him ... just barely. It's probably fine for tooling around the barn, since my trail buddy's currently out of commission, and I don't really foresee any long trail rides in the immediate future. That said, I'm considering a treeless saddle, I'll probably end up getting the Bandos or Barefoot Cheyenne (either one) and find a different home for my Abetta. However, I can't get either treeless saddle for at least another month or so, depending how soon my tax refund arrives and am not sure if I want to keep using my Abetta until then.

I was thinking of maybe getting one of those El Cheapo treeless saddles off eBay, at least to tide me over until I can get a good one, which gives me the option of selling my Abetta on, and recycling that money back into buying a good quality treeless. Then I can keep El Cheapo for the beach rides in case my little water horse wants to go for a swim.

Any thoughts on this? Anyone? (Bueller?)

JaneeneSings
Feb. 17, 2008, 07:10 AM
Mitch is adorable; CONGRATS!

Janeene

P.S. I love my Barefoot Cheyenne! :yes:

Sundancer
Feb. 17, 2008, 09:24 AM
He's CUTE! And, he sounds like a sweetie, too!

Huntertwo
Feb. 17, 2008, 10:44 AM
Dreamswept, Congratulations! He's adorable and what a perfect height. I love his coloring and gorgeous long tail..:)

The fact that he settled in right away is pretty much and indication of his temperament. :yes:

I had a Haffie on trial (before my POA) and even after the 2 week trial, she never settled in. I was alerted of her arrival by the screaming coming from a horse trailer a mile down the road. :eek: My first sign.

As my Twinkie, walked off the trailer and settled right in.

That is wonderful that you have a chance to get him on trial too! Only way to really test your "forever" trail horse/pony. It does sound like he is a keeper though. :)

Just a word of caution regarding the treeless. I ordered a beautiful Bob Marshall and had to sell it within a year.:cry:
Like Mitch, she is low withered and broad. Unfortunately the saddle just slipped too much and I ordered the Abetta extra wide tree and love it.
(Just something to think about). But, if you can find yourself a cheapy, it would be worth to try on him.

Please post more pictures..and again, congrats.... Pony Power!!! lol

dreamswept
Feb. 17, 2008, 11:56 PM
H2, thanks! He was a rather surprisingly little find right here in town, the local therapeutic place had him, but he's a pony with a lot of GO! and they were selling him on because he was too forward for sidewalking. And to think I'd been searching high and low, even going as far as driving 100 miles out to Back of Beyond, Nowhere, to look at horses, and The One was not more than half a mile from home.

He's settled in pretty cozily. Was calm and quiet when I rode him yesterday, and he was super about the water obstacle. He plays in water like a little water horse.

Thanks for the advice about the treeless, H2. I'm also considering getting the extra wide tree Abetta endurance if I must. I really do like the Abetta saddle, it's just the one I've got now doesn't really work that well. It looked like it might, but then it doesn't after the second ride (guess the first ride can be deceiving sometimes.

In the meantime, a friend has a Cashel Softsaddle I can try. Granted, I never was a fan of the thing from the first time I saw it, but for the time being, it might do until I get my saddle situation sorted out (which right now isn't happening... I've just about bought a horse, I need at least a few weeks to recover from that, :lol: ) I don't foresee any serious trail riding for at least 3 or 4 weeks, we need to get to really know each other, and he needs a bit of conditioning. The softsaddle should be all right for bumming around while I get everything sorted out.

ETA: Oh yeah, I dunno if your POA is as wide and flat as he is, but this is what I've got to work with:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v197/dreamswept/MightyMitch/100_0515.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v197/dreamswept/MightyMitch/100_0510.jpg

Auventera Two
Feb. 18, 2008, 10:47 AM
Ohhhh, how wonderful!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! :D I can't see the pics here at work but will look tonight. I love riding PonyBack!! :lol: When Libbey is passed on, I will most certainly go hunting out another POA or Haffie! :yes:

My pony is super flat and super wide. Like riding the coffee table. The Bandos and El Cheapo have worked out really well for her. I took out the hard cantle and pommel and replaced with memory foam and that gives enough room to spread that saddle out.

That's one sweet ride - in the Bandos on my pone! Wow, that's like heaven on earth. :D My pony has a ton of GO too. No matter where we are in the pack, we'll end up leading the group within the first mile or so. LOL! I think they just have a lot of heart.

Well, I will vouch for the Bandos. I really love it. And it's absolutely perfect for my wide backed coffee tables. I just feel so much at ease knowing I don't have to worry about the tree.

dreamswept
Feb. 19, 2008, 10:21 PM
Another super duper ride today. He charges up hills at the trot with his ears pricked. Love it! Definitely a keeper. Never puts a foot wrong.

I hated the soft saddle. Tried it yesterday, and the combination of straddling a stout little coffee table and the foam of the soft saddle was insane, my leg would not touch his side.

I looked around some; I really really like my Abetta saddle, and the way I had everything fixed up for it, the v-rigging, the sheepskin seat, the mohair girth. I also like how comfortable I am in the saddle. So I think I'll try the Abetta in the extra wide tree first before I think about treeless.

Auventera Two
Feb. 20, 2008, 10:57 AM
I bet the X Wide will fit wonderfully. I love my X Wide! It is reallllllly flat and reallllllly wide. Too many "wide" saddles are just a joke. The Abetta X-Wide is TRULY a WIDE saddle! :lol:

People really don't understand what wide means untill they've ridden a cofee table with fur and legs.

Huntertwo
Feb. 20, 2008, 05:55 PM
Another super duper ride today. He charges up hills at the trot with his ears pricked. Love it! Definitely a keeper. Never puts a foot wrong.

I hated the soft saddle. Tried it yesterday, and the combination of straddling a stout little coffee table and the foam of the soft saddle was insane, my leg would not touch his side.

I looked around some; I really really like my Abetta saddle, and the way I had everything fixed up for it, the v-rigging, the sheepskin seat, the mohair girth. I also like how comfortable I am in the saddle. So I think I'll try the Abetta in the extra wide tree first before I think about treeless.

Wow, he does sound like a great little trail pony! Lucky you. It took me forever and a few different horses to find my POA.

A good trail horse/pony is like finding a needle in a haystack... Soooo I assume you'll be buying him after your trial? ;)

I have the extra wide tree (Abetta) for my mare and love it.
Although there is a saddle site that has a section of Haffie saddles.
www.Horsesaddleshop.com (http://www.Horsesaddleshop.com) I think that is the site. Yep, just checked. That is the website. Not much to chose from, but worth a look.

matryoshka
Feb. 20, 2008, 06:02 PM
Congratulations! He's really handsome. I'm 5'8" and rode a 14hh in a 30-mile CTR last year. She didn't feel too small at all! I love Haflingers. The little one I fostered here is great fun to ride. She is also very forward under saddle, but one doesn't feel like she is going to take off. She just moves on down the trail and can out-walk a lot of horses. She's less than 14hh. People make fun of me when I ride her, but I'm having too much fun to care! ;)

suz
Feb. 20, 2008, 06:21 PM
i'm lucky enough to have a haffie too--she's a gem,,goes anywhere you point her without a quibble or a qualm. she's sure footed,athletic and comfy,,so comfy i just want to ride her bareback evrywhere. and she's gorgeous too! i do love my summer girl. have fun with your new best bud!

dreamswept
Feb. 20, 2008, 09:03 PM
A good trail horse/pony is like finding a needle in a haystack... Soooo I assume you'll be buying him after your trial?

I just ordered an Abetta endurance saddle in extra wide. What does that tell you. ;)

I will be so broke. Buying a pony and a new saddle all at once. Plus board due next week. Ramen noodles, here we come, until I can figure out what to do with my current Abetta saddle. (I lost the fenders somewhere, I think I'm going to have to wait until I get my other one to swap those fenders off before I can sell it.)

mrs.smith
Feb. 20, 2008, 10:44 PM
Hi Dreamswept,

another haffie owner chiming in congrats on your new pony (see Alice in my profile pic). There's nothing better than a good haffie, and there's nothing worse than a bad one. :dead:

I ride Alice in a Big Horn Cordora haflinger saddle. The body of the saddle is made much flatter to fit those wide flat backs, but could be just a touch wider in the gullet to suit me. I also wish it came in a smaller seat size than a 16". That said, it does seem to fit her well. Make sure, however, that you have a thin non slip supportive saddle pad. Stay away from those thick, fleecy saddle pads at all costs. They become like butter on a sweaty haffie. I once found myself rolling a$$ over tea cups down a hill because of this when my saddle slipped.

Enjoy your new pony!

dreamswept
Feb. 22, 2008, 01:45 PM
Thanks all!

matryoshka: I love the little horses. So much personality, and they're small, and comfy and cozy. So many advantages with the lil trail ponies, and tacking up is a breeze. When I was younger, I always thought my next horse after my 15.3h gelding was going to be bigger, but since I've been doing trails, small and mighty is best!

suz: Mitch has the perfect bareback back. :D I'll probably be going bareback for the next week or so until my new saddle arrives.

fast alice: I looked at the Big Horn, but I'm not crazy about saddle horns -- I think they're bad juju -- so went with my old favorite, the Abetta Endurance. But, I'll got a nice pad all set up, and the v-rigging on the saddle along with a mohair girth really keeps things pretty snug and secure.

GB Trail Rider
Feb. 23, 2008, 11:15 AM
He's Adorable! Keep the pics coming.

dreamswept
Feb. 29, 2008, 09:45 AM
Well, the new saddle has arrived. It's magnificent. Did the old switcheroo, and put my goodies from my old saddle on the new one. You can really see the difference between the angle of the tree and the gullet width on both saddles. Excellent! I'm riding today for sure. :winkgrin:

And there'll be lots of pictures forthcoming eventually. I'm hoping to be able to get my blog going again now that I'm back in the saddle.

Huntertwo
Feb. 29, 2008, 04:32 PM
Oh thats right...Your trial period is over.:yes: Glad its a done deal and he is really working out for you. Your saddle is in...what could be better? ;)