Archive for February, 2010
While some diehards still ride a horse bareback, virtually all riding is now done via a horse saddle. Before you grab one off the horse saddle racks, it is important to be able to distinguish the two main types of saddles: English and Western. The type of saddle you choose is largely dependent on the type of riding you will be doing.
English saddles are the ones used in Olympic competition and are optimal for jumping and participating in other events. The main feature that separates the Western saddle is the horn on the front of the saddle. This model is for longer, trail-type rides and requires the rider to use a saddle blanket as well.
Well, we have done it, we have made it through our goat birthing season. I am now at ease. It began on Christmas Day with our first birth. Barbie went into labor during the coldest weather, 0 degrees, and lost both of her twins. It was so cold that she didn’t have time to clean them up before they froze. Two days later, Noel gave birth to triplets and she lost hers as well. By the time we got the rags and some warm water she had delivered all three and they were all still born. Not a good start to my idea of increasing my herd. Five days later, Polly delivered one baby, still born. It was difficult to deal with. I had been looking forward to the new kids and was losing them all.
It didn’t seem to matter what we did, nothing could have saved them as I look back on the situation. I started watching my remaining four nannies on a schedule. Checking them in the morning, at noon, afternoon, evening and before bed. I wanted to have something set up where they could have warmth and a dry place to deliver. So we brought in some fresh straw and with the pitchfork, scattered it around the barn and in the two jugs that we set up with the fencing supplies we had so that we could separate them and their babies would be safe from the rest of the herd.
Growing up my family owned a horse, Dinero, so we were constantly at the stable. Although we didn’t actually live on a farm, the time that we spent at the stable served as a welcoming reprieve from the daily grind of city life. Some of my fondest memories are of grabbing the tackle from the horse saddle rack and going on long rides with my mom.
We used to explore all of the mountain trails around our community in Northern California. Because I was just five or six years old at the time, my mom would usually drop me off at the barn and go back out for a more extensive excursion. Even though I wasn’t able to go on these longer rides with her, I still often think back to those rides that we did share together.