Monday, 18 April 2011

Leaping Heads!

The vet is coming out tomorrow to look at Hattie's bump. When I went down to the stables tonight, it does seem to have flattened out a little bit, I can feel the edges of the vertebrae at the top of her withers now whereas before, it was all one big bump. I've been keeping Hattie out 24/7 as I noticed that if she is in the stable overnight, the bump tends to get puffier whereas if she is out moving about, it seems to help it drain. Hopefully the vet will be able to give me some sort of magic potion as the Diamond Horse Show that we had been planning on going to, is on May 15 so we have less than one month.

Roger, my saddler rang me today as well as said that my Whippy is ready. He put all new straps on it (billets, balance, etc) and also moved the billets forward so that they are as close to the tree points as possible which is the only thing that stops saddles from shooting forward on Hattie. Once her bump is gone, I'll have Roger come out to make sure it still fits her BEFORE I ride in it so as not to give that bump any cause to come back!!

It's going to be an expensive week as the farrier is coming tomorrow as well. Hattie was due to be shod but decided to "speed things up" by nearly pulling her off-fore shoe off. It's just hanging on by the two front nails and she also managed to clip a chunk of hoof out of the inside of that hoof. Her other three hooves don't behave like typical rubbish Thoroughbred hooves which crumble, but that off-fore hoof is always the one that gives us problems.

While the farrier is out, I'm going to have him hammer out the leaping head of the 1905 Mayhew (left). As you can see in the photos, it was bent acutely for a skinny leg. Compare it to a more "modern" c. 1930's- 1940's leaping head on the right.



There is no way I'd be able to ride with such a skinny bent leaping horn (look at the big gap it leaves on my leg!) so hopefully Paul, may farrier, will be able to shape it too look like the c. 1930's- 1940's one.



I wish I had my Beck- Morrow leaping head handy as even though it's not as bad as the Mayhew one, it's still a bit too curved for my "ample" thigh. The problem with that one, however, is that the leaping head cover doesn't come off. When I see Roger this week to get my Whippy, I'll ask him he could unstitch it so that next time Paul comes to shoe Hattie, he can hammer out that one too.

6 comments:

  1. I'm frequently getting my farrier to reshape my leaping heads, also. Sometimes when you see such an acute bend in a leaping head it's because the saddle was dropped at some point.
    I would imagine it will be like Christmas when your saddles come back.

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  2. I thought that maybe the saddle had been dropped too but when I took off the leaping head cover, you could see the hammer (or whatever too marks they are) marks at the exact same point as the acute bend, where the blacksmith reshaped the leaping head.

    I'm SO looking forward to getting my saddles back and RIDING once Hattie's bump goes away. The panels on off-side saddle aren't finished yet and Roger can't do anymore to it just yet since I can't ride Hattie.

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  3. do you have to get the farrier to heat the metal first or is it safe to simply hammer it - mine needs straightening a bit, thanks

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    1. The farrier heated it up and then bent it to my specifications. He doesn't recommend them being dunked in water to cool like horse shoes as the 100 year old metal can crack. He says to just leave the head cool naturally and slowing on a flat, dry area like concrete.

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  4. How hard is it to get the leather off to do this kind of work? Do you have any pics of that?

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    1. Most side saddles will have a thumb screw that you undo and the cover will slide off. Some wide leaping heads will also have a little strap which slots through the saddle flap and buckles onto the panel which will also need to be unbuckled before you can slide the leaping head cover off. Some earlier saddlers do not have removable covers so you will need your saddler to unstitch the cover from the bottom and sew it back onto the iron afterwards. If you are handle with sewing leather work yourself, you can do it yourself but I just get my saddler to take off the non removable covers for me.

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