Monday, May 30, 2011

Saddle Fits

" Blue "

Lately I’ve been doing my version of Goldilocks and The Three Saddles.  Blue has a very hard back to fit, being so round and wither-challenged.  I’ve tried Dusty’s new saddle from Black Country Saddle makers on him and, while it seems to fit okay, it does slide from side to side. 

Next up was Dusty’s old Albion all-purpose and we had the same problem.  Slipping really throws your ride off is all I can say.  It’s hard to concentrate on your position and your riding if you always seem to be adjusting the saddle position.  I’m not a big fan of stepping in the stirrup and twisting the saddle back into place as I feel it puts a lot of torque on Blue’s back, but this is what it’s come to throughout our rides.

Then there is Blue’s saddle that was fitted to his back when he was thinner and in shape.  Looking at it on the rack it didn’t look like it would fit, but I was willing to give it a try.  It fit just as well as the others but I’m not crazy about how it feels to me.  So you could say I wasn’t as lucky as Goldilocks and the third time wasn’t the charm. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a saddle made to fit a horse with no withers and a round back without shifting.  Not even the custom ones seem to work. 
I should mention that we have the Le Tixerant girths and non-slip pads but nothing really holds a saddle in place perfectly like a nice set of withers would. 

Of course, I realize it’s not entirely the saddle’s fault.  If I could keep a better-balanced seat and the correct position in the saddle, I’m sure we’d have less slippage.  Since they all basically fit the same and all slip slightly, I picked the one that was most comfortable to me, the Albion all-purpose.  After shortening the stirrups a hole or two and keeping my position in the center, and yes, gripping with my knees and thighs instead of relying on my stirrups, we had the best ride ever with minimum slippage.  His trot was evenly paced for a few times around the arena in either direction and we even had a nice transition to the canter.  I didn’t follow through with that just yet and we went to a walk transition and ended on a positive note.

Since we had such a good ride I’m thinking maybe I should have my paddock boots bronzed and hang them from my car mirror and retire.

Until next time
Quote for Today
On the first day god created horses, and on the second day he painted the good ones.

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