Tuesday, September 17, 2013

As the Saddle Turns

Things are still quiet for Ben and I. I'm still trying to give him time off, but we have done a bit of stuff here and there. Mostly, I've taken up the quest for the perfect saddle...because, why not?

This has been an abysmal quest, and I'm almost ready to call it quits...again. Adding my list of saddles tried: Schleese Wave (too curvy, winged off his back), Michal Cocoran (really nice in the front, panels winged off his back), Albion K2 (fit but KILLED my hips/legs/back - twist way too wide), Cardanel (nice front, winged off his back), Black Country Vinici X (too wide in front, billets hang all wrong).

Almost all of these had a few redeeming qualities- but in the end, i haven't actually been able to ride in any of them because just tacking him up in them presented glaring fit issues.

The next 2 coming on the list are another Black Country (Eloquence X in MW), and a used Detente Luna from Trumbull Mtn. The Detente is more of a long shot...but hey why not at this point.

So in the meantime, I am using my Enlightened Equitation Flexee (leather treed) saddle. So far, so good. Ben seems to like this- and I very much like it. I could just settle and use this, but I guess I just want to find a treed saddle too. But the pressure is off, because I do have something working fairly well. If no treed saddle can be found, I may end up just getting a leather Flexee when they are released.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sitting What?

Things have been pretty quiet in Ben's world. Lots of pasture time, grazing, and sun bathing. Every couple of days I take him out to tool around.

One thing we've been quietly working on is shortening up his stride, and slowing it down enough to be sit-able. A year and a half ago I would've laughed if someone had told me I'd be sitting Ben's trot.

I've been using my Flexee for this work, and Ben seems to like this saddle the best. So however strange it is, it works for us. I can take off my stirrups and do w/t/c with no problems. We're a work in progress (when are we not?) but I'm pleased with how things are going. But if I work on gathering his trot so the hind legs don't go so far out the back door, and if I use my core and look up and keep my elbows soft, I can sit it. Once I get that, I can slowly ask for more trot, and still sit it. We're a long ways from it being respectable enough for a show ring, but heck- gotta start somewhere, right?

And as it turns out, that work also improves the other stuff, too.