January 19th Lesson Recap

I have been looking forward to this week’s lesson all week. Having a saddle that fits, and let’s Luna move with more freedom has made her into a horse I don’t quite know how to handle. She is moving so much bigger and is so much stronger…I can’t exactly control it completely !

She has also became a bit…wild. Not crazy, running and bucking and spooking wild though. Just “I’m gonna explode at any second without actually doing it” kind of wild. Don’t get me wrong, she feel’s great! But she just wants to GO AND DO THE THINGS when we aren’t ready to GO AND DO THE THINGS at every second of every ride.

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this face explains how she feels

As soon as I started to pick her up last night, she got “dancey”. Coach has us doing LOTS of leg yielding when we are “dancey” to help to flatten out and slow down the walk. And right now we are only allowed to leg yield off of the wall so that she understands that she needs to do what I ask her, not just fall out towards the wall.

Our canter has improved soooo much. We don’t start with the weird rushy/choppy canter to the right anymore ! It is actually our better way. Smooth, controlled and wonderful. We have to work on the straightness more this way but the gait quality is far better! The left is the way we struggle with the quality canter. She wants to “bump” me out of keeping my seat smooth so that she doesn’t have to work so hard with her left hind. That damn left hind is lazy !

Leg yielding off the wall became a fight at the end of the wall going to the right. Again, that left hind doesn’t want to step all the way through and she just wants to rush through my aids and control the ride. This mare is strong a freight-train. So when she decides she wants to take control, it is realllly hard to change her mind right now.

We have loads to work on, like getting that left hind activated, leg yielding off the wall and getting her in front of my leg. I feel like now that she can move, and have more freedom, it will show the holes in her training. Which I have trained into her. But I am okay with that.

Again I have no media. It’s hard to get someone to get video of my lessons since no one actually watches them! Maybe I can convince my husband to come out next time….

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Sensitive Pony Problems.

Luna has ’em. ALL of them. And I am not quite sure where they came from or why they decided to show up at this point in her life !

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who me?

These sensitivities seem to have started around when she had a mysterious swelling in front of her udders….that still hasn’t been solved. The vet has looked at her 2-3 times now and she appears to be completely normal to them. Maybe just chunky. I am really starting to think something is going on. But at the same time, I think it would be showing up in other ways if she was unhealthy ! The vets been out more than once to see her and we have ultrasound-ed and found nada.

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Saddle fit has always been an off an on issue, and I think we finally have that fixed. But then last spring we had the scratches which was new. Then her bridle was rubbing her face. THEN she did not like my girth anymore. THEN she had face warts NOW the Back on Track saddle pad is rubbing her AND the boots I bought seem to also be rubbing her legs. There is no winning with this horse.

So now we are on the hunt for MORE new things to buy to appease Ms. Sensitive Pants and her sensitivity !

The saddle pads are covered – I usually ride in Ogilvy saddle pads, but wanted the BOT one for when it is really cold. Back to strictly Ogilvy I go.

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half of my collection

The bridle is proving to be a not so easy fix. When you have giant moose ears, a bone-y face and weird measurements, finding something already made is hard. She used to like her Micklem, and it never seemed to cause any issues. But then it started to bother her. If I could keep the minimalistic overall feel of the Micklem, without having a flash type piece I could keep her happy….I think?

Girths are the other big issue. There aren’t many boarders at my barn, and even less that have dressage saddles. She had a forward girth groove, and if I don’t have a shaped girth on her, it pulls the saddle forward. Well The TSF girth makes her SO girthy because of its uneven pressure. The Jaguar girth doesn’t seemed to be shaped enough. My old one just rubs her. I recently ordered a  Collegiate Anatomic Dressage Girth from Rideawaythat I have only had 2 rides in and am unsure of….hopefully it works out.

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how am i beginning to feel

But if that doesn’t work out, do I go to a fleece/sheepskin girth? What if it is slippy? Then I am stuck with a girth my horse hates and I have to continue the money spending. I also do NOT want to spend $400+ on a girth. This Stubben girth looks and sounds like it might solve the problem a bit – but no way I am spending that much money on it ! Why are these things so expensive jk horses.

I got rid of the boots already.  I have my eyes set on the Majyk Equipe Dressage Boots , in purple of course. But before I order those, I definitely want to measure her up to see what size she needs. And hopefully that ends boot shopping. But knowing our luck…..I doubt it.

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Spending money….I am realllllllly good at it, are you!?

Lesson recap : the big change.

Now that the excitement about my new saddle has died down a bit, and I don’t have heart eyes constantly about how pretty she is, I have the mental space to think about my lesson that day.

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how i felt getting the saddle

I ain’t gonna lie, it was hard.

New saddle that is completely different then what I am used to, in a lesson, with a horse that has had a few days off does not sound like a fun time. Specially not on Luna. There is a reason she sometimes gets called Looney Toones!

Finding out how not correct we had been going before having a saddle that fit was a bit of a shocker. She always felt pretty good before! She would fight a bit when we were trying to make her do something when she didn’t want to, but what horse doesn’t?

Straightness is not a word we knew in canter-trot transitions to the right. Or on any circle to the right. Which stems from her weakness in her left hind. I could really feel it being in a more upright position. And fixing it is going to be a process….

I also realized how weak I am through my core. Holy smokes. Weak sauce is my middle name! I wanted to cry not even half way through cantering the first way! Slowing my seat, staying upright, not tensing up…clearly I never did any of these things in my jump saddle!

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how i feel, and look

The conclusion was that there is a lot f*ck ton to work on. More then I thought…a lot more. But I think now that we have a saddle that fits, the journey will be easier then expected. Luna may be sassy, but once she is told how to do something, and how to do it properly, she gets it and then whatever it is is easy.

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bc i have no new media

PS – Best husband ever. As I sat here writing this, waiting for supper to cook, he brought me my glass of wine ❤

New saddle day!

Originally my fitter was going to bring by the new saddle on Saturday, the day AFTER my lesson, but asked if I wanted it Friday instead…DUH. How could I say no to that?! Specially to have it in time for my dressage lesson!

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me all week

Fitter originally came out in September-ish to fit my Adam Ellis since I was having some mega issues with it and it had not been looked at since I bought it at Easter time of 2017. September-ish was also when I kind of decided I was going to take a step back from jumping. Perfect timing I suppose, because she told me that it didn’t exactly fit that great – yippee. I had half guessed that myself, just did not want to hear it.

The dressage saddle hunt did not commence for a few more weeks due to many things. Funds, timing, indecisiveness etc. There was definitely no money to go the custom route at that time either.

Have I mentioned how much I hate saddle shopping?

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It didn’t last long before I decided I didn’t want to deal with trying to trial people’s saddles and decided to order in a custom Ryder Zara.

And it finally got here!!

I ordered this without riding in it….which was maybe a slightly dumb idea, but I did it anyways. Fitter and I talked for ages about what I wanted, and looked at about a billion different saddles before we ordered this. I gotta admit, I was slightly skeptical I would LOVE it. I put all my faith in fitter. She did not do me wrong.

I LUUURRRVEEE IT!!! Pony loves it so far. I could not be happier with it!

Shout out to my fitter Kelsey !

I can’t wait to see how things progress now that I have the right saddle for the work that we are doing !

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Dressage pony now

Today is THE Day!

My new saddle is arriving tonight! Kelsey with Four Winds Saddle Services  is delivering it tonight, just in time for my dressage lesson!

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No more dressaging in a jump saddle!

I haven’t really had a great fitting saddle in several months now. I’ve had a saddle, but it wasn’t ideal, so I was doing lots of riding bareback. Which is great for my seat and legs….but also not that fun when your mare has “Wild Mare Syndrome” !

 

I. CANNOT. WAIT!!!!!!