When he was investigating the fit of my saddle, the saddle fitter pointed out right away that Lu's withers have widened significantly since he was last out, and the saddle was pinching her quite a bit. That would explain why she gets very upset if my balance is tipped forward at all. He reworked the flocking so that there is now plenty of clearance up front. C's ride today was the first ride in the altered saddle and I was really happy with how Lucy relaxed through her back and softened into the contact. I am positive that C's quiet and balanced way of riding had a lot to do with that, but I am sure that the saddle not pinching helped too.
The saddle fitter also broke the news to me that I would have to start saddle shopping if Lucy got any wider or her topline built up anymore (which it will). The Stubben I have now has panels that are a smidgen too narrow for her back, i.e. there is not enough displacement of pressure and she is getting sore along her spine. Fixing the pinching issue will help, but he advised me to at least prepare myself for a saddle search. BLAH, I hate saddle shopping!! :(
Lucy has a chiro/massage appointment tomorrow and I am anxious to see what the chiropractor says about her back and hind end.
I was so impressed with how well C rode today. She really is a wonderful rider. I hope she doesn't wait a whole year before she comes back again :)
|Lucy started out stiff and unyielding, as you can see here. She was like,|
"la la la la oh is that your inside leg? la la la..."
|and then she started out at the trot looking like a llama|
|but before long C had her looking quite nice|
|a bit of freshness at the canter|
|but C sent her right forward and had the whole thing resolved in no time.|
|right about this time I almost felt emotional. It was so nice to see|
Lucy going well and looking happy.
|a little tantrum (check out the Alfalfa-style forelock sticking straight|
up into the air)
|but right back to work.|
|stretching out at the end of the ride|
|the two ladies after a successful ride!|
Then this little oopsie happened, and I wasn't really sure if I should run over and hold the horse, or stand there and let C do her thing. I decided not to complicate the situation, since Lucy stopped fairly easily and didn't seem like she was going to rocket off anywhere. C displayed excellent horsemanship. Look how calm she remains, and how they go right back to work.