Saturday, March 2, 2013

a friend visits!

My friend Cinnamon came to visit and work with Lucy today. C has not ridden for an entire year and yet she was brave enough to want to get on Lucy, who has had three days off (Kenny's birthday, farrier visit on Thursday, and saddle fitting visit on Friday).

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!
I also got some video:

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.


  1. I hear ya on saddle shopping. Bluergh.
    I wish I looked that good on a horse after a year off!

  2. I HATE saddle shopping. It took me FOREVER to find my saddle. Not trying to scare you, as it seems you already know. I wonder if she can continue riding Lucy, since It seems like this is what she needs when she starts throwing tantrums, just a forward consistent hand. How has the trainer search been going?

    1. trust me I am already scared :( :( I love shopping, and I love shopping for horse stuff, but shopping for a new saddle is my idea of torture. I am glad that at least this time around I am not frantically trying to find something that works and is in the budget while my horse sits around because her saddle fits so poorly that I cannot even ride her in it at all. That's what happened last time and it was not a fun time for anyone. So I appreciate getting the heads up instead of "you mustn't put this saddle on your horse at ALL!".

  3. Wow what a tantrum! I agree with above, I wish I had looked that good after a year off, or ever for that matter! Hope your saddle works for awhile longer so you have time to slowly saddle shop, without that desperate need to get something pronto.

  4. It must be so educational to watch someone else get on her and put her through her paces. She looks so soft and kind when she's relaxed in those photos! Your friend is a very nice rider too. One of the things I was thinking in regards to your last few posts is that in addition to finding a good trainer to work with her (and you), that it might be beneficial for you to ride something that isn't throwing a tantrum all the time. Maybe a horse that has something to teach you (what I mean is not just an easy horse) -- so that you can get your finesse back. After riding a hot-headed mare for a year and then finally getting to ride something else, I realized I had developed a very defensive riding style. From the ground I looked calm and relaxed and willing to ride through the BS, but as soon as I got on another horse I realized that while I could RIDE and stay on, I had lost some of the finesse I once had. You seem like you don't hold grudges with Lucy, but perhaps your body being tight and tense without you realizing it and riding another horse will help you relax and loosen up and enjoy things a bit more next time you're on Lucy:)

  5. ps. If Lucy gets to have Chiropractic adjustments, you should too!!!

  6. Some people can hate on Wintec/Bates saddles all the want, but I can adjust my saddle to fit my horse each time he changes shape. The vet at the equine seminar I went to this weekend said that horses change shape at least 4 times a year. I let people make fun of my saddle all the want because it isn't a super fancy rig, it fits both of us and that is priceless! :-) And mine has got the equisuede seat so when I pair it us with some full seat suede breeches, I am velcroed into my saddle. I really love my saddle.

  7. Who is your saddle fitter, and where are they based out of? I'm still trying to find a reasonable one for southern VT, so someone who has to travel a bit south to get to you might be within workable distance of me.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!