Saddle woes continue, but in the mean time I’m trying a couple of (very generous) friends’ saddles in pursuit of a band aid for the situation. This particular saddle is a County, with a narrow tree and skid row panels. The saddle seems an OK fit other than being a bit tight at the front, but it was interesting to see him go in it and get feedback from Smitty himself.
Overall, he was maybe not as free and forward in it as he was in the Stubbens, but not terrible. You can see in the video that he was a big stride, but tends to get behind the leg, which causes some not-so-wonderful tendencies in me. I’m continuing to work on not nagging and using voice and a quiet leg/whip combination to get the forward, but as the video shows, it’s very much a work in progress. I’m quite pleased with the canter transition though, and once I can get his back up in the canter I can ask for a trot more like this:
And even in the downward transitions I have to remind him to march forward. So much to work on! Then yesterday, we did this:
Baby fences! It’s hard to even call them jumps, because at this stage we basically just canter over them. The vertical was initially a cross rail, and when that went well I hopped off and changed it. It’s maybe 18″, but it was a good place to start. My approach was basically grab the neck rope and keep my leg on, and bar a couple long spots, it went quite well! Perhaps next time I’ll get some video proof. (Many thanks to A for videoing the above!)
Wednesday I am heading to the American Eventing Championships in Tryon to provide moral support for a friend. Shout out if you’re headed there too, would love to meet up with folks!