Saddle Fitting

Foster got his almost brand new saddle fit to him last night, which is always a relief to me. While it seemed to fit him pretty well when paired with my cross country saddle’s half pad, I wanted to not have to do double duty with the half pad and have the saddle balanced on its own. Considering the heat index yesterday was right about 100°, both of us were glad not to have to do much work besides jogging around and making sure the saddle fit.

Foster hamming it up

Foster hamming it up

Tonight, Foster will receive his first proper training ride, and I will happily sit on the sidelines and try not to melt. We thought we were getting off lucky with an unusually mild summer for NC, but I guess Mother Nature had to scorch us for a few days, nonetheless!

Catching Up: The Horse

I have been more than remiss with this blog for the past week, and so, I apologize. The good news is, a lot has been going on and so I have stuff to talk about!

Sorry y'all!

Sorry y’all!

Since our 3’9″ awesome-tastic jumping efforts a little while ago, things have gone a little downhill. As has happened in the past, summer has stolen a tiny part of Foster’s brain and run away until Fall. So, since I hemmed and hawed over a Calming supplement last year, and never did it, I’ve bitten the bullet and ordered SmartCalm to try out for the season. The theory, as I’ve been told, is that in the summer the horses sweat a lot (duh), and through the sweating process magnesium leaves the body. Magnesium is an active ingredient in calming supplements, and a supplement will help replace the mineral faster than the horse would normally replenish it. Hence, more sweat = more crazy/twitchy horse, more magnesium = calmer/less spooky horse that hopefully I won’t want to kill. We’ll see how it goes.

Please, please work!

Please, please work!

In other news, I also received my new saddle! It is oh so beautimous and pretty and shiny and new! I’ve ridden in it a couple times, and while I feel fine posting in it, I am still trying to create the muscle memory for sitting the trot. My legs in my old saddle definitely crept forward into a chair seat, so that is what I am trying to fight with the giant thigh blocks I now have. Will take some time, but the end result will be oh-so worth it!

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Other than his spooky moments, Foster has really settled into the new barn and we are loving the rubber footing! Between that and the new saddle (which really makes Foster lift his back in a way I haven’t felt before!), I think he is a happier horse already. Just hoping we will get back on track with the spookiness, and then I think this summer will be a positive one for our training and progression. At least here’s hoping!

 

New, new, new

That is- new job (which of course y’all know about), new saddle (squee!), and new accomplishments!

How 'bout them knees?!

How ’bout them knees?!

Today is my last day as an Experience Architect. It’s been really neat learning the proper in’s and out’s of user experience (how users interact with websites, and developing interfaces and interactions that make the web experience as optimal as possible), and it’s satisfied my curiosity and hunger for delving into the psychological aspects of design. However, I’m really excited to get my hands dirty in Photoshop and push pixels once more! My new role will encompass print, presentation, and web design, as well as brand development and a whole slew of other fun things- they do say variety is the spice of life!

Because Patrick Stewart in any meme is a win

Because Patrick Stewart in any meme is a win

In other news, I bit the bullet and bought myself a new saddle. I feel like I’m being adventurous, as I bought it on ebay, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that it arrives to me in the mint condition it was advertised as. This puppy has supposedly been sat in 4 times, and was offered at less than 50% its retail value- I’m taking a gamble on it, and I hope it’s a good one! It’s a Prestige D2000- as much as I love the Optimax model, they are hard to find! I think these thigh blocks will be super helpful in getting my leg where I want it though- can’t wait to sit in it!

My preciousss

My preciousss

And then lastly, last night N gave me another lesson. After the frustrations of last week, we decided to do a gymnastic and try and have fun with it while letting Foster find a spot on his own, so I’d stop picking at him for the deep spot. A little trial and error, but here is what we ended on!

That’s a new record for us- 3’9″! Foster handled it so easily, it’s exciting to think that 4′ may be within our reach, and Prelim might be possible after all! The adrenaline was really going, and the ride was definitely a confidence builder and I’m thankful to N for pushing us to make it happen!

3'9"!

3’9″!

I am so stoked about the last couple days, and the changes to come this week. It’s a balm to the soul to know you have good friends, an honest horse, and to think your career is heading in the right direction, and to say I’m feeling so blessed is an understatement. So very thankful!

 

Saddle Testing

My derriere has been sitting in some pretty lovely saddles recently, as I try out multiple models in a quest for giant thigh blocks (something about that just sound awkward, doesn’t it?). While I adore my current M. Toulouse Aachen saddle that I’ve had for years, I just wish it wouldn’t let me slip into a slight chair seat… as comfortable as a chair seat is.

The M. Toulouse on Ivan, displaying a fabulous chair seat

The M. Toulouse on Ivan, displaying a fabulous chair seat

In the same saddle on Foster, concentrating on not letting my leg slip forward

In the same saddle on Foster, concentrating on not letting my leg slip forward

I tried out several Prestige saddles… the first a La Selleria model that was just too wide for Foster- a shame because it was a great deal!

Then I tried a Prestige Optimax…

The Prestige Optimax - a cool looking saddle!

The Prestige Optimax – a cool looking saddle!

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but at 17″, it was way too small for my ghetto booty!

Then a Prestige Galileo…

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The Galileo... just look at those thigh blocks!

The Galileo… just look at those thigh blocks!

I quite liked this saddle, but it was also 17″, and while more comfortable than the Optimax, I still think I need an 18″ seat. Of course, this is the most expensive saddle I’ve tried so far! Foster really liked this one too, stretching his back up into it and drooling obscenely all over his legs.

 

Foster digs the Galileo too!

Foster digs the Galileo too!

Tonight I get to try out my friend’s Bates Isabell saddle, which will be interesting as I’ve never sat in one of those! Exciting decisions ahead!

Meanwhile, we are up again to vote for on She Moved to Texas. We would love your vote! If you stopped by and found my ramblings at all interesting please leave us a comment! Happy Tuesday!