Saturday, February 5, 2011

Two In A Row

Another great lesson. I managed to eventually trot all the way around the arena without stirrups and keep the horse on track. She had veered into the center in an earlier attempt but I was actually able to get her back on track without having to stop to regroup. That was a pretty fantastic feeling of accomplishment. Ditto trotting while standing in the stirrups. We worked on serpentines over poles which was fun with two of us doing it simuntaneously. I had no problem doing it at a walk but my mare is kind of big for tight circles when we advanced to doing it at the trot. We were not supposed to venture out onto the track where the other two riders were traveling. I pretty much failed.

The other three students also played "musical ponies" where they all had to dismount and switch to a different horse so they ended up riding all three. Sometimes being as big as a house has its advantages - I didn't have to switch. It kind of reminded me when I took a bus trip in Europe over twenty-five years ago. The tour guide had the bright idea that everyone would change seats every day. Since I was a smoker back then, me and my ilk were banished to the back of the bus and didn't have to rotate.

They've added a new horse to the stable and "my" mare has been moved from a stall in the unheated barn to living in an outside pen next to the fuzzy ponies. I'm sure she's fine but I still want to buy her new blankets. It was five degrees when I got up this morning so probably got colder last night. I told my husband they treat her like the bastard stepchild. This is why I can't volunteer at an animal shelter. I would be trying to fix what I consider inequities and I'd be broke within a couple of weeks.

I repositioned the saddle about halfway through last night's lesson but it slid back again. One of the other students said there's some kind of harness that fits across the horse's chest and attaches to rings at the front of the saddle to keep it from sliding back. I'm going to ask my instructor if there's one I can use on Monday. I realized my right shoulder was aching from tightening the cinch as tight as I possibly could and it's still not helping.


  1. A breast collar is the name of the piece of equipment to keep a saddle in place although why the saddle might be slipping is important. Obviously it's not about the cinch or it wouldn't keep slipping but sure could be it's not a proper fit. Sometimes it's the horse and there never will be a proper fit and sometimes it's not the right saddle for that horse. In that case, using a breast collar could create other problems, like a sore back or sore withers.

    I'm always struggling with saddle fit because my horses have such short backs and then their shoulders are so laid back most saddles will pinch them there.

  2. Ditto what MiKael said above about the breast collar and saddle fit.

    I can't work at shelters or rescues either, I'd bring them all home with me. It's hard when one horse is overlooked in favor of the others. Not fair.