Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lesson today and GRR SADDLE!

Well, I finally paid some attention to two quarter-sized rubs on Greta's back, as they would not get any better. (Me, being the indecisive teenager I am, have ignored these for almost a year, but they have not become bad - as in rubbing off the hair almost entirely - until recently... don't think I don't feel like a guilty idiot.) I also finally brought them to the attention of my instructor, Laura. We looked at them with the saddle on over it, and while the saddle didn't cover them when I wasn't in it, they most certainly were covered when I sat down on Greta's back. Prognosis? The CAIR panels (which are supposed to NEVER leak air) have leaked air and are causing some major saddle balance issues. The nearest person that can replace CAIR panels, according to my research, is not even in Texas! GREAT! Good thing is that we nipped it in the bud before there were actually any back problems. PHEW!!

This means two things.

1. I rode bareback yesterday, and for today's lesson, and they both have been extraordinary rides. I'll be continuing to ride bareback for a while until a new saddle comes along. It's a good workout and it forces me to work on Greta's balance and softening my seat pressure as there is no saddle to sugar-coat things. I posted and cantered and sat out a short silly spook and everything!

2. I need a new saddle. Greta will be professionally fitted for the first time in the almost 3 years I've had her. (I never knew any better, but now I do! All lessons learned!) I'll go from those measurements (and possibly Tess' recommendations) to get a new (well, used really haha!) saddle with wool flocking. (Which I know will need to be reflocked every few years, but I'd rather pay for that minor expense than get a new saddle every few years!) I've found a nice one on Craigslist for $400, and I'll be looking on eBay and consignment shops in the area.

Poor Greta! Wish us luck!

But in other news, Greta is awesome. A lesson student whose mother used to do A-circuit hunters commented on Greta while she was tied up being (as always, painstakingly and lovingly) groomed, and said that she had "just a beautiful build". I told her about how lucky I was to find such an amazing horse on Craigslist within my family's budget, and she was equally amazed. There was also a little toddler tagging along, and I let her help me brush Greta, who stood still the entire time (pony has the BEST ground manners ever, I love her!) but when the toddler went up to her face, Greta came down and super-gently nuzzled her. The little girl LOVED it, and I was just amazed at the enormous amount of cuteness going on. Mom and grandparents were amazed at how well behaved she was. The two other horses tied up nearby were being strangely squirrel-y today, so I'm sure Greta stood out significantly ;)

I swear, I've had Greta for almost three years now (crazy!) and she never ceases to amaze me!


  1. Heya, ping me off-line about the saddle. I have one with CAIR that you can borrow until you find one that fits her. I also have THE BEST saddle fitter EVAR. I would highly highly highly recommend having her try on a couple of saddles, find a couple that fit BOTH of you, and then see if you can find something in your price range online (assuming she doesn't have it).

  2. ugh i hate saddle issues. i have gone through 5 with Yankee since e has developed so significantly. really taking a toll on the financial sitch. Ebay is my friend.

  3. Great! But seriously, don't buy a $400 saddle. You get what you pay for and it just isn't worth it. Buy the best saddle that you can afford and do not buy a saddle without riding in it a couple times.

    Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop -This shop is very far from you, but the staff is excellent and their saddle trial policy cannot be beat! They can mail the saddle to you and give you advice on fit from pictures and tracings. Their site is worth checking out for the directions on wither tracings alone.

  4. @ Jen: will do!

    @ Checkmark115: yikes!! Well, I suppose it is to be expected, considering she had very little muscle mass when I got her (not neglected, just not worked in a few months). I've had to adjust the Wintec several times now.

    @ Val: The saddle I saw is used (not new lol) and is a Collegiate, which from what I understand is a pretty good brand. $400 is pushing it a LOT for the budget (THANK YOU COLLEGE! GRR!) I would much rather used because I know how it will work, plus no breaking-in time (yay!). Plus, because it's local, I can try it out and give it back if it doesn't work. But I'm not going to do any inquiries until I get Greta's measurements. And thanks for the link! I've already found a Stubben on there that I'm interested in!

  5. I knew you were referring to a used saddle. The saddle is only a "good" brand if it fits you and your horse. You should really work with a tack shop, like Trumbull Mt., that specializes in saddle fit; there is so much more to it than gullet width...

  6. Ugh, dumb saddle. But yay for riding bareback! That's awesome that your seat is so good. I'm always impressed by people who can ride bareback at all gaits.

  7. @ Val: Definitely! I cannot wait until the saddle fitter comes out in a few weeks. It'll be nice (as nice as it was that the Wintec was so low-maintenance) to find something that will fit both of us. Once I get measurements, I do want to give Trumbull a holler, as they sound like a very nice place.

    @ Meghan: haha thanks. I don't know if I could gallop or jump bareback, but I do want to get the hang of that eventually as well lol!!


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Thanks guys!