Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spoke too soon...

So the lesson I was all excited about? Didn't happen. There were too many actual due-paying Pony Clubbers who wanted a lesson, and they couldn't schedule me in. Also, I would've had to pay a major fee due to the fandango being a "mounted meeting" and not a "clinic". Basically, the only difference is that at mounted meetings, non-members have to pay through the nose if they wanna join in. But it was just as well, because the lessons were group lessons, in a small arena, so the instructor was rather limited in what she could have the riders do. Also, the lessons were 1 1/2 hours. Sofie would've been bored out of her mind, and I wouldn't have even been able to ride in the entire lesson. Some other time.

The other un-good news is that my saddle has GOT to go. Last weekend I had two rides cut short due to it sliding forward and eating Sofie's withers and shoulders, which pissed her off to the point that she started bucking at the canter. I managed to not get bucked off, because when I fell forward, she stopped. That was very encouraging, since it was a perfect opportunity to get me off if she really wanted to, and obviously she didn't, she just had to communicate her discomfort. I walked her around and even backed her up before getting off, so she didn't get any ideas about being rewarded for bucking.

Then my mom got back, and we tried our damnedest to put that damn saddle in the right place, girthed it up tightly, and my mom put her on the longe line. Within two minutes of longeing, the saddle was eating her withers. And she was bucking at the canter, even without the weight of a rider. My mom took the saddle off, and no more bucking. DAMN FREAKING SADDLE. I am going to write a complaint to the manufacturer, because this saddle is definitely not living up to its promises.

Yesterday I finally got to ride again, as we took my trusty Wintec all-purpose saddle out to the barn. I don't know if it's going to work in the long-term, but she didn't buck at all, the saddle stayed where it was supposed to, and it seems to fit okay. I didn't enjoy the ride as much as I should have, because I was worried about Sofie bucking, and trying to get used to a different saddle, and a different stirrup length (because I can actually LENGTHEN MY STIRRUPS in the Wintec and still be able to RIDE, unlike in that OTHER SADDLE). Sofie did fantastically at the walk, and did well at the trot when she finally relaxed (she's been a little anxious ever since the mares were put in a smaller space and the geldings moved to the front field for hunting they won't get shot, because *cough cough* it would REALLY be a shame to lose any of those FINE equine citizens). I was even able to do some nice trot-walk transitions. It seemed like she could feel my seat better in the Wintec. The canter was a little hairy...Sofie has decided she will only canter in two places in the yard, and is starting to anticipate canter transitions. I'm going to try working her in the back field, now vacated by the geldings, where hopefully she will listen a little better. I just have to remember not to worry, and reassure her when she gets anxious instead of getting annoyed with her.

Soon I will have video from two Sundays ago when she was absolutely brilliant...and possibly pictures/video of us in the Wintec. So stay tuned for more colorful posts.

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