Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Not as good as we thought. Saddle search

I had another ride the other day which i have not posted about yet so i should catch up while it is so slow at work.

While tacking G up on Sunday i had yet ANOTHER run in with the birds at our barn, this time it was not the pigeons. I was brushing G out when i saw something small fly behind me then a big mass of black and white fying right at my face. It scared the crap out of me and after i regained my composure i realised this stupid magpie was trying to kill a little brown bird that was taking refuge behind me, so after throwing my dressage whip at the magpie it went away. The little brown bird was terrified it didnt even fly away until i (for what ever reason) tried to pick it up and it flew away to hide ontop of our feed room. No suprise my horse that spooks at practically everything didnt even flinch while all of this going on... of course not its no fun to spook unless mom is on his back and he is able to temporarily displace me in the saddle lol.

Anyways the ride was a bit of a fight we really struggled to keep contact on the bit at a walk and a trot. So once he gave a little we did something else, lots and lots of trot work pushing into those scary corners and working on using my legs not my hands in the turns seems like i have been doing a lot of this lately but practice makes perfect right...

I figured that i had so much control at the trot that we should canter... even just a little bit to get started on our canter work... but of course we didnt because i am to much of a chicken S**T. I have come so far with Gjonstone but something about the canter still makes me really nervous, as soon as i start to ask for it i brace for it and tense my entire upper body which i know will just result in a disaster so it makes me more nervous because i cant seem to convince myself to relax and just go with it like i am able to do at a walk, trot and when he has his moments of complete chaos which can either come in the form of dropping a shoulder and bolting the other way or just running off with me on his back while he stretched his head as high as possible resembling a giraffe being chased by lions.

Maybe i need to get someone to lunge G while i ride a canter and get used to the movement and get a little more confidence in that gait... i can handle it when he does it himself but asking him to do it causes me to come completely unhinged and i know he can feel that because he definatly either responds negatively and spooks or bolts or he just ignores me all together because of my lack of confidence.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My Trainer leaves in 4 weeks to move back to B.C so i dont really want to work on the Canter stuff with her because i can do that with the other girl i was taking lessons with but i really want to get this gait down because then it is just the fine tuning (picking up correct leads, contact) then we can start preparing for next year and our competitions. (i dream big what can i say lol, when i put pressure on myself like this i obtain my goals it makes me work harder).

I have also started searching somewhat for a new saddle and saving my money, i currently ride in a Paris Tack Dressage saddle that has done great up until now but i am finding that my back is sore my inner thighs and my pelvis throb all after riding. G is also starting to get some hot spots on his back.. so more bareback riding it is and more research and possibly when i can afford it... getting a saddle fitter out.

I have been hearing great things about
-Frank Baines
-Hastilow Custom (another blogger recently purchased this and is loving it, Elevation)

Those are the ones i keep hearing about and have read a lot about and of course the idea of a custom saddle and one that can change with my horse seems like a great idea... the price... well out of my price range. But! if it makes me and my horse happy then it is worth saving up for...

(sorry this post is all over the map i am at work trying to get it in, in between clients)


  1. I am not sure where you are located, but Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop is an excellent place to find, try, and buy saddles. They will ship, have many models (new and used), and I have seen Frank Baines saddles for sale on their website.

    As for the canter, my suggestion is to cue G to canter with a neutral aid that will not make you tense your body, such as a "kiss" or gently tapping him with the whip until he naturally breaks into the canter from the trot. Your job is just to sit there and change nothing as he makes the transition. No rush. Let him take half a ring to pick it up. Just stay quiet and only canter as long as you are comfortable. Use your voice to bring him back to trot.

    If the saddle is pitching you forward, and that is why you are sore, this could also be contributing to feelings of insecurity toward cantering. These feelings would not be unjustified, because a saddle CAN compromise your balance. Make sure it is not the saddle before trying to canter, just to be safe.

    1. Im in Alberta Canada. I will take a look at their website :)
      G is trained with a "kiss" to canter and we have cantered and avoided complete disaster but i have a very had time just relaxing and letting him get into it, he starts to canter i tilt forward and get tense drop my shoulders and lose all control. I always stay on but it doesnt look very pretty. Ill be posting more about that today.
      I definatly am starting to think its a combination of my bad posture and the saddle. Thanks for the tips they are greatly apprecaited.