Friday, February 13, 2009

Well We’ve Done It Now!

Sammy has not one but two rides under her girth! We had one misfire, and two actual rides. The misfire happened when I saddled her up and then realized the round pen was way too muddy for her to work in. Yeah I should have looked first but didn’t think it would be a problem.

Ride number one came three days later after the high winds had dried out the ground somewhat. She was completely clueless, but still a good girl to a time. My daughter aided me on the ground after it was clear that smooching and gentle bumps weren’t getting forward motion. Once we got forward, we worked on balancing a rider. Sammy is much like her mother in the fact that is built on a fine frame. She has delicate features and a thin chest. Most people would think this is from her lack of nutrients but really it is not. Her mother is a very fine boned horse and only looks like a normal horse now because she is really fat. LOL So, learning to balance weight on her back was frustrating for her at first. Apparently so much so that she tried rearing to show her distaste and we fell over. Don’t worry no harm done. It was a gentle sit down and step off. She however was shocked. I repositioned the (not quite so well fitting) saddle and tried again. This time the mount was much easier and her balance had greatly improved. A few more laps around the round pen and we quit for the day.

I was so proud of her! You just can’t imagine what it felt like. This is the horse that I thought would never be mine, and when she came home I was afraid I would never be able to ride. This is my baby who I froze my butt off for three cold nights in November to save. I was ready to scream from the roof-tops that WE DID IT!!!

Now here is the problem. She is very narrow, and the built up pad I have is not built up in the right places. The Aussie saddle that I used for her mother is still too wide for her. It is much closer than my western saddle but still needs a lot of padding. I created a shim for it for ride two and it was much better but still not great.

Ride two happened with much less fanfare sort of. She was much easier to tighten and much less anxious, she stood well for the mount (from a step of course) and walked off nicely at the smooch. But she had a surprise up her hoof for me. She decided she was going to try bucking. Every time I would apply leg to reinforce a turn she would buck. I corrected her strongly and moved on. Twice she tried it, twice she failed to remove me from her back. She quitted down and was following leads nicely so I decided that I would take her out of the round pen and ride her somewhere much more solid.

We received a lot of rain between the first and second ride so the round pen was very soft. I didn’t want to keep making it worse so I dismounted and went out to the drive way. We walked through the barn and remounted out front. She really was concerned and wasn’t sure about walking away from her comfort zone but with encouragement and soft words she took her unsure steps.

My drive to the barn is easily 3/10th of a mile long so we have a good straight stretch to walk on solid ground. She made it past the trucks, the old jog cart, and limbs strewn on the yard. Past the old red well house, more cars parked at my husband’s office, and didn’t even jump when Justin came walking around the corner of the building. She even was curious enough to walk up to him. We stood for just a moment to talk and then proceeded on up the drive. Turned around and walked (at the same speed) back to the barn. We came to a stop in front of the barn door and I got off.


Now I just have to find a saddle that is narrow enough to fit her properly. At this point I don’t care if it is western or English; I just want it to fit her without a lot of extra padding that makes it feel like your hovering over her back.

If anyone has a really narrow saddle you would like to sell please contact me. I am 5’9” so I would need at least a 17 ½ English. I don’t care if it looks like the hind wheels of bad luck as long as it fits and is safe. Since I do leather work and repair I can fix some things as long as the tree is in good shape.

I considered one of those soft saddles but I think I weigh too much and it might hurt her back. So I would feel better with some kind of saddle. Any suggestions? Send them my way. Thanks in advance and stay tuned for more.

No comments: