There are few things in life I like better than a plan, except maybe a list. I would say that I love a good spreadsheet, but spreadsheets can get complicated and overwhelming. I like things that are simple and laid out nicely. I like to be able to cross off items and sigh with deep satisfaction. Of course, this is in my ideal life. In my real life, I write the list and then I lose it and then I run out of time to finish what I think might have been on the list. Three days later, the list turns up in a pants pocket while I'm doing laundry and inevitably I will have forgotten the number one item that was the most critical. Which then leads me to believe that I need to be organized and that (somehow) this is probably my family's fault. So, when they arrive home from work and school, they are greeted with a speech about cleaning and keeping things organized. In the meantime, I will have pulled everything out of my closet to sort through it and re-organize. Halfway through this project, I will realize that the closet has nothing to do with my list and will abandon it in all it's piles of clothes and crap glory. Because I married a very smart man, my husband will not mention a word about my double standards and my lack of follow through. Desk cleaning will then commence, only to be halted halfway through by the discovery of another list that has a different set of priorities. And so it goes.
This is how it feels as I'm trying to saddle shop. I put together a plan to figure out if it's the saddle or just the pony's attitude and it all falls apart. It's just too hard to separate if the problem is saddle fit or rider error. I rode on Sunday in the Kent and Master's saddle with no shimming on the shoulders. I had forgotten my boots AND my half chaps, so I was just wearing my paddock boots. I kept losing my stirrups and generally just felt out of whack. It was also hard because for some unknown reason, every person decided to change their ride time to Sunday morning. So, the pony was cranky like she always is. I had my friend hop on her and after only one attitude kick, Tessa got right to work and was generally a good girl. It's amazing how different it is when someone just gets on and laughs about Tessa's antics. I really need to learn to do that.
So....yeah. I think the saddle fits the pony fine, but it didn't feel great for me. I'm going to try it again tomorrow and make sure to wear my boots and my big girl panties. I know, I know. I talk a big game, but one of these days it's going to stick.
Also, over on http://www.theredhorsetales.blogspot.com/2012/02/great-expectations.html RHF wrote a great post about expectations and changing what you are thinking about. I do a lot of visualization about having good rides on the pony, but it often falls apart when I actually get on her and I think it's because I get on thinking "Please don't buck, please don't buck". With my body up there leaning forward and an iron grip on the reins, I'm sending mixed messages. I'm going to focus on thinking positive things or at the very least, neutral things when I'm riding this week. Maybe I'll make a list of things to think about when I'm riding. Yeah, that's what I need, a good plan. And a list.