Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Always Harder with an Audience

I am a bit behind in my blog reading and writing.  I have a pinched nerve in my elbow (ulnar neuropathy at the elbow for you medical/google types) and have to keep my elbow straight for the next two weeks.  Which means it's a bit of a challenge to be on the computer.  And to ride.  And drive the car.  You don't realize how much bending your elbow factors into things until you're not supposed to do it.  Sheesh!

Yesterday, though, I had another appointment with the saddle fitter.  We were trying the custom saddle again to see why it slid forward.  Luckily, it turned out to be a simple human error.  When the saddle fitter had left it for me to try, she had the wrong tree in it.  Since one of the beautiful things about this saddle is the fully adjustable tree, she swapped it out in five minutes and tada!  Less slippage.  There was still some minor moving forward, but that has more to do with Tessa than the saddle.  The pony has a long sloping shoulder, a short back and is croup high and where the girth wants to sit is in front of her shoulder.  So I'll be purchasing one of those fancy girths like this one.

I don't usually ride in the afternoons, but Sunday afternoon was when the saddle fitter could come out so I waited until the afternoon.  Ms. Princess Pissy Pants was not happy to be woken up from her nap.  The barn was busy, with no less than three riders in the ring (we do NOT have a big ring) and all of them people I didn't normally ride with.  So of course, as soon as I got on, the pony balked.  And not just a little bit.  She was NOT having it.  She flung her head, she swished her tail.  I got off and did the ground work Linda had shown me last week.  Got back on.  Nope.  No go.  Even trying to move her in small circles was met with resistance.

My cheeks were burning.  Here I was, trying to check saddle fit, and I couldn't even get the horse to walk.  Tess, of course, could feel my hesitation and decided that even walking was too much for her.  So I got off again and lunged her.  She had a minor explosion, but then moved nicely forward.  Back on, no forward.  I'm kicking and sweating and pumping and cursing under my breath.  I wanted to crawl under a rock I was so embarrassed.

Finally, I sucked up my pride and asked for help.  I knew I wasn't willing to have a big fight in strange saddle with a crowded arena.  I also knew I needed to get this show on the road.  I was wasting my saddle fitter's time with having stupid arguments.  So I asked my saddle fitter to stand in the middle of my circle with the lunge whip.  She only had to threaten the pony twice.  It wasn't the most elegant of solutions, but it worked and we got forward again.  I am now trying to regain that swagger that I had last Friday for my ride tomorrow.  Using the power of positive thinking.....

Despite the pony's bad, bad behavior we did accomplish one thing.  To the dismay of my credit card, but with full support from my financial team (aka husband) I have ordered a saddle.  AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!  The commitment!!  I don't have a picture of the *exact* saddle but here's a version of it in black.  My custom version will have....wait for it.....BLUE PIPING!!!!  There aren't any pictures of one with blue piping because it's custom, y'all.  SWANKY!!!  The blue is in between navy and cobalt and should look AWESOME with the dapple grey pony.  The saddle is a Hastilow Deep Seat Elevation Concept (or something like that) in case you're interested.

The bad news?  It has to be made by the guy in England and then shipped.  It will take until July most likely.  So until then, I am looking for a less expensive hunt seat saddle that we can use for a few months and then re-sell.  Still, just knowing that I have a fancy saddle coming is pretty exciting and nerve wracking.  After all, this saddle cost WAY more than my horse did......


  1. It's beautiful! And I can't wait to see the real thing with the blue piping! Hey, if you're going custom, get it custom, right?! Very exciting!!!

  2. Exciting! My saddle also has blue piping along the stirrup skirts. It's a small thing, but oh does it make you feel fancy!

  3. Awesome!! Im so excited for you :)

  4. oh jealous here! we need to go with the pro fit this summer, I have four saddles and none of them fit great. Very happy for you that you found something that will work.

  5. Cost of saddle more than cost of pony....oh yeah, I know that feeling! The new saddle it lovely :) Keep at it with the Princess.