A few weeks ago I began to suspect that Carmen's saddle needed adjusting. Carmen is usually quite sensitive to changes in her saddle fit, and will let me know with general crankiness under saddle and resistance to canter. However, it's also not that behaviour from her points specifically to saddle fit vs being in heat, or it's windy or birds are occupying the same space time continuum.
Nevertheless I was feeling pretty confident that the saddle was creating some issues. It looked to me like it was too big in front. Back in March/April (I really can't remember or have blocked that time), we had to put in a bigger gullet. But she's lost weight since then and I thought that we needed to go down a size.
|Carmen: did you just call me fat? |
Me: who me? Never!
While I waited for her appointment I put some extra padding under the saddle and we were able to get by. Rachael and Emily from Callan saddlery came Wednesday. Fortunately I was able to take some time first thing in the morning. Turns out I was right. Her saddle gullet was too big so we had to go down a half size. Not, of course, to one i owned so I had a to buy a new one. I think I pretty much have the full collection by now. Not that I'm complaining, because replacing a gullet is a lot better than buying a new saddle. I did trade in an small one I had for Steele for a discount so that helped.
After many days of rain, drizzle and fog, today was an unseasonably and warm day - it seemed perfect to ride. I booked a lesson for friday and it seemed a good idea to help Carmen realize that her saddle was comfortable. At first she was pretty sure that trotting was going to hurt but after a few minutes she relaxed and we were able to get some good work in.
After I put on her rope halter and took her for a walk in the woods. It's all part of my plan to get towards hacking out alone. I wondered if she'd balk but she walked along quite content with this new activity. My plan is to walk her in hand and then as we progress mount her part way through.
I'm hoping to continue to enjoy good weather for a while yet. I don't feel done yet.