I had a lesson last night, it was good. We worked on more uphill balance for much more of the lesson. I’m working on learning what the new balance feels like, so that I can reproduce it. I rode in Sparkle’s saddle, the XW Albion. Bali felt good in it, was moving really well, and I was in a better balance point.
On Monday, in a fit of saddle angst, I saw that Trumbull Mountain had an XW 17.5″ Passier Grand Gilbert in the demo list (aka, significantly discounted). I’ve always wanted to try a Passier, XW might be wide enough, so, what the heck. I figured I’ll spring for the shipping and give it a whirl.
UPS has the best tracking systems ever, because the shipping email showed that the tack shop had transposed my zip code and the saddle was enroute to someplace in Maryland. EEK! I emailed them, they fixed it, and the saddle was here when I got home. I opened it. It looks WIDE! I had thoughts of “this might be too wide”. Ha!
Then, Chris had told me he wanted to learn to ride this summer and Sparkle needed to be ridden as well, so I asked if he wanted to come out for a ride! He did. So we tacked up Sparkle & Bali, and he had a lesson, so Bali had a lighter ride than ideal.
I have a week. I put the saddle on her, and it is sitting HIGH! Hmmph. But, it is squeaky new, not sure what made it “demo” as I couldn’t even see girth or stirrup leather marks, so I tacked up, and let her hang out in cross ties while I tacked up Sparkle too.
By the end of our ride it was 3 tight fingers of wither clearance. It did not seem to shift forward, but I might beg for some pictures from Doug this weekend to see for myself how it looks from afar w/ a rider. Bali didn’t seem especially happy, she seemed downright suspicious of this new saddle, but she didn’t buck or give serious objections, and since I was also working on giving Chris a mini-lesson, it was a very light ride. If I didn’t have an 8:30am meeting at work, I’d plan on a proper ride in the morning, but I think it will need to wait until tomorrow evening. For me, the seat was comfy, I like the straighter flaps, it is a flatter seat, not much in the way of knee rolls. Interestingly, I had to drop my stirrups a hole in that, from the Detente.
I’m not in love with the flocking job, a bit firmer than I love, but I’m odd in how soft I like the panels. (Quite possibly because I can do my own flocking if I need to). I’ll look more closely tomorrow, I think it looks like some adjusting could be done, fairly easily. I’ll also see how it looks on Sparkle, because those two are close. And to be honest, I’m fond of every horse having a saddle. Riding both at the same time is much easier that way!
Chris did really well on Sparkle. He
stole borrowed his dad’s breeches & boots, immediately recognized how comfortable breeches are (even when Dad is a bit skinnier than he is) and used Dad’s helmet. He understood posting & diagonals, and tried one short canter, but it was getting dark and so we went back to trot, and mastering the changing diagonals. He wants to learn to ride. It was a good start and he enjoyed it. He also recognized how hard it is to do everything at once!