This horse I rode is just like mine in breeding and coloring but, this mare seemed much more "Uphill" in movement. Her back rising to meet my seat in the saddle. Yes Saddle, I got to have stirrups!!!
I borrowed my stable mates "Ansur Classic" saddle. The mare I rode apparently liked it very much, as her walk was loose and swingy, as she stretched down seeking contact. This "Classic " Ansur saddle is the Co.'s first model and is made to feel as bareback as it could. It has no gullet but is formed to fit right on the horse. It has their patented "Trauma system" inside for rider and horse's comfort, also for distributingg weight of the stirrups and the rider. I used my "HAF" pad that has a channel and extra closed cell foam padding w/ my "Thinline" inserts inside.
I had to put the plush sheepskin cover on the saddle's seat to make it stickier for me and to protect it. The seat size is too large for me being an 18 inch seat. The sheepskin really helped small it down a bit.
Riding in this ANSUR saddle makes me all the more excited to see mine!! I ordered it back in February, the owner saying it would take 10 weeks time. I thought this was perfect timing then, for raising the second half of the $ payment and also- for the camping trip I had planned in Eastern Oregon for May. UM- that is like next week!!!
I was notified via e-mail, the ANSUR saddle Co. had experienced an increase in demands, making it difficult to finish my saddle on the time table we arranged since they have lack of the required amount of experienced saddle makers, at present.
I am HAPPY FOR THEM...disappointed for me.
My stable mate that loaned me the "Ansur Classic", has recently begun an apprenticeship for learning the trade there..how exciting!
She told me just last week, she saw my saddle was on the list for finishing! So, we shall see if it is finished in 14 weeks- instead of the 10. The latest I am able to pick it up is next Monday the 23rd (actual 14th week)before my Must Ride partner and I jet to our caming trip with O.E.T.
So, I might have it for the trip..I might not.
Back to this totally delightful ride I had last week on the ONLY sunny day we had. Starting out going down the Big hill we have from the stable to the rest of the trails, being on a "Different horse" and saddled with stirrups, made it sweet feeling to be able to put weight into the stirrups. The horse under me was not like mine, being pensive and hollow and stopping frequently so, going down hill. This mare was willing and loose. What a feeling of freedom of movement, this was! I knew that this saddle with out a ridgid tree made a differance in the horse's ability to really be stretchy- reachy down this hill.
It has been 10 months since I have been able to get off the back of a horse in posting trot. I have dreamt of that feeling. FIRST chance I had I asked for trot...there she went, this mare was delightful! Her trotting was so swingy, and loose with long neck connection to me. I was surprised with sudden joy and Burst out LAUGHING! Peels of it erupted from me as the mare-who was clearly enjoying herself as well with this awesome "high blowing", and no desire to stop trotting. I let her trot on till we came to a hill that I wished to feel through half seat at walk ( again stirrups!). As we slowed to walk again, I burst out laughing as the mare was still high blowing her own pleasure out, through her nostrils!
I really could NOT get over how uphill and forward this horse was compared to my mare-Everything I asked of this mare, she gave to me- with compulsion and roundness. Not the hollowing out at transitions up or down. This horse remainmed in a lower, longer stance, accepting contact with me! I decided to double back and go through a section of wood with a downed tree. With the little bit of dry weather, the trails footing may be solid enough to ask for the mare to consider popping over the 2 ft downed tree. She saw it ahead of us and with ears perked forward, our trot became a very nice, collected canter.
Okay...most of you must realize by now that the "Different Horse" I was riding- was my Washashe mare all along!
She really took to this saddle and seemed to be as relieved as I was to be off her back and be able to get off her back in half seat, two point and a simple posting motion in trot. OH!! It will make life so much easier for training and security when I need to- impromptu- on the trail. It has been difficult as best, with a bareback saddle, to blalnce myself for some oif the moves my mare can dish!
Like last weekend...I went for a "barn stay over" at Abraham Acres where Pantz is. Though the weather was NOT condusive for much riding, being crappy wet and cold for us, we still went out and trained. My sister having heard of the mare pulling the "sudden bolt and go" moves on me lately decided "we" needed a little T.L.C. lesson in what was really going on. I had permission to use my stable mate's Anusr saddle again. Doesn't the coloring look neat on Wa. It is the same as she is...!
I also had purchased new hoof boots for the mare. Our plan was to ride the road only, since that is the last time we had ridden together with Pantz and my mare had really gotten all " I'm gonna bolt on home" on me.
Love the Cavallo hoof boot box~
So here is what my sister taught me.
Every time my mare does something undesirable, it is my "OPPORTUNITY to teach her something better". She told me to, "Thank the mare for such times and embrace each one that happens, knowing that it may not be tackled today, but soon will be an obstacle defeated, and our "Tool belt" will become much more equipt".
THAT...really helped me and the fact I needed to break down the way I was approaching the problem the mare presented.
The MOMENT she offered me something she had come up with-a jig or trot or hollow, high headed move to take control from me. I was to Breathe out-SIT BACK- Turn my core,engaging my legs and lastly my hands, for a circle turn.
It took four times of the mare hopping up for me to get the sit back...she really pops me out of the saddle! The last time I actually sat nearly on the cantle as I came down..that made a differance to the mare, my body was more blalnced and the last thing to activate were my hands on the reins.
I learned alot and not to fear the misbehaving attitude, but to be ready with the "correct attitude and corresponding action".
We finally went to the bottom of the road, and walked, loose rein to contact reins to loose again...nothing but sighs from my mare. DONE for that day we were.
UPDATE on riding near, by and behind strange horses. JUST yesterday- we did all three and with the new" thankful for the opportunity knowlege I had, she was awesome!
THIS Wednesday, we try it out with my PBO and her mare.
Hope to catch up with you all..as some, most know..BLOGGER was out most of last week. It told me that it was in "READ ONLY" mode...I tried to comment and lost all of them !