Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Riding a different horse

WOW! Riding a different horse kinda opens up my mind and shows me where the hope lives.

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.
I was excited with this controlled, energetic little canter and could tell, this "Ansur saddle" was like Second skin to my mount as she enthusiastically popped over the tree trunk! Yea..laughter ensued, filling the woods!

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 !


  1. Oh the problems we had with Blogger last week! I am thrilled to hear that things are looking up after Wa's little bolting episode. I receive such encouragement and advice from your posts. Your mare and mine seem very similar in many ways....

  2. Awesome! I met the Ansur lady the saddles are really nice but totally out of my price range :C

  3. Well, you had me going there for a while. I really did think you were on a different horse, then when you said it was WA it made me smile. She sounds like such a great horse. I hope your saddle makes it there for your week-end trip.

  4. You and Wa are going to love your new saddle! It's so exciting that you had such a great ride in a similar one. Yay!

  5. I hope you get to ride this "different" horse permanently!! ;)

    How lucky you are to have such a sister - what fun to have someone to enjoy riding with and who can be such a help to you. Sounds like she gave great advice for you and Wa mare :)

    Fingers crossed that your saddle gets bumped to the front of the line and arrives in time for your trip! Take lots of pictures please!!

  6. Am very glad you got to ride it out in a saddle, even happier in a saddle like the one you purchased for Ms. Wa Mare and she responded in such a wonderful positive way for you.

    praying for a delivery before your trip =)

  7. Loved the way you wrote the beginning of this post.
    Please make sure to check whether the EVH-1 virus is in your neighborhood before you leave for your ride.

  8. Kacey I'm really excited about your new saddle arriving. SOunds like you have found the answer to the saddle woes. Your ride out sounded amazing. How wonderful to almost feel like you are on a different horse. Happy spring days!!

  9. Great rides on the new Wa. I am so happy for you and thinking good thoughts that you get your new saddle in time for your trip!

    I think Ansur is the answer and I hope I can get one too (if I could just sell a saddle I bought for my mother that she didn't like!).

    Good work with your sweet Wa.

  10. Amazing what a tack change can do isn't it? I'm so glad you got to laugh as you rode...that is how it is meant to be! F-U-N!

  11. Brilliant!

    Funny enough, I also just picked up a loaner Classic. Went for my first ride in it yesterday. I think I'll get another ride or two in it before I form an opinion. I spent most of yesterday's ride just trying to get the right stirrup length.

    Gotta love those Cavallo boots, they do make life so much easier when you need some protection.

  12. Good for you it sounds like you had a really nice time in the saddle, it also sounds like your mare had a really nice time under the saddle. My saddle is out of action so I’ve got to wait some time before it can be repaired , anyway glad you had a good time.

  13. Enjoyed my visit to your blog! That is one of my favorite things about taking lessons.. I ride a different horse every week!


  14. The saddle you are getting sounds amazing. So pleased that you and Wa had such a fun ride, it is a wonderful feeling when you have days in the saddle that make you laugh out loud. I really hope your new saddle is with you soon.
    Kind regards, Abby

  15. It's nice to have a "different" horse sometimes. Glad you and Wa mare loved the saddle and had such a good time. I liked how your sister put it, each misbehavior is a chance to teach her something new and better. And to add new things to your tool belt. Great, I love that. I'm sure you can't wait for your own saddle to come in, what fun you'll have with it.

  16. I am always grateful for schooling opportunities. That's what I call them here when something affects my horse and he resists. You can't get the horse you want without them so I appreciate every one. Sometimes the timing of them isn't perfect but I appreciate them none the less. You'll be surprised how much this change in perspective will affect your riding and your patience too. LOL

  17. LOL.. at first I thought you were riding another horse and were ready to trade yours in! Glad you have found a great solution to the issues at hand (or should I say, in seat)

  18. Hi there,
    so perhaps you have your new saddle now? Your friends saddle looks really good on Washashe. I'm so happy for you that she really takes to it and that it feels good.

    Funny that you mentioned the colour of the saddle looking good on your mare. I'm dreaming of brown tack for Evie and wether that will good on her. One day...
    A couple of weeks ago I bought new boots/jumpers (?) for Naloma in a cool brownish/beige colour. They look really good on her. Hubs shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes, doing some tough talking about 'not caring about the colour' while I was trying to imagine the colour on Naloma's legs and if just black wouldn't be better, or perhaps darker brown... These decisions just take time you know! But if he needs a new saddle pad for Willem, it takes him about the same time, or more, to decide what colour looks best. Tsss. Men! ;-)


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