No longer new. Sigh.
I rode six horses in my new saddle today, and everything went fine. I am still working on getting the padding right for each one, as I go from 15.2 hands to 17 hands, absolutely no topline or muscle to probably 200 pounds over weight and round as can be. That, and I’ve only had it two days, so it is not entirely broken in. But I have come to realize, as comfortable and easy as my last saddle was, it was built for the rider, not the horse. Hard to fall out of an armchair, or even work hard while you are in it. Made me look good. Made him not so good. Okay, so I am totally out of shape. I knew that, but have been in a holding pattern going nowhere for a year or so. No real incentive to go jogging.
Everyone went well. I had planned to just walk Roy for a couple weeks. Hack around. Let his back muscles get used to carrying my butt around again, but he volunteered several trots! Bouncy ones at that, which reinforced my conviction that I should probably join a gym or something.
Aside: If you think you can just flop around in the saddle and let the horse do the work, you are not a rider. When the shit hits the fan, so to speak, and you can’t hold up your end of the deal and help that horse, you deserve to land on your head. Dog knows I’ve landed on mine. George Morris may have gotten bad press about complaining about fat riders, but I defended him in Practical Horseman and will do it again here: you never expect your horse to do its best work fat and out of shape; it is nothing short of complete arrogance to think you can do your best work fat and out of shape.
Back to business. I rode Bailey! He was awesome! He picked up (unasked) the canter in BOTH directions (this is the horse that can’t go right), and he was so up and balanced it made me giggle while I was riding. Ever had one of those Can’t Stop Smiling Days? Bailey does it for me. Unbelievable horse. Shoes Monday. Paws crossed.
This is the pic of Chick we took yesterday in his first TC Saddle ride. Whoa. A totally different animal!
As to the title of this post, my new saddle has been christened. I walked Smash by it after letting him graze a bit, headed for the stall. He stopped, looked at the saddle and slobbered a mouthful of half chewed grass right on top. Ick. Got some cleaning to do tonight!