On Friday afternoon I almost spontaneously combusted due to extreme over-excitement. I was not-so-patiently waiting for my saddle to arrive all day; I swear I refreshed the UPS tracking app every 30 minutes between 1 pm and the time the package finally arrived at 4:30. I practically accosted the UPS driver on his way up the stairs and I’m pretty sure he’s now convinced I should be committed to a mental hospital.
But it was so worth the wait.
I present to you my brand new Prestige Meredith:
It is so fucking fancy, the photo does not do this saddle justice. The seat feels like I’m sitting on a cloud; the knee rolls are soft and squishy; the flaps are full calfskin and so grippy my leg position practically proved overnight. And the balance? It’s to die for. Every time I sit in this saddle it just feels right. It helps me, instead of working against me… And trust me- I need all the help I can get.
But the best part? Miles loves this saddle. He moves forward, collects, goes for the long spot and even does lateral work without a fuss. So yeah, this saddle was so worth the wait … And the small fortune it cost me.
Despite the saddle snafu, I went out and rode last night… which around here is headline-worthy news! Miles looks good, although his blanket rubs are still causing me fits. Groomed the beast and for the first time ever he leaned into the curry on his neck!
I wanted to quit on that note, but figured since I drove all the way out and am paying for muscle relaxers every day, I should probably ride. Plus Miles is already losing muscle tone from his two-ish week sabbatical. Sad panda. So I tacked up and tootled around the big indoor which was freshly watered and drug. Who knew such simple things would provide so much pleasure?! After weeks of the frozen ground preventing any dragging, I was like a five-year-old on Christmas morning!
My goal was just to get on and go. After so much not riding, I can’t expect too much. But Miles was great! We worked on keeping things interesting: lots of circles, changes in direction, figure eights, shallow loops and even serpentines. After about 10 minutes of walking and trotting Miles really settled in and gave me some quality work. He accepted contact and gave a little bit, move forward when asked and we even schooled going into corners without hysterics.
All in all, it just felt great to be back in the saddle.
I originally purchased one blanket tag and one bridle nameplate for Miles in November after reading rave reviews online for HalterTags.com. I didn’t hear much about my order for a while, and eventually called the company, which it turns out is a very small, family owned and operated operation. They were behind on orders due to a family issue, but they rushed my order after my call. Unfortunately, the mail ate my order. So when it didn’t arrive and I called again, Halter Tags rushed a second order and sent it completely free of charge. Talk about fabulous customer service! (more…)
On Monday the subzero wind chill kept the horses on indoor turnout. At my barn, all horses are split into two groups and each day that only indoor turnout is possible, the groups rotate. Miles is on “Plan A” and Monday only Plan B horses were turned out.
So I went up to the barn after work/jury duty and visited the beast. It was too cold to do much, but I did subject Miles to a light lunge. Since I bought Miles he’s only been on the lunge line a handful of times, and I’ve never actually done it myself. Not that I don’t know how, or anything, but I just don’t really like lunging.
I think it’s tough on joints (particularly hocks), and I think going around in endless circles all the same size has got to be boring as shit. But with that said, I also do believe that lunging has a time and place, and when used correctly, it can be an essential training tool.
So I put on my big girls panties and tacked up.
My reward was a very good pony. While he was a bit lazy (probably because he was in my saddle, which we know doesn’t fit) he did move forward when I asked, transitioned to the canter without attitude and was overall a gentleman.
We had one time where I asked him to walk from the canter and he just stopped. And refused to walk on. But I got after him, made him walk and then sent him back to trotting just to make sure he knew he wasn’t getting away with squat. After 15 minutes I took off his hack and set him free in the small indoor.
He rolled, and then begged for treats. Typical. After a nice grooming session I put him back with some extra hay and carrots.
The 10-day weather forecast is calling for temps above freezing early next week, so I might actually be able to ride! But snow is also predicted, so it will probably be a crap shoot. Just wake me up when winter ends, please?
Hi! I'm Tracy, a full-time marketing/communications professional from Central Ohio. Fly On Over follows my journey through horse ownership and as a working adult amateur trying to find success in the hunter/jumper show ring with my Thoroughbred, Miles.