Monday, May 02, 2011

Sub-par Saddle

Today I decided to throw my saddle back on Steen. I did this for a few different reasons, one of them just being curiosity. I've always known the saddle was not an ideal fit for him, but I guess I wasn't convinced it was a horrible fit either. Still, Steen has been so quiet lately I figured a light ride in his saddle couldn't hurt. Plus my sister is coming to visit soon and I really want to take her around the trails. Unfortunately she's going to beat my new saddle by a week or two, and I don't really want to go exploring on Steen bareback.

Steen was quiet during tacking and grooming, He didn't seem at all bothered when I put the saddle on and mounted. We walked around and he was much like yesterday - mellow but a little distracted. Then I asked for the jog and he started out ok, but gradually he began to resist my steering more and trot really fast on the uphills and unbelievably slow on the downhills. There was a massive semi delivering a new horse, and it was pretty windy so I thought these distractions were to blame. But then I started trotting Steen in a tighter circle and his head just kept getting higher and his whole demeanor shifted from the horse I've gotten used to these last few months to a rather nervous, flighty version of his recent self. Bizarrely, the only thing he was doing well was standing.

After twenty minutes of this, I got off and pulled the saddle. Brian kindly dismounted to give me leg up, and I settled back onto Steen's bare back. I asked for a walk, then a jog, and suddenly the Steen I was riding from there on out was the quiet one who jogs around with his head down, not minding circles or turns or flexes.

So, needless to say, I won't be riding in that saddle again.

Horseback hours YTD: 18:45

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