Monday, March 26, 2012

Riding a Wade

I've been wanting to try out Brian's saddle for a while, and lately Steen's saddle has been riding lower on his shoulders and leaving dry spots again. I'm increasingly convinced the fit is just not ideal. Brian's saddle has a fairly narrow, high gullet that I have suspected would be a good fit for Steen. However, when Brian is with me he tends to use his saddle, so I've not gotten around to borrowing it.

Brian works long days on Mondays, so I logged a couple morning hours at work and then headed out to the barn. I brought Steen in and spent a while knocking more hair off of him, then heaved Brian's saddle up onto his back. It did fit him well, but I have to say it seems like too serious a saddle for him. He's such a flighty, goofy, dorkball, and this saddle is working ranch quality. Nevertheless, I cinched it up and adjourned to the indoor arena (it was chilly and windy outside).

Steen was a bit more energetic than he's been lately, mostly thanks to the cool temps, but I felt good in the saddle from the start. The seat is harder than mine, and also it is just the teensiest bit too big for me. It fit Steen great, though, and we moved around the arena getting used to it. I trotted for a few minutes, then dismounted to remove a few barrels that were set in the middle of the arena and getting in my way while I was trying to work on leg yields. Then I hopped back on and continued.

I started out with loping early. We did a few low-key laps around the arena in each direction, and after that Steen did pick up the inclination to prance sometimes, but only when he thought I was going to ask him for the lope. But that's still not acceptable so we had a few one-rein stops as well.

The best parts of the day were the leg-yields and side-passes. We worked on these intermittently throughout the ride and got a lot of good ones. When he's a little more lively he puts more energy into these types of movements. We had some really nice stops, too. He was not great at picking up the lope today, but once loping he was smooth. I felt I had an easier time keeping my butt in contact with Brian's saddle than I do in mine. I also felt my legs were in a position that made it more natural for me to post. It was really nice to have a horn that I could hang my mecate on but didn't interfere with my hands. Also I liked the slick, unpadded seat more than I thought I would. I felt like it let me move quite freely with Steen at all gaits.

So, I'm not sure what this next year will bring in terms of saddles. Brian and I promised ourselves last fall we were done buying saddles for a while, but now I'm thinking a super light-weight wade with minimal skirts, a 15.5" seat and a short horn would look pretty good on Steen. I think I'd enjoy riding in it too. :)

Ride Time: 0:50
Horseback hours YTD: 23:45


  1. I think you can easily drive yourself crazy trying to maintain the perfect saddle fit. Mine seem to change back-shape with the seasons, depending on how much riding I've been doing, and also just when they feel like it. Which is why I have a whole bunch of saddles that don't fit...

  2. Yeah, Steen has gotten thinner again. I'm sure that is contributing. I agree you can drive yourself crazy with it. But that's what horses are for, right?


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