Monday 20 February 2017

Even More Saddle Fitting

I didn't have access to Pony Club, or actually much horsey guidance at all as a kid, so if I have time I like to listen in on the rainy Sunday Pony Club style lectures EC organizes at our barn. It's for the kids, but us adults haven't been kicked out yet :)

This week, I was in luck, because the topic was....saddle fitting! Extra bonus, there was a guest speaker from Vancouver who is a UK certified master saddler. She currently creates custom tack and saddles from scratch and even makes some neat historical looking pieces for movies and tv.

It was super interesting to see how she creates saddles for horse and rider. She brought along a few different trees, which I thought was cool. Neat to see the skeleton your saddle is built on, and how if the shape is inherently wrong, all the gussets and panels in the world won't help. I found the saddles she's retrofitted most interesting - cool to see that there are a lot of things saddle wise that can be changed and aren't necessarily deal breakers if the saddle is good otherwise.
Our current saddle

After she was done fitting a couple of horses, she did a set of tracings for me. B was, of course a star, but was visibly a little uncomfortable about having to stand square for so long. We got curious about that and the fitter pulled out an infrared camera. Poor Ms B has some heat in her lower back that corresponded to a sensitive spot when we poked a bit. We're thinking it's the too big/too long saddle I borrowed last week. And, in related news, her left shoulder looks pretty ouchy, likely from my saddle. Obviously the camera isn't a legit way of finding or diagnosing things, but something to keep an eye on for sure, and her findings definitely correspond to what I would have expected. No matter what, I got a really detailed set of tracings for Bridget's back, and I'm hopeful that with this lady's talents added to our resources we'll be able to find something and even customize it a bit if need be. My task now is to find as many saddles as I can to try out and she'll come back to give input on them in a few weeks.

Random pics today. B's feet are round!

Since Bridget's already on light duty due to her cough, I'm not super worried about the bit of soreness we might have found. I'm hopeful a little time off is all thats required. That being said, I hopped on bareback prior to the fitter arriving and had a little dragon pony on my hands! She wanted to be quite rowdy and silly, so I'm hopeful that means she's continuing to feel a bit better. If not, the normal vet will be here in two weeks to check her over and dispense more meds if needed, and I've booked an appointment with the specialist vet ASAP for an endoscopy, which around here = in six weeks.

Not even tiny jumps until we sort this cough out

Since Bridget is off work, I'm riding the gorgeous warmblood mare Audrey for lessons. Audrey is a bit of an ADD princess and very quick/athletic (nickname = "Squirrel") I wanted quicker reactions, and my wish is coming true! I keep reminding myself that through a series of unfortunate events, I rode her once before...during a cross country clinic last year. Never mind that we didn't jump anything and just hacked around, ignore that part. It sounds super legit to say I rode her in a XC clinic, right? Like a dressage lesson could only be SO boring after that :) She's actually very sweet, this is going to be indimidating, but fun, I think.
Speaking of crazy, yet another pic of the BK hanging out in his beer flat


  1. excellent that you got so many tracings, that saddle master sounds like a great resource! my fingers are crossed that, if nothing else, the tracings help avoid wasting time on something that's definitely not gonna work! also Audrey sounds like a fun switch up!

  2. That's so nice to have such a great resource at your barn! Also, that foot print is like a work of art :)

  3. I totally want one of those thermal cameras in my life

  4. What a great (and timely!!) clinic