Monday 7 June 2021

Broken Records

 I'm a broken record over here, beating myself up for giving Sophie time off, then coming back all "OMG I'm so glad I gave her time off, she's better than ever!" Perhaps I'm not the person who should have baby ponies - I had a weird underlying guilty feeling every time I gave her a vacation...even though slow and steady and time off to mature is what you probably should do with young horses.

We still have been getting out for weekly adventures once or twice a week. Just not been much focus on anything arena based.

Anyway, this week Sophie had her first arena rides in a couple of months. I've felt like she's growing one last time, but I have zero data to support that - my measuring stick has gone missing. I can tell you I now need a bigger mounting block and she feels taller than she did mid winter, but with my other ride being a 14hh Bridget 'tall' is a relative term - I'm guessing she's 15hh-ish now?

She's been so good! Mentally, so much more mature. Way less anxious and distracted, so much more happy in herself - in and out of the saddle. I'm pleased (and glad I've been taking it slow - life with S feels much easier this spring than it did even a few months ago)

Love how we all look still miniature from super tall G's perspective. Also, Sophie's been so, so good about the whole trailer/being tied to the trailer experience.

I rode Sophie home on the road for the first time last night. I haven't done that until now because despite walking up and down that thing multiple times a week for just about 3 years (I get my 5k walk in on those days at least) cars are scary. Trucks are scary. The boat with the flapping tarp. The dogs. The farmer's market.  The scrap metal yard. The auto repair place. The chainsaw carving dude (I wish I was making some of this up - it is a pretty intense stretch of road).

We hit it well, so we only met a few cars and one friendly Labrador retriever. The businesses were closed and chainsaw dude was just quietly chillin with a beer, burning his off cuts on a bonfire. 

But hey, it happened. It was fine - she was a bit anxious about having so much responsibility but didn't put a foot wrong. It's one of those little milestones that probably don't look like a lot on paper, but are a big deal for the pony in question. I have a few friends who don't ride that stretch of road at all on their horses, equally Bridget tackled it with no issues the first time. It's so individual!

No pictures of the road because I wanted both hands on the wheel. But we were working on walk halt transitions this weekend and I'm kind of proud of this square halt at x!

In other 'broken record' news, it's time for a new saddle for Sophie. The one I've been using is adjustable so I've been getting away with it, but for me it doesn't fit at all. Then, this morning as I groomed her, she told me her back is a bit sore. Ughh. She's old enough now we should be able to find something that will work for us both for a while. I hope. In good news, someone else wanted that saddle badly and paid me for it this morning, so that worked out rather well. 

Large and in charge, modeling Sophie's temporary adjustable jump saddle.

Bridget has been doing super well. I also sold B's dressage saddle a few weeks ago because she just wasn't as happy in it as I would have liked. The new to me one is delayed at customs, and suddenly I realized with selling Sophie's adjustable jump one as well a few weeks back I literally have nothing to ride Sophie in as of today. Oops, let's hope the trial ones arrive soon! 

Last week, since I seem to be on a selling spree and am short on saddles, I pulled out B's old saddle that's been sitting in the back of my tack space for years now. (bareback pad not an option - she's been WILD) It's a stubben jump saddle that served us very well for years, but at some point the tree got a slight twist to it and it was decided replacing was a better option than repairing. Please don't hate on me - I know it's less than ideal to ride her in it, but equally it took three saddle fitters to notice it's not quite symmetrical..  We're not talking anything obviously unbalanced. Anyway, it was flocked to fit B temporarily while I waited for a replacement (that never materialized - they aren't manufactured new anymore and don't seem to come up used in our specs), and has sat ever since.

Tried this saddle on B and it was a no go. She made her feelings known on the longe before I sat in it (thank goodness)

 Anyway, that saga aside, I pulled her old saddle out because although I know it isn't perfect, also she went well in it for a very long time with no complaints. I went for a ride, and what a difference, we even had other riders wondering about how they never noticed how 'fancy' she is before. I think she just loves that freakin' saddle and has been going better than ever the last couple of weeks. I've got some messages out to the company reps to see if there's anything out there remotely similar to the specs for it. If there is, I will buy it and be done with it - I will dressage in a rock hard jump saddle for the rest of her life if that's what B wants.

So there you go, broken record me. Saddles need re - fitting, ponies need riding, ponies also need time to grow ;)



  1. Ugh, saddles are one of the most frustrating parts about riding! Hope you get the fit figured out soon.

    1. What I wouldn't give for a saddle fitter!

  2. Ugh saddles.... Glad that Sophie is being such a star!

  3. glad to hear sophie is doing so well -- yay for being such an adult baby horse on the road walk home! good luck with the saddle situation too

    1. Thank you. She's (finally) growing up! I'm not sure she'll ever be the horse who is super confident and solid to hack out alone, but with someone she trusts I think she'll be alright.

  4. Sophie is a rock star! I credit your slow and steady approach to that. It’s too bad about the saddles though. I hope you find the trial one works.