Monday, February 4, 2013

New saddle!

It's here! My saddle was supposed to be delivered today and came about the time I got off work.  I stopped by Legacy to pick up a pair of latigos use the center-fire riggingm then hurried home and opened my giant package in the middle of the living room!

As soon as I got it out, I had to find a place to set it to get a good look at it.  Trevor wasn't too pleased about where I put it... especially when I swung my leg over it to see how it felt to sit in - with my boots still on since there of course was no time to take them off.

It felt like it might work, even though I already knew it was a bit too big.  I truly should be using a 15", but I think I can make a 16" work.  Plus, it's not as cushy as my sister's English saddle (the one that fits Snickers but definitely doesn't fit me), so I'll be happy to get a pad on there ASAP.

I was pleased with the irons, though.  I wasn't sure what I was going to get along with the saddle, but the irons are pretty wide and should buy me time until I can afford to go get a pair of wester EZ Ride stirrup.  Turns out, she sent a latigo and whatnot for the saddle as well, but at least half of it wouldn't have worked for the center-fire rigging and I liked having the new latigos anyway :)  The one that was sent was actually the same kind I bought as well.  I attached the latigos and tied them up, then grabbed the rest of my tack and was on my way out to try it on!

I went out and got Snickers, who is doing much better coming to me.  I don't walk to him - I just simply wait for him to voluntarily come to me.  This is my game now ;)

I brushed him down and made him look pretty because I wanted to take lots of pictures to put online and check and see how the saddle fits.  After I got him all pretty, it was time to saddle up!  First, I set the saddle on without a pad to check fit.  I ran my hand underneath and it seemed to make contact all the way down the back.  Of course, it's always hard for me to tell what I'm feeling in the middle of the saddle :S  However, from all appearances, it seemed to me it was fitting correctly.

Then, I added the pad and cinch and saddled up!  I had to mess with the center-fire rigging and the HAF pad to get them to work together.  I almost wonder if it's worth trying to get them to work.  I'm going to try out the Skito dressage pad that I also have and see how it goes.  

Of course, Snickers had to check out the goods, too :)

Then, I put on his new convertible headstall and it was up for the ride!!

I did like the feel of the saddle and felt I could move around and wasn't put in an awkward position.  I'm excited to see what Erica things about it and if it helps with my riding.  I sure hope so.  Beyond that, I was trying to focus on the things Erica had pointed out - however, from these pictures, I can see that I was still clearly leaning forward.  Plus, it's hard to evaluate a saddle when you're trying to put all the disconnected pieces together and just ride at all.  I think it'll work, though, and seemed much better than my sister's ill-fitting English saddle.  It's nice to be back in a western-type saddle again.  I'm hoping that it'll fit just perfectly once I get a seat cushion in there.  I think I can make it work as-is, but since I'm now aware of the things I need to fix, I definitely don't want my saddle working against me.

It did seem like either the saddle or the pad shifted as it seems often happens with him...  However, it seemed like the cinch did stay in the same place.  I'll have to explore what works best.  I hope I don't have to buy another pad, though :S  I'm going to try my Skito dressage pad next time and see how that works.

Finally, I  tried on the drop noseband I'm working on for Snickers (at Erica's recommendation).  It seemed pretty close to perfect, though I wasn't too pleased with Snickers drooling all over it.  He's such a good sport about me sticking all these things on him haha.  Poor Snickers!

Finally, I unsaddled, brushed, and blanketed Snickers before putting him away.  Both he and Flash were very excited about their mash today and went at it like crazy.  I fed them (and found another one of Flash's front teeth!) and said my goodbyes.  I didn't get a picture of it, but I do have a VERY dirty palomino at the moment!  Oh well, he can stay dirty a bit longer haha :)

Last but not least, I started a forum here to see what people could tell me about the fit of the saddle just from the pictures.  So far, everyone seems to think it's a good fit!  Maybe I'll finally find the end of my saddle woes!  Yay!!

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