Saddles and shoes

Since Kasane has been undersaddle, we’ve gradually discovered and corrected several problems. We did a saddle fitting and discovered that my Courbette Magic dressage saddle didn’t fit her at all. Got a new saddle which made a huge difference. Over this past winter, I’ve noticed Kasane moving oddly on her Read more…

Saddle fitting

After the riding lesson on Tuesday, I scheduled an extra lesson to fit the dressage saddles I’d located. I want to make sure whichever saddle I choose fits not only me, but also Isis. A new (or used) saddle is a big investment (“cheap” means under $500).

Arabians are notoriously hard to fit in saddles because they tend to have broad shoulders and round backs. Isis’ hunt saddle (made by Zaldi) is a wide saddle with a 32 cm tree. I found three saddles to try: an Albion Comfort (owned by one of the ladies at the barn), a Collegiate Jessica Dressage (brand new, at an excellent price), and a Courbette Magic Dressage. Of these, the Albion is probably the highest quality saddle. It’s beautifully made and comfortable to sit in on the saddle rack. The saddle has a wide twist, which I’m not crazy about (feels like you’re sitting on a log).

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Riding lesson

I had a riding lesson today with Isis that went surprisingly well. We rode her first dressage test today (Introductory Test B, a simple walk-trot test). Last time I had ridden something like that was in college (been a looong time). We rode the test three times. The first time was just trying to get through the different movements. She tripped four times during the first run-through. She also pulled against me a lot. Frustrating.

The second time we rode the test, I was more focused and relaxed: we were going to “ride” instead of meander. Her tripping lessened. We still didn’t get the test down, but at least we could maintain the same speed for the trot and (mostly) keep the 20 meter circles round instead of square.

The third time we rode the test she was much better. Whenenver we went from the straight side of the ring into a corner, my instructor pointed out that I should bend Isis into the corners. What a difference that made! Down the last straight side towards the centerline, I pushed her into the corner. As we rounded the corner, she reached underneath herself at the trot as we moved. Amazing to feel her reaching underneath herself. (more…)