I feel so neglectful of my poor little blog. The past few weeks have been nothing short of insanity and barely contained chaos. I started a new job: manager/trainer at a boarding stables; I organized a CT show (and coached 2 students during the show–one of whom went on to a 2nd place finish on a horse I trained!!); continued operating my bakery; had my parents down for a visit; taught riding lessons…oh, and I managed to stay married throughout all of this (which might be more of a credit to my super-patient hubs rather than any work on my part).
As it is, I’m writing this with only a few minutes before I have to head over to a post-show meeting to discuss what we need to improve/fix before our next show. We, being the Savannah Area Eventers & Friends (find us on FB), have started a combined training show series geared toward those just getting into Eventing or wanting to see what it’s all about. We’re offering low-cost, fun and educational show experiences without the 2 hour plus drive to Aiken. Our first show was a resounding success (if you didn’t peek behind the curtains to see me scrambling about last-minute trying to organize dressage tests for the judge–totally my fault), and we’ve already been asked when our next show will be.
Meanwhile, with all this going on, I’ve semi-neglected Johnny but realized after all the joint work that his saddle was a major contributing factor. And then just a couple days ago, I made an astounding discovery. I took my Fleeceworks sheepskin pad home to wash it–it was nasty and I’d finally gotten around to ordering some leather wash for the machine. I pulled out the memory-foam shims first and realized those suckers were THICK! Like, 1.5-2″ thick. Yeah, they’re nice and squishy memory foam, but they sit right in the pockets behind his withers. I quickly realized they’d probably been creating pressure-points that were just about unbearable. So, my fellow boarder (and OTTB owner) was super-kind enough to let me try her Back on Track/ThinLine pad. I had initially bought the correction sheepskin pad to elevate the front of the saddle, but with his joints in working order, Johnny has been building a little muscle on the topline. Amazingly enough, his saddle actually fits pretty stinkin’ good now. Riding him yesterday with the BOT pad, I couldn’t believe how amazing he was. He actually gave me an honest-to-goodness leg yield in both directions without flinging his nose in the air!! The real test, though, was this morning with my sheepskin pad (minus the shims). Again…it was a ride without fighting, rushing, or tension. We cantered both directions without running for the roses. I even played around with his trot a little–shortening and lengthening his stride (as much as he’s capable at this point–he needs more butt muscling). We’re meeting with the saddle fitter in a couple weeks; at the very least, my dressage saddle needs to be reflocked. But, hopefully she’ll agree that the saddle is a pretty good fit for him. We’ll deal with the jumping saddle at that time, too.
I’m all out of time, but I promise to tell all the funny stories that have happened in these last few weeks. It’s been a hoot.