Thursday, October 15, 2015

Saddle Update, Dressage Sport Boots, and Video of Penn

I saw this the other day on Facebook... and I just loved it so I saved it to my phone to share here for a laugh.

I took the two saddles back to the tack shop Tuesday. I had called in the morning and asked them to order me a Stubben 1894, 18" seat and B tree (which is actually their 29cm medium tree, who knew?). When I got there in the evening, I got the news of what was going on. I'll have 4 options:
  1. That size combination is not currently in stock at the Rep's inventory, and he can't get them from another rep. So I have to wait 8 weeks for Stubbem to make the saddle and get it to me. The 1894 in the sizes I need is on order. (only 8 weeks? no big deal!)
  2. There's another guy that can try and get the saddle in the sizes I need, and he's going to keep looking. (so now we're looking at 8 weeks or less until new saddle!)
  3. The tack shop is being sent a Euphoria saddle in the C/30cm tree (basicaly a size bigger than my B tree), and she's going to call me when it gets here so I can pick it up and try it on Penn. No word on the seat size. I'm guessing it's a 17.5". (so at that point, I can either keep that saddle if we love it, or order it in the B tree, or order the C tree and a different seat, or keep my original order.)
  4. Pending how the next size up tree fits Penn, I can change my current order to the C tree. This is something I am seriously considering because he is a growing boy and while the B tree fits well now, the C will probably fit better later and then I won't be shopping again as soon. I use a half pad under the saddle, so I don't think the extra width will bother him too much now. (I assume the 8 weeks would start over at that point unless it's in stock somewhere)
Basically, I have a crap ton of options still, and they're all options that the tack shop offered me- I didn't have to ask! I love my tack shop. (I am also going to get my BOT quartersheet from them.)

I think I'm going to go with option 4 at the end of the day, only because I'm nervous about how wide his back will get. I know the B and C trees are both mediums, but the C is a wider medium, and the baby horse will continue to grow his back.

It's funny how saddles end up fitting. And how size really means nothing across the brands. The wide saddles I tried were too wide yet pinchy, and my MW Jaguar sits well over his back yet squeezes the bejeezus out of his shoulders. Then the Stubben is put together just the right way so it fits his back, but flares out enough to fit his shoulder too. Goes to show that at the end of the day, you probably just need to haul your horse to the tack shop and set every saddle they have on his back until one fits. By the way, I asked if there was somewhere close where I could do that if it came down to it. She said no, they've had people come to try western stuff and they just park the horse on a side road, but she didn't want to do that with baby horse, haha.

For now, I'm borrowing Trainer's Bates Isabella, because it somehow always fits every horse in the barn (without being an adjustable tree). Plus her CWD dressage saddle is finally here!

Half of my Dressage Sport Boot order arrived Tuesday! I ordered 2 full sets because I'm crazy and couldn't pick just one. The second set was on backorder (but now it's on it's way!), but the first set is here!

Navy!!!! I couldn't not get them after several people said they were awesome. And they work with my current color scheme- everything is either black or white or navy.

(And yes, that's my horrible vinyl square kitchen floor. Our house needs to be updated.)

I was able to use them last night, and the mediums up front, larges behind work so well for Penn.

Attempting to show the navy color in poor lighting. Sigh. Oh well!
I was also extra pleased about the boot quality. My DSBs that are currently shredding (they've been demoted to trail riding or ultra sloppy arena riding), had a more thin synthetic/plastic feel, where these boots have a nice tough leather feel. It also appears they have some extra padding/reinforcement on the inside of the boot. Only time will tell if they hold up to Penn's interference!

I showed them to trainer (who abuses her couple sets of DSBs in a fierce way), and she was impressed with the quality, and then the sale price, and couldn't stop staring at the navy. My trainer, who is ultra color conservative (ie black, gray), was really loving the navy. She also loved the 3 straps on the larges. She has trouble with hers over stretching and then not holding. I believe she's ordering a full set of navy larges in the next couple days for Cody! I bet she'll order a couple more pairs too in smaller sizes for the rest of her horses (probably in the brown and white).

So the only other thing to note is that I used a Mom down at the arena to take some video of Penn on my phone. I don't have much media of him working because I can't seem to drag husband out to take pictures or video, and I end up riding alone a lot of the time. FYI, that's why you're all plagued with a TON of standing awkwardly in the barn aisle, standing out outside, or standing in the stall pictures. She was happy to, so now I give you all some fresh video of my baby horse! (who is looking less and less like a baby!)

I used YouTube's "Glamour" option as a filter... because it was hard to see him when he was so far back and against the trees. My video editing software wasn't working well (it was making the video choppy) so I opted for the YouTube edit instead.

Anyway, I need to:

  • Continue pushing him up so he stops curling and getting behind the vertical.
  • Work on the canter and canter transitions, just in general. They haven't really been the focus of our work. The canter just had to be there, not running away, and not motorcycling around turns.
  • Work on not adding pressure to the reins when halting (that goes for both of us: him not leaning on my hand, and me not pulling him to a halt).
  • Continue developing a slightly slower tempo without taking away from the forward to encourage more loft in the trot.
  • Continue working on engaging the hind end even more. We can very easily slip into a longer/lower/downhill frame if I don't pay attention to that. I also send a hind leg on a trip to Siberia if I don't pay attention.
  • Lengthen my stirrups another hole or two as well- I just randomly picked holes on Trainer's leathers and they felt a touch short (I already lowered them 4 holes from where hers were!)
Things I am pleased about:
  • Rhythm!! We have rhythm! That's new.
  • I heart impulsion.
  • Big strides!
  • He's very quiet in the bridle and is happy to stay where I tell him to.
  • He's so very willing. I love it.
  • When he's together like that, the left lead happens! Those two canter transitions were the first ones of the day, btw. The left lead almost didn't happen in the video, you can see him debating which lead I want, but debate and choose correctly is progress from just being wrong!
  • The rein back naturally seems to be stepping back in pairs, and without inverting. For the life of me, I could not get Mikey to step back in pairs. He learned rein back on Monday. I say he gets an A++ even though it could use more ground cover.
  • He's looking so grown up!!!
I can't wait until he's ready to collect more, and then extend more. I think he's going to have awesome extensions! He's so loose and flexible in all his joints, I think he'll have really super reach. I also think I'll be battling that incorrect toe flick/toe hyper-extension because he's so loose and flexible in his joints. Thoughts on avoiding that?


  1. You guys look so good! I love his gaits, sounds like you have an excellent plan moving forward. I love how hard he tries for you, he seems to really love his job!

    For the toe flick, from what I've experienced, it tends to go away as they build strength and as long as the rider doesn't push the extensions to that point. Like keeping them contained until his topline can actually support a true extension vs losing control of limbs.

    1. **does a dance** omg, Grand Prix rider likes my baby horse! Sorry, haha!

      All I can think of when you said "losing control of limbs" is Penn trotting, then all of his legs flailing in the air all willy-nilly, haha. Anyway, so basically keep the extensions conservative while he's learning, don't go for broke, and don't get greedy? That sounds like a good plan, no matter who the horse is. Funny how everything seems to hinge on more strength!

  2. he looks great! love the navy boots too - very sharp!