I have yet to see a saddle that sits as nicely on him as this one does--despite it's sort of un-orthodox appearance--but I was once more thwarted tonight in my attempts to see how it works with me in it. I know Dave wants pictures, and I'd like to oblige, just have to get the weather to cooperate. The weather and apparently the universe, too.
Sunday, it was pouring rain. Monday, I worked too late. Last night, it was pouring rain--even more than on Sunday. Today, however, was lovely! Clear skies and cold, but NOT RAINING! Yes!
So I called Steve to tell him I would be late because Bar hadn't been out in a couple days, would probably be fresh, and I didn't want to rush through trying the saddle.
The rigging on the saddle threw me--two back latigos and no front cinch--a true centered rigging set up, I think, for which I was unprepared. I improvised by slapping a cinch and latigo on the front rings and hauled it all down to the lower barn so I could saddle down there after we warmed up.
Then I let the boy run off some steam in the round pen. He shot around to the left in a nicely balanced (albeit fast) canter until I called him into the middle.
And then I saw it. Left rear shoe no longer centered on left rear foot. Off by about two inches to the outside.
I pulled it off right then and there, grumbling to myself all the while.
I won't work him--let alone ride him--when he's missing a shoe. I know some people might, but I think of how out of whack my body would get if I walked around with one heel higher than the other and choose not to.
So we played with some desensitizing exercises, particularly with the lunge whip which (for some reason) terrifies him. I apparently don't possess the skills necessary to crack it, which is really what sets him off, but did wave it and slap the ground with it until he could bring himself to stand still. That's progress as far as I'm concerned.
Mike (our fabulous farrier) comes out on Friday, so I'll just give Bar tomorrow off and hope the nice ladies at Saddles to Boots will let me keep the saddle another couple of days. If not, I'll return it, then borrow it again over the weekend if it's still there.
Did I mention how well the saddle seems to fit?
This is either a sign that the saddle is not for me or a lesson in patience.
I'll get back to you all on which it turns out to be.