River’s new saddle arrived. I’ve ridden it in walk, trot, and canter, and it’s comfortable for both of us. I need to punch a couple more holes in the stirrup thingies — what do we call them when they aren’t leather? the stirrup Corduras? — because I feel myself reaching for the stirrup which rocks me forward off my balance point. BUT.
How snazzy is THIS?
I also have been riding for a couple months in a Barefeet Physio Ride-On Bareback Pad, which not only has an underpad to lift the pad off the withers, it has the girth attachments lower down on the belly, where it’s not interfering with my leg. It also has really nice cushioning between my butt and her back. River is more willing and comfortable in it, and I’ve really improved my balance and stamina, becoming able to sit and post the trot for minutes at a time.
The past few months have been full of, well, life, and also death, and I’ve not kept my “ride every day that I’m in town” resolution 100%. I’m happy to report that I’ve kept it enough to continue gaining in confidence and skills even as my stamina goes up and down instead of just up.
The gains are coming from the hard parts (“Erin, how come I’m suddenly scared to ride outside the arena?”) and they are coming in small increments that every so often aggregate into a Visible Big Gain that makes me go “Huh! Look at that!” For example: After three or four sessions where River kept offering the canter and I kept saying “no thank you,” we finally had a day where River said “I wanna canter!” and I just went with it. And it was lovely and fun, and after a few moments to get myself settled, I was even able to steer and canter at the same time. Thank goodness I had the saddle by then…