Saturday, August 29, 2015

saddle success!

Yippeee!  We have a saddle and pad combo that works :)

The winning saddle is a Stonewall Classic with my HAF 8200 pad. We can also use the Matrix sans inserts, but the plan is to search for a good deal on a pure sheepskin pad for future use.  I do need to get a 22" western cinch, or a converter for the rigging to english....  Dang horse has a tiny barrel! that is a pony sized cinch lol

First, I'll back track a little.  Tesla has been out of under saddle work since 8/10 and the findings at his massage session with Sarah.  We have done just lunge work and/or grooming with massage and stretching since then.  The Stonewall was supposed to ship on the 17th, plenty of time for our appointment with the fitter on the 29th that I had scheduled once I knew I was getting a saddle I had high hopes for working for us.  The 21st rolled around with no update on the FedEx tracking so I checked in and FedEx had held it without letting the shipper know because there was a spray adhesive in the box (for the shim kit).  So, it finally left CA on the 25th and arrived about an hour before I needed to leave for the barn today :P  Cutting it close!

Our day started out with me moving 3 saddles and 4 pads to the barn with girths and then wrangling Tesla from the woods.   I was armed with the Stonewall, an OrthoFlex and my Bandos with a wider pommel.  We started with a quick check of his bod, and he is still showing tight and sore at the right side L/S with a major knot near his ribs. sigh. 
So we got the impression pad set up and the Stonewall and headed out the barn.  Something, we have no idea what, spooked or got Tesla as we walked out.  He bucked as I was leading him using his reins down to the arena, then spun around and continued to buck and bolt ripping the reins from my hands.  OMG, now we have a runaway horse with reins hanging.... can you say Oh sh*t?!  fearing the worst could happen and hoping the reins or bridle would snap if so...He took off at a gallop, ran along side the arena and into the woods onto the path that runs behind the house and back to the driveway (that we have done together often), then continued off back towards the 2 fields of his buddies.  Which of course set them all in motion and bucking around...argh.  Once his field buddies stopped at the fence so did he and I was able to catch him and bring him back.  Somehow he also managed to have the impression pad slip out from under the saddle (though everything was tight when leaving the barn!) so I tied him in his stall and went on the hunt for the pad. Found that, Melissa re-rolled it out and back to the assessment we went!  This time we walked out and around the barn and then came back to face the area he freaked out at. Nothing happened to set him off again so we went out to the arena and lunged a few, made a few adjustments to the rigging as the saddle kept wanting to slide forward then On I went for the first time in 3 weeks. Still some head tossing, but generally good ride though he was in a spooky mood and a pipe for a jump and the barn owner coming out to say hi made him stop and spin.  We did our time with the pad and then checked the results - Good!  No major pressure points without any saddle pad :)  No lateral movement, no front to back movement, no hair swirls, good sweat pattern. Then we worked through what pads I owned that would be good... At least I have 2 that will work, but may not be the best for 50-100 mile rides.

We also took a look at my Bandos, and unfortunately the left shoulder was still getting pressure even with the wider pommel.  Then the Orthoflex, which turns out to be too long for his back.  So, I have no backup saddle (again), but at least I have a saddle to ride in now!  I also learned that while he measures a 12" tree for RP that I can look for up to a 13" used that can be modified to him.  Someday maybe I'll get a Heraldic saddle yet...  I am also going to test run the Pandora sometime.

So, not so proud of the run-away horse moment, but learned some lessons there though so hopefully won't happen again!

Now I need to find time to ride again :)

Sorry no pictures yet :(  My mind was a little preoccupied with finding something that works and forgot to snap a shot of him wearing it!

We will continue bi-weekly sessions with Sarah for body work, and I'm waiting on the Chiro to get on the schedule and just dealing with a $200 bill (saving $90 by not doing acupuncture this time) for his adjustment of the S/I area that we think is causing all the muscle tension.

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