I have a new saddle. That will absolutely NOT come as a surprise to anyone who even remotely knows me…
It’s actually very similar to the previous one I just had, same brand, same series, just nicer cut, color and tooling (to my taste, it’s all very personal). It also happens to be a touch wider (bigger) than the previous, hence slightly oversized for my boy. Nothing bad, though.
Today I picked him up from his pasture, he actually came galloping after I wistled a few times, Zorros’s horse style, and he looked mighty happy to see me. We headed for the round pen and had a little groundwork session there. He hadn’t forgotten anything, he was just a little spirited, but because he performed everything right, and I don’t like horses submitted into a robot state, I let his spirit show and transferred to the big arena. There I brushed him, saddled him with zero issue (remember, he’s been difficult to sadde in the past, but that’s gone), and, because I always to the girth in several small increments, I sent him on a circle around me before tightening it again. Holly cow, that turned into a pretty solid bucking fit, right there ! Af first he bucked like mad, then froze, looking puzzled and shocked, facing me, and halfway thinking about running me over. I, of course, would have none of that, gestured for him to turn the other way and sent him off again, more bucking. I then put more pressure on his rearend so he’d pick up some speed and would have to lope, rather than jump like a devil on a spring. A few changes or direction later, and a very subtle release in my lead tension when he was taking a clean lope stride with no buck inside, and he settled into a surpisingly relaxed trot. Rinsed and repear, I disloged a couple of remaining half hearted bucks, and he was all business, trotting and loping around me in both directions relaxed and like a pro. Hugh !
Then I got on, checked the lateral flexions which were good, and set off, at a pretty draggy walk. Getting him to trot was a chore, and is lope was rather draggy and lethargic. In other words, we’d lost all our forward ! The good news was that the neckrein still seem to work, and slight bend was achievable on both sides. Not as good as before the break, but not awful either. Asking for more forward soon turned into a bucking attempt, so I had to put my bad girl suit on and give him a few second correction, it was better after that. Though I’d only been riding 20 minutes at the most he was sweating profusely, so I decided to call it quits. Here’s how he looked post session :
Will be back to work tomorrow, it should take a few sessions to be back to normal. Stay tuned !