Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saddle Redacted

First, I apologize for not doing TTTT today, but I have a ton of work that is preventing me from spending time crafting a tale. It's too bad too, since I had a great one. Maybe Saturday I will do a late TTTT, so if you like reading my stories, keep an eye open.

To the saddle.


I had it on his back for fifteen minutes last night and he tried to dump me twice. I got off after the second try and lunged him at a canter for 30 minutes. Then rode for maybe two minutes more before giving up. The crowhopping in the crossties on Monday was not an aberration. The saddle hurts his back more than any of the other saddles I've tried.

N questioned whether he is behaving that way because he wants out of work, but I don't think horses work that way. At least not Ashke. He didn't behave that way on our last ride in the Trekker, even though it rubbed the hair off his back over his loins. He still did eight miles for me with a good attitude. And except for our second ride EVER, when I took him around the lake and he dumped me on the way home, he hasn't tried bucking on me at all. And even last night when he was letting me know in the only language he knows that the saddle wasn't going to work, he could have had me on the ground and he didn't. So much as one more stride and I would have tasted dirt. He stopped instead.

I have to honor that.

I think the issue is the CAIR system. It uses plastic squares as flocking material. Can I just say, WTF??!?!?! What brainaic thought of that? I know Ashke is a Princess, but really.

So, until the Alta Escuela gets here, I will lunge him in sidereins to strengthen his back. We will work on trot-canter-trot transitions to get him stronger and his back more developed, so that when the saddle does get here, we are able to do that gait without issue. I'm also going to get a bareback pad with stirrups to ride. We can walk and trot and do lateral work with a bareback pad. It will be good for me.

Because I am not going to be able to ride as much or as energetically, I started walking yesterday during my lunch period at work. I walked a mile and a half up the mountain across from work. It's a nice little hiking trail, but I was hyper aware of the possibility of a snake and scared myself silly spooking at a piece of strapping that looked like a snake skin to my exercise addled brain.

Doesn't that look like a snake to you?


  1. :( Hope your new saddle gets here soon and it sounds like you have a good plan until then.

  2. I've heard of lots and lots and lots of horses that hate CAIR. It's why I didn't consider those saddles for Simon unless I was going to pay to reflock with wool.

  3. I have no personal experience with CAIR, but I've sure heard some awful things about it. :-/ Sorry it's not working for you! (And wow, lovely trails.)

  4. My saddle has CAIR panels and Loki seems fine in it but I do think we are the exception rather than the rule because I have also heard a lot of negative things about it. Sometimes I do think my size lets me get away with more especially when combined with how big Loki is for me. Saddle searching is truly the worst thing ever. I mean if we had tons of money just sitting around to have one completely customized maybe it wouldn't be so bad but as it is I kind of feel like it is torture.

    Your walking trail is really cool, and yes I've done the same thing before, scaring myself from something that looks like a snake, but better safe than sorry!

  5. Yay for strength training on all fronts!

    In case you don't already have one picked out, I've been coveting a bareback pad from these folks for years now:

    I saw them in person at Equine Affaire and fell. in. love. The suede of the pad makes them so sticky to sit on! I felt like (testing it out on the model) that I could do anything in it! Unfortunately I'm not sure about how stirrups could be added to one... Something to consider all the same. =)

  6. That really sucks about the saddle. I admire your persistence and hope you are able to find one that works for you. Hopefully the next one will be perfect for you both!

  7. These Alta Escuela saddles man, and the things they make us do...I had mentioned to you that mine took 5 months (I'd been told in advance it would be that long; it was full custom). In the meantime, I rode in my trainer's Wintec Pro Dressage for the first 3 months, until she decided she needed to sell the saddle on consignment for more than I could pay for it (long story). So I was saddle-less there for a minute, but my awesome barnmates let me borrow their saddles to play with. That's how I ended up trying a Wintec 500 All Purpose with Cair, and both Lily and I hated it...lasted 15 minutes in it. It felt like riding on a brick. Lily wasn't quite as dramatic as Ashke about her distaste of the saddle, but she was pretty clear about it nonetheless.

    That left me with 3 Western saddles to try (all of them were rarely used backup saddles owned by my friends): a synthetic Abetta and 2 Circle Ys, one of which was also sythetic. The synthetic Circle Y won. We did lots of Wessage for the remaining 2 months waiting for the AE. (Check out the posts labeled "Wessage" on my blog :) )

    I hope the new Aussie works! Three time's the charm, right?

    LOVE your hiking trail! How very cool that you have a mountain like that one that you can hike right outside of work!


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