Also, I think Dawn's shape's changed a little bit since we've been working hard - she's lost some weight and also built some muscle. The result of that is the saddle no longer fits right in the shoulder and wither area, I think. The riser pad is putting pressure on the area behind her shoulders and isn't allowing for good contact in the area behind and below her withers. So today we rode without the riser pad to feel how that was. I've tried this before, and the result was that the saddle tended to tip forwards too much because of being too loose in the shoulders and to rock too much - a little rocking is OK. Without the riser pad today, the shoulder clearance felt pretty good, but I noticed that when she was trotting, the front edge of the saddle was pretty tight on her shoulders. We worked pretty hard - lots of trot shortening and lengthening of stride, some lateral work (leg yields at walk and trot and the beginnings of walk pirouette) and did some softening work at the canter. No tipping down this time and less rocking, and I thought her movement was a bit freer. It was clear when I took it off, however, that it still wasn't making good contact just behind the shoulders and still was a little pinchy at the front edge. So I've taken a knife to the riser pad to see if I can customize it a bit to eliminate the shoulder pinching and improve contact behind the shoulders - the pad is really old and wasn't working anyway so if I mess it up it doesn't matter. We'll see what Dawn has to say about that the next time we ride (pictures of the butchered pad will be provided if it works)! If that doesn't work, there's always the folded washcloths stuffed between the flaps and padding method of adjusting saddle fit - if I resort to that I'll take pictures too. Whatever we do, I think our chiropractor will be visiting soon and we'll see what she thinks, but I expect Dawn will tell me what works and what doesn't.
In other news, Joe has managed to hurt his left hind, and it's apparently the superior digital flexor tendon (the big one running down the back of the leg from the hock to the pastern) - not a bow but he's pretty uncomfortable and on stall rest. The vet is coming tomorrow to ultrasound it to see how bad it is, and I'll have her look at Maisie's left hind (what is it with left hinds these days?) suspensory and possibly ultrasound it as well. That may give me a better idea of what her prognosis is and how her rehab should go.