Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Horse Search and a Nice Ride

I haven't made any forward progress on the horse search yet - I'm waiting for Maisie to make her trip to Tennessee on Sunday first. My older daughter's going to trailer her down, and is looking forward to seeing her Lily again after more than a year - she'll also check in on Norman. Once that's over with, then perhaps I'll be more in a frame of mind to think about a new horse. Thanks to every one who took the time to comment on the possible horse posts - there's a lot of knowledge and thought out there and it's a big help to me. I expect most of the horses I posted about will get some e-mails or phone calls and perhaps a visit depending on how the information pans out. I'm hoping to get my older daughter to come along on some of the visits - she has a very good eye.

Dawn says the right side of her neck and shoulder are still sore, although she let me do a bit more massaging today. Fortunately, Dr. Alice, our vet/chiropractor, will be coming back on Friday afternoon to do some more work on Dawn. I'm also going to have her work on Maisie, who's got to be somewhat stiff and sore after dealing with her injured hind leg. She'll lose some of the benefit of the work when she's trailering Sunday, but the work will help her get through the ride OK and feel better once she arrives in Tennessee.

I tried a Passier saddle owned by one of our boarders on Dawn - it didn't pass the frown/grimace test and I could tell it didn't fit her in the shoulders. So I rode bareback again. It was cooler and windy today, and we worked on our relaxation and doing a nice slow trot. She did very well, and even showed off for some children who stopped by the arena while we were working. We also did some pattern work around our cones - she's turning very quickly and well just off my head turning and slight pressure from my thighs - I just love how responsive she is. My trot bareback is coming back to me and I feel pretty secure now - I think it won't be long until we're cantering.

12 comments:

  1. Kate, Sounds like a lovely ride you had on Dawn - she is doing so well in responding to your slightest touch, that is wonderful! Best of luck on the saddle search - it can be very frustrating, but luckily, with you skilled at bareback, you both keep progressing even without a saddle! I hope all goes well with Maisie's trip as well. I guess she will renew old friendships with her old friends as well (Lily and Norman).

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  2. As the weather gets cooler, bareback has certain distinct advantages!
    Hope Maisie's trip goes well. You aren't going along?

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  3. i love riding bareback. Soon you WILL be cantering and you feel so centered and soft.

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  4. If you can ride a trot bareback, a canter will be a piece of cake.

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  5. What horse are you riding in your header?

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  6. Have you ever tried one of those "treeless" saddles? I don't recal the manufacturer but there were a few at a recent trade show , they claim they will fit any horse and because they have no tree they are less rigid and give with the horse movement .I sat in one and it felt nice but I never gave it more thought. I am too much a died in the wool traditionalist I guess

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  7. EvenSong - no, I'm not going along - I wouldn't be much help as I'd be feeling bad about having to drop off Maisie the whole way, and then sad all the way home with the empty trailer. This way I can focus on other things and what needs doing here.

    Barb - that's Maisie.

    fernvalley - no, I've never used a treeless. As I understand it, the area where a properly fitting saddle sits really doesn't move much - it's mostly fascia, and almost all the bending occurs in front of or behind the saddle, so it's more a question of how the shape of the saddle fits the horse's back than a matter of flexing during movement. But then again I'm no expert on these things and many people with treeless saddles seem to really like them.

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  8. I'm sure you'll be cantering bareback in no time. It could be a warmer alternative for the coming winter. Hope it all goes well on the ride down to Tennessee for Maisie and she enjoys her new home and being reunited with her old chums.

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  9. I am a big advocate of Ansur saddles. The treeless design would, I think, solve all your problems with Dawn. The saddle flexes in the tree width allowing it to change as the horse moves giving freedom to the shoulder and back.

    I have ridden four very different horses extensively in Ansur saddles for the last 10 years and never had any back issues with them at all. Two horses were trained to FEI dressage and one competed in the Ansur.

    The Classic model would be close to bareback for you. The Excel for dressage, the Carlton for more all purpose and the Elite or Konklusion as jumping models offer more lateral support and have the feel of a conventional saddle—though to me much more comfy. Recent design modifications with the pommel are good for high withered horses as well as that was at one point an issue.

    Is there an Ansur rep in your area? There is one in Wheaton but I don’t know how close that is. Here is the page listing distributors: http://ansursaddle.com/contactadistribu.html It would be well worth a demo ride at this point.

    If you want to ask questions of other Ansur owners or keep track of used Ansurs for sale, come join the Ansur Yahoo board. I am moderator, so I will approve your membership if you just note in the comment area that you are really interested in Ansur saddles. Excels and Elites are hard to come by used. Classics often show up and sometimes Konklusions do as well. I you were to buy a used Ansur, you need to check out the manufacture date and a few other things before you commit to buy. The newer models have important modifications as I mentioned above that might be important to Dawn.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ansursaddles/

    I am also kind of interested that Dawn did not like the Passier. I don’t know what model it was, but Passier was one brand I could always depend on for my Boys. And I still have a Passier Nichole/Grand Gilbert dressage saddle here I need to sell. It was the last treed saddle that sat on my horses’ backs.

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