Saddle for Joy

We finally had a few extra dollars available for a saddle for Joy.  I knew I needed a very short (lengthwise) saddle for Joy. There’s hardly any room between the back of her scapula and her last rib. Neither of my dressage saddles were short enough.

Saddle sellers never list the overall length of saddles. It’s seat size, tree size, gullet size, and flap length. Nothing ever about the length from pommel to cantle. And asking a seller to measure the length of the saddle gets some strange results. I had checked out all of our surrounding area’s tack shops, and none of them had anything short enough for Joy.

I scoured Craigslist. I could barely get a tree size from CL sellers, so that didn’t go so well.

My husband suggested a Wintec, which I promptly scoffed at because no true dressage rider would put their derriere in a Wintec, am I right?

After exhausting all other avenues, I bought a Wintec 250 Pony Dressage saddle. It has a 15″ seat. I have some bum cheek spill over on the sides, but surprisingly it’s rather comfy. The saddle is made for a child. The flaps are extra short. Its the first saddle I’ve owned where my lower calf isn’t hitting saddle flap.  Other than the fat spillage in the seat, the flaps are perfect sized for me. 

What I like the most is the changeable tree/gullet width. I had to change it to a wide, but it fits pretty well now. Length is good, the saddle is little so it doesn’t look like its engulfing Joy like regular sized saddles do.

Stock photo of saddle:

Wintec 250 Pony Dressage Saddle Flocked

The picture doesn’t really give an accurate representation on size. This thing is small! Plus, it’s very light weight.

It’s so little!!

Also, another bonus… because it’s synthetic, I can use it in the rain. And since I don’t have an indoor anymore, and it rains constantly, this means I can still ride without worrying I’m destroying my saddle.  (I have to remove all potential reasons not to ride, or I won’t ride.)

I also bought Joy a pair of bell boots. Big Thank You to my Mom for these. She gave me an amazon gift card for my birthday, and I had finally decided what I wanted to use it on. I bought the Professional Choice bell boots that are supposed to stand up to close range rifle fire or some such thing. I don’t know. They called it ballistic material.

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Professional’s Choice Ballistic Overreach Bell Boots

I’ve never actually used bell boots on any horse I’ve owned before. Joy’s the first one I’ve had that catches her fronts with her hinds. Luckily she’s never hurt herself, but I feel better knowing she’s got some protection. Especially because I want to start working on her go forward buttons. I was afraid the “get up and go” I wanted would have her striking herself.

Now all I need are those nifty white, fleece dressage boots, and Joy will be rocking the dressage look. 🙂

Speaking of the dressage look, I think I’m over-compensating trying to fit in with the dressage crowd because I don’t feel like Joy is really a proper dressage horse. Not that I’ve ever owned a proper dressage horse, but I’ve been extra insecure about it lately.  I think if Joy were horse height it wouldn’t bother me quite as much, but because it’s a combo of her being a non-traditional breed for dressage AND a pony, I’m feeling like I’ll be judged unsuitable for dressage before I even step foot in an arena.  Like I’ll be dismissed without even being given a shot.

Add in the fact that I picked her out as my mount… I have no faith in my abilities to pick out a horse. So, if Joy is deemed totally unsuitable, then it proves I suck at picking out horses suitable for dressage. Which I already know I suck at it, but I hate being proven right on that point.

Oh well.. I’m just pondering why I feel this strong need to dressage Joy up as a dressage horse, and look the part, when there’s NO ONE around me that gives a shit what Joy looks like. It’s idiotic. I’m being weird and I don’t like it when I’m irrational.

….

Joy’s been interesting to own. Unlike Ava, Joy lays down quite often, and she’ll let you walk right up to her and pet her.  I still, after 5 years, have never gotten close enough to touch Ava when she’s laying down.

It’s been fun to be able to do these kinds of things with Joy. She’s such a loving little gal!

 

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Joy (laying down) and Jessie (in back). They take turns standing guard over each other.

Today I get to clean out the rest of the trunks and stuff from the tack room so that I can start using it to store extra grain and bedding through the winter. I’m trying to figure out the best way to organize it. It’s kind of neat to have my own tack room.

 

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Article on fitting english saddles

I have no affiliation to horse.com… just putting that out there up front.

I was sent a link to an article on fitting english saddles. When I purchased my new-to-me saddle over the winter I read up (a lot) on how to fit the saddle to the horse.  What I like about this article is that it also talks about how to fit the saddle to the rider. I wish I had known that earlier.  So, for those of you looking at saddles this summer, check out the guide for a quick overview.

Guide to English Saddles:
http://www.horse.com/horse-articles/guide-to-english-saddles/9745/

I was also surprised to learn that horse.com actually has numerous articles covering lots of different topics. They don’t seem to have a clear navigation to the articles, so I’ll post the link to the full list and you can browse around if you want.

List of all articles on horse.com:
http://www.horse.com/horse-articles/

Leaning

I finally had my saddle re-flocked. I knew it needed it, badly, but I delayed because I thought it’d cost a ton and mean I couldn’t ride for a week. I was so wrong. It cost $50 bucks and took them 15 minutes to do! Now I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

I had my first lesson since the re-flocking last night. I wish I’d gotten video. Mostly because I’d like to see what it looked like. It felt like we were effortlessly bouncing through clouds. Her trot was throwing me so high that I actually felt like my feet were above the saddle flaps. I don’t think they were, it just felt really bouncy!

And her canter had some tremendous hang time.

She felt… Fancy. Like those million dollar horses with the massive trots.

The best part… I could actually steer off my seat correctly. I’ve spent the last six months sliding off the right side (that saddle was really crooked). I was throwing my poor horse off with how poorly my weight was distributed. I feel bad now. I thought I was compensating well, but I wasn’t. And Ava didn’t hang on the right rein like she has been.

I’m really geeked about this! I bet we’ll really start to improve now. I can’t wait!

Saddles

I just bought a dressage saddle for $50 bucks. Haha. The lady said it was a 1998 Stateline saddle. I’ve never heard of that manufacturer before (that’s not saying much). If it fits Ava, maybe it’ll be my backup saddle. If it doesn’t, I’m sure my trainer wouldn’t mind a free schooling saddle for her kids.

I wish I had the money to buy a good, newer saddle. I love my County (it’s from 1992), but it seems built for a much taller person. No matter how much I work on heel, hip, shoulder alignment, my thighs always slide forward. There’s a nice groove in the flap that is perfect for a taller woman’s thigh to sit in. My thighs (to sit correctly) lay against a buldge in the flap. My trainer, who is much taller than me, loves my saddle. However, I am always in chair position with that saddle… no matter what I do.

Interesting article on saddle fitting:
http://www.showhorsepromotions.com/saddlefitting.htm