Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lesson of the Day

The new trail saddle was sized to Lostine, so I didn't expect it to fit Bombay. It is a bit too small for him as I can fit five fingers in between his back and the pommel. Four fingers for a brand new saddle would be alright by me, but five is a bit too high and narrow. I rode him with the saddle to see if he had any negative reactions to it, but he seemed fine with it.

My nearly 4-year-old filly Gabbrielle was the big surprise. I had measured her with the templates a few months ago when I measured Lostine. Their backs were identical, so I was sure this new saddle would fit Gabbrielle to a tee. Nope. She's gone through a massive growth spurt and now her back is even bigger and wider than Bombay's. Even my Circle Y Arabian saddle is too small for her back. With the Circle Y, I can fit five fingers in, with the new Tucker saddle, I can fit six fingers in (not that I have five or six fingers on one hand...).

I've decided that I will use the Circle Y for both Bombay and Gabbrielle since it is my widest saddle, and use the Tucker solely for Lostine. Once Bombay and Gabbrielle get to be in their 20's like Lostine, they will probably lose some muscle mass on their backs and the Tucker should then fit them too. What I do really like about this Tucker saddle is that it sits flat and level, and cannot be rocked on any of the horses' backs. I think the lesson of the day is that even though I own three horses of the same breed, they can all require completely different saddle trees. Because I have one horse that is almost 21, one that is almost 11, and one that is almost 4, their ages are spread out just enough for their bodies to be going through different phases and be built differently from one another. It pays to have a range of saddles.

I took the saddle on Bombay's back over to my neighbor's place to show it to her. She was all excited because she had just sold her young Jake Jamaal colt to a friend who is buying it for her daughter for Christmas. It's good to know that horse sales aren't at a total standstill. I'm sure that this buyer and her daughter will be very happy. This colt not only has a gorgeous, classic Arabian head, but he's got the best, most easygoing temperament I've ever seen in a foal.

Bombay and I had a really nice ride. All of his paces were gentle and slow. His jog almost covered less ground than his walk and felt like a dance. His lope was to die for. I could have fallen asleep up there in that Tucker saddle during his sweet lope. Most of all, I just enjoyed hanging out with him. He's such a silly horse. My neighbor and I were talking, and Bombay was getting tired of listening, so he started poking my foot with his nose to tell me to shut up and get on with the ride -- either that or he was telling me to get off his back so that he could romp around on his own. I'm sure he was chomping at the bit to throw a few kicks in the general direction of those llamas.

In other news, Katharine Swan at Pony Tales Blog is offering a book give-away of three books. The deadline for entering the drawing is Christmas Eve. Get more details here.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I loved reading this post tonight. Your happiness and joy really shines through. You've had a really rough few months, but this recent happiness and gifts have truly lifted your spirits, haven't they?
I'm so very happy for you, NM :)

And I'm so glad that your saddle fits Lostine so well and that you had a great ride on Bombay.

Thanks for the link to Katherine's Swan's site. I entered the contest and I also look forward to visiting her blog again.

Have a terrific weekend,
New Mexico

Pony Tales Blog said...

Thanks for the link! I already got to "meet" Lisa.

Panama is what my saddle fitter referred to as "slap-sided" -- because he is still so young (3 1/2), about six inches below his withers his shape is pretty much straight up and down. It's misleading because it makes him appear more narrow than he is (he actually has a fairly low withers).

I think it will be a while before I am confident about ordering a saddle online -- for now I'll settle for buying locally, so that I can fit by trial and error if necessary!

lytha said...

nm, when you said the word "lesson" i instantly got this tension, this knot in my chest, thinking, "oh no, not another horrible contradicting, shrill riding instructor taking the joy out of riding!!"

whew, i'm so glad it wasn't a painful story of conflicting instructions!

that mahogany looks so good on bombay with his mohogany flecks. better even in summer i bet.

lostine is 20!!! she looks so young, she has such a baby face! what have you been feeding her? geez, give me some tips here: )


Vaquerogirl said...

Looking good! and I am so glad to see you riding in a snaffle the way it should be ridden in! Cavasson,& martingale, whew! Your pony looks great!

Have a great Christmas!

sue said...

I didn't get a chance to comment earlier, but just wanted to say congratulations on your wedding anniversary, and how happy I am for you!!! what a dear hubby you have.. and I know because I have one just like that ,too... we are truly blessed!!! enjoy!!!

dr aletta said...

Thanks for the fun 'ride' you describe on Bombay. I've been snow bound all weekend and can't get to my horse. This was a very nice substitute. Also thanks for suggesting Pony Tales!

AnnL said...

I'm glad you've found a saddle that fits Lostine. What a wonderful gift from a wonderful husband!

It will be interesting to see if you notice any difference when you ride her.

Rising Rainbow said...

It's funny how different a saddle can fit from horse to horse. I have horses the same age that don't fit the same saddle. Sometimes trying to figure it all out makes me crazy.

BTW, the new saddle looks great and it looks like the camera does pretty well too.