Last night Starlight and I enjoyed a rare, nearly fly-free ride through the summer woods. The deer flies that had swarmed both her and my heads just last week, the green-headed flies that have been torturing us the past month, and the dreaded, giant, B-52 bomber flies that my husband reported seeing today – none of them showed up to join us last night. I’m not sure what combination of weather, timing and luck kicked in for us, but the only thing that disturbed my spotted mare, as far as I could tell, was the deer that jumped away in the brush, causing a momentary panic.
|Starlight in the Abetta before the ride. Looks too wide in front.|
And the only thing that bothered me was the saddle, as I rode in a strangely foreign-feeling Abetta, Arabian-shaped endurance saddle. I bought this inexpensive, synthetic saddle based on good reviews from other riders and for its u-shaped tree that might fit this horse.
Well, it actually does seem to fit the horse. It might be the only one I have that does, but it feels like I’m sitting in some kind of kiddie swing, with the saddle built up in front of and behind my seat, and I can’t really figure out where that swell on the seat is supposed to be, under me. As someone who rides in older dressage and jumping saddles, including the classic “postage stamps,” this saddle just feels too built up, with bumps where there should not be bumps.
But as a testament to how well it fit, unbeknownst to me, its Western cinch rigging, made of nylon, slipped yesterday, and while I knew the cinch was loose, due to some extra movement , I didn’t realize until I got off that it was almost hanging off the pony. But the saddle and I stayed atop. When I removed the saddle and the Back-on-Track saddle pad I recently started using, I was pleased with the sweat pattern on the mare’s back.
|Up the back trail.|
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can tolerate riding in this saddle, and since it’s not an appropriate saddle for any of the competitions in which I might enter her, I don’t think I’m going to swap the rigging with leather, but will probably just sell the saddle on and find a similar fitting one that we both like.
But, back to the fly-free ride. Last night, I asked Starlight to cross over logs and she did this without hesitation. Some horses would stop and snort and examine the log, but she just accommodated them in her stride as if they weren’t there. These were nice, hefty, 12 or 14-inch wide logs, and zip, she was over them in a stride. Good pony.
I told my husband, when we got home, that she will be the pony his grandkids (I’m still in denial on the whole grandmother thing) can ride, she’s so good. By the time they are old enough, she will have become a packer, for sure.
|Entering the field.|
But first, they are going to have to get her away from me. And that won't be easy.
|Heading toward that black hole.|
|Back down the hill|