My 4th Of July Ride

   Today has been an unusual Independence Day. It has been uncharacteristically dark, gloomy, and muggy while years past have always been sunny and hot. This year I had the chance to escape away to the barn and see my “pony”. I was just planning on lunging her with side reins, and give her a good grooming because I hadn’t ridden in two days, and the last time I rode her she was a compete a**.  Throwing her head up, down, side to side and any other way possible. Hollowing her back, not listening to half halts, or my other aids. Figured that it was just because there were other horses in the arena cruising around and jumping, and she was going to jump as well. I didnt think much of it because I had been thinking about getting her a different bit for jumping, or maybe just a running martingale. Then my saddle started to sit on her withers. I already knew that my Craptastic Saddle (that I bought in 2008 brand new and it was the only one that would “fit” the horse I had at the time and my long legs) it is a bit wide for her, but I had been using my quilted  Mattes Correction Pad which had been working out great. Now it is sooo wide I need to get the next smaller gullet. Arrgg.
  We no longer have an “real” english tack store in the area, the closest is almost 4 hrs away. I might be able to pick one up at the Consignment Tack Shop, because they got a bunch from our local tack store when they went out of business. So today I used one of my Navajo saddle blankets to take up some space inconjunction with my regular saddle pad and mattes, and boy that helped! It didnt solve anything, the saddle still was sitting on her withers a bit, and left dry spots on either side of her withers, but she was much happier. I also switched her to Dover’s old bit, a loose ring french link snaffle. I lunged her for about 10mins before  I got on, because she hadnt been ridden and to give her a chance to check out the “new” bit. She has been in Stubben’s version on a KK Ultra loose ring snaffle, ridden with and without a flash. Addie loves the french link! I tried it without the flash to see how she really liked it, and guess what?! She did wonderfully in it, and doesnt need the flash.
   I w/t/c her at large, and on 20 meter circles, both on and off the bit. She was very responsive, but the left was better then the right, but thats how it has always been , so no change there.
   Since she was so good, I decided that we would pop over these itty bitty jumps that had been set up (18″), and my gpa put the novice height fences down a few holes for us as well. There were some logs used as fillers that we hopped over, one vertical, a gate, a small square oxer, and a small corner with a “liver pool” set up underneath it. The only one she kinda hesitated at was the corner, but it was more because I didnt have enough impulsion in her trot. She contiued to pop over everything at a nice relaxed steady eddy trot (a little to relaxed really, but hey I cant complain), and then I precieded to take her over them all after twice around at a nice balanced canter.
  Addie has always liked to speed up at the approach to a jump, especially at a canter, so much so she becomes unbalanced and she takes a bad spot (despite my half halts) and ends up hitting it and/or knocking a rail down. Not today though! The only time she almost got a rail was when I was trotting her up to the jumps on the approach, so she was just being lazing and not really jumping. So today she really proved that she is ready to move up in height (has been consitantly jumping up to 2’6″, but mostly 2’3″), now she is ready to be consistantly be doing BN height. Yay!
 

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