Last Wednesday I went out on a long hack with the BO. She took her steady as she goes mare JJ for an easy going ride, and it definitely helped me keep Koda more relaxed on the trail. It was also a great time to try out the finally found perfect saddle for Koda and I!
For the past few years I have been looking for an 18" Stubben Siegfried with a 30 or 31 tree. It didn't really matter how old it was (I also have a VERY old Stubben, with the white stripe and suede knee rolls that I absolutely love), and this one looked almost brand new. Got it for a steal of a price, and greatest thing of all, shipping only took 2 days! That night I tossed it on him and it seemed to fit like a glove.
The ride was a nice hour long ride around one of the unseeded canola fields. Koda was on his best behaviour, although we still have to work on him listening to me instead of letting his attention be on everything but. It was fun to play with who was leading our 'trail ride' and how it affected each of the horses differently. JJ is a been there, done that, kind of mare, and will take the lead or drag behind as easy as she pleases. She needs a bit of a tune up since she is the babysitter in the herd. You can put any inexperienced rider up on her and you know they'll be ok. When I took Koda to the lead, he went from passive follower to "ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO GET US!!!!!!!". It was kind of hilarious. Once he stayed up front for a bit, he settled into it, but it was kind of funny that every time something moved in the brush, he had to stare suspiciously at it. Even when he stumbled (turned up fields, plus Koda is a tad clumsy), he would stop and look around...
After the ride, the sweat marks on the saddle pad showed me that I was right about the fit! I'm rather happy that the saddle came with a 51" leather girth, since the billets are shorter than my other saddles I use, so my new 48" was a no go, at least while we're getting rid of the hay belly. The saddle fit me nicely, it is a TOUCH wider in the twist than my old one, but not by much. The seat is padded as well, which I'm not used to (call me an odd duck, but I love my hard as a rock old stubben seat), but does feel nice on the behind. I have this week to break this saddle in as the Kathy Playdon clinic is fast approaching (Friday!). Still no news on getting the trailer out from its metal cave, so my friend is going to trailer for us (thanks P).
Next post I'll show the new saddle :)