Christine plays ringmaster to Tomas & Rhio.
We had a small window of opportunity today to do something with our horses, so we began with a little free lunging in the indoor. Christine did a masterful job of managing the boys while I tried to get good photos.
The Arab head-flip
Tomas works the trot
Are we done yet?
Then we hopped on for a quick ride down to the “end of the block” and back – that wind sure was cold when we turned for home! Tomas danced a little jig for Christine on the way home, but otherwise we had a relaxing little jaunt.
After our ride, I brought out the EquiMeasure (http://www.equimeasure.com) back mold, which I had done of Rhio’s back in March 2006. (See Mom, there really is a reason to keep EVERYTHING! You just might need it for something someday!) This was in preparation for having a custom made Synergist endurance saddle (http://www.synergistsaddles.com) fit for his back. I noticed recently, after saddling him for the first time in a few months (because I’ve been riding in the bareback pad), that his little misbehaviors during saddling & mounting were gone completely with the bareback pad. But they returned the very first time I put the Synergist saddle on him – hmmmm….
EquiMeasure from 3/06 which very obviously doesn't fit his wither/shoulders at all - it is so narrow now it stands up several inches (it should be a perfect mold of his back).
He never complains under saddle and moves out well. His back is never obviously sore. But when saddling, he is evasive & scoots away from me. And when mounting, he raises a hind leg at me. I had chaulked it up to “just being Rhio,” but I think I’ve been missing a very important memo he’s been trying to send me for a long time!
"No, this hay belly has NOTHING to do with why my saddle doesn't fit anymore!"
So now it’s time to consider the options: 1) redo the back mold and have the Synergist refit to his new shape 2) buy a new saddle 3) try Red’s custom fit Synergist to see if it fits Rhio as well (since Rhio's back looks a lot like Red's back now that he's filled out) then sell Rhio’s Synergist and ponder the options a while longer. Luckily, I have some wonderful friends who are generously lending me various saddles to try as I begin the process of looking for a new saddle and weighing all the options. Stay tuned for updates on each saddle as I try them! This is my second "window of opportunity" of the post's title - I need to have this figured out by the time real conditioning starts (usually mid- to late- March).