Saturday, October 25, 2014

Keep your weight to the inside

The last few times I've ridden Clair, I've noticed that the saddle has shifted to the left a bit upon mounting. For some reason, the fact that this kept happening didn't really penetrate my brain. Today it happened again, enough so that I had to dismount, reposition the saddle, tighten, and remount. Still, I wasn't thinking much of it. After about fifteen minutes of a lovely schooling session, I was working a fifteen-meter canter circle left. I thought to myself, hey, your weight is shifted to the outside. Fix it. I tried and suddenly realized the whole saddle and both pads had actually shifted to the outside, and the centrifugal force was too much for me to overcome. We were coming up to the round-pole railing, which I really didn't want to fall on, so I launched myself over it and out into the grass. Clair Mare, bless her heart, cantered one more stride, stopped, and started grazing under the rail. I landed on my left shoulder and smacked my helmet-clad head pretty hard, but other than seeing a few stars I was fine. The saddle and pads were 2/3 under Clair, but she didn't care at all. I slipped my hand under the girth to see how loose it was, and it really wasn't loose at all -- it was still quite snug. So now I'm wondering -- is Clair puffing up while I tack up (when she has never done that before) or is this saddle just not fitting right? Clair and I both really like it, but if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit.

I got back on and did W-T-C both directions. I was very careful to keep my weight to the inside! It's pretty embarrassing to allow such an avoidable accident. Clair was a little hesitant about left-lead canter ("Mom, are you sure? Last time you went flying."), but quickly went right back to work. Such a good pony!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a mare that I got about 2 years ago. She has been ridden about 5 times per week since I got her. Very difficult initially to get a saddle to fit, so I had one custom made and it has been reflocked about 2 to 3 times. The point of the story is, until she developed good muscle on both sides of her body - the saddle was a problem. For the last 6 months it has been good - but it took about 1.5 years. Per the guy that made the saddle, we used a washrag folded in half under one side, at the shoulder (running lenghth wise). And it put it under the opposite direction it was sliding. So, I would try that method to see if it helps. If it doesn't help under one side try the other. Maybe this is all a development issue.