|Goodbye, orange and brown plaid 1970's couch pattern blanket. It's been fun ;)|
As for Ms Bridget, my saddle has been tipping to one side (the right) again. And pony has been VERY crooked and wiggly...she says she simply can't bend left and can only run through her right shoulder. The saddle fitter will be out this coming week to re check the saddle. In the meantime we did a little experiment and I rode bare back tonight to see if the crookedness was saddle related. Is it a chicken and egg thing - is the saddle making the pony go crooked, or is the crooked pony tipping the saddle? Or (most likely!) is it the rider?
The answer? The pony starts it, then the rider makes it worse. She definitely prefers to evade through that shoulder, particularly through transitions. It's quite dramatic and the initial motion is enough to tip me slightly to the outside. Once that outside seat bone is weighted, then it's game on as far as running out the outside - no amount of outside leg or rein is going to really stop her when my seat is tipped over there and she tries to re-balance us and get up underneath me! I think it's taken a bit to puzzle this out because I was taught to slightly weight the seat bone you want your horse to move away from. The visual I was given was 'opening the door' in the direction you want to go. This is pretty easy for a not so coordinated rider like myself because the action of using my leg to move her over weights that seat bone a little anyways, despite my best intentions of sitting up and staying centered.
Midge's inclination is to do the opposite of that, so my 'opening the door' really doesn't work that well. We've taught her to do it, but it's really not an easy button or one that comes without a ton of nagging. particularly when my saddle is tipped and in her mind, needing rescuing. I played a little with my body position on our ride last night sans saddle, and moving forward, I'm going to go with her preference. I've seen it taught/described as 'correct' both ways, so I'll choose the way that works for her. It still won't solve the whole popping the shoulder as an evasion thing, but at least it will make the correction a little more intuitive for us both.
|Old pic of Ginger from the same day as the one above, re posting because I like the colors :)|