What do you guys ride in? Have you ridden both? What are your pros and cons of each? See, I’ve only ever ridden in an English Saddle until today when I tried a Barefoot Treeless for the first time and I’m really glad I did. Max’s current owner has one and she loaned it to me to trial today to see what I thought of it with a warning that I might find it uncomfortable for my leg position, which I struggle with in English style riding at the best of times due to hip replacement, arthritis, sore and stiff joints and she wasn’t wrong. First let me say this, the saddle was amazing! The seat itself was incredibly comfortable and it felt amazing to ride and feel every movement Max made underneath me, the only way to feel more connected would be in a full contact or bareback!
I was impressed and enthralled and best of all, Max was incredibly responsive in it as well. He’s not the most forward in the school, especially on his own, I often have to be heavier handed with aids and leg than I’d like but today he was a total superstar even though I couldn’t really kick him on. The squeeze and voice commands seemed to work brilliantly and I’m thinking the contact between us made my more subtle leg work easier to understand. I was delighted he just seemed to want to work for me today.
I liked how responsive he was but I’m not sure I could ride in it all the time due to the poor leg positioning and discomfort for me, which leaves me with English vrs Western. Now, I’ve never tried a Western, so, I’m currently looking to book in with a Western Saddler in Naseby to go down and try a variety of Western Saddles on their horses to get an idea how they feel mounting and riding. If I feel like it’s something I definitely want to pursue then I’ll pay for him to come out and measure up Max and try a bunch on him and go from there. They are baseline way more expensive than English Saddles in general, but for comfort in the long run, I’m all for it. I’ve seen a gorgeous Cooks saddle amazingly in budget, but it’s currently out on trial and fear it’s going to get snapped up for sure. Isn’t it beautiful?
Well saddles aside, I spent the afternoon with my boy, I decided I need to go riding as I haven’t since just after Christmas, his intermittent lameness was a deciding factor for me, I wanted him to get as much rest as he could on it. Got in touch with my friend who works on the yard and we went on a nice hack together, slow and steady as I hadn’t been out in a while and I didn’t want to over tax him either, but he was super forward and no sign of any problems from him at all. It was great! We went out for an hour and when we got back I gave him a really good brush and de-tangled his mane and tail whilst he had a feed. Total superstar and another surprise he let me check his feet and clean them without batting an eye, I just have to tap his leg now and he lifts it obligingly. MAJOR PROGRESS ALERT. All in all a very, very good afternoon.
Back up next Wednesday, it’s assessment day on the yard, vet’s out, so going to be there for Max’s inspection to get the low down going forward and also just lend a hand as I suspected it would be busy and yard owner has confirmed and thankful for my extra pair of hands it would seem. Really glad to do it, being on the yard is my favourite place.