Monday, December 8, 2008

12/6/08 Saddle Fit, and Brakes

Tacked Romeo up in my hunter saddle, and headed to the arena. I was pretty confident he'd stop in his snaffle bit, so I mounted pretty confident in the arena.

He had other plans. He was walking through my "whoa", and when I got that better, I went to trot. Romeo instantly turned into that stupid speed demon he was at the June show - sprinting for the gate, whizzing around the arena, refusing to listen to "whoa", or any other halting gestures.

I took him back to the trailer, switched to my tom thumb bit and western saddle. Then off to the round pen. I figured if he wanted a run, that's what he was getting. He took off in the round pen like a complete nitwit freak. Ran and ran and ran. He seemed to calm down, listened to "whoa" again, and I went back to the arena.

Still no brakes. He galloped around the arena as if that round pen work hadn't happened. It was pretty intense. I felt all over my tack, but still "in the middle". He started to finally break gait to the trot, so I pushed him a little harder, then asked for halt. It took a whole lot more bit than I ever want to use on him. Just about then, I saw Les' truck pulling down the road (I had Sugar at my place from Friday night, the full intention we were going trail riding - he didn't make it to my place until nearly dark, so the ride didn't happen).

I took Romeo up to the trailer, and explained what kind of ride I had. Les said, "Let's look at that english saddle of yours, and see if there was a problem and he was just upset about it." He was right - it sits slanted back, much farther back than my western seat does. The back of the saddle seems to need elevating about 3". There are pads available for this sort of thing, I think. Les also said, "He might be stirred because of the weather, or your tension from Friday. He's probably just messing with you. I'll ride him tomorrow."

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