Well thank you Covid…..Lizzie was due a saddle check several months ago, but of course Lockdown 3 and then a rather long waiting list meant she finally got reviewed last week! It had got very frustrating because really from the end of April I knew things weren’t right, and for the last few weeks she hadn’t wanted to ‘sit’, and hadn’t allowed me to sit properly either.
I’d played around with numnahs, which helped a little, but otherwise just had to back off the flatwork. I knew that Lizzie had changed shape as a result of the great way she had worked through the winter and spring. The saddle was too mobile at the back, and I could tip it down onto her shoulders.
Thankfully – given that madam is quite a sensitive soul – we had a very straightforward time of it! It turns out Lizzie hasn’t changed shape under the saddle, much more developed in front of it, but the flocking had flattened down a lot and this was what was causing the tipping. Once the flocking was redone, it was almost miraculous the way I was able to pop into sitting trot and feel so soft and comfortable. Lizzie seemed really happy to hold herself and we just floated round.
Chatting to our saddle fitter, we agreed that because the changes that take place so slowly and incrementally, it can be hard to detect the impact on the rider’s position straight away. This is one reason why it is so important – outside of Covid times anyway – that we get our saddles checked regularly. Quite apart from the need to do this for the fit in relation to the horse, if our position is affected this in turn impacts on the horse and we cannot expect the horse to work correctly in this situation.
So if you haven’y already, get onto your saddle fitter because the waiting times are veyr long at the moment!