Monday, April 27, 2009


She's GROWING. Again. (Surely she's growing, and not just stuck in an awkward weird conformation?)

Downhill Dixie, annotated

Click on the picture for the bigger version, if you can't see the lines. She's not standing square, but even if she was standing square she still wouldn't be balanced. And that's as square as it gets with Miss Impatience.

I've actually suspected it for about a week, and I ordered a front lift pad, which should be here soon. When I saw her standing silhouetted like that today, I realized that she IS downhill. Of course, that made me much more conscious of how the saddle is flinging me forward, which was both worse and easier to ride. I knew what was happening, so I wasn't just puzzled about my lack of balance.

I got the fenders yanked around to where the buckles are down by the stirrups, too. Vetwrapped them in place, and it looks like it should work out.

We had an interesting ride. Dixie really wanted to stand in the corner of the arena where she could look out the open doors at the front of the property. I really wanted her to please go where I said. I think I won this round!

She kept trying to bolt for the viewing corner whenever we'd circle to where she could see it. I just calmly kept her head pointed where I wanted it to go and pushed her forward, in my direction. She was happy with my hands, not fighting the bit at all, just trying to blow through me and go stare at the front pasture horses. I kept my hands very nice and kept insisting we do what I wanted. After she *finally* started listening, it was a really nice ride. Aside from sliding inexorably toward her withers.

She racked, too! Just up and offered a pretty little rack. Yay.

And I put baby sunscreen on her pretty little pink nose. Lordy mercy she hated that, but she didn't come unglued about it. And it really is for her own good - last summer, in Como, her poor face got so sunburned. The BO will keep sunscreen on her nose, which is really cool. I like boarding at a civilized barn!


  1. Remember, the seat's already tilted way back in that saddle in order to put your weight to the back. Leeandra actually recommended getting a pad to raise up the rear of my 4-Beat to attempt to level out the seat. The rear-tilt of the seat itself in itself would hinder you, and raising the front of the saddle will only increase the tilt. Your saddle is simply designed to fling you backwards.

    Add to that the fact that you are attempting a seat that the saddle was not designed to encourage. The more I think about it, the more you would both benefit from a saddle whose lowest point is in the middle of the seat instead of towards the back. That could be throwing off your balance more than anything. You're trying to balance in the middle of your body, and the saddle's flipping you off and telling you that no, your balance shall be towards your back.

    My two cents. *shrug*

    Imho, she's minimally downhill, too. :)

  2. I was thinking about you randomly so in the middle of the day..I was thinking aobut your saddle and the rubbing and your fenders...I vote for a NEW saddle! A balanced one so you can just concetrate on your ride and her!
    I love you BO too..that is great!
    PS come over and Vote at my place ...Yea or Nay..need good opinions!

  3. If she is growing maybe she will level out and not be downhill for you anymore and your balance issues will be a thing of the past.
    We used to have a paint horse whose nose sunburned and we did the same thing. Sunblock, it really helped.

  4. We'll all cross our fingers that she's growing and not permanently wonky...OTOH, there is not a single perfectly-conformed horse in the world, and the vast majority seem to get along okay.

    Pretty much every horse person you meet can tell you about the gawdawfulust put-together horse they ever saw that was dang good at _____ (fill in the blank for a specific task). I personally know a swaybacked wing-footed gelding who has completed more than 1,500 competitive endurance miles (lots more in training) with 12 different riders. He looks goofy as all get-out, but he goes.

    I agree w/allhorsestuff: find a saddle that fits (the horse AND you), and ride. You'll be fine.


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