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Monday, November 26, 2012

Saddle Adjustment & Lesson # 3

Busy Thanksgiving Weekend!  Riva did get Thanksgiving Day off - we traveled to Northern Indiana for dinner at my sister's house.

Friday was our saddle adjustment appt with Sara Ivie of County Saddles.  I last had it adjusted in May and we were definitely ready for another appt.  I had noticed the last several weeks that my saddle was shifting to the left and forward.  I have scoliosis with my curve mainly in the lower back so I naturally have more weight in my left seat bone.  I work hard to compensate for this and always try to keep in my mind - weight in the right stirrup.

Here are some visuals for you - lesson on Nov. 4th before saddle adjustment:

Lesson Nov. 24th after saddle adjustment:
Sara had to take wool out of the right rear panel of the saddle - this was causing the shift to the left and forward.  She also told me to tighten the girth more - major improvement!  Riva's saddle fits again!  Lex was with me for the appt and rode Riva after our appt and gave me a quick lesson.  She noticed the difference in Riva right away, esp in the canter.  Her balance was back and I was sitting more balanced.
Saturday morning was my lesson with JC at her barn so no sleeping in for us - in order to make it on time for my 8:30 am lesson, we have to leave our house at 6 am...early cold start to our day. Oh, but it was worth it!  I had the most fun, productive, exhausting lesson yet :)

After a brief warm up and discussing what has been going on since I was there last, JC decided to try draw reins on Riva for our lesson.  I  know some people are very opposed to draw reins, but never having used them, I had no opinion one way or the other.  They were strange at first and took some getting used to, with much instruction from JC. 
Lex rode in the lesson with me on Larimo - the horse she showed this summer and earned two scores towards her Bronze medal in Level 2 and Level 3.  Riva had to move out to keep up with Larimo, which was great - she really feeds off other horses energy and Larimo has plenty!

We did some walk / trot / canter transition exercises -JC had us walk along the long side and then walk a 5 meter circle back to the wall, then trot off.  The other exercise was to trot the long side, trot a 10 meter circle back to the wall, then canter in the corner.  We also worked on leg yield from the quarter line and shoulder in, in trot, along the long sides.
The other canter / trot exercise was to canter in the first corner of the short side, across the diagonal at the next corner, canter 6 strides on the diagonal to X, then transition to trot while turning on a half circle the other direction (concentrating on pushing the hind quarters out on the half circle).  Riva really liked this exercise. 
We finished up with some trot extension on the diagonal - of which on one of them, JC said 'I believe you are getting some extension!' and then medium canter on the long side.  Now Larimo, who we were following in our lesson, has competed up to Grand Prix - this horse can move.  So Riva and I had to really step in up to keep up - and it was a blast!  She was light and up and moving faster than I have ever went - it was a rush!
Wonderful husband took a few videos and many, many pictures:

Alexis got to show off her Tempi changes while Riva and I were cooling down:

Sunday was a nice ride outside just before a lovely November sunset - peaceful and pretty.  I am stretching these outside rides as long as possible.



Jen said...

Kelly, Riva looks so, so good. I can't believe you were at the same place I was with the canter this summer! You've made a ton of progress, you should be so proud of yourself and Riva. And your daughter! More videos of all of the above, please :)

Emily Rodgers said...

I am thinking about getting a county saddle and would love to hear what one you have and what you think about it! If you get a chance my email is

Emme said...

I am so excited for you, you are clearly having a blast and you look fantastic. !!!
I can not wait to get back to riding pippi. I admit to also being a bit nervous tho, being the first one back on her after such a looong break, but I am determined to be the one. She is my horse now, and I want to show her the trust and hope she will respond in kind. eeek.

The Fullers said...

you both look awesome!!! :)

AmberRose- Girl With a Dream said...

Riva looks amazing, can deffo see the difference now you've had the change in the saddle. Your progressing so well :)

SprinklerBandit said...

You guys look great!! The draw reins are definitely helping. :) Good on you for using the recommended equipment.

I'm a wee tiny bit jealous of Alexis' fancy ride. Woo!

Hillary said...

Riva looks AWESOME!

Fun to have Sara out! I am planning to try out some dressage saddles when I have my saddle looked at in Dec or Jan! I wont be buying one new but will be starting the save up to buy a used Dressage saddle fund :)