Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh Happy Day...

Huzzah! Finally! I got it, I got it, I got it! I found out what it was on the Cradle that was preventing a response. My horse LOVES the solid chin strap. Just adores it! She had one headtoss, and it was because I forgot to loosen it before I let her graze, and she went "Oh CRAP! My jaw can't move!" But it was much milder than I was expecting.

I rode on the big rings for a nice little hack out with Richard and she was super light, (Richard rode her and was getting some of the lightest transitions I've seen her do with someone other than me...) and then we came back and I rode in the arena on the small rings, and I couldn't believe the results there. She held vertical flexion with just the slightest amount of pressure, and from my reading it wasn't because she felt like she had to. I was absolutely thrilled!

Also, I reshimmed my saddle. I've been needing to, but haven't found a moment where I could actually stop and THINK about what needed doing, it's all been just "well let's try this for a ride and see how it goes..." because I've had to ride so many horses in a day. So I actually got Prin, my shims, my pad, and my saddle out, and really went to work figuring out what it was that PRIN needed, not just what I could throw in that might work.

What I came up with was kind of interesting. See, Prin doesn't really fit categorically into any of the pre-made Parelli shim patterns available through Parelli Collection. She's an uphill horse now, with little to no muscle loss in her shoulders due to her poorly fitting saddle, so the only shimming I really NEED is that to put the saddle uphill (which is a pain, but I know a standard would have been too narrow) Anyway, as far as shimming for her lack of muscle went, she only needed one thick shoulder shim. Then, I put in a thick wedge a little farther forward than the wedge instructions suggest. I put the saddle on after putting that in, and it was only just a hair downhill, which is mind boggling, because I've had to use upwards of 4 shims previously. (In other words, it pays to be particular!) So, because it was a little downhill yet, I threw in the other thick in the shoulder, and it was gorgeous. It felt better to ride in than ever, and when I took the pad off, Prin's back was one flat, even sweatmark! YES! Why do I have to leave on a trip NOW?! Just when I've gotten things figured out!

Anyway, tomorrow'll be busy, I have to pack, and then spend time with Crest, Cricket, Knight, Buddy, and Scoot (back to the old shimming routine...) so that they get some attention before I go. Hopefully will take some sale pix of Cricket and Knight too. I'll post those if I do get them.

Savvy out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe I went through the same thing with Charm and the cradle. It was so annoying when it didn't work how is was suppose to and I almost eBayed it. But like you, I just kept experimenting and finally found that setting that Charm likes.. solid chin strap! (we must have the same horse sometimes) Now, well you know, you rode her with the confidence snaffle and then with the cradle and there is a drastic difference. I haven't ridden her that much on the small rigs.. waiting for my hands to become lighter.. (have been practicing that a lot) So good going! I am happy that Prin is happy... would love to see some footage of her in the cradle sometime too..