I could not be any more proud of Petey with his participation and effort in the clinic today. He and I were able to do so well today because of the wonderful, supportive community at the clinic. Because of the generosity of others, we were able to borrow a saddle and pad that fit! Because I ask so many darn questions, and was lucky enough to find someone patient enough to answer them, I was able to feel the scar tissue in between Petey’s spine and his shoulders that are adding to the saddle fit complications. I know that this issue can be taken to extremes, but in this instance, I feel it’s something that I really need to pay attention to. Mostly because my horses is telling me so.
Today, we decided that our class would include Lexie on Karla’s paint pony Sunshine (yes, two horses with that name!). Although this could have been considered a mistake, I think it was an important piece of the journey to have in place. Lexie was feeling a bit unnerved with the pony, and the pressure of riding in a clinic situation. We decided her ride time would be over for at least the moment, and decide later if she would get back on again. Another clinic participant agreed to get on Sunshine, and worked with Bryan on some of the pony’s issues. I was concerned about Lex, and through a gracious gift of another participant of holding Petey, I had some discussions with her and worked out a plan to help her manage her emotions and put the events in perspective.
Once back up on my brown horse, we got to work on loosening up his hindquarters. He did well, and didn’t seem to be in any physical discomfort. I, however, was having a little challenge with the length of my stirrups. The saddle that we were borrowing was a kids’ saddle, and I couldn’t figure out how to get the stirrups to a comfortable length. I didn’t understand why, because there were more holes on the leathers, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the stirrup to the bottom of the leather. I figured it just couldn’t be done. While we were soaking on it, Peggy came up and asked me if the saddle was working well. I told her that I loved it, except for the stirrup length. She asked me why I didn’t lengthen them. I shared my problem, stating that at least I was able to get them a couple holes lower. She gave me a look and then adjusted them. I had no clue that you could pull on those fender things and they would move! So very much to learn. It also seems that western riders wear their throat latches a lot tighter than english. Yes, another faux pas by me.
The new stirrup length was wonderful! No more cramping in my legs. We got to do an exercise where we each took turn riding figures around the rest of the riders. Petey handled it like a champ when it was his turn. He even broke into a trot a few times. From all the trot transitions of his I witnessed, these were not bad. Some ideas for some fun at home, for sure!
I have learned so much in these first days of the clinic. I feel that Petey and I are becoming more and more of a team, and I’m so excited to be on this journey with him. He really is an incredible horse!