Little Love has been in heat the past few day and yesterday was her "peak day". This meant that she basically spent all her free time parked in front of Col, peeing. He didn't seem to mind. He kept biting her behind and her back legs quite forcefully, which made Little Love only pee so much more. Needless to say, Zen Master or not, I didn't want to challenge that bond too much. So we stayed on the property.
Today, however, was a new day. It was quite warm and Becky's husband reported to me that the horses had spent most of the day inside. Which was of course their choice, but nevertheless made me feel like I had to somehow move my horse.
We did the same walk as two days ago and again it went really well. A few times Little Love remembered to call out to Col, but neither time made me really nervous so we got over those moments fairly fast. We also passed both sheep and cows without incident. Only towards the end did she get a bit nervous and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was the bugs (some of the horseflies here are the size of small birds, I tell you) or the two bulls we passed (which took off running again, what the heck?) or something else, but I just couldn't seem to keep up with Little Love, she was walking so fast. Since I had the saddle on again (this seems to be my security blanket at the moment...), I decided to get on.
As soon as I was in the saddle, I was able to get "into my body" on a whole different level. I have done a lot of Ride With You Mind training (and teaching) and it never fails to help me in situations like this where the horse is slightly on the edge. Three minutes later Little Love was walking calmly, with her head stretched down. I got off and we walked home (after some grass in the field, of course)
I have been thinking a lot about saddles lately. The thing is; I don't have one. The saddle Little Love and I are using belongs to a friend here in Switzerland. It's a Barefoot Dressage saddle and I don't think it's the right saddle for her or for me. In any case, I'll be leaving that saddle behind when we move. So, once we get to Finland, there will be no saddle.
Now, the million dollar question of course is: Do we need a saddle? - I don't know. Am I going to ride? - I don't know. If I ride, am I going to ride more than five minutes at a time? - I don't know. Does it make sense to buy a saddle if I'm not really riding? - No.
But let's say I do decide to get a saddle.... this brings me immediately to the other million dollar question: What kind of a saddle should I get? An English saddle? A Western saddle? Treeless? Flexible tree? Regular tree? The choices are overwhelming.
The main thing I really care about is of course Little Love. If she were to have a saddle, I would want her to have the best possible saddle for her back. But what kind of a saddle is that? I have no idea. I do realize she is probably not the easiest horse to fit a saddle on, since she has high and long withers. And a long back. And she's sort of wide.
Last fall a friend of mine bought a western saddle right before she moved to another barn. She let me try it on Little Love a few times and I have to say that it seemed to work really well. Little Love certainly was more comfortable in the western saddle than in her dressage saddle. Of course, her dressage saddle was a really ill fit. But perhaps this is something to consider? But I find Western saddles so heavy... although I have heard that the weight gets distributed more evenly over the horse's back. Or is that just a myth?
Anyone out there with any experiences they want to share?
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