So, I have been AWFUL about not blogging this season....."PaintedPromise" or Susan, sent me a comment in January which just read. And I have now been shamed into updating all three people who actually read this...
So, my last post was in September. Riding season had just started up again full steam,as the heat is a killer in the summer here.
Santana continued to be an awesome trail partner. Point him at anything, and off he would go, steady as a rock. My only frustration was that he just didn't seem to be improving in his gait. I had really wanted to enter him in a CTR in MArch, and possibly an LD E-ride, but, none of that would happen without him gaiting. By January, I was really getting frustrated, and, so was Santana. In fact, he was getting grumpy about being saddled, which was really, really odd. I contacted Polly Roberts in Cave Creek to see if she gave lessons. She is sort of an apprentice to Larry Whitesell, who as you may recall, is the gaited horse guru of natural methods. Well, turns out she did, so, up we went. I found out some interesting things right away. First of all, I had lost so much weight. my saddle was too big for me, and it was throwing my legs forward and my seat back. Santana couldn't possibly learn to gait with me like that. I also changed pads. Polly loaned me her spare saddle, which is the same one I had that was too big. Hers was the right size.( I went from a 16" to a 15"). Amazing the difference this change made to Santana. I worked with Polly for several weeks on various excersizes with her, and Santana was finding his groove!
He is now offering gait every time I ask for more speed from the walk. In the past, he would offer a trot. Now, he goes right to the gait. He can't hold it for very long, but its there. My new saddle was shipped from the saddlemaker yesterday. I can finally return the loaner saddle, and break (another) new one in. If you have a gaited horse, you really need to check out Foug Ford's saddles...Liberty Saddles, Casa Dosa. This is the ONLY saddle truly, truly madw for a gaited horse.
I will post more stories from this riding season later.....promise.