This fall, after several years riding happily in my old Beval Natural, a good friend finally managed to convince me to look into getting a saddle that fit my ridiculously long leg. The saddle was a perfectly adequate fit for both me and Cally, and she’s never protested its fit. But I decided to see what was out there, which led to borrowing several very generous barnmates saddles. Long story short, we ended up getting a very nice new-to-us Harry Dabbs Original A/O this October, and it has been a revelation. Which led to the revelation that the cheapie Wintec dressage saddle I knew I’d been fighting for my position in had to go, too.
I ended up getting this Crosby via eBay. It’s not a Prix St. Georges, as I had one of those before, and knew how nicely it fit us; this fits even better, but it’s not a PSG. It’s got the Crosby Olympic Works Walsall plate, and the old AHSA logo on the left flap, and a much more substantial knee roll/block than the PSGs have. It of course showed up after I got home from the barn on Thursday, so since I worked all weekend, I was not-so-patiently biding my time until I got to take it out to try on Cally and ride in this afternoon.
The saddle fit her very nicely, and fit me even better. I didn’t realize just how much I was struggling for balance and position in the old saddle until I picked up a trot in this–it feels effortless. Well, the basics of riding, anyway. The tough part, like getting Cally soft, supple, and flexed in the direction I want her to are still something of a work in progress. But hopefully this will be a big step forward in making this easier on my part as we begin our Winter Dressage Boot Camp. I know Cally will not be a fan, because it means we’re trapped making circles in the indoor. That’s as much a function of weather as anything, because I’d quite happily make circles in either of the outdoors if they weren’t soupy and icy.
Rather than a New Year’s Resolution, I’m setting a goal. By spring, I’m going to stop locking my left elbow, and we’re going to be going around softly, supply, and bent in the direction of travel. That’s not asking too much, right?