With Julie's eyes on the ground I was able to confirm the frame and tempo to strive for. Lance has a naturally nice frame and a slower cadence than some, which I don't want to ruin with busy hands or by rushing his pace. His lovely walk (with a "Marilyn Monroe swing") was duly noted, his cute face exclaimed over repeatedly, and his calm, honest nature appreciated, by both Julie and her USDF "L" judge mother, who was watching.
Julie deemed the saddle I have on trial an acceptable fit, so I used it for our lesson. It was very comfortable for me and Julie said my position in it was fine; Lance moved well (best right lead canter to date, in fact) and did not have a lump on his spine at the tree's twist afterwards. Last night I had Rick look at the saddle on Lance, and he was even more positive about its fit. I rode in it again this morning, and called the owner to say I'm keeping it. Anyone want to buy my Black Country Eloquence?
|Our "new" saddle, and one last look at Lance's long locks
|Like my Black Country, this saddle has shoulder gussets,
|and wool serge-covered panels, firmly flocked.
I've scheduled another lesson with Julie next Tuesday. Before then I plan to cut Lance's mane to "pulled" length. Yesterday I conferred with Julie, her mom and my friend Debbie on what to do with it in its partially rubbed state. They all thought that shortening it was preferable to leaving it or roaching it. I'll miss Lance's beautiful locks, but hopefully his mane will grow back.* Too bad I don't wear jewelry; there are some beautiful horsehair designs out there that can be made from your horse's mane or tail hair!
*I've ordered some Cheval Itch-B-Gone spray to try; I'll let you know if it works.