A New Connection
|October 22, 2010||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
My focus today was riding Farley forward to the connection. How much of her (very little) forward have I been inhibiting by thinking “pull” rather than “push”? The elastic, seeking connection is wonderful and mind boggling difficult to describe. When I’m riding with the correct connection, I feel as if I have an immense responsibility – Farley is giving me a gift by going forward to the connection. It is my job (nay, privilege) to keep that connection kind, soft, and steady. A difficult task indeed for this training level rider who is still coordinating aids, position, rhythm, and balance amid a myriad of other tasks…..
Even though I continue to love and adore my Solstice for trail and endurance work, I found myself choosing to practice dressage bareback more and more. Unconsciously I was fighting to maintain a good position in it for dressage. A couple of weeks ago I decided to start looking for an inexpensive saddle we could use for dressage, and would be a good back up saddle (I only had one saddle for Farley, and if it needed repairs or a reflocking I would be without one). I’m not a fan of Wintecs, however I had ridden in the Isabell that my trainer owned and it was a decent fit for us both and put me in a good position. It’s possible to find a good deal on these with a bit of patience and effort. I found one local and made arrangements to pick it up 2 weeks ago.
So far I’m very happy. I wouldn’t have paid for a new one, but used it is worth what I paid for it. The seller was kind enough to send it along with two sets of leathers and a girth (and a cup of hot cider!) which sweetened the deal even more. I wouldn’t use it as a primary endurance saddle, but is definitely comfy enough to do a fairly flat and less technical ride.
I like having 2 saddles to rotate through. The Solstice is not a perfect fit for her, but is perfectly acceptable for now – especially if I can ride in a different saddle for the dressage to avoid have pressure in the same points every day.
It’s hard to review and recommend saddles because everyone’s personal preferences are so different. However, if you are looking for a relatively cheap, low maintenance saddle to do your dressage in, I would recommend you consider a used Isabell. I’ve heard that the other Wintec dressage models ride very differently. They are also discontinuing the current version of the Isabell and updating it. As with running shoes, an update can be good or bad…..and since I knew the “old” version would be sufficient, that was one more motivation for me to try and find one now, versus waiting a few years.
Does any here rotate through 2 or more saddles regularly? I remember when I had Minx, I rotated through a Thorowgood dressage saddle, and a 1860’s McClellan.