Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association
November 14, 2010
You who ride english some questions.
Yes, I'm asking for advice, should I tune up the theme from Rocky? Decided to give my english saddle another try. Don't know if it will work out for me, but if I can get comfortable with it, I won't have to sock down $1345 for a Eurolight, and can totally trick it out to be very functional, take some lessons, and be money ahead.
So I tromp out into the first c-c-c-cold day of November, dragging the pretty little Wintec VSD out to the horse trailer. Phebes looks at me and tips her ears back and forth. I can read her pretty good and think...this is gonna be fun, I see it already. Put the saddle down, pick up the leadrope and halter and step under the electric fence. Phebe's head goes straight up, her tail goes up, and it is catch me if you can "na na na na na NA!" I'm not feeling particularly well as I had an inner ear (balance disorder thing) episode last night and was medicated to the wazoo all night. Still a little off today, functioning, but really not in the mood for remedial training 101. So I throw up a divider gate to trap the little snot in the front lot, and proceded to making the game not quite so much fun for her. Eventually I get her haltered AND NO COOKIE FOR YOU! Visions of the trades I could make on a very fine gaited mule (if I could find someone remotely stupid enough to make the swap) and thoughts of strapping her deer antlers on and sending her out into the woods (today is opening season on deer hunting in Indiana) all go through my head. I curse a few times (which is meaningless and useless), and take her to the round pen for episode 511 of remedial training. It is forty degrees and I'm stripping off clothes to my shirt sleeves, and she's worked up a good sweat and looking at me with two eyes instead of that far away weird look in her eyes we started with. Her little vacation was not a good thing. But I was talking about the english saddle yes? So I put the wool skito on her, sit the saddle on her kind of forward, and shimmy it back to find where it wants to sit. Attach the new girth to it, and tighten that up. The saddles attached well and I can still get my hand under the girth. It looks level where before it wanted to tip forward. Phebes has turned into a chubby monkey so that may have helped the fit or maybe I had the saddle to far back the first time I tried it. At any rate, it looks level. The Wintec is not interfering with her shoulder as my hand slips clear. Girthed up I can get my hand along the tree, it is snug, but I can get under there. I ground mount. Saddle stays in place. I feel a little forward onto the front of my crotch (the issue I had before). Doug suggests raising the stirrups to find when and where I'll tip back onto my seat bones. Stirrups come up about three inches, and I'm back. We walk around the oval pen for awhile to try and get the feel of it. We post the trot a little bit and I feel very ungainly kind of wobble like the weebles from the 70's. Now the questions.
Knee blocks? I have them, they are industrial velcroed on. Where exactly is the proper placement of knee blocks? I would assume at the knees, but do they hug right at the knee, go a little below, at what kind of angle? Can you tell I have zero experience at this?
Length of the leg or how much bend? To keep a good seat and good balance how much bend in the leg? Now I am talking about posting the trot over long distance, not a half hour of arena work.
I can feel a slight lump under my leg I think at the flap, not sure if it is the flap itself yet or the place where the leathers attach under there. Over the long haul that would bother me, what to do about that?
Phebes seemed very perplexed by this new turn of events, probably because I was in "weeble mode." (and she was very unhappy with being caught)
I'm going to give this thing a try as long as it does not involve any kind of pain from chafing etc. and see if I can find my balance and security. It seems so different from being seated in a western saddle. Not sure if that is good or bad, but that is the current goal in process. ~E.G.