Sonntag, 12. Juni 2016

Do you want to go on a trail ride with us?!

Yesterday, Lina and I went on a 3 hours trail ride with Fly and Crispin. I had promised her a while ago that I would show her the trails across the "Kanal" and that is where we went.

Unfortunately horsefly-season is already upon us and that put a bit of a damper on an otherwise lovely trail ride.

I made myself a camera strap I can wear around my neck, in order to be make it easier to take pictures from horseback, and of course I had to try it.

Here's a video. Not quite 3 hours long but quite long... *sorry*  I hope you enjoy it.

Donnerstag, 5. Mai 2016

Finally, "Weidesaison"

Finally, pasture season is here. Quite late this year since it was way too cold and wet almost all the way through april. But finally, today we were allowed to bring the horses out into the pastures for the first time.


But that was basically it. Up and down the pasture once and then down with the head. It was quite difficult to get a picture of Crispin NOT eating after that.

Fat and shiny pony. :)

Sonntag, 1. Mai 2016

New Toy. The "Filzsattel"

Basically my new toy is another glorified bareback pad. This one is made (almost) entirely out of felt. A saddle made of felt. A "Filzsattel" (felt saddle).

I had high hopes for this one but after riding in it yesterday for the first time, I'm not so sure it gets to stay. More of that later. First of all, details of the thing.

When I unpacked it my first thought was: "Wow, that's kind of massive!" It seems to be well made and has quite a bit more padding than I'd expected.

The padding is not the same all throughout the pad. It's a bit thicker in the front and back and there's less padding where the saddles twist would be. Nice thinking.

This is it. The Filzsattel  "L'amour Skuggi Comfort".

"L'amour" means that this it's the high withers version, and I am very happy I went for that choice! "Skuggi" is the basic shape, and "Comfort" stands for the brown stripe of extra padding along the top.

 On the horse:

As you can see, there is no girth that goes across (or puts pressure on) the spine, no knee rolls or ways to attach stirrups. You can see how much padding there is in the front and back and that it has some nice spinal clearance.

It really looked promising but it didn't quite hold up to that promise.

As you know, I have been riding Crispin bareback for about 6 months now. I just throw on the Christ Sheepskin Pad (the one with the one inch foam inlays) no girth or anything, and off we go. It works pretty well for us, only, once he starts really swinging through his back or when we canter more than once or twice the pad starts slipping. My hope was that the Filzsattel would work just as well with the added bonus of having a girth attached to it to keep it in place.

Well, unfortunately not. At first it felt really nice. The "narrow" twist (remember, less padding in that area) made it easier for me to let my legs drape around Crispin (a good feeling on that barrel shaped pony) and the padding felt nice too. A little more than what the other pad offers but not that much more. But once I started trotting, things fell apart. I bounced! And badly! I never have that issue with the other pad. It was very uncomfortable for me (and for Crispin too, I expect!). Also the Filzsattel slipped back quite a bit. I had to get off and put it back in position.

On a positive note though, I can really canter with the Filzsattel! I did most of the cantering after putting the pad back in place and once I got off after the ride the pad seemed to have stayed in place then.

This is the position of the Filzsattel after my ride. It didn't seem to have slipped again (I did not put the girth on any tighter than I had before).

So, for now I'm not sure what to think. I probably just have to ride in the Filzsattel again, maybe take a video, and figure out what's going on. Maybe it's the type of padding, maybe it just puts me into the wrong spot on Crispin's back...

 ...will see...

Donnerstag, 24. März 2016

Revisiting the Sommer Diplomat DS

I got in touch with a new fitter a few days ago. Since she's not close we only talked on the phone and I send her some pictures of Crispin and told her our story.

She said that there might (only might!) be a way to change our old saddle (the Sommer Diplomat) to fit Crispin a little longer. But in order to get an idea if it really is possible to fit the saddle to Crispin's needs once more, she would like to see him in motion.

That's what youtube is for, I guess...

While I was on it I decided to add some pictures of Crispin with the Sommer as well. So, here we go, picture overload.

First the video link. Not so easy to film while longing a horse, especially at the trot.

Then some pictures of Crispin's back from last week:

And now with the Sommer. First without a girth:

 ...and with the girth on:

The saddle is tilting horizontally; there is quite a difference in position if with or without the girth. Let's see what the fitters opinion about it is...

Montag, 8. Februar 2016

What we do without a saddle

I have been witout a saddle for well over three months now. It is getting old, fast.

I do ride. I use the Christ sheepskin pad I got for the Grandeur, which has 3 cm foam padding. No girth.

I even take lessons bare back. I'm also taking lessons in in-hand work, trick training and, that is something new, long reining.

Crispin is a good sport about it and working well, but we are not really progressing at all. There is only so much I can work on under saddle, without actually having a saddle...

- I do not ride more than 2 to 3 times a week.
- I do at least 20 min of walk before trotting since I cant really post or I longe him before I get on.
- Canter work I do mostly on the longe as well.

I don't feel confident to trail ride without a saddle, so we go on walks if the weather is nice enough.

Still no saddle... *sigh*

We are, after more than three months, still without a saddle. There are not very many options for us out there (al least not many I know about) plus the fitter of my choosing, though a good one, itsn't the fastest.

I did manage to try the Harry Dabbs saddles I wanted to see on Crispin. Unfortunately, they were no fit. Both, the Extra and the Meridian were wide enough for Crispin but they both had way too much longitudinal bend for him too. So, back to square one... *sigh*

The Harry Dabbs "Extra" Platinum 17,5 /MW:

And the Harry Dabby "Meridian" Elegant, 17,5 /W:

The fitter has one more saddle in mind that might be a fit for Crispin, unfortunately, it has to be build first (he sold the trial saddle in august and hasn't come around to build another one).

In the meantime, I'm still riding bareback which is getting old fast! Crispin is a very good boy about it but we are not progressing in any way, he needs to be ridden more foreward than what riding without a saddle is allowing me to do. Again,


Montag, 2. November 2015

And here we go again. We need a new Saddle, oh my!

The day finally came, Crispin outgrew his Sommer. No real surprise there but I've dreaded the day. The Chiro was here about 6 weeks ago. I already knew that the fit of the saddle wasn't that great anymore and when she pointed out pressure points at the stirrup bars, I decided it was time to move on. I haven't used the saddle since.

I had a fitter out that specializes in Harry Dabbs, as I wanted to see the Harry Dabbs extra CC Dressage on Crispin. He didn't bring that one but will be back with a couple mores saddles soon. So far Harry Dabbs could be a posibility.  I also had my fitter out but there isn't anything he can do for us anymore. All Sommer saddles are as wide as Crispin's or more narrow in the tree.

*insert weeks of waiting and Crispin getting first, kicked in the right leg, then in the left, then lost a shoe, then taking off both shoes for the winter*

Well, I started this post a while ago and am back in saddle fitting hell. At this point I have been without a saddle for over two months (about 10 weeks, I think) and there is NO solution in sight. I have not tried the Harry Dabbs Extra yet nor the Bucks Manufactum (the other brand the Harry Dabbs fitter carries) because that fitter is impossible to get out due to a busy schedule. He did, however, offer to let me take the Harry Dabbs and try in by myself. I have not done that yet, because there was always something going on with Crispin that would have made it difficult to assess a saddle.

I also tried to get in touch with Harry Dabbs directly but they happily suggested that I get in touch with the fitter with the busy schedule. Great, thanks. *sigh*

So, for what it's worth. I got myself a flexi ruler and took measurements and pictures of the back in question: