I have ridden in my jump saddle three times so far with my new stirrups, I have to say, I expected very little. Gadgets and gimmicks are not something I buy into very heavily and for someone to say "This fixed all of my pain" was something I looked for, but I didn't necessarily believe it would happen. However, these stirrups have actually made me comfortable. I have done 2 light fitness rides, with two point, and not only did my knee not lock up, it didn't swell and it wasn't painful.
|Pretty stirrups, pretty snoot!|
I bought the Soft'up Pros and they feel legitimately solid. I feel extremely secure in the stirrups, there is no slippage at all and the stirrups are "right there" when I drop them due to how they connect to the stirrup leather. I am hopeful I will be able to start jumping again soon, and without pain, as one of the (many) reasons I didn't jump a lot this year was due to knee pain issues. 3 surgeries, arthritis, and lack of cartilage has really taken it's toll on me!
|The TRILOGY SADDLE!!! After a deep clean/conditioning|
Lesson 21 was Jan 3 and was totally focusing on bending. One of the issues I have is that with my logical brain, I have switches. On/Off. Left/Right. I have to ride with gradients, and after a year, things are much, much better but it is still a work in progress. I need to ask smaller and get bigger with my ask versus asking for (whatever) "right now". If I want a 10 meter circle, I need to start as if it is a 20m as I turn and then ask for a smaller and then smaller circle. Right now I have a tendency to pull/push/kick to the the movement as I am "riding the pattern" and not always the horse because I am riding X, then Y, then Z. Instead I should be riding to X, and then into Y, and then into Z.
|It seems to fit|
|Way more wither clearance than |
any saddle I have put on her!
|It is so soft|
On Tuesday, low and behold my saddle showed up! It was a lovely, unannounced surprise. That morning the tracking number showed "in transit", as it had since Dec 16th. After it was delivered, tracking suddenly updated to say on Jan 5 at 4a it was in a local distribution center and 8a it was out for delivery. I don't believe that, as it always, always takes at least 24 hours to get from the distribution center to my local office, let alone in a van to delivery it, but hey, my saddle came so I will take it. I also didn't get the email notification that I had signed up for for any of those updates, I never got any email update since the 16Dec email actually, but at least I got the saddle.
It was such a sad sight. It had been curled in a box for 30 days, cold and alone in a warehouse who knows were. It was dirty, dry, and super duper stiff. I brought it into my office to warm up and then spent an hour cleaning and conditioning it so that I could know every single inch of it. The saddle could use a dye job, as several places have brown coming through. It also has a small nick on a knee roll and by the seat. Other than that? I am extremely happy with it.
The first ride was SO different from my Isabell. Despite there being a very wide gullet channel, the twist feels so very narrow in comparison which really helps this lady who does not have wide, child birthing hips. The seat is also much deeper, I am used to a scooped, but fairly flat seat in the Isabell. I wonder if I need an 18" seat versus a 17.5" seat, and it was awkward as I kept sitting on my jacket.
Feeling something touching my butt is taking some getting used to. The Trilogy also moved my leg forward, a LOT, without being in a chair seat. Take a look at the last picture. This last point was one of the biggest reasons I was saddle shopping is and is also one of the reasons I picked this saddle model to search for when I sat in so many saddles back in November.
A quick story, back in December when I was so mentally tired with my horse breaking, the quarantine, and my saddle not showing up, I stopped riding in my Isabell. I started riding only in my County jump saddle and just used really long stirrups. It wasn't easy, as my body really, really wants to be forward and with my legs high as the County wanted me to be, however my County is much more comfortable than my Isabell and I was mostly trail riding/walk/trotting. That was for about 2.5 to 3 weeks. I put my Isabell back on the weekend before my saddle randomly showed up and there was a significant, noticeable difference in how Mia moved. She was certainly more tense and short in her stride, something I hadn't really noticed before. Very interesting indeed! Perhaps she doesn't like the tree as much as my County!
The second ride in the Trilogy was much better. I wore less clothes and felt that I "fit" in it better. I also had significantly more control over Mia. When I put my leg "on", Mia moved. I was also able to engage my leg from my thigh a lot easier, something I have always struggled with. Even in the right lead canter, our worse direction, I felt I had more control and Mia seemed to respond to my seat much better.
|Ignore the whale like-appearance, the jacket was not flattering. |
Look at the difference in leg position!!
I have a lesson tonight, which I think is the big test. Let's see what A has to say about how Mia moves and how I ride in it. I do plan on having the Pivo out for the lesson too! Fingers crossed that this makes as much of a difference in my dressage as my County did for my jumping. If it works, the next step is finding a saddle fitter and getting dialed into Mia so we can be fabulous!