Star and I are in the midst of saddle shopping. Our friend, Carolyn, has been helping us by doing wither tracings so that we can order saddles sent to us for trial and have a chance that they might actually fit.
What’s been amazing has been how fast Star is changing! We did a tracing on 3/20/16, and another one on 4/14/16, and she was substantially different in the withers. The first two weeks I rode her in a saddle that turned out to be a bit too narrow; when I realized it wasn’t working I borrowed an Ansur treeless saddle while I started shopping for something that fits us both. Ah, happier horse!
I will soon transition back to a treed saddle because she’s VERY wide and I need a tree to get me up above her back a little so that my hips and back don’t get sore. The Ansur has been very useful for this interim time, but on such a wide horse it’s not great for me long term. I’m looking at lots of options and I THINK I’ve just about got it solved. SOON, I hope!
Below we see the results of a more comfortable back and regular dressage work: muscles that are visibly and measurably changing.
Some pictures to illustrate:
In the next picture, not only has Starlight’s coat changed, but look how her weight and muscles are changing! A mere four weeks more of regular dressage work, including once a week trot poles (which she loves) is making a difference. While it takes many months – years even – to build the strength for true collection, Starlight is learning to carry herself.
The shine is from daily grooming, Platinum Performance, and Chia Seed. Yes, she is doted upon and considers it the way things ought to be.
It takes a village to raise a horse. My friend Carolyn helps me with wither tracings, calls dressage tests at shows, and is a sounding board and source of ideas and insight. She loves sensitive mares like Starlight and they were immediate friends.