Here's my sweet girl all ready to go for a ride!
|"We aren't going over there to the arena, are we?"|
We did our usual routine of walking on a loose rein, stretching down, various types of circles to get her to engage her shoulders and hindquarters, and then started on the whoa hunting exercises. It was a chore to get her to engage, so I decided we'd speed things up a bit and see if that helped. I asked her to trot and her speed was really nice, but she just would not get soft. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.
After about 20 minutes of fighting with her, she got a bit more specific with her communication methods... she started shaking her head. I was wondering if her fly mask was poking her eye, or if a bug managed to get in there, or if she just decided she didn't like having the mask on, so I took it off and hung it on the gate.
She was still shaking her head after I took the mask off, but then she also started to stagger around like she's drunk... I know all too well what that means. She was telling me she was uncomfortable and something was wrong with the saddle.
I just got this saddle and it's supposed to FIT HER!! It's obvious something has changed and my saddle isn't fitting her properly anymore. She has definitely gained some weight and probably some muscle tone as well, so it might be getting snug on her shoulders again.
I haven't totally freaked out yet (and made my appointment to be committed) because my saddle has an adjustable gullet, so I can order the extra-wide and see how she likes that. The potential problem there is she's in the wide now, and the extra-wide is as wide as they get. It boggles my mind that my 14.3 hand Paint mare is going to be in an extra-wide gullet... my SmartPak order hasn't shipped yet, so I added the gullet to my order. It should be here next week.
Something else I contemplated (this is how desperate I am...), is changing her girth. Right now I've got her in a Wintec girth and their whole shtick is that the entire girth stretches, thus putting even pressure on the saddle and yada, yada, yada. I don't care about all that... I got it because it's easy to clean. I really do have a difficult time getting it tight, but I prefer to ride Lilly with a loose-ish girth anyway. It seems to not have a lot of stretch to it, though... so maybe a regular, run of the mill girth might be a better choice?
Have I completely lost my mind?
Today was a learning experience for me, though. I really should know better than to think Lilly just has an attitude. It is a rare occurrence that she is defiant and cranky just because... I should have known something was wrong and I feel bad that I pushed her to the point where she was really uncomfortable. I just never dreamed I'd be having saddle issues again. :(