August 31, 2011 5 Comments
I had a lesson last night, and rode in the old Barnsby that I have out on trial. It is such a different feel than a dressage saddle. It’s wide, flat and open, and doesn’t restrict any movement. And it’s slick. No suede knee rolls. It’s old school. And it’s beautiful – I love old, well cared-for leather. It has a lovely patina. But it doesn’t work for me.
I do some strange things in that saddle, specifically, I tended to push my feet out forward, to the extent I poked Derby’s elbow with a toe at one point. In some respects, the balance felt pretty good. But, as Christy noted, it wasn’t perfect.
So tonight, I rode in the Albion. And I’ll tell you – after riding for the last week on that slick, hard pancake, I sighed in relief as I settled into the Albion. It is, as Christy says, “excessively comfortable.”
As we walked and loosened up, I stood in my stirrups to check my balance. I stood easily, and straight, and we walked halfway around the outdoor like that. This was a bit of a surprise. Last time I tried standing in the Albion, I teetered, I listed, I leaned. I could not stand. Clearly, the lessons are paying off – I felt pretty good in my saddle tonight. And Derby was nicely forward, no miserable, shuffle-y cow pony trot, and he had a nice swingy walk. We trotted around, over poles, did a little canter, then really covered some ground at the trot, and then called it a night on account of bugs. It was a nice ride, best I’ve had in a while.
I’m glad I can give the Albion another chance. I do like that saddle, and so does Derby.
In other news, my lease on Derby ends today. Tomorrow I”m handing over a check, and he’ll be mine, all mine. 🙂