Love the one you’re with.

Derby and I are making it official. The lease is up and I'm completing the purchase this week. We're also renewing our committment to the Albion.

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. 🙂