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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Yay for saddles that FIT!

So, as I wrote about here, I have a new dressage saddle.  I completely adore this saddle.  I love how it has shorted panels so I can actually get my leg down on my horse.  I was pretty confident that it fit Dreamy well and it truly fits me PERFECT.  


I was able to get an appointment with my saddle fitter, Nancy Shedrick, for last Thursday.  I was so pleased when she took a look at my saddle and said it was a good fit for Dreamy!  YAY!  She complimented me, saying I had a good eye.  Well, SHE is the one to thank for that!  Nancy taught me well at our first fitting in April.  


I had a few concerns though.  One was how low the saddle was to her withers.  I mean, there was three of my tiny fingers clearance and it cleared her spine with no problems, but it did seem low.  My instructor Judy echoed the same thing when she saw it.  Nancy agreed that while it was a tiny bit lower than she would like, it was fine.  Why?  Because I am a tiny 5 foot nothing, 120 pound rider.  She said there was no way the saddle was going to touch her withers.  And she knew that if something changed, I would be in contact with her immediately.  (She's got that right!  LOL)  

Second, I was not crazy about the billets.  I am used to the Y billet system and this one was just plain weird.  (I should take a photo...)  She told me they were fine and reassured me that she could change them, but it was not affecting the way the girth hung or anything like that.  OK, I can suck it up and get used to them!  LOL!



And last, I thought the cantle sat just a tiny bit too low.  And Nancy echoed my thoughts on this.  She added a small bit of wool flocking to the panels, which was neat to see.  My son thought it was the COOLEST thing ever and Nancy was very patient with him.  She told us both what she was doing and let my son hand her bits of wool.  :)


So now I am proud to say my saddle is exactly fitted for my horse!!  :)  Of course, she will change, but Nancy is just a phone call or email away.  Every horse changes and now armed with my new saddle fitting knowledge, I know I will pick up on any small changes that might need to be tweaked. 


THANK YOU NANCY!  You have been an integral part of our success this year!  :D  If anyone in the New England area needs a saddle fitter, I cannot recommend Nancy enough.  She is GREAT!  :D :D :D

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