What a change there has been in the weather - Buddy has been out in his fly rug and the ground is drying up - could Spring have sprung?!
It has been a funny few weeks here which have reminded me that as soon as you get one thing right and you think you have got everything sussed with the ponies, something else always happens to educate you and change your perceptions. A few weeks ago I posted about Buddy being tricky and strong whilst we were jumping and something just didn't feel right but I couldn't put my finger on it. He was booked in for Bowen treatment which I thought would show any weaknesses or tight spots and I was right - they found a few. He was tight in his quads - which I would expect as he is using himself more behind now - but he was also quite sore around his saddle area. Long story cut short is that my wow saddle isn't the right set up for him anymore and unless I spend hundreds of pounds changing the panels and girthing set up (which won't guarantee a perfect fit) its useless for us. So I made the decision to sell it and so it is now advertised in a few places (if you want to know where then let me know and I'll point you in the right direction).
So we've been on the hunt for something that fits and nothing was quite right bar my YO's dressage saddle. Luckily I ordered a couple of saddles from Saddles Direct and one fits us both really well so the saddler is going to check it this week and as long as she gives it the thumbs up we are good to go again. I tried it today over some fences and I had my lovely, sane and rideable pony back so I was racked with guilt as he was trying to tell me something and I should have noticed things weren't totally right before. I should know better than to carry on regardless but, lesson learnt and luckily I've listened and sorted it for him (finally). I am hoping the bowen lady will find him to be freer on our next session.
As well as this I've been working hard on me, strengthening my core and becoming more aware of how I use my body - particularly on the horse. I am hyper-mobile which means that I have a huge range of motion in my joints. What a lucky lady I hear you say - well unfortunately this isn't the case and it means that my body doesn't move in the same way as a 'normal' person. My muscles are weak as I use my bones to move as this is easier so I am having to learn how to engage certain muscles to counteract this. Its been really hard but I am finding it an incredibly interesting exercise and it is making a huge difference to my day to day posture as well as my riding. I am far straighter now but I am also learning to use my pelvis whilst keeping my upper body still which has been eye opening. There is a lot of work still to be done and its baby steps right now but this will make life easier for Buddy and means I won't be crippled by the time I'm 40 (hopefully)!
I am hoping to get out to some local show jumping now Buddy is no longer kamikazing his way around a course so we should have some more exciting pictures soon.