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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Friday, March 13, 2009

A little bit of this an' a little bit of that

I've been back on Gogo since Tuesday doing dressae work. I wrote about that nice little ride on Tuesday, and since then we've been doing some experimentation, in very small increments. Unfortunately for me, I don't think Gogo really feels all that different after her chiro work. In fact, I think if anything she is feeling more defensive in her body. Vicki, I think, thought that since the work was so major, there was going to be a vast improvement in my horse right away - and there wasn't. She also said that sometimes it takes a horse up to two weeks to actually start to feel better and use their body in increasingly efficient ways. I kind of don't think this is going to be the case with Gogo. Oh well, at least we're eliminating the physical part of it.

On Tuesday, I tried her in my Prestige and in the new KK Ultra bit (not actually new, but borrowed from the retired horse). That's a very minor change from the knock-off KK that I have - mine is a 14mm, Theo's is a 16mm. She liked it, that's for sure. On Wednesday, I decided to try Vicki's Custom Saddlery saddle, which I usually ride Rena in and quite like. We also had a different saddle fitter take a peek at my saddle - he said it's a hair too wide, which the other saddle fitter lady didn't mention a word about. He suggested a fancy expensive new Prolite pad with shims, but when I brought out my Supracor and showed him that, he went, well this actually works a lot better, so why am I even showing you this other pad? The complaint Vicki makes about my saddle is that is moves a little in back, and that it might be twisting slightly to the left. But was that Gogo or was that the saddle? So out came Vicki's saddle. Perhaps Gogo was feeling a little too good that day, but this is what I seemed to notice - walk and trot were EXCELLENT, completely amazing, but the canter? Explosive, humpbacked, head in the air, running nonsense. Hmmmmmmmmmm. I also made an effort to check the saddle that never moves in the mirror when I was walking, trotting, cantering by - what do you know, IT MOVED IN BACK. So that means it's Gogo, not so much the saddle. The Prestige does move more, but I really do think that it really is designed to do that, so I dunno. The other thing about twisting to the left? Vicki's saddle made me sit SO CROOKED to the left... so again, I think Gogo is pushing me over there, because I don't do that on other horses! Try a little bit of this, try a little bit of that. Gogo WAS totally wonderful at the walk and trot though, right away, so I think I might try it again today on her.

Yesterday it was back to my saddle and the KK Ultra. Well, we started off well, and continued to get steadily better and better - except we were still doing the teeth champ. I think at this point, I just need to ignore it and work on improving everything else. Something we were doing made it actually stop for a little while - we were working on trot-halt-walk-halt-trot-halt-trot-halt etc etc, rapid fire transitions, all while doing leg yields - all those transitions during leg yields. When I wasn't halting, I was giving halt-halts every few strides, and pushing her on, then half-halting again, then pushing her on. She stopped champing, rebalanced herself completely and started really thinking about what I was asking her to do. And she was EXCELLENT, I might add. I think I figured out that when she does it, for the most part, it's when she takes the contact out, gets heavier on the forehand, and leans a bit on the bit. Imagine that's you - now you have a piece of metal pulling at both sides of your mouth. I know if it were me and I was a neurotic mare, I'd lean on that piece of metal and bounce my jaw against it too. Interesting. Vicki also thinks that this new bit is too low, even though we had the other bit at this same level in her mouth and when we tried to raise it because it was also too low, she held all her tension in her mouth until we lowered it back down a hole. Then she was totally perfect. Sighhhh!

So today, we're going back in the other saddle and the KK. We're going to keep trying all these different combinations - different saddle, different bit, raising the bit, etc etc etc. - until we find the perfect combination. We'll see how she goes in Vicki's saddle today, whether or not there is a noticable difference. I REALLY don't have the money to get a new custom saddle right now... or ever, probably. And I love love love love love my Prestige too, and I REALLY don't think she's all that adverse to it.

[Insert neurotic twitch] off to my lesson.

1 comment:

dp said...

I would go crazy in that kind of environment.

I don't have a lot of experience experimenting with different tack, but I do have a lot of experience experimenting in general. From a scientific perspective it doesn't make sense to change more than one variable at a time. With a new bit and new saddle on the same day you really don't have the opportunity to assess whether either is an improvement or not.