Saturday first day of saddle experiments. Very windy. Rode 1 hour in indoor walking, small amount trot and working on remembering what to do. Whoa a bit rusty, backing very crooked but improved, lateral work good. Stiff transitioning up into trot, "poppy" front end trying hard. Walk over poles good, wouldn't try them at trot. Steering NICE when I remember to look where I want to go. Mounting needs work.
Rode in Western saddle with new Gel pad, he did well in it once I realized the pad had compressed quite a lot, leaving the cinch very loose.
Also tried E's Stubben just like the one for sale. Seemed a decent fit.
Monday back for more experiments. Sherlock was for the most part grumpy and unwilling, weather changing often makes him a bit colicky. Really, he handled being cinched up 3 times pretty well, but did stop outright today when asked to trot so I had to get down and free-longe until he settled down.
Rode in the sale Stubben with a baby pad and these experiments:
1. Homemade cutback half pad by E. slippery, not long enough to pad the full length of bars of saddle. Saddle stayed VERY high, little compression but not much contact.
2. Memory-foam bath mat pad with cutout for withers- still not long enough, compressed maybe too much, saddle very close to withers. Sherlock quit with this pad on.
3. Gel shoe pads along bars. Not enough padding, Sherlock was uncomfortable and I stopped immediately.
I didn't like the sale saddle. Both of them seemed too big for me- I've been riding the same saddle so long I may just have to learn to deal with the difference. But it looked like it was heading for the same split at the cantle that I already have on my old saddle, and the billets were very weak and dry.
I'm going to have to get a back tracing made and start driving around to tack shops. There are a lot of consignment saddle places locally, and a good one in Colorado Springs, so I should be able to find something nice enough to do local shows for a few years.