Scarlet now has a brand new saddle pad! I bought a new fitted saddle pad and it was delivered on Friday. The old one was meant for a more close contact saddle and thus would slip up underneath the back of the saddle. When it slid up, I’d feel off balance and then would try to compensate for this. I doubt that Scarlet was extremely comfortable when I did this as it probably felt really odd on his back. This new one is for all purpose saddles and has an extra inch on either side of the saddle. It is nice and squishy as well. I tried it out in our ride on Friday and it definitely stayed in place better. I’m looking forward to using it.
I got to jump a couple of times this week. I jumped on Thursday and Saturday. I did raise up the fences to about 18 inch crossrails. Scarlet still thinks that these are still quite short but we had fun jumping over them. He definitely doesn’t put in as much effort when we trot as we do when we jump. We did have a small kerfluffle at one of the crossrails in a combination on Thursday. He couldn’t really get the line right to that jump and tensed up. He sped up to the fence and took down one of the rails. I think it might have been because I hadn’t added a ground rail to help him see the fence. That doesn’t always matter but one of the rails was a completely white pole so it was probably a bit harder to see against the sand background. On Saturday I added ground rails and we didn’t have a problem with taking the pole down. Instead, he jumped me out of the tack. I’m really glad that my heels were well down because I would have definitely fallen off otherwise. There were a lot of people in the arena as well when that happened so it would have been quite embarrassing.
I have a lesson scheduled for Sunday. I’m really looking forward to this lesson. We have been working well with lifting our back and such but Scarlet is trying to avoid working at some points during our rides. He tries to stick his neck straight in the air to avoid contact and avoid lifting his back. When that doesn’t work, he will try dropping and lifting his head or speeding up and slowing down. He also is trying out the old lesson horse trick of yanking down on the reins and saying oh I am being told to halt. I’m not letting him get away with it but I need a bit of help getting him to work hard again. Transitions are also extremely bad. His head pops right up as soon as I ask. I’m hoping that our lesson manages to help with some of these things.
One bright point with transitions. On Saturday, I had one amazing downward transition from a canter to a forward on the bit trot. Unfortunately, I couldn’t replicate it but he does have a nice soft downward transition within him somewhere!