Been busy this week with work and the business so haven't had to time to sit down and relax and write!
I thought I would venture out on Saturday on a walking hack on my off-side side saddle but my rib still felt a bit achy so decided against it. I'm so desperate to get back in the saddle again but I don't want to rush it too soon and go back to square one. Besides my Manorgrove side saddle should be done in a couple of weeks and need to be 100% so I can test it out! I need to email the saddler and find out how my saddle is coming along too.
For the past few weeks, I've been lunging and free schooling Hattie trying to build up her fitness as she got a bit podgy over the summer and to keep her fit for when I start riding again. She has been doing really well this week with our training. We've been practising bending on the lunge and transitions to keep her balanced and work on her top line. With free schooling, lots of transitions to make sure she is listening to my voice and keeping a nice balanced and lengthened stride.
I really like free schooling as Hattie gets to stretch out and carry herself naturally rather than being bent around a 20m circle all the time. She is starting to carry herself in an outline while free schooling so that is good! I like to alternate between lunging and free schooling to keep her mind and body fresh.
Since I can't hack out yet, I've started hand walked Hattie down the lane on a "foot hacks" as well. We went out Saturday morning and this morning and she liked going out with the other horses and riders. It was good fitness for me having to walk with long strides myself to keep up with Hattie!
I was looking through my folders and found this late 1860's- early 1870's CDV photo of a pony in a side saddle. It's a pretty saddle but looks a tad too big for the pony's back, nearly past his loins! You can see that is has a very wide flap to protect the full and long skirts of mid 19th century habits!