Schooled for a bit today and practised the Intro B test for Sunday and we were absolute rubbish! Hattie was forward but going around with her head in the air and I was bouncing around all stiff with every muscle in my right thigh screaming at me. I had to get off at one point and do some stretches for my leg!! I must remember to stretch BEFORE riding, especially with this bone chilling cold weather that seems to have landed on us. On a positive note, our "free walk across the diagonal on a long rein" was not "lacking in purpose" this time, LOL!
I found out today from the lady who works at the post office, that there will be 44 entries at the show on Sunday and that it will be busy. I don't know how she knows this but she asked if I was doing the dressage on Sunday and I told her yes.
Well, I don't have a chance in hell if there are 44 entries so I thought that I may as well fail miserably looking good with this browband...
I bought it this summer at a horsey carboot sale for £15 and have always wanted to use it so thought may as well this Sunday! It's made from pink velvet with diamante rosttes at the sides. Even if I don't win a rosette, at least Hattie will be wearing some ;-)
I was having a think about the problem with my stirrup leather sliding off the Mayhew safety bar and having it unhook all the time with the least bit of movement and think I've managed to fix the problem!
On original Mayhew safety stirrup bars, the block underneath the little hook stud, extends further out than on modern Mayhew saftey stirrup bars. I've circled it in the photo of a 1930's Mayhew fitting to show what I mean...
The block on my fitting is squared off and does not extend into the space occupied by the stirrup leather. Unfortunately, because metal on metal slides around, when my stirrup leather moves from riding, there is nothing to stop to stop it from sliding forward into the stud, thereby, causing it to unlock. The extended block on the original Mayhew fittings, prevent the stirrup leather from sliding too far forward. It holds the stirrup leather far enough back to stop it from unlocking the bar from the stud.
With this "light bulb" moment, I decided to needed to stop my stirrup leather from sliding around on the bar. I can't weld an extend piece onto the existing block like an orginal Mayhew, so found a little piece of rubber, made two slits in it and slid it over the stirrup bar...
Then I just hook my Mayhew stirrup leather over the bar and rubber bit as usual and so far, my stirrup leather has not slid around and my stirrup bar unlocked! It doesn't interfere with the safety of it either as the everything still unhooks easily if pulled. The rubber just stops stirrup from sliding around too much.
I took photos of my saddle to check fit. Although it needs flocking up at the front, it still sits pretty level.
The sheepskin fleece girth cover is perfect to use under the front of the saddle to stop it from dropping down too much until the saddler can come and flock it up again. When I take off the pad, there are no ruffled or pressure spots so that is good.
It needs a little bit of flocking underneath my right thigh. I found out some interesting information about side saddle flocking and panels from a lady who had an Equxtra Manorgrove side saddle made for her too. She said that, "We are used to old saddles with hard-packed flocking but new side saddles were always known for their 'settling in' time. That is why the panels are covered with just the serge. You are then supposed to allow the flocking to pack down before you adjust the balance and put the linen on."
This is the tilt of my saddle after 30 minutes of riding in it. The tilt is a bit more pronounced before riding but this is normal due to the extra weight placed on the left of the saddle. The tilt to the right, counteracts this.
My saddle doesn't slide around as far forward as my old Champion & Wilton did. I don't have to use the point strap on the near side like I did with my old saddle instead I use the 1st and 2nd girth strap.
And then point and first on the off-side. I think I need a longer girth though as it's REALLY hard to get the girth buckle to meet the straps as this saddle is much higher than my old one. The girth I'm using is 54 1/2" so I reckon I need a 56" one with this saddle. I can't afford to buy another girth at the moment so will have to use an adapted girth extender in the mean time.
I don't think that my side saddle numnah will be here in time for the show so my friend was nice enough to lend me a normal square white dressage pad to use under my side saddle for Sunday. It's in the wash now!