The back lady, Kate, came out today to Hattie and all went well. Hattie had a few tight spots at the back of her poll and along the top of her neck, at the base of her withers and on her back towards her loins mostly on the off-side. She said that Hattie wasn't too bad and that it was a good call to get her out before anything got too serious. Kate also recommended me giving Hattie another week off and then start riding her in straight lines (so hacking out) at a walk on a loose rein for a few days for about 20 minutes at a time just to get her stretching out and using her muscles correctly again, then start adding in the trot.
Since I don't have any usable side saddles at the moment, she said I could use my normal saddle while I do this and that way it shouldn't cause too much problems with my hip (she also trained as a human physiotherapist!).
Hattie loved her massage and started to fall asleep at the end although she wasn't so sure about it at the beginning!!
I've been browsing side saddles for sale and the ones that always seem to catch my eye tend to be Martin & Martins or Knouds. I remember reading somewhere (can't remember where for the life of me), that sometimes saddlers from Martin & Martin used to work at Knoud which is why both brands of saddles tend to resemble each other. Knouds are rare in the UK and Martin & Martins not so common so I've never ridden in one but from what I've seen of them, they seem to tick all the boxes of what I want in a side saddle.
The billet straps on these two brands of saddles is one that Hattie needs as well as they tend to be forward placed and have off-side point straps and the seats tend to have a bit of a dip to them which suits my conformation as well.
I always admire Brita's Martin & Martin as that saddle would suit me and Hattie to a T. Even the pommel shape is one that I like too. Brita, if you ever consider selling it, please let me know! ;)
Another thing that I like about M&M's and Knouds is the spring loaded flap. I HATE overgirths as they are a pain in the butt to do up and they always rub Hattie so I have to end up putting a fleece girth cover on which is another hassle.
Does anyone have any comments on M&M's or Knouds and/or how they ride?
This is another antique photo from my collection that I scanned for your viewing pleasure. I bought it 11 years ago from the Leicester Market for £1 and is one of my favorites as you can see the saddle. I love this grey hunter and how perky he looks and the saddle looks to be a comfy close contact one, I would have loved to have ridden this horse in that saddle!