Do you remember me mentioning that Paint Girl and I were thinking of buying an English saddle? We got one from a friend of hers on trial, but never got around to trying it! We finally got around to it last week.
Goodness, what a trip! As in "trippy!" I haven't ridden English since I took hunter/jumper lessons nearly 14 years ago. Hard to believe I was jumping 2 1/2 feet jumps back then (I also can't believe I never fell off as I could barely post in the saddle this time!) I was grinning so big, trying to get the hang of short stirrups and a more forward momentum.
Do my leathers look sized right?
Look how tiny I look on My Boy! My legs barely reach the bottom of his belly! I was so excited to use my black velvet helmet cover. I've had it all those years from when I took hunt seat lessons, but never used it. It just slips right over that ghastly "bowling ball" helmet I wear. It really completed the look. Seeing someone riding hunt seat without a helmet just doesn't look natural to me!
My Boy worked fine in the saddle, no apparent discomfort or weirdness. I had a hard time getting him to trot out though, he much prefers the pace of a western pleasure horse jog.
Since I tend to lean forward while riding, I think riding hunt seat suits me just fine! Paint Girl said my horse looked quite handsome English, almost better than western. Personally, riding hunt seat seemed like a lot more work. Those legs really got a workout. I remember those lessons I took so long ago....the trainer made me post without stirrups- now that was torture!
Cowgirl boots in the irons
I think Paint Girl and I will eventually invest in an English saddle, although to get the proper fit on her narrow Arabian and my apple-bellied Appy, we probably won't be able to share one. I think it's a great way to practice some different skills for both me and my horse!
You can read about Paint Girl's account of riding in the English saddle here.