The weather took enough of a break for my side saddle enthusiasm to renew. I loaded the car, did my stretches and headed out. I think I've found a new muscle. As far as I can tell, it's called the gluteus medius. It's not used to stretching, and it's not happy. It ached and cramped all night, but is limbering up pretty well now. My abductors and adductors are a little sore, but they have nothing to complain about since they have to work at the gym almost daily and should be prepared. I also have a sore rectus femoris. In other words, the back of my right thigh burns right above my knee. I'm editing to add a bit, as the day wears on... my right seat bone made a tender mooshy spot in my fat, and my right calf is tight.
The good news is, my balance, hips, and shoulders seem to be taking care of themselves fairly naturally. Apparently, I'm not at immediate risk of falling off. The bad news is, I have no more control over my lower legs than usual, and it has been decades since I worried about equitation. I think I did much better with my right leg, but it required about 80% of my concentration.
I started out with a little walking, but that is getting boring and my horse needs some exercise. The saddle still feels like it is twisting left. I kept tightening the balance strap, and it took three tries to get it back to the hole it belongs on. I put a weight tape on Grey last week, and he is up at least 50 pounds since Christmas, but he took the balance strap with no complaints. Once I felt confident that the saddle was staying put, albeit a little wonky feeling, we moved on to the trot.
I concentrated on pulling my right ankle back and pointing my toe, and it's amazing how that secures you to the saddle. I feel pretty easy as far as balance, and began asking Grey to move out more. He was a little startled to actually feel the whip for a change.
But, as you see in the above photo where I snapped him and he scooted, my left leg doesn't stay under me well. This is NOT an issue exclusive to aside riding. I also concentrated on not sitting back on my pockets, which helps with the overall saddle fit. In fact, I've been practicing that during the day at my office. The difference in square foot coverage of a fanny when you straighten your back and tip your hips is remarkable.
Kathie, who sold me the saddle, recommended before she even shipped it that I find a corset to ride in. I've been shopping the internet for them a bit (actually kind of fun) and figured I might as well get something I might use even if it doesn't help my riding. So, since I don't have a corset to ride in yet, I dug out my old lower back support and wore that. I do think it helps.
Also, I feel more secure circling right than left. I don't know if this is my balance or my horse's. I am really looking forward to spring so I can get outside and ride in a straight line.