Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things that keep you up at night

I awoke this morning thinking about straightness. Actually, after posting those photos, I was feeling rather glum. I'm a good rider. Really I am. I started taking dressage lessons this summer, first lessons in 25 years, from a woman who intimidates me just a little, and was prepared for the worst. After a few sessions, she said I had a nice light seat, sympathetic hands, and that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. We had great lessons. I enjoyed them immensely, and I got a lot out of them. I am looking forward to starting up in the fall when cooler weather hits. And yes, I am someday going to ask her to take a look at the side saddle, once our relationship has developed a bit.

I can sit straight on this side saddle. I have proof.

What the heck happened here? Could it be the squishyness of the Cashel pad exacerbating the problem? Let's hope so!

But I admit I don't sit straight. Heck, when I dragged out of bed into the passenger seat of the car to go to the local greasy spoon for breakfast this morning, the first thing I noticed was... I was sitting on my left hip!!!

My instructor found my weakness 5 minutes into our first lesson.

She grabbed my belt loop, hauled my butt 2 inches to the right to line up my seam, and told me to sit over there and if I felt crooked, I was probably straight because when I thought I was straight, I sure the heck wasn't. Grey found this all very interesting and studied with rapt attention.

Then one hot summer morning, I used a little too much Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder...

And look, even astride, I sit with my right seat bone forward and to the left. Ohhh.... I'm so screwed!!!!!!! I'm going to have to find an off side saddle.


  1. I'm no expert, but in the second sidesaddle picture (where you're not as straight lol) it looks to me like your saddle has moved left quite a bit.

    The right edge of the saddle seems to be almost over his back, as its lining up with his tail - or it could just be the camera angle? But if the saddle is moving left once you are moving it will certainly be contributing to your problem. So its not just you :)

  2. Bummer, but better to know about your particular physiology than to keep fighting it and becoming increasingly frustrated.
    Bet Leila can help you find an offside saddle, tho' it may take a while. As I recall, you've got pretty long legs.

  3. Anita, yes, the whole saddle has shifted over. But, I took a photo of the saddle from behind before and after I dismounted, and it had not moved from where I placed it when I tacked up. I did tighten the balance strap one hole while mounted, but it was already pretty snug. Grey went **Ooomph**. Any shifting or caving is happening when I'm mounted, and snapping back when I dismount.

    I don't doubt my horse tends to cave in from frustration if I'm always riding on my left seat bone. When he got a massage, that was the only place she found sensitivity.

    So, lopsided me + my compensating horse + soft squisy pad = avalanche.

    Yes, Robin, I need to post a wanted ad on Leila's site and facebook. I would need a 22.5 or 23.

    After trotting a bit (well, jogging, he's being very careful with me) my right seat bone had worked forward. So, I squared back up, swung my leg over, and I could barely reach the pommel. I had to swing back over and skooch up an inch or more.

  4. They have chiropractors for humans, you know ;-)

    A good one is worth their weight in gold, and only wants to give you as many sessions as it takes to fix you, and then get you out of there!

    Can you tell I think my chiro is da bomb?

    Haha... my word verify is ricingle... is that a riding surcingle??

  5. What Bif said. I am walking around proof that good chiropractic and massage therapy can work wonders.

  6. I'm wonky too but I know first hand that riding side saddle isn't fun when you are battling the side saddle! My Manorgrove used to position me like you as it was desperately in need of flocking AND because it was too wide. I remember Laura Dempsey saying that no matter how much flocking you put in a too wide side saddle, it will always roll to the right.

    Looking at yours though, it doesn't look too wide for him? It does look like it needs flocking at the back though. See what Lillian says. It's too bad there isn't a side saddler near you so you could get it done straight away!

  7. No, I don't *think* it's too wide. I think Grey's summer weight is perfect for it. His winter weight made it slightly too narrow and I thought I needed to have some flocking out of the front to level it, but now I can get a finger under the front panel without as much trouble.

    The saddle was freshly flocked when I got it, so it has been ridden now 8 times since the re-flocking. Any saddle I put on him will need a cantle lift. His withers are more than an inch higher than his hip. Even my regular saddles sit a touch uphill and ride better with a lift pad.