Saddle Catch-up

Snow? check. Mud? check. Complete and utter lack of motivation? check.


I have been awful at riding, really awful. As soon as my bones get cold outside, I want to curl up and hide away from the weather. Changes in the ways of working, using a mixture of both online teaching, face to face teaching, setting up pre-recorded lessons, marking students work, giving feedback, nudging those students who haven't sent a submission in, trying to mark photos of students work that have been sent in, which very often are 20% work and 80% background including dining room table ornaments, wildly coloured bedspreads and the occasional family pet often leave me with a headache. So my poor wonderful horse has taken a bit of a backseat. That being said, she is warm, she is fed, I see her twice a day, I ride (but certainly not as much as I would like to) and she is healthy.


We did an online dressage competition last month, I was having an awful day, I cocked my test up, Bodie spooked, I swore, I gave her a dig and she started cantering, I didn't go to the right letter when I was changing the rein and worst of all, I lost 2 marks for not wearing gloves, which were in my bloody pocket during the test! We landed 11th, which I suppose isn't that bad considering how aggy I was that day. Anyway, there were a couple others at their yard tending to their horses and said 'she looks great' and Jess commented about how Bodie was making a much better outline. I hadn't really noticed, I actually thought she had lost condition as we were in the depths of winter, lack of riding etc.


Sophie Sperling came the next day to do a saddle check on Bodie, I had put aside a decent wodge of cash just in-case there was a need to do some rearranging. I felt awful as I haven't put as much into her over the last few weeks. Sophie came to measure up, she checked how reactive she was and was really pleased that there was only a tiny spot that she reacted to (more of a niggle than a reaction). This was reassuring as the last time Bodie was like a hot potato to touch.


Next was the measuring, how amazing, she has actually grown topline! What an age to start growing topline, she explained how due to the saddle she could not only use her body correctly, but it also gave her the freedom to grow. As for the saddle, we actually needed shimmies taken out! I am so pleased, Sophie came to watch us in the school. I told her I was a bit worried about her tail swishing, she explained that it was probably because the saddle was getting a touch tight again and so was a sign to look out for. Sophie asked me to do some transitions, and the tail swishing stopped after Bodie realised that the saddle had been adjusted.


How exciting! Sophie spent the time to explain the changes that she had made to the saddle, the changes Bodie had made and also the reasons behind it. It's nice to have someone who just wants the best for your horse, no gimmicks, no sales pitch. Having had a previous saddle fitter where she was getting thinner and thinner and thinner. I really feel the results speak for themselves, we are in the depths of winter, I only had Sophie out 4 months ago and look at the progress we have made. Quite incredible really for a 30 year old mare. I can not recommend Sophie Sperling enough.