The title to this post is a misnomer, because no saddle actually means so. much. sweat.
Summer always has a way of robbing me of my will to actually properly tack up my horse. It’s too hot and muggy to consider anything more than the bare necessities, especially when your state is drowning in smoke. Not only that, but since both of my horses we’re a little off after their farrier appointment, I figured it was better to have a chill week anyways.
By Monday Ezhno was back to his regular self, but Raglan has spent the whole week being a delicate flower (Thoroughbreds, right?). He’s been pretending that he’s going to fall on his face every time he has to walk through the gravel and he’s said a staunch NO to lunging and small circles. On straight lines in the arena, though, he’s looked mostly fine and he felt good enough on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday that I hopped on with a bareback pad for a little bit of walk-trot work.
By Thursday he was starting to feel a little disgruntled about having to work when his feet hurt and my weekend is very busy anyways, so I’m giving him Thursday through Sunday off. No guarantees about what today will hold, he might just be on break until he gets shoes put back on in September, but his hoof situation will be better off in the long run, so it’s worth the inconvenience.
Meanwhile, the good news is that I still have my backup pony. Ezhno came out ready to rock and roll on Monday, even when I went the extra mile on the laziness scale and just rode him in his halter. By Thursday we were back to working on our trot to canter transitions and our simple lead changes while we rode with LilyO and TeeqO—he handled it well, but for me it was the ultimate equestrian Thighmaster.
By the time Friday rolled around, my thighs were D-O-N-E. I crawled my way back on Ezhno (again, halter and clip on reins only), then puttered around for a few minutes. At some point I thought it’d be cool to try this whole “tackless” business that everyone’s been raving about, so I unclipped the reins and off we went. Ezhno humored me for a few minutes, but he was clearly tired and didn’t really want to do a lot of work, so he was kind of pokey about the whole affair. We’ll have to try again when he’s got more energy, LOL.
Despite how tired I was, for some reason I decided that I wanted to do my lesson on Boston bareback, because what’s the point of riding bareback everyday of the week except one, RIGHT?
In the end we worked on solidifying my lower leg: bringing it forward, turning my toes out, and anchoring with the meat of my calf instead of clenching with my knees (which is bad bad bad, btw). Exercises included things like posting the trot, trotting over half raised cavalettis, posting the canter (TrainerM: “Now post the canter.” Me: “No. Literally no.” — and then I do it anyways because I’m a good student, sigh), and two pointing over said half raised cavalettis.
By the time it was all over, I went home, put a Europa Soaps bath bomb in the tub, and considered drowning myself in those lovely floral waters to make my thighs stop throbbing. 😆