Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I did something crazy

Yes, I know once again I have been has had a way of taking over. After my horse tried to gain herself a full vacation by severing a vein....we are back at it and cutting the lighter work period short. Luckily she was only out for 2 days with this...and you best believe I am ready to put her new hocks to use and make sure she doesnt get the zoom zooms all over again.

(beware some graphic photos below)

Yes like Tillie severing a vein after getting loose...
Soooooo much blood
Literally started to panic at this point
To make up for it, I decided to once and for all end my saddle fitting woes (hopefully for the foreseeable future!) know since we clearly need to do more galloping.

I got us a dressage saddle not too long ago...and decided to leave our jump saddle alone since it was working for us with the help of a thinline pad + shims. It has been working well for us... that is until recently.
This saddle has been there with Tillie and I since the first year I got her.
and all the ups and down its been hard to let it go

The fit for Tillie wasnt poor, but not optimum either. The bigger issue with fit has fallen on me and the fact it puts me in a chair seat like something horrible and my bottom hits the back of the saddle over fences.

You can kind of see the chair seat happening here

I was willing to make do for my own liking as long as it worked for Tillie...but lately she made it clear when saddling up she is not happy with it. After having 2 fitters take a look, one non-biased to Stubben another a Stubben was obvious we both needed to move on especially with our goals for next year.

Which should hopefully not include ANY MORE sedation

So long story long, I bit the bullet and placed the order for one of these:

Stubben Zaria Optimum
If you all remember, I blogged about one when I rode in my trainers, Dom Schramm. It was odd at first and I wasnt quite sold. I think the fact it felt so different was part of it. But when the fitter came back earlier this week and had me try a slew of them...I was hooked and I knew I had to have it.

Tillie the first day back after her injury...laughing at my anxiety
So we are a 29cm tree now, 18" seat (who would have thought!?) and regular flap with a soft seat. I didnt do any fancing color or stitching for fear of how it would wear and literally the image above is the color I got with it being the ebony brown with the ligther medium brown duo tone.

Tillie says, I so spoiled!!
The 18" seat shocked the heck out of me, but when trying a smaller seat it just want enough room...especially considering when  your out XC and you get yourself into a hairy situation. The Biomax was something I thought for sure I would want, but after trying it...didnt love it enough to warrant the extra cost. I just never felt like I got the close contact feel I did without it. It also tended to hit my bottom right in a spot I could feel the crease of it ending every tine my bottom touched the saddle.

All done fitting!
I also sprung for the crazy looking girth too, (their Equisoft Girth) but what the hell right?! Whats another few hundred dollars?

Stubben Equi-soft Girth
I will tell you I was a non believer in this girth...paying almost $400 seemed insane to me. I did not receive it for free nor am I being compensated in anyway for saying this but holy cow what a difference it made.

I was always of the belief the girth was meant for XC or galloping when the horse was exerted and working...that it would expand with the horse's breathing helping with regulating its heart rate and comfort when breathing became labored.

Stubben's description of the Girth is as follows:

"The Equi-Soft girth, when properly adjusted, effectively deals with the constriction by giving in all directions and markedly reducing the tension.  This frees the underlying musculature, allows better circulation, and decreases the restriction of motion of the gut.  As respiration is enhanced and the horse experiences less discomfort, pulse rate has been shown to be reduced during exercise.  Since the muscles are less restricted, lateral flexibility is enhanced as well as the horse’s ability to employ the external obliques, serratus and other abdominal muscles necessary to support the topline.  This is manifested in greater extension of the foreleg and more active employment of the hind quarters."

It was INSTANTANEOUS when using this girth + the saddle that I felt the difference. This girth plus the saddle were used on the first go round and the final...both times I had a horse that was through, relaxed and on the aids and her striding was open without being tense. This is just flatting her.

I have been told its like this with some horses while others there is no difference at all. If you are ever at all curious, know your horse has been properly fitted, ulcers checked and soundess but still doesnt seem to be quite fluid....this may be something to try.

Tillie REALLY liked it

So once I wrote out my deposit, I promptly cried a little realizing this cost me more than my first car, but find it really hard to regret at all considering how marvelous Tillie felt and also, the kicker, I felt too! I was in a much better position yet solid and not moving anywhere. It was slightly odd at first with the monoflap because the reduced bulk almost tricked my mind into thinking less support. 

But when we tried a few jumps and Tillie got some sass and excitment, I did NOT move nor did the saddle. Not to say I wont have any falls off this saddle...and just for good measure, I found an AWESOME deal on a Hit Air vets for less than half retail value and just received that today too!

I have been putting off getting one...but I have been told by many people that Training level and above you want to start thinking about it. So when I saw this being listed, I couldnt resist. 

So now that I am officially least Tillie and myself will have the best comfort and safety there is to offer. Heres to hoping if we dress for will follow. You know the whole, "Build it and they will come" mentalitly. 


  1. Lots of great purchases! The new saddle sounds awesome :) I am very curious to try out that girth on Henry at some point (when I am less broke). Glad Tillie's injury didn't sideline her for too long :)