As the title suggests, Iím having some issues lately with remaining balanced across my saddle/keeping it balanced.
A bit of background; my mare is obese from having 2yrs off. Sheís the type to gain weight at the smell of grass, and before I bought an electric unit, Honey had a disrespect for my fencing (she grazes outdoors 24/7 in a Do-It-Yourself kind of farm). Needless to say Iíve been battling her bulge for some time but have had difficulties riding as Iím a partially damaged rider, and spent a lot of autumn/winter unable to ride. Unfortunately my horse is mutton withered also and resembles a ginger barrel right now. My saddle is unable to find a place to stay put so to speak, itís not ill fitting but thereís just no definition to her topline, (because she doesnít exactly have one at present!) that her saddle can shift slightly to one side or the other. And she is naturally girthy/cold backed some times, and so I gradually due my girth up, and do a final adjustment just before trotting commences.
Whilst all these factors contribute, I know itís my own issue that is the main problem. As above I explained Iím a partially damaged rider. A couple of years ago (the reason Honey because a pasture puffball) I fell off in a freak accident and shattered my right leg. It took forever for it to heal and recover some strength in it. Iím still quite weak through it because I have an ongoing knee issue too, but I attend a gym regularly to assist the weight loss I gained and to strengthen my leg for riding. Iím much stronger than I once was, but there are times when Iím in the saddle and I *feel* like Iím putting weight through that leg, but Iím not, or Iím not putting as much as I am in my left leg, and thus we have the equation of Honeyís current weight and lack of definition + my poor balance equalling in the saddle shifting to one side.
I want to state quickly that my mare is not sore through her back or showing any adverse pain anywhere, but she is irked as I would be too, with the shift of pressure. Weíve just started trot work after a few walking only sessions and today I just didnít even realise I was crooked in the saddle, because I felt like I had a lot of weight through my heel/leg. Needless to say I was very embarrassed to look at the photos my non horsey friend took for me. I actually took up my stirrup on my left side cos it apparently was uneven, and still that was the longer side in all the photos.
Iím left wondering what I can do to assist this issueÖ of course Iím aware that the saddle movement is due to several factors, not just my inability to realise Iím uneven. But I just wonder if anyone has had similar problems, where they felt like they were even/putting equal amount of weight through both legs, and actually werenít. Are there any exercises I could do in the saddle? Iím at a loss and rather than hurting my horse, Iíd like find a way to assist her. I am limited by what ways I can ride her (I canít do bareback and I use this specific saddle because it helps with my leg than any other has and it has the potential to fit well after she loses the weight as my saddle fitter assured), but I know the only way that weight is coming off is by ridden work and 1-2 lunging sessions a week.
Thanks in advance.