I took on a new student today, teaching lessons on her own horse. We met last week to talk about what she knew so I could get an idea on where to start, what holes she Might have in her instruction, etc. Based on our discussion, she was about a level 2 in my 4 level program. Upon graduation of level 4, I feel my students are fully prepared to responsibly take care of a horse. She took lessons for about a year and then bought a horse. She hasn't been riding much lately because of fear, she got bucked off a couple months ago.
So today, we go to tack up, and I said "let's check your saddle fit without the pad on real quick, just to make sure it fits" so I place the saddle and WOW... The saddle was way too wide and concentrated all of the pressure in two small spots on his withers. I asked them "so, did someone fit this saddle to him or is it similar to what he had before or?" They said "no, we just went to [local tack shop] and bought a saddle." So I'm helping them find a new saddle and we did the lesson bareback. The bit was hanging so low that it was hitting his teeth, so we adjusted that.
They got the horse from a local animal shelter, and he's a sweet boy that knows he can get away with stuff. I'm not mad at anyone, I'm just so, so happy they came to me. I'm so incredibly overjoyed that I have an opportunity to make this horses life better and help this girl communicate better with her horse. Ahh, sorry for my huge novel of a post, I'm just havin' a good day. :)