I rode Dancer for the first time yesterday! She was a real trouper! Didn't have a bit of trouble carrying my fat butt - although admittedly the ride was only about 10 minutes long and at a very slow walk. I was seriously impressed. (So was the trainer who was evaluating her for me!)
Problem was, I couldn't use my new saddle. Oh, it fits Dancer just fine - it's a treeless saddle. It even fits my fat backside (I'm 5'2" and 260). But - my girth was way too big. It would have been fine if I had a regular western saddle, but this one is an endurance saddle - I got it because I thought it would be better to get a very lightweight saddle, since I'm heavy enough as it is.
I bought the saddle on Ebay (I know, I know - don't go there). It's an infamous Hilason. I was pretty impressed that it was better made than I thought it would be. Unfortunately, they sent the wrong size...I thought. I was going to send it back, but daughter really liked it, and even though the seat is a bit big for her, she wanted to keep it. Besides, the other daughter needs a large seated saddle, too. So, I bought a second saddle, same model - supposedly a larger seat size - but it was the same size as the first one. They called it a 19" - to me, it's 17" on a good day. Okay, I popped the saddle on a sturdy stand and plopped my backside in it. Okay - even with the smaller seat it felt just fine - guess I lost more inches than I thought when I lost the weight.
Now here's the part that makes me sick - we took Dancer and Nutmeg - the daughter's rescued mare, to the trainer's yesterday. Nutmeg will be staying for at least 60 days, but Dancer was there for an evaluation to see if she would need any serious training before I started riding her. I had to use the trainer's favorite saddle because we couldn't cinch my down tight enough. The trainer's saddle is a 16" Abetta western saddle. AND IT FIT DANCER PERFECTLY!!!! To make things even worse, that 16" seat was only a bit snug. If Abetta made an 18" saddle, I could have gotten one of those.
Guess you could say I'm suffering from buyer's remorse right now. However, as soon as I can lose a little more weight, I'll probably be paying Abetta's web site a visit...
Oh!!!! Just to brag on Dancer - the trainer said she was very well trained - a bit rusty - but remembering very quickly. She still needs work on her topline - we only separated her from Rain that same day. But her weight is fine. Even with all of the excitement of being in a new place and a bunch of hubbub and horses calling out to each other, Dancer was as calm and cool as a cucumber (though she did call out a couple of times herself!)
I saw this pic my daughter took, and I sure feel sorry for poor Dancer!
Me on Dancer 03-19-11c.jpg