Rant... of the joys of others riding your horse
So... I ride pretty much 5-6 days a week, but on Saturdays I do a long trail ride, either alone or with friends, and we usually will cover about 15-20 or so miles. Now, I've owned my mare for a few years now, but my family has never shown any interested in horses, such as; my sister has rode her maybe 3 times in the about 4 years I have owned Legend. When my sister showed some interest in coming on a trail ride one day I jumped at the oppurtunity to bring her along and possibly start her down the road for loving equines. I told her she could ride my horse while I rode a friends horse. My sister told me she would feel more comfortable in my western saddle, rather than my English saddle so I put her in the western saddle on Legend. I have had this Western saddle for say... 1 year, and in that time I've owned it I can think of about one time I have rode in it. Before I bought it I made sure it fit my mare, and when my sister decided to start riding with me I had it checked once more, to see if it still fit my little girl. It did. I had my English saddle checked to fit my mare, and I have NEVER had any problems with it rubbing, or causing a sore back and etc, But I noticed that after my sister started going on these weekly rides in the Western saddle, that my horses hair on her back was starting to be rubbed off. Ill fitting saddle was my first thought, but I literally had it checked one month ago. I told my sister that the saddle was rubbing hair off my horses back, and she lost it on me. She told me Im just being selfish, and that I don't want her riding Legend, she told me Im crazy and that the horse is just fine. Now, for the bridle >
I usually ride Legend in a sidepull, as she is JUST as soft in a sidepull as in any other bit, so I see no use in riding with a bit every ride, and when I put my sister on her I made her ride in the sidepull too. As I do everyone begginer. First ride together went fine, then... One day I was tacking up, and I slipped in Legends snaffle, and my sister seen, and about went ballistic on me. She was SO pissed that I rode in a bit and I wouldnt let her. Now, I ride in a bit about 1 time to every ten times I ride with a sidepull, I like her to be responsive and soft in a bit or bitless bridle, and I don't like putting begginer riders on her in a bit, and she relies heavily upon her hands when riding. So my sister totally freaked out on me that I could ride in a bit and I wouldnt let her. I asked her why and she said "Because you do, and everyone else rides in a bit" GAH!
So now, Im about up to here with it all. I don't think Im being selfish, I honestly like it when she comes riding, and I don't mind at all when she rides Legend either, but apprently I think Im better than everyone because I wont let her ride in a bit, and that Im a crazy obsessive horse owner. NO NO NO. Maybe I am in the wrong, I don't know. But Im really tired of all of this... This is why when someone asks me to ride Legend I usually politely say no. But she's my sister... I don't know what to do. She cares about this - much about the horse, she goes only to socialize with others, and sure, whatever, that's fine I guess. And if I express any concern about Legend Im being selfish. Am I being wrong? Maybe I AM being overly protective with the horse, and it comes across as selfish, rude, and crazy.
I've come to the conclusion that Im going to have the saddle checked once more, and if the saddle still seems to be fitting, I will try out a thinner/thicker saddle pad, and Ill take my sister into TSC and let her pick out a bridle she likes, and put her in a french link snaffle if she must ride in a bit. Im not trying to stop her from riding, at all. And I think that's what she believes Im doing. I want to keep her interested in horses/riding if at all possible...
Anyway... end of super long rant, sorry.