I finally test rode Ana in the Laser Amulet trial saddle and I really liked it. It was comfortable and it fit her well. I felt really secure in it especially at the sitting trot plus my back didn't hurt. I think it's a keeper. I just need to negotiate a better price with the consigner, shorten the billet straps and send it off to be re-finished or re-finish it myself (most of the black color as worn off). I'm ready to put a check mark on my saddle hunt, that's for sure.
She moved pretty well in it. She spooked at a truck driving by the open side of the arena but she recovered quickly. There was a jumping lesson in progress just outside of the arena so Ana was a little distracted by that as well. When they were done they walked through the arena and untacked on the other side of the arena gate - great distractions = great training opportunities.
I want her to experience as many scenarios as possible because when we start showing we won't know what we will run into, so we are better off practicing the unexpected at home.
She's starting to flex better for me as she relaxes; it takes her a good 10 minutes before she starts to relax and 20 minutes before she's relaxed enough to do any real work, so I will need to lengthen my training sessions with her.
For the first time yesterday, we were trotting along, and she picked up the canter from the trot; I think the extra long billet straps were slapping her in the belly and that caused her to break into a canter. I brought her back to a trot but was happy to see that she could make the transition into the correct lead canter.
So we are making progress but it doesn't always go as planned; which is good because it will prepare us for the chaos of the show world.