And again I find myself castigating myself for not making better entries. Life was busy and the end of term, followed by elderly relative visits took over. On the horsey front it has been one step forward, two steps back HOWEVER I do actually feel that progress has been made.
I have found a massage therapist who is also a rider and trainer
And I have had a saddle fitter come who did a really thorough job on both boys.
Ukon was progressing, but with ants in his pants. He was happy in walk but showing attitude in trot. I wanted to eliminate pain so I had both the above out to him. The therapist (Josie) did an excellent all-over physical assessment and work out, identifying only a small amount of stiffness in the shoulders; nothing to cause tantrums. She and I talked at length and agreed that she would come and work with me and him. I like her approach, and we seemed to have a mutual respect. She was happy with my desire to continue him myself, and I was happy with the fact that IF I couldn't handle him, then she would take him to her place to resolve the issues.
Saddle fitter (Donna) came and identified that his saddle was not fitting well (although not badly enough again to justify tantrums). After much debate and trials of many, I have ordered a saddle from her. Hip Hip Hurrah! Progress.
In the meantime she has loaned me a saddle to work him in.
Which I did. Until he bucked me off again. Cue long thought session for ShropshireRosie in which I decide that whilst I WANT to resolve these problems myself, the reality is that I have a seven year old son depending on me in the house while I ride outside, and I just CAN'T get injured again. So Josie will take Ukon for the month of August and I am fully confident that when he comes back and she and I work together we will finally have a workable path.
See what I mean about one step forward, two back?
Love that big boy. The saddle fitter mentioned above also checked his saddle and told me what I think I knew anyway; his Western Saddle fits him 'okay' but it's no good for his back. Before she came I had already decided that I wanted to get an English saddle for him. I really miss the feel of the horse under me that I just don't get in the Western one.
[nb I am SURE there are Western riders who have amazing feel of their horses, and this is a comment more on what I am used to than on any kind of Western v English debate]
So I have also ordered a saddle for him. That cleans out the bank account then
Having a seven year old boy at home who is not interested in horses is not conducive to progress either. I need to get both horses trailer-loading properly and must do that in this coming week. I will then be able to a) go trail riding with Riley while son is in camp and b) take Ukon to Jose's place.
Riley can load perfectly, but he also knows that he can just stand at the door refusing to move for a long time........... Treats needed for him as threats don't work.
Ukon I hope will actually be easier to load train as he is much easier to move about on the ground than Riley.
I will let you know