Oh and what kind of pad do you use?
I just got a treeless barefoot cheyenne and a HAF pad that was customized..got it used for only $125 =D She added a lot of other things to the pad which equalled up to $355 so I got a good deal.
What got you into wanting to do LD and CTR?
I got my pad a long while ago, so I don't know exactly what it is. It is an AP typical looking English pad, but it double thick at the top, where the saddle lays, and has pockets on the side like built in saddle bags. I also put a half pad underneath it, for extra cushioning of the loins (where my horse most commonly gets sore).
I was invited my BO to go on a little ride in Alabama called the Heart of Dixie. I'm not sure why she invited me or how that came about, but I agreed. She borrowed a horse for me: a fat little pasture puff called Baby Girl.
Completed the ride (barely) and was hooked. The rest was history...
P and Rs... I record mine at home in the middle of every workout and immediately after. It's HARD to do them by yourself. You need a stop watch the beeps after 15 seconds, because I find it hard to count pulse/respiration and count seconds at the same time. There really isn't another way to do it but the old fashion way.