06.09.07: Finding the Valley Again

Yesterday started out ok. We got Roscoe marked up, and he seems to be well muscled and mostly balanced. He doesn't seem to use his back as much as possible, but knowing that Ralph rides him in a really big western saddle it’s no surprise that collection is unfamiliar to him.

The day started earlier than usual with 80 saddles perched on the logs in the savvy park. They were all sitting facing the same direction on each log as close together as possible to fit them all in. Our job was to go from saddle to saddle and attempt to find our balance point.

Forty-five minutes later after bouncing through all 80 saddles we headed into the Coverall to talk with Tina about how it felt and how many saddles was it actually possible to find your balance point in a comfortable manner. The number was really low, which shouldn't be much of a surprise.

The next thing to come out was cutting edge. We were the first people to ever receive the information. Linda made adjustments to her shimming plans to be more detailed and specific for different kinds of horses. You could tell the information was really new because Tina was having a bit of trouble going through it quickly.

We hurried out into the savvy park to do some work on the seat builders and with the large balls. I ended up in the group working on the balls first, and we used them to sit on and then concentrate on drawing our sternum back to stretch our back, and then pushing forward and opening up our rib cage and shoulders.

The exercise on the seat builder was to work on being fluid. We had to lift our toes when the front of the seat builder came up. It was interesting to feel the tension in the body; I apparently hide it pretty good. As soon as the person released the tension, the seat builder became easier to move for the people doing the rocking.

We hustled into the lodge again for Jesse to go over the different parts of fluidity and how to handle it when the horse is in each category (and the human). That went faster than it should have and we all packed up quickly to head outside where Linda was going to do a demo with Allure.

The demo was incredible. Linda worked with Allure for close to 45 minutes before he was ride-able for her. I got some really cool photographs of him in motion. Hopefully I can get those loaded some time. It just takes a while.


We were 45 minutes late to lunch, but since its pretty much all of us it doesn't matter one way or the other. We finished up with lunch and hurried to feed and spend a few minutes before having a late afternoon Remuda.

I met with John up by my tack room and we talked about the day so far and the various demos and lectures. He asked for two volunteers to do another saddle fitting demo, and I quickly volunteered Roscoe since I am not familiar with the saddle and it’s borrowed to boot.

I went and fetched him and brought him down and got out the saddle. I was really upset when he was acting really crabby to John about having the saddle put on and worked with. Apparently my ride was not so balanced on Sunday since John discerned that the saddle fit, with the exception that it needs a shim under the shoulder because it’s a little bit too tight.

We broke from there and I was feeling a bit low since I believe that the source of Roscoe's crabbiness was my unbalanced ride. I hung out with him in the afternoon and then it got really windy and cold so I headed down to get into a nice hot shower. It didn't rain yet again despite threatening to do so for a long time. There were a few spatters but that was the extent of it. My shower was nice and warm. I looked through my class CD after dinner, and then it was time for RFD TV followed by the campfire. The campfire as usual was wonderful. It was quite chilly but Jesse kept the fire stoked very well.
It was too late when we finally got into bed, and quite cold.

Next Page: Saturday, September 9, 2006: Double Whammy
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