June 05, 2014
Trot Reaction and Girth Malfunctions
The other day I was riding Dani in the arena and working on the trot. She very on her forehand so tosses her head up and lurches forward for the trot transition. I’m still getting used to her big trot and have the goal to get more comfortable and hopefully get her more comfortable in the process. When I asked to trot she reached her neck around to the right side towards the girth. Was I applying more pressure from my right let? It’s very possible that leg is the stronger of the two.
I tried to correct that at the next ask but had the same reaction from her. I dismounted and checked on the saddle and girth. Was her shoulder hitting the off billet? My western saddle has a short off billet on the right side, typical for western saddles but for some reason that side of the girth lacks a keeper; therefore the billet sticks out. The billet or latigo keeper is on the other side of the girth where I tie my latigo so I have no need of it and I can't exactly switch the girth around the way the buckles are. It totally doesn't make sense to me. The versions I see online of the same girth actually have the keeper on the correct area of the girth now. Perhaps I got a dud? Really?
I altered the girth with a fabric strap and Velcro, we'll see how that works out. I did try out my dressage saddle though the next day to see if was a tack issue. Dani still reached around but then started trotting off. I'm so not used to trotting in the dressage saddle anymore so I flopped around more than usual. Not fun. I have to work on this. Time off from riding hasn't been good for my fear issues either but I'll work on it. I have to make sure that there isn't a tack issue though that is causing her pain. I also have to make sure that I'm not causing her to react by inadvertently applying pressure incorrectly and unevenly.
I haven't had the chance to ride again so will hopefully be able to tack up and see how the girth works out with this new alteration. I have a feeling that perhaps her skin was pinched and when I squeezed for the trot it hurt or something like that. I haven't had issues with this tack yet but I've been wanting a keeper for the off billet forever and there was not need to buy a new girth.