My Saddle Fitting Adventure – Part 1

All day on Tuesday I was looking forward to my saddle fitting. Because I have to work I was not able to get Phoenix on the trailer. The woman setting up the fitting and Phoenix’s Owner (PO) worked the timing out and they loaded Phoenix up so he was waiting for me at “The Crik” when I got out of work. The organizer of the fitting got a call early in the afternoon that Jochen Schleese and crew were running late and could we bump everyone back by an hour. When the organizer told me that I got super excited. Why? Because that left me enough time to see my Gennyral! This week sucks and I have 3 day where I am working over 14 hours so that means 3 days of no Gennyral. I was worried on the fitting day that I might not be able to see my horse all week. An hour was plenty of time to leave work and see my horse before heading off to the fitting.

And for those of you who have never had a saddle done, saddle fitters, regardless of what company you use, are not usually on time. I have had them come over an hour early on a visit and I have had them come several hours late. It is just part of the saddle fitting experience and so I was expecting is on Tuesday. What I thought was nice was the fact that they called to update us on their progress. So why are saddle fitters not on time? They block out a certain amount of time per client like any other service provider. When they run into a problem horse they need to take the time to fix the problem. You should not want a saddle fitter that rushes to meet appointments because that means they are not giving you and your horse the undivided attention it takes to fix a problem saddle. On the flip side, sometimes they have easy fixes all day and so they run early. Fitting a saddle to a horse is complicated so you all should be wary of a saddle fitter that has a fitting session down to a timed formula.

Anyway, before I even got to Gen’s barn I got another call that now they were running two hours behind. I figured I would just head over to the barn where the fitting was and just groom and play with Phoenix to kill some time once I was done with Phoenix. The woman who organized the fitting was thinking ahead and ran off to the store to get food and booze for everyone to help pass the time. PO was actually over there changing her fancy horses blankets (she moves him to an indoor in the winter before she heads to warmer weather) so it was fun to chat and munch in a nice heated tack room.

It took me a moment to fine Phoenix in his temporary stall. I was laughing, because you would think an Appy at a fancy barn with a purple camo blanket would stick out like a sore thumb! They had hidden him in the last stall in the back (they swear it was the only one open) and I was able to find him by call out his name and having him nicker back to me. I just followed the sound of his voice until I saw his nose pushing through the bars. Phoenix was having a hard time with the new environment. In fact, I will admit that my pony was being stupid. He was spooking at the sliding door to his stall! What horse is afraid of a stall door! The poor Fat Spotted Pony’s eyes were popping out of his head and he wasn’t even eating his hay. That is just not like my Phoenix at all. Phoenix will spook sometimes, but he quickly gets over it. He doesn’t stay scared ever. He also doesn’t ever have food in front of him that he is not eating!

I was worried about his not normal behavior, he was a big mush because he was so nervous. He was putting his head on my shoulder, burying his face in my arms and just being the sweetest, most affectionate pony ever. I brushed him and tried to desensitize him to the door before heading back to the warmth and comfort of the tack room. After chatting a while the ladies came up with the good idea that maybe I should walk the baby horse around the indoor to try and get him to calm down. Phoenix was not acting like himself, maybe hand walking would be just what he needed.

To Be Continued…

Part 2


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