So here Phoenix and I are riding around Jochen Schleese and crew and neither one of us can relax. It was a pitiful sight. We are asked to trot and remarkable, Phoenix trotted. No fuss, no bucking, no nothing. It was not a nice trot by anyone’s imagination, but it was a trot and that was good enough. We changed directions and nothing exciting happened. I was thrilled. When it came time to canter I took lots of deep breaths and told everyone I was trying to channel the spirit of PO because she is so brave and never gets scared on horse back. I asked for the canter and it was not as bad as I thought. It wasn’t exactly a canter either. Phoenix was cantering with his front legs, not so much with his hind legs. In an effort to get a good clear gait I really got after him with my leg and encouraged him with my hands to go forward. Phoenix decided to ignore me so we still had this odd kicking out/bucking/four beating thing when Jochen Schleese said he had seen enough on that side and to change directions.
I had been starting to calm down at the trot, but Phoenix’s tranter was making it very hard to stay calm. My frustration and anger level with my horse was growing yet again. Why was Phoenix not listening to me? My baby horse is normally such a good boy so it really was throwing me for a loop that he was not being himself. When I asked for the canter in the other direction and Phoenix still did not have a clear 3 beat canter I was ready to kill him. Phoenix might not be perfect, but he is a GOOD horse. He was not showing any of his positive qualities during the fitting. By the time I got off I knew I had lost some of my faith in Phoenix. As my Fat Spotted Pony and I walked over to Jochen Schleese to get his evaluation we were a mess. I was still pissed at my pony and Phoenix was still scared of everything. Considering how my night was going I got this gut feeling that my saddle was not going to be able to be fixed. When I signed up for this fitting I had put all my faith in the fact that Jochen Schleese would be able to fix my saddle. It was only as I was walking towards the table the I even considered the possibility that maybe it could not be done.
The thing is, I love my saddle. Like LOVE my saddle. It took me two years to find just the right saddle. I brouhgt over a dozen saddles home on trial with Gen and I never was able to find just the right one until this saddle. When I bought it home to try on Gen I knew I would have that saddle for a long time. When Gen hurt himself just weeks before getting it fitted by Schleese I put the saddle away for a while. When Lexi also was hurt a few weeks before a fitting I had decided that my saddle was cursed. I was so worried about getting my saddle fitted to Phoenix last January because I thought it might make him break too. Obviously my mental bad saddle fitting mojo had no impact on Phoenix so my Fat Spotted Pony got it fitted last year when he was barely broke. I had gotten it done again in November, and the woman from the local tack store told me that my saddle would need major work if I wanted to use it on Phoenix.
I heard that, but for some reason I did not want to believe that. As I walked towards Jochen Schleese I knew that if he said the same thing I would have to accept the fact that my saddle was not meant for Phoenix. I also knew that one of the reasons I bought a Schleese brand saddle was because of their ability to be adjusted. I took a deep breath and knew that I had to accept whatever I was about to be told. If Jochen Schleese said that my saddle could not be fixed I would have to accept that fact. If he was going to recommend major work I would have to accept that also. I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer to try and hold the negative thoughts about my saddle being cursed at bay as I got Jochen Schleeses decision.
To Be Continued…