On A Hot Morning
I rode fairly early today, once again, before the real heat of the day.
I had no plan of riding for long, and I didn't. My main goal was to give the Boys some exercise rather then intense training and to see how the new saddle feels.
Ansur has changed the design of the basic Classic. There is more padding in the seat and underneath and it has a new pommel that looks like a conventional cut back saddle.
I must say, it is quite attractive and comfy. The extra seat padding is a decided bonus.
It is, however, hard to tell exactly how much different the saddle is from the more original model at this point because the new leather is not yet broken in. So far, the saddle is comfortable, well balanced and has a more "saddle" feel between me and the horse. My old Classic, well broken in is more flexible and gives me a close feel for the horse's back.
I am pretty confident that once the leather of the new saddle breaks in, it will be similar.
I also think the billets are a little shorter than in the original model. This is fine as the slightly shorter length is much better.
As for the Boys--both of them seemed to think the new saddle was A-OK. Tucker was a very cooperative fellow even though I didn't have my spurs on. His canter was a little lazy, but we did a lot of lateral work at the trot and he was very responsive. His shoulder-in is good, the leg yields are fine, and the half-pass is coming a little at a time. He is just a bit confused about the half-pass. I start it out of a shoulder-in, and he's not quite sure I really mean it when I ask. On the whole, though, he is really trying and once the concept sets in, he will be great at it.
Toby was a lazy fellow without the spurs. He does know how to take advantage and gets himself in a "de-energized" trot that probably looks fine, but really lacks impulsion. When I push him on without spurs, he goes and then, if I don't keep at him, just kind of lolls back to the lazy trot. His canter tends to be big and rolling no matter what, so once we transitioned up, he was definitely doing some more work. The nice thing was that on both reins, even without being much on the bit, he did two nice clean flying changes. I always appreciate that as a reliable, clean change is a big asset.
I am going to dinner with friends this evening. I am looking forward to it.