Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The indoor arena was getting worked yesterday when I had time to ride, so outdoors it was. The only problem is that the arena was super deep and muddy, so I wasn't exactly sure how much we could accomplish.

Fortunately, the outside track of the arena seemed more or less ok, so off we went. Izzy was great. We could only do tiny little baby leg yields because there wasn't space to get off the rail, but she did a nice shoulder-in left and shoulder-fore right. I reminded myself (constantly) to sit up and keep a steady contact, and our transitions were actually pretty good. Funny how consistent contact makes things steadier all around, isn't it?

We're still having some right lead issues in the departure, but I think it's more my issue now. Izzy doesn't hesitate to take it, but she doesn't just give it to me. I have to stay in balance and ask correctly. No leaning forward. No awkward seat motions. No throwing away the reins.

All in all, it's good for me to have these problems because it makes me actually ride correctly. I tried to focus on keeping Izzy forward and ahead of my leg, and magically, everything else seemed to fall into place.

Now I'm am halfpad shopping... are all thinline half pads (with quilt/fleece) shimable? Anyone know?


  1. I had a lot of luck with the Mattes halfpad that accepts shims:

    They make a fluffier (and more expensive) version of this, but Kiki didn't need any extra bulk under the saddle. She was so asymmetrical that we had nearly all the shims on her right shoulder.

    Good luck!

  2. No advice on half pads. Never used one.

    Good work wiht Izzy and the forward concept. It does make everything so much easier! Cheers for you both on that!

  3. I don't think all half pads are shimmable, they have to have the special pockets for them. I've also had really good luck with SaddleRight pads if that is something you want to consider. They're awesome.

  4. I hear you about steady contact. That is something I've been working on for the past month. I had to start reminding myself to be consistent in our dressage rides.

    I have a Fleeceworks half pad. It is not shimable, but if that isn't a requirement for you I'd definitely recommend it! Fleeceworks might just make ones that do take shims too?

  5. I know what you mean about everything else falling into place once they're in front of your leg. It amazes me how much difference there is when they are going forward well.

  6. When you find a shimable halfpad other than Mattes let me know about it because I am on the hunt for the same thing. Preferably one that is NOT 200-300 dollars!
    So am offering my tip here I hope you don't mind but I have had a mind/body block when it came to getting the correct lead for so long and my trainer taught me something that helped us get pasted it. Now it sounds strange to do at first because it is not like you can do this in a dressage test BUT after doing it this way for a couple weeks we all the sudden GOT IT! Now Steady is consistently picking up the correct lead almost all the time and after a year this is BIG for us. It sounds strange but is simple. First post on the wrong diagonal, turn your head to the outside so much so that you are looking at her butt/tail then sit, don't throw the reins away and ask. HTH.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...