Specialized Test Ride Results: Definitely need to undo the rivet up under the saddle and lengthen the stirrups, once I got them to my height it had shortened them enough that the fenders were sitting directly on top of the stirrups themselves and it wasn't comfortable. Easily fixed, it's the first thing shown on the fitting DVD and I declined to actually set my stirrups to the correct length and discover this until I had hauled to the trail head away from available tools. That's good planning ahead, eh? Anyway I will adjust that tonight.
The trails were slippery from the last week so we didn't move out enough to work up a good sweat as far as checking the sweat marks from the saddle. It looked like there were two small dry voids just behind her wither, but again she was barely sweaty so I'm not exactly sure about that. There looked to be a bit of ruffed up hair on both sides of the back right on the points where the stirrup leathers run down, I'm wondering if I need to put a thin flat shim under there to give more cushion from the leathers pressing down on the fitting cushions..but yeah, it was fairly subtle. Basically I need to point Desire up the hill from home and say GO, that always works up a good sweat pattern ;-) So fix the stirrup issue, and I think I'll screw around here at home to work on the fit this weekend.
Comfort wise, the memory foam-esque seat was as lovely to sit in as I hoped it would be. The lower part of the fenders where it curls around your shin were predictably new-saddle stiff which put more torque on my bad ankle than I like, but the saddle does need to be broken in. The western saddle I've been using on her was the same--I borrowed it with only 4 rides on it and it started out stiff but now curls around the leg without putting a torsion on my ankle. I put the stirrups it came with on the saddle, though they are heavy and clanky they have really thick nice padding. It's so nice to have loads of D rings to attach things to again and it was awesome how perfectly the burgundy saddle seat matched my wine&blue colored tack. I scored a royal blue cantle pack from The Distance Depot to use for rides when I need to carry more water and it matches the blue saddle pad pretty darn well. I'm so gleeful about matching color tack, I could never go back to plain old leather!
It was a GORGEOUS day out on the trails, we met N and her mare and had a nice mellow ride chatting away--man, I enjoy talking horse and horse person gossip like nothing else and that is the truth! The lake was blue-green, the sky was deep blue, the sun was out--and Desire was spooky. She was pretty silly at the beginning of the ride, I think our choice to take the steep uphill trail first took a little piss and vinegar out of both mares which helped, but she still looky-looed more than usual. N and I were also both convinced that Desire seemed taller today. I know that sounds bizarre but I thought it to myself when I tied her to the trailer and when N came over to see the new saddle she said the same thing. My (totally scientifically based) theory was that her heat (OH YES, seemed like as soon as she touched noses over the fence with Blaze this week she went into winky heat) makes her pull herself up into true huffy lady form and look that much taller. Who knows. What I do know is that the annoyed little glances Desire was shooting N and I as we ooed and ahhed and poked around the new saddle on her back were HILARIOUS. She certainly wears her feelings on her face.
Miss D loaded and trailered there and back well. No more crazy crashing around since I opened the divider. Unfortunately my good friend Thrush is back in all four of her feet. All it takes is a little moisture and she gets thrush, which is unfortunate. I treated it with Hypozin this afternoon. Anyone know if there is anything to feed supplemental-wise to help prevent it, or do I just keep battling it? It gets better with treatment but doesn't totally go away if the ground stays damp.
I noticed 2 gaiter rubs and N noticed a heel bulb rub from the boots today. That's never happened before, but this is also the wettest and slickest ride I've done in them. We had to cross a number of puddles and a couple streams, so her feet and boots were wet the whole ride and clearly rubbed. Makes me nervous for any endurance rides with those weather conditions..we did 6 easy miles and got small but visible rubs, so if I were riding a 30 or 50...yeahhh. Hmm. Could be a problem. Wonder what people do in that situation, I know I'm not the first to encounter it. Are there fleece linings for these boots or what?! Lol.
I think I'll see if the husband wants to see The Grey tonight. Because Liam Neeson vs. anything works for me!