Thursday morning - one last ride + a tack review. I woke up early to get the truck and trailer mostly packed, with the intention of getting another ride in before heading home. My fellow student arrived and we proceeded to groom and tack the boys up. I decided to try out the Thinline bareback pad I found when tack shopping on Monday. Val was starting to get sore (barefoot on the hard ground) so since I wasn't planning to work him too hard it seemed like a good time to test the pad out.
The pad is very well made, with a material on the underside that is anti-microbial and grippy. The girth, a cinch type, is made of the same material, and is stretchy. My complaint with other bareback pads I have ridden in is that they slip. This one totally stayed put. It didn't even budge when I scrambled on. It fit Val's back beautifully. The top is non-slip as well, at least in combination with my full seat breaches. I felt completely secure. The best part - Val was licking, chewing and reaching for the bit - soft - from the very beginning of the ride. He was using his back and reaching under himself. My legs and seat felt like they were getting a good stretch as well. Thinline bareback pad - expensive but well worth it. I can't wait to ride in it again. I believe Val agrees - two thumbs up!
Final thoughts. Eight rides in six days... six with Val and two longing sessions. (Val gets tomorrow off!) The clinic surpassed my expectations.
Here's the goal list I made for this past week:
- A more secure seat / more confident rider.
- We've got "calm" down - now I want to focus on "forward". This will stem from the secure seat. When I ask for more energy it won't be half-hearted or timid.
- Solid transitions up and down in the walk and trot, with Val reaching, stretching and using his back.
Leg yielding and baby lateral work.
- Ideally we'll attempt some canter work as well.
- Some new photos
and possibly video