I also repaired and restrung the electric fence next door for the boarding operation. Time consuming as well as strenuous. There was a lot of damage from hurricane Irene and a subsequent nor'easter - mostly fallen trees. I had to put in a dozen new posts (time to get my phd again - (post hole digger)) as the original "builder" had screwed insulators directly into trees. The dead trees fell, and the live ones grew over the insulators. Once the wire was all strung and connected, I switched the solar panel on - both Lucky Barnett and I discovered that it doesn't take too long to charge the fence...
Between rounds of chores, Val and I had time for two bareback rides. In some ways I can't even believe that I'm this comfortable without a saddle, and doing lots of trot work no less. The bareback posting is coming along well. Most of the action is provided by Val, with me stabilizing with my core, and activating my thighs. Relaxed knees and lightly hugging lower legs. It's interesting that giving up the stirrups as a place to brace, also helps to focus on maintaining steady contact while not balancing on your hands. So far, my lack of a saddle has proven an opportunity to improve my seat rather than an inconvenience.
Last Thursday was so frigging beautiful - sunny, 75 degrees and no wind. I came home intending to ride, then decided to choose the completely stress free option. I took my lawn chair, a picnic lunch and a stack of horse magazines out to the paddock . Me and Val were just hanging out. After he finished freaking out on the zero gravity chair - "why are you riding that?!" - he set out to investigate the picnic. Apparently crinkly white plastic trash bags are no longer a threat once they contain edibles. I offered him salad, but dressing didn't suit him so he spit that out. Then he really wanted my sandwich, but it was loaded with mustard, and I was hungry. We split the oatmeal cookies. He alternated between chewing on the chair, nosing for more edibles, and "helping" me read my magazines. What fun I had with my horse that day!
Saddle shopping and ebay - a cautionary tale...
On the saddle search front - I believe I'm over my infatuation with ebay. Actually, ebay broke my heart. I spent nearly a week watching a brand new, vintage Klimke Miller 17 1/2, MW dressage saddle - (it was p-e-r-f-e-c-t, it was beautiful, it was likely to be affordable) - consulting ebay "experts" and formulating my plans.
For most of the week, the bids hovered around two hundred dollars. I figured out what I thought I was willing to pay. With just over an hour left, I took my position in front of the computer, opened two windows, and placed my first bid. For exactly fifty eight minutes, I had the top bid.
Hey, this ebay thing isn't that hard! Maybe no one knew what a great deal this saddle was! Maybe I was going to get a gorgeous saddle for four hundred dollars! The adrenalin kicked in.
So did my ocd / adhd tendencies. I couldn't handle just waiting, so I started screen shotting the various pix of the saddle, to place into my "new saddle" file. I needed to be able to brag on my awesome deal here on the blog after all...
Suddenly - while filling my file with the screen shots - with thirty seconds left - I was outbid, by ten dollars. Between my not speedy enough internet connection, my inability to do the math needed for my next bid, and total shock, I spazzed out and lost the saddle.
Holy crap - super disappointing - no excellent new saddle, and adrenalin poisoning to deal with as well. I had to go sleep it off with a pity nap. (time to call the waaaaambulance)
All the obsessing I did on ebay was actually a good thing, as it turns out. I came across another saddle option - Duett Fidelio - that after researching extensively I believe may be a great saddle to satisfy Val's shape, and my preferences as well.
The new plan is to put my saddle on the market, and depending on how that goes, keep looking for a used Fidelio to come up for auction. If my Beval does sell, I may be able to swing a new saddle, with tracings and fitting going on before rather than after the saddle purchase. Lots of lessons in this story.