Hey folks, I know its been a looong while.
I haven't had the chance to do much with Siaga, haven't even had the chance to visit him much, but last Friday I went with my best friend Jacy to Triple S to visit Siaga, check on him (BO said he wasn't lame but that he had somehow got a cut on his front leg, though it's barely more than a mild scrape) and to take Jacy on a Birthday Trip.
Since it had been such a long time since Jacy and I went riding together, she and I borrowed Reggie and Joe (I spared her the experience of Bouncy Reggie, and she spared me the experience of Slow Old Joe) and went trail riding. What an experience!
Neither of us had been on the trails before, and there are so many wonderful places for training Siaga to Endurance. There's a creek to be crossed and many hills that are both shallow and steep. Anyway, even though the BO gave us a map of the trails, neither of us were able to make sense of it and ended up quite lost, and, once, in a large, empty field that could have been a pasture but the fences were broken down in several places. We startled a few deer there, too.
The horses didn't want to get on the trails most of the time, so Jacy and I were constantly trading places. If Reggie wouldn't go on this trail, then Joe would go first and Reggie would have no problem following Joe, and vice-versa.
Anyway, I loved the hills. Going down was okay, Reggie took it slow and never slipped even once, just went one step at a time, while I leaned back and sat parallel to the trees' vertical growth, and leaned forward going up. ... Going up. Oh boy! I thought Reggie was bouncy just trotting and cantering... Uh-uh. He bounded up those hills, and because I was unable to stop him or slow him down, just sat deep, gave him his head, and held on to the saddle horn and his mane. It was over quick, even though it was a big hill, and even though the whole time I was squeaking (yes, squeaking) "Oh Sweet Jesus!" it was a lot of fun, though I felt bad for Reggie because he was panting quite a bit, but he was alright.
BO made me use my own saddle on Reggie. It's not a practice I like the thought of, because you never really know how well a saddle is going to fit a horse and I didn't want him to be uncomfortable, but with a larger girth, it turns out my pretty saddle fits Reggie better than Siaga! That was the first ride of any real length in my saddle, and it took good care of me. My butt was sore afterwords, and while I'm pretty sure my butt-bones were bruised, the insides of my knees and thighs weren't harmed, save for one dime-sized bruise on the left thigh. I think my saddle is a 15in from pommel to cantle- I think I could use a 16in one, and maybe one with a higher front on the seat. I told Jonathon that if I do start endurance riding, I'm going to buy an endurance saddle, they look so comfortable! (Not to mention the amount of d-rings and tie-straps on those things! Mine has none, so I have to make special saddle bags that have a double strap, one to go over the back jockey and one to go over the seat of the saddle, which I would sit on to prevent movement. It would then be tied down to the flank cinch or maybe the flank billets.
Anyways, it went great. Even though we got lost, Reggie and Joe took us straight back to the barn. Smart horses. :)