Rodeo is over

If the saddle doesn’t fit…

It just simply doesn’t fit, and fiddling with pads and girths is not going to help.  I had a great saddle, short backed enough for this mare, bit too narrow perhaps, and with a very tiny seat for me.  .

Valiosa made it clear that this was NOT a long-term saddle for her.  She’d have something to say about it at the start of every lunge session.

Enough with the rodeo already

It moved in the cantle area, and, being a sensitive tulip, that was not for her.  She’d settle in and work well on the lunge, but some girthiness signs in the barn made it clear it was time to buy something else, soon.

Valiosa lunging April

(But hey, look how cute and filled out she is already.  Mrs. Plump.)

Not complaining too much about that – it was never a perfect saddle for me either.  The knee all the way up on top of the knee roll is a sort of dead give away of that on Cooper below!  It just felt a bit cramped.

Appaloosa eye

I have both the horses in a Lemke saddle now and so far so good.  It’s very comfortable, although the flaps feel long for me.  No pictures at all of any “new saddle riding” and it will be a long time until I get any, but I definitely recommend the Lemke saddles, especially if you like a deep seat.

And, most of The Rodeo is over with on the lunge line.  Also, yesterday was her first canter under saddle with just me.  Great little mare!  Went awesome, thanks to being in the fenced in arena at Loomis Basin, courtesy of Nancy’s trailer again!

On another note, see that bay colt grazing in the background below?  He’ll be bigger than Cooper soon…

Come back on Monday for a little update about him!  I’ve had some readers asking about the colts so it’s time to let them have their own post!

Colt in background

22 thoughts on “Rodeo is over

    1. Oh they are supercute! Very well bred by Donnerweiss and Ragtime, although hard to see as they are only 2-year olds 🙂
      I feel bad as I don’t have a new picture of little Maverick, but there will be a new one of Middleton in Monday’s post at least 🙂

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    1. Thank you! She’s definitely coming along, growing up in her body a bit. And yes, very attentive 😉 Some would call it overly sensitive, but she IS still so young.


    1. The tulips… Green crisp stems, tend to wilt in any type of heat. I bet she’ll fulfill those qualities this summer too…
      Sometimes I wish I would have taken to riding mules. They seem so much hardier.


  1. She’s filling out so beautifully! We have a horse in the barn that we call “the first delicate tulip of spring.” Sounds like they’re quite similar 🙂


  2. I want to see pictures of you in the the Lemke saddle soon! So happy you found one and that you like it. Finn continues to do beautifully in his. I have to take new pictures of him. He is changing every day 🙂


    1. I’d love to see Finn! Wondering if you saw any direct physical changes along his topline and/or shoulder/wither area after switching saddle for a couple of months?
      I’m especially after knowing whether that little “pocket”, right below the wither next to the shoulder, might fill in 🙂

      Well, I’ll do my best with getting some shots riding in the Lemke. Probably not going to happen right now, as I ride alone.

      Guaranteed before the end of June though, when school is out and I’ll drag my little photographer son out 🙂


      1. Yes, his back has changed, although whether that is the result of the saddle or just me riding him more and more correctly, it’s hard to say. Some of both, I believe! Of course, if the horse is comfortable in the saddle (and if I am comfortable, too), it is so much easier to ride it correctly. An uncomfortable horse or rider is inevitably going to brace, which leads to hollow back, etc., etc. You will see changes in the top line with the saddle. Amazingly, the Lemke seems to adapt reasonably well to small changes without needing constant reflocking. I use a sheepskin half pad (Sheryl Lemke recommends sheepskin) and I think that helps.

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        1. That’s encouraging!
          Since Valiosa is so young, she doesn’t have any conformational problems due to poor saddle fit. She does, of course, come with a very undeveloped body, and I’m keeping a close eye on her entire back. Would absolutely HATE to see the wrong stuff developing, and knowing I’ve caused it.
          Easy to loose track.
          I bet Finn is loving being able to use himself well. Love to hear you haven’t seen the need to do multiple reflockings yet.
          Worth mentioning is that my Lemke is used, not new. Absolutely no budget for a new one.
          So, while it’s broken in, I do not know if it has been reflocked, which is especially important that first year. I’m planning on having a pro fitter out by end of August for that.

          And of course, hoping to get encouraging feedback about the fit then too.
          So happy to hear you think I’ll see some changes along the topline – waiting for a solid rack of muscles there 🙂


          1. Be sure you get Sheryl Lemke and not someone else! I can only say that Sheryl is a stickler for getting it right and drilled into me that only she should ever touch her saddles. Not to say there may not be other good fitters out there, but I can say there are a lot of inept ones. Sheryl is excellent – worth the extra travel cost, she really is. Just get it done right and then you won’t have to do it again. You will not regret it. No doubt the flocking will need a bit of tweaking, but hopefully not a total reflock (depends on the age and condition of the saddle). Still, getting it used saved you a lot of money – well done! So glad you and Valiosa are finding it comfortable.

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  3. Yay for more comfortable saddle for all involved!! I don’t know how you rode with your knees on the knee roll. That sounds so uncomfortable! At least she tells you when she doesn’t like a saddle! That’s a good quality for people like you who actually listen to the horse.


    1. Next up, introducing a few little rides bareback, just for a change. Best to do this in the extreme heat, when everyone is lethargic and will absolutely NOT take off like a bat or buck like there’s no tomorrow… I still haven’t done it, even though I backed her in, what, January?… Less of a dynamite stick now, so perhaps our time has come 🙂


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