We are nearly through the summer months, but it feels like summer hardly started yet. Did it ever arrive? In some places it did, with a vengeance, but here in the Lot, France, I have to say the weather have been more Swedish than French. Not a bad thing, really, apart from too much rain at times. But at least we have been spared the worst of either too hot or too much rain.
My thoughts goes out to all of you who were badly affected by the heavy rain fall and flooding, and I hope you are all safe by now.
After finally get my health pass in order, I am again able to travel, and so far done 2 short trips to Switzerland, and a couple of days in Italy, training one of the 3 new trainees - Greta Gandolfi.
My other two girls, Helene Berg, Sweden, and Daniela Zimmermann, France (yes, you may know her from Switzerland), will be doing more practical training with me in the next coming months.
This is a new experience for me, and also for Lesley Taylor Brett - our fantastic Director and Founder (one of) of BALANCE. We are both getting ideas from this training for future trainings, and it is great fun.
I had planned to do a trip to Germany in a week’s time, but of course, most people are on holiday, so this trip will coincide with me driving up to Sweden early October instead. I am heading up there to do the training with Helene, so might as well make use of the trip and visit my German/Dutch and Belgian clients. A bonus is that Chris will not have to deal with cleaning out the horses shelter, and will cope with me being away for a few weeks - Endzo, Boris and Dakota will hopefully rather be out in the field, and not spending all day long in their shelter.
It happens now and again that people sell their BALANCE saddle and get a conventional saddle instead. And that is perfectly OK, because it is may mean that this person might need to find out something else - how would we learn otherwise? The door is always open, should they wish to come back. And this is exactly what happened recently. This has provided some interesting data, because I still had this horse’s wither tracing from the past. He had been in a BALANCE saddling system since young, but his owner/rider decided to explore other saddling methods around 2010-2011. The horse was professionally fitted by a quite well known saddler. As you can see, he has decreased in his wither tracings. There will be a return to BALANCE saddles again, and I am curious to see how much will come back.
Here is another example of a reversed sequence, this horse spent most of his younger life in a conventional saddle, until he was 17 years old when he moved into a BSS. Not only has he improved on a dropped and muscle wasted back, he has also become more symmetrical.
Both these horses are of similar age and body type.
Back at home, and being able to take advantage of the cooler weather and not too many flies, Dakota and I are doing a lot of stuff she needs to know as an adult horse. She has changed so much in the last 6 months, she used to have opinions on what she wanted done with her body or not, but now she is really interested in everything. It is as if she has been watching what I do with Endzo and Boris, and now want to do the same things.
I have never put a rug on her until now, but the flies was so bad when it was hot and damp, so I thought a few weeks ago, it might be an idea for her to try one of my old fly rugs. Well, she behaved as if she had been rugged up every day of her life. I expected her to be a bit wary when I put it over her back, but no problems. And actually, this is a good preparation for saddling!
Today was a big day, I put the saddle on her, after she had done a thorough investigation of it. No problems at all, although I did not cinch it up, just had it on with the pads. Fantastic to see that my jump saddle will be the right size for her, at least to start in. We have a lot of work to do now, walk in hand, then on the longe, which I prefer to do when we are not being attacked by flies, no rush, we have the time. She is only 3, and in my opinion still have to fill out a lot. She is tall, but does not look strong enough to sit on, not yet. If I can do some work with her on the ground this autumn, plus lean over her - possibly sit on her later on, then I will be very happy.