Today I took some time to play with Grace's mane. I was actually disappointed that I didn't have more time for it. It took me close to an hour for the section that I did, but then again I've never been fast at braiding or banding. I would like to start banding Grace's long mane for shows, I like this look, but Sarah thought it looked rather "Friesian!"
We had a great lesson on Saturday, once again confirming that any issues we have are on account of me. We went to a schooling show last Saturday and I didn't have the best rides in my trail classes. I found it frustrating because trail is our favorite class. I asked Sarah to work with me on it at our lesson this week. She rode Grace for a minute and then told me to get back and and "do less!" She pointed out that Grace is really sensitive and ultra tuned in, when I tense up and do to much, Grace does to much. I practiced "doing less" after the lesson and again today, and you know what - it worked!
When I tacked up Grace for my lesson Sarah had me take off my saddle while she brought out her saddle trees from Dave Genedek. She put the #1 which is the tree I have been riding in (and the one I just ordered) on Grace and showed me how it rocked on her back. She then put on the #3 tree which is the same twist size, but has a straighter bar. It had no rock and just looked better on Grace's back. Sarah pointed out that Grace's back is straight only gets straighter when it comes up. The #1 was not allowing her to pick up her back. I took my lesson in a trail saddle that is on a #3 tree. It didn't take long to see the improvement in Grace's movement. I think there was a time that Grace did fit in a #1 but her back has changed so much just over the last 6 months. I knew something was up in the last month because I had stopped riding in one of my saddle pads, it kept slipping back every time we loped. I put it under the #3 saddle today and it didn't move one bit. Looks like I have to get a hold of Dave to make sure we get the tree right before he starts my saddle.