Today I have good news and bad news. Not really bad news, just bad enough to screw up my routine for the next couple of days, which is frustrating since I'm on holiday!!!!! :-( But I guess that's the way it goes. So which do you want first? The bad news, you say? Well too bad for you, because I uploaded the good news photo first XP
Good news: After very nearly spending 280€ on a no brand, imported from god-knows-where but pretty and new trail saddle, I got a call this morning from my friend Virginia whose dressage teacher was selling her all-purpose, synthetic English saddle. For 30€! With stirrups and girth included! So obviously I was interested and when they got to the stable, we tried it on Starbuck-- it doesn't fit her perfectly but with some of the filling removed it'll be fine-- and checked it out and I ended up buying it! So now I have my very first saddle :D :D :D And I can still buy Christmas presents!!! Here's a photo of it, when I get around to taking photos of Starbuck with it on I'll post them too.
Bad news: First of all let me set the stage, this morning was one of those crisp, windy, sunny winter mornings that horses like so much, and the barn retirees (four 25+ year old horses who aren't ridden any longer) were grazing next to the arena. I was longeing Starbuck in hopes of riding her afterward when Ronnie, one of the oldies, suddenly decided he wanted to make friends. So he ran up with that playful trot horses do and Starbuck reciprocated, completely forgetting about me. She ran off, I forgot to let go of the longeline (when oh when will I learn that I CANNOT hold her!?) and I fell forward, bashing my left knee into the ground. It swelled up so much that I finally went to the doctor and had X-Rays taken just in case, but it's nothing but a bump. Hell of a goose egg, though:Marina says that this is a natural learning curve, that horses always go from good to bad to better to worse to not-so-bad to best and Starbuck's just in the "worse" part... I know also that the weather plays a part and that all the horses in the barn are acting up (just look at old Ronnie pretending to be a foal) but it sure is frustrating to lose her attention in that way and as a result have our training put on hold for a few days.
But in a way it's a good thing because now I know it's something I really need to work on before there's a serious wreck; and it's better for these things to happen and get fixed on the ground rather than from the saddle. And if she's in the low part of the learning curve then hopefully there's nowhere to go from here but up!