Latch Weave for Her Highness
Sometimes, I just stand and stare at her. If I’m lucky, I have a camera. This was taken on Wednesday, just after I hosed Consolation down following that speedy ride. So yes, she’s wet.
I didn’t mention before that we tried some new tack on that ride. Stonewall sent up a luxurious, latch-weave wool pad for us to test ride. The pads are made by suppliers who raise their own sheep for the wool, and the latch weave results in a thick, springy product designed to absorb dynamic loads. If “road tests” go well, similar pads will appear shortly in Stonewall’s line.
Consolation and I have been having some trouble with saddle fit (you’ll recall that my saddle was custom-fit for Aaruba, not Consolation, before we knew he was in for early retirement), and Jackie with Stonewall suggested we give this a try. Obviously, padding can only help with minor issues and shouldn’t be relied upon to correct major fitting problems, but we figured this might do the trick in our case.
Consolation is a little narrower than Aaruba, so the saddle was sitting a bit low in front and interfering with her withers, particularly on downgrades. The latch weave pad is thick enough to fill that extra space.
It’s also huge! Where’d my horse go?
…but once I got the saddle on, it looked much better. The pad is still bigger than necessary, which isn’t the best for keeping the horse cool, so Stonewall will likely order the next batch of pads with smaller dimensions.
I wondered if that pad was so thick that it would be unstable, resulting in danger for the rider and more work for the horse, but that turned out not to be the case. Instead, the loft seemed just right, rebalancing the saddle a hair, and Consolation responded with a freer gait and apparent comfort.
Today, we’ll put that pad through its paces on some hills!