Zaftig Zelda

Girth is too small

Like many of us, after the long winter, Zelda needs to get to work on her beach bod. She’s come out of the winter a little, well, zaftig. For those of you who have never heard this expression, zaftig is a yiddish word that describes a woman who has a full, rounded figure; pleasingly plump.

Zaftig Zelda
Zelda is pleasingly plump. Some of it is hair, but not enough of it.

To be honest, Zelda never got into fighting shape last year. I never got her really fit because I was still fixing myself. She’s had most of the winter off and, while Freedom keeps himself fit (and has an enviable metabolism), Zelda (and I) have some work to do. We’re working on our steps. Today, we logged 6,856.

Now, packing on a few pounds over the winter isn’t unusual. For Zelda, the problem is not that her summer jeans don’t zip up — it’s her saddle. Right now her custom fitted saddle looks a bit like a party hat perched on her back.

Zelda's saddle is too narrow.
Zelda’s saddle isn’t fitting the way it should. Even though it was custom fitted to her more svelte self, she’s gotten a bit too wide. See how it’s perched on her back? And it’s pommel high? It has to be pinching her! Also, she’s so round that it’s sliding off to the right.

Of course my first response when I looked at her saddle this spring was, “I’d better buy her another one.” Of couse, if you know me you wouldn’t be surprised, but you’d also know that I have way too many saddles already! And the good news is that I already own a Wintec pro jump saddle with an adjustable gullet. Right now it’s fitted with a red gullet, which is a Wide. It almost fits her, but it will fit even better with a White gullet (XL). So, crisis averted, no saddle needed (although I did do a cursary search for one).

Then we ran into another problem. I couldn’t find a girth long enough to fit her.

Girth is too small
Ever try to zip up a pair of jeans that are a size or two too small? This photo isn’t exactly fair because this was actually Curly’s girth. Zelda’s must be in my trailer, but that 50-inches wasn’t coming close to fastening!

Freedom after the winter.
This Freedom, today. He’s a little fuzzy but he manages to keep his figure trim. In fact, I have the opposite problem with him — if I’m not careful, he starts to look to thin. Oh, to have his metabolism!

How did your horse come through the winter?


4 thoughts on “Zaftig Zelda

  1. how do you keep them so fat?? i feed mine tons and he still looks like Zeldas skinny cousin!!!

    Whats in their diet??

  2. They get free choice hay. Freedom gets about 8 quarts/day of Triple Crown Senior and either soaked alfalfa timothy cubes or 3 quarts of hay stretcher. Zelda gets 4 quarts/day of TC Senior and 2 quarts of hay stretcher. In comparison, Curly gets 2 quarts/day of TC Senior. Zelda doesn’t actually get that much food given how big she is but I’ve always wanted to be able to eat like Freedom.

  3. Darn it, had I known you’d need a really long girth I’d have sent you mine. The ex husband had one that was about a mile long. It took forever to get rid of it…it went to more tack sales than I did! I think a woman with a draft cross finally bought it for not much.

    As for weight..Raven is losing it. I wish we could keep weight on him but he’s got a good metabolism and we keep him working. He’s 25 THIS MONTH and still in great shape. He gets lots of free choice hay, a double cupful of Trifecta in the morning, and I don’t feed at night so I’m not sure how much grain he gets, but it’s oats. I wish the barnlord would get a crimper for the oats, but…I don’t tell her how to run her barn.

    I do see that the pommel in a bit high on Miss Z. But the back panels look like they’re solid on her loins, so maybe all you need is to have some flocking removed from the front end. I tried to learn how to reflock saddles and let me tell you,it’s more witchcraft than science. If you find a good re flocker pay her what he or she asks, because it’s not as easy as it looks.

    Lucky for every horse in the country, I’d bought a used saddle to learn how to reflock. Oh, god did I screw it up. I gave up. It takes a lot of training and throw in some voodoo to learn to reflock correctly.

  4. My saddle fitter of 19 years finally retired. He was a magician at fitting saddles. I need to find someone else as good to help me get her saddle fitting again. I knew last fall it wasn’t fitting great and I ignored it. What you can’t really see from the photos is that the whole thing is just too perched on her back. She and I have to go out and get more fit and then re-evaluate. Tomorrow I’ll pick up a XW wintec gullet and a longer girth and see how she does. In the meantime, I’m going treeless. Tune in later tonight for my next post!

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