Monday, 6 February 2017

Crooked

I believe I've mentioned a time or two that my saddle needs constant adjusting because it likes to end up somewhere over Bridget's right shoulder every time it's needing a tiny adjustment in the flocking. Spoiler alert, it's hard to get balanced transitions like that.
This little saddle has served us well, but it's time to start shopping.

We had the fitter out again a couple of weekends ago and she added yet more wool to the shoulder in question, trying to balance things out. It worked temporarily, but the wheels fell off again tonight and I need to go back to some creative shimming. The key issue is that Bridget comes with two different shoulders: one side needs an XW tree, one side needs a W tree. It's just how she is. It's not going to change, its her basic construction. My 32cm Stubben is now borderline too narrow on the bigger shoulder. What ends up happening is the bigger shoulder pushes the saddle over, not in the rolling motion you'd expect, but by kicking the cantle out one direction and the pommel the opposite. To be centered, I end up sitting partly off the inside of the seat. That's not comfortable for me, either.  Here's a great article about this exact topic. It even has diagrams!

As it was explained to me, B is round, so there's not a place for this particular saddle to really "sit" on her. On round horses, if the fit is even slightly off, it's immediately noticeable. And trust me, we both notice.

Even Ginger notices. Drama of any sort is still quite interesting to her ;)

I learned tonight I am not physically capable of standing completely in my left stirrup, hanging my butt over the left side of the saddle, keeping my right shoulder back to contain Bridget's right shoulder,  AND still keeping my right leg effective in controlling the haunches for that perfect canter depart. It's ridiculously hard and confusing for all of us, and I'm waving the white flag. I'm not a trick rider.  I either still get carried over to the right and block the poor pony, or I end up winning the fight against the saddle but losing the outside shoulder.  Its stressing us both out. This saddle does not work anymore.

Even EC is saying it's time to get a different saddle for flatwork, and she's the queen of making things work.

The good news is that we tried a bunch of saddles the other weekend and did find one we liked. The bad news is it still wasn't quite perfect for me, and I'm nervous to buy one with the suggested options without actually riding in those options ahead of time. I'm fairly certain it will work, but not new, custom saddle certain. Used it will be, then if I dont love it it's not forever. Although, I guess anything beats needing to up my trick riding game just to get a balanced canter depart.
I'm shallow, because I wish I had liked one of the prettier saddles....this one is so boring!

So, if anyone knows of a new-ish County Competitor with an XW tree, 17.5 in seat, with a short, preferably forward flap, I'm in the market. It's time.

Oh, and obviously we'll be needing a new jumping saddle too...but my mind and bank account can't even handle that right now. Creative shimming may have to tide us over for our over fences rides for the time being.

9 comments:

  1. Ugh good luck. I definitely know that feeling of not being able to stay even on the horse - tho in my case it's bc *I* am the crooked one (made even worse by the leg injury lol). It's a pervasive issue tho!! Good luck with your saddle searches. I always found a TON of counties while I was shopping a couple years ago, and the list of sites and dealers I perused is posted here if you're looking for ideas: http://fraidycateventing.blogspot.com/2015/02/saddle-shopping-summary.html

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    1. Oh wow, thank you for the link! Bloggers are the best!

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  2. UGH saddle shopping is no fun, and it sounds like your current setup is just making your life difficult! I hope you find the perfect saddle very quickly, and very cheaply! For my own saddle-shimming purposes, I've been using an ECP pad with pockets for shims and it's the bees' knees. Super easy to modify as the horse changes shape!

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    1. Shims were saving us the past year! Thanks for the recommendation. Now that she's grown and the saddle is borderline narrow, the more I think about it the more I think I just need to suck it up and get a new jumping saddle too. My tack investment is going to be twice what the pony cost, at this rate ;)

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  3. Saddle shopping is the worst! Sending you all the good saddle juju

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    1. All the good juju accepted here:)

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  4. You could try St Croix Saddlery! It's my local shop and the owner is a County rep so she tends to have lots of used County's. They should be on the website and even if they don't ship to Canada I could pick it up and mail it to you since it's right near my barn :)

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    1. Again, bloggers are the best! That's so sweet of you! Id have to send you things you cant get there, in return. Poutine? Maple syrup? Lol I'm off to click around their site :)

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    2. Ooooo, Maple Syrup sounds amazing!!!!

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