Tuesday, 13 June 2017

We Live To Jump Another Day

I know I said I was joking that if this last saddle didn't fit I was going to give up and do dressage. But, I kind of wasn't joking. After nearly a year of searching and trying everything, I'm feeling pretty over the whole used saddle shopping thing. I'm not inclined to shell out for new and custom, because obviously there is no saddle in existence or that can be created that will ever fit the both of us I'm too cheap and I could buy a nice prospect pony for the same price. Or 3 corgis. A thousand more $5 cats. Whichever.

Next time we'll double the budget and give the kids $10 to see if that buys us a friendly one ;).

 I've also read too many CoTH forums custom saddle fitting and ordering nightmare threads. If there's a saddle shopping anxiety disorder I think I now have it...even the thought of getting the fitter out makes me worried.

Luckily, we can now save the dramatics and frustration for another worthwhile cause, because (I can't even believe I'm typing this) - THE SADDLE WE TRIED TONIGHT FITS! It fits both of us! We had a jump lesson! Using our own saddle! There was no saddle slipping, there was no pony bucking. I rode in my usual less than stellar manner, but still felt safe and secure (side note - I think I might need to start my own CoTH inspired "Missed It Mondays" for my Monday night jump lessons, then I will be failing for a cause.
This, then circle and do the same jumps in backwards order to make a 12 jump 'proper' course. Midge said the leg yielding was the hardest, particularly to the left away from the gate. Dressage isn't supposed to happen in jump lessons, she says. The 2 stride bendy line actually rode fine.

The saddle in question is a 20 year old County Pro Fit. I'm told it was intended as a hunter saddle and built on a Stabilizer tree. I had my fingers crossed because I know a wide tree stablizer of the same vintage nearly fits. After a year of searching for a used XW stablizer without success, this will do! This saddle is obviously not perfect, and comes with a few pros and cons:

Same pic as yesterday...I failed at getting a pic of B wearing it, all part of my Missed It Mondays ;)

Con: It's 20 years old! I'm definitely not going to be trendy or cool.
Pro: It appears to have been sitting for at least the last 15. It actually looks in nearly new condition now that it's been cleaned up.

Con: it will need some adjusting for a perfect fit for Bridget, possibly adding a bit of gusseting.
Pro: The tree shape is perfect for her, and we have an excellent master saddler available to work on it. It fits well enough to use as is for the summer. Also, it cost only half of my desired budget so I don't mind spending a bit on it.

Con: It's a hunter saddle.
Pro: It's the right shape for me. And master saddler can add the blocks I've become accustomed to from our xc saddles. Also, who am I kidding...we don't need a xc saddle to go Starter.

Con: Seats were hard back then!
Pro: It fits right...and my last jump saddle was a Stubben. Also, I have plenty of my own padding ;) I can cope with a hard seat.

Con: the two tone color. Icky,  my least favorite.
Pro: It fits. Also, I have a matching lovely quality, but icky colored bridle I may need to embrace, thereby possibly portraying confidence in the awesomeness of orange tack :)

Con: It's a true XW jump saddle with short rider dimensions. I expect resale would not be easy.
Pro: it's a unicorn saddle and I plan to use it until it dies.




28 comments:

  1. 1,000 $5 cats... That's another blog.

    My saddle is almost 20 years old too. Fits many horses and I've never had a problem. Old Pessoa ao. Then I went out and bought and older Hermes Steinkraus that is older than I am. So. No worries. Retro is fine.

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    1. An excellent idea for a blog! And yet, I find myself overwhelmed some days with just the one $5 cat :)

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  2. Ditto NHW, I'm legit all aboard the bus for a 1,000 $5 cats. All. Aboard. You can start with mine haha, the little hellions ;)

    Seriously tho - this is so exciting! Also the saddle looks shocking similar (appearance wise) to my bates caprilli. Down to the two toned leather and everything. And that saddle is basically my soul mate. Wishing you a similarly happy union with this one!

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    1. One of my barnmates has that saddle, and yes, I can confirm they are very similar in both looks and finish!

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  3. Woohoo! Saddle shopping sucks, finding a unicorn saddle at the end of saddle shopping is amazing.

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    1. Honestly, at the start I would have been like, "Oh I'll pass because it's the wrong color and I wanted newer and...." Now I'm like HELLO unicorn saddle, I love you!

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    2. There is always saddle dying to fix the colour, seems to be all the rage in blogland this year ;-)

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  4. Awesome! I HATE saddle shopping and want to purchase a jump saddle for Emi at some point. Just the thought of it makes me ill.

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    1. If it helps, pretty much the only ones I tried that fit B's shape well were British made. County and Jeffries come to mind as the two that had multiple models with a chance of fitting.

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  5. I personally love orange tack. I'm not sure why but it's always been one of my favorite colors for tack haha Congratulations on finding the unicorn saddle!!!

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    1. Because you have the perfect pony for such colors! Bridget just looks more like a giant clashing pumpkin ;)

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  6. Congratulations on escaping saddle shopping hell!!! I actually really like how it looks (omg is that because I'm old?)

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    1. Thank you! I'm turning ancient this year, so it can't be an age thing, lol

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  7. Best news all day!! You can always dye it. I hated my dressage saddle before I dyed it and now it's just lovely :)

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    1. I'm such a wuss...I want to dye it but what if I hurt the irreplacable magical unicorn saddle? ;) Seriously tho, I'm going to ask our lovely saddler and see what her take on it is.

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  8. WOOHOO!!! Add me to the list of people that actually LOVE that color! It reminds me of my old Pessoa that I adored. And, honestly... they don't make saddles like they used to. Vintage is a fantastic option, and it looks like you got one with minimal wear & tear! Happy jumping!

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  9. Yay for finding the unicorn of saddles. I used to own a stubben and I remember the hard seats. I wonder if the saddle fitter could do anything about that? I think it's not old- it's vintage!

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    1. I know she can technically do it...but I think the cost outweighs the benefit for me...maybe if the seat needed replacing I'd do it. I'm going to use it as extra incentive to build up my two point times:)

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  10. YAY!! A Saddle that fits... who cares if its old get one of those cushy tush cushions!

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    1. Ohh...or even one of those sheepskin ones

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  11. I have "does my saddle actually fit" disorder. I'm doing everything I can to determine the answer, and am still not convinced. I live in a state of turmoil, "Am I hurting him by sitting on him?!" All the saddle fitters of my brand are on the other end of the planet.

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    1. It's an awful feeling to be unsure. One of my clues that the saddle that should have been ok wasn't ok anymore was that she went so much better bareback...I could tell at the walk even that she was much freer through her back and better able to stay straight.

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  12. I used to have a Stabilizer... best XC saddle I've ever been in. I hope you love it!

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    1. Fingers crossed, our XC schooling day is rapidly approaching :)

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  13. Yay!!! Saddle shopping is the worst thing to have to do in the entire universe so I'm over the moon for you!

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