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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

What the Flock?!

Yesterday I decided that since Apollo and I won't be eventing that it was time to try to sell my DK saddle again at a local tack consignment shop.  I was hoping since it was flocked with wool in November that I might have better luck selling it.  Previously it had air panels.  I decided to consign my dressage saddle as well.  It also doesn't fit Apollo.  It fits Mystic but I could use the money towards buying BOT products etc. to help Apollo get sound.  I already have a western saddle on order for Apollo that should arrive end of January or early February.  It's suitable for trail riding, nothing fancy.  

The DK saddle was a huge mistake that I made and I have had very poor customer service on it since my purchase 7 years ago.  For the vast majority of time I've owned it I've been trying to sell it.  Read more about my thoughts and feelings on my "custom" saddle here.

The owner of the consignment shop started going over my DK.  She commented on the nice condition and how it might be easier to sell now that it was wool-flocked.  Then halfway through a sentence she paused...

"Have you ridden in this since it was flocked with wool?"  

I said yes, why? 

"Feel right here."  

There was a HUGE gap in the wool flocking.  The owner at the consignment shop said they wouldn't be able to put it out until it was fixed.  Because it would likely cause pain to a horse.  I was so frustrated about this stupid saddle and had inklings that it didn't fit quite right, even post-flocking when the fit looked better.  I pretty much was seeing red as I loaded it back into my car.  I was dangerously close to throwing it on the ground and driving over it.  Obvious the wool flocking issue is an error at the hands of the saddle fitter and I don't hold DK responsible for that.  The frustration I've experience from owning this saddle is beyond words.


Scumbag saddle will likely be buried with me because no one will ever want it.




I  sent a few venting e-mails to my husband and then I got to thinking.....

The first time I had a proper ride in the newly flocked saddle Apollo tried to buck me off. 

And after that he was tense and short-striding when I rode but looked 90%-100% sound on the lunge.  OH MY GOD.  THE SADDLE.   He might be a lot more sound then he feels like but the saddle is hurting him.  As the owner of the consignment shop suggested that it might cause pain to a horse, and I think it definitely hurt my horse.  I noticed in my recent rides in the DK saddle that his ears went back a bit and his head went up at the trot (not typical for him).  Usually his ears are pricked forward and his headset stays fairly similar to his walk headset.

I went out and rode him last night in my bareback pad.  He felt about 80% sound.  Which is a vast improvement from my last rides.  I noticed his ears starting to prick forward more at the trot then they have been lately. 

So yeah...

I feel absolutely terrible for riding him in that saddle and causing him pain.  I don't know that it's the full answer to our soundness issues but the change I felt last night was huge.

I found a new saddle fitter to fix the issues with the DK's new wool flocking.  Although the original fitter I used came recommended by a good friend this new fitter is a Qualified Society of Master Saddler and a UK registered Saddle Fitter. 

And I am going to ask her if I can be her apprentice. :)  For serious.

19 comments:

  1. That's horrible! I'm glad you found someone to check it that sounds much better! Good luck with the apprenticeship!

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    1. I haven't decided yet how to ask her yet, I think I will do it in person :)

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  2. Had to catch up. Sorry to hear about letting dream go, and the guilt about pain. I hope you found the culprit and all is on the mend!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah it's been an interesting couple of months haha :)

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  3. Good grief, what a nightmare! I wouldn't have blamed you if you had run over it with the car or pitched it off a bridge!!

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    1. You have no idea how close I was.... I don't know what stopped me! :)

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  4. OMG that's so horribly frustrating! I hope that after this reflocking you can get it sold and out the door once and for all. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that you've found the answer to Apollo's soundness issues, and that he continues to improve from here on out!

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    1. It has been a painful process. I kind of want someone to steal it so I can get the insurance money. And use that money to buy a boatload of booze.

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  5. wow -- just, wow. the saga behind this saddle is UNREAL. but - on the flip side, if changing out saddles leads to a huge improvement in Apollo's soundness and enjoyment in his work, so much for the better!! good luck with the new fitter!

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    1. I hope we can find a comfortable well-fitting saddle for the both of us. We are a tricky pair to fit!

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  6. I'm so sorry! What a pain in the ass! I'm glad that the person at the shop picked up on the problem. At least it explains a lot. I hope you can get it sold soon. As bad of luck as you've had with it, I keep thinking of some old "horror" movie where no matter what you doto get rid of it, the saddle keeps mysteriously coming back. *Sorry, I may have gone a little overboard on the cold meds.

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    1. That saddle is haunting me big time! Whenever someone has been supposed to look at it strange things happen...spoooky!

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  7. That's horrible! Who did you use to flock it with wool?

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  8. How awful!! Saddles are so frustrating. I've had a tough time selling the few that I've needed to move :/

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    1. I regret selling the one I was using before I ordered the stupid custom DK. My lovely barnsby :'(

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  9. Did you go back to the first "flocker" and ask WTF? Sounds like a refund is in order at the very least for all the hassle it has caused. If you do go back, please try not to run over her (him?) with your car! ;-)

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  10. What a nightmare! Hopefully new saddle person can fix it, help you sell the offensive saddle and take you under their wing.
    I would love to learn to be a saddle fitter, masseuse & barefoot trimmer so that I could help my horses without relying on ogres when I have no idea and have to put my faith in others only to be burned...yes saddle fitter i am looking at you for almost breaking my relationship with my horse!

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