First off, I haven't yet mentioned that I have sold my western saddle. After an evaluation by my friend (who is also a skilled saddle fitter) we determined that it was too tight in the shoulders for Apollo. It was too large for Mystic and Henry so I decided to sell it.
Sadly I never got to ride in this cushiony saddle
Luckily for me another friend was interested in it. She took it on trial to ensure it fit both of her horses. After two months had passed I mentioned to her that she needed to make a decision. She decided that she wasn't interested. I took it to a tack consignment shop. As soon as she heard that I had taken it in to consign she decided she wanted it after all. So... whatever, it's sold now. It was frustrating to be jerked around by a "friend" and in the future I will not be giving anyone a trial period with one of my saddles.
As mentioned previously - I finally picked up my cloud saddle (which is a schleese wave!) after the re-flock. I rode in it on Sunday for the first time. It looked a bit tight in the shoulders but I was hoping the flocking would settle a bit after riding in it. It felt great for the first 10 minutes of my ride. Then slowly Apollo started getting tighter and tighter. Eventually he started throwing in some crowhops and I could tell he was uncomfortable. I've decided to wait to ride again until my follow-up appointment with the saddle fitter on April 28. I am extremely frustrated. I have been without a saddle for two months now! Arg! I've been making the best of things in the bareback pad but I'm losing patience. I don't really have a choice but to keep waiting.
So much cloud...
I took a few photos and e-mailed them to the saddle fitter.
Too tight here:
Too loose here:
I'm hoping she can make the adjustments on site and I won't have to send the saddle out of town again. Fingers and hooves crossed!
I've been looking for an inexpensive AP/CC saddle for Apollo in the meantime. It would be nice to have something I could jump in if we get there and having a spare saddle that fits him decently sounds practical. I've been emailing about this older Stubben. They offer a 5 day trial period so I might be trying it out later in the month.
When I first bought Apollo I bought an older Stubben (mid-1990s style) for him. It fit him like a glove but I found the seat very hard and uncomfortable. It was also a larger seat size that I need, which didn't help. I'm hoping that since the shape of a Stubben seemed to work on him before that this will be an OK fit. If I could get it for under $500 that would fit into my very limited spare saddle budget.
I rode Apollo in bareback pad last night. He was very bratty! He started crowhopping and was generally being a turd. He definitely has spring fever right now and was very distracted about leaving his ladies in the herd. I blame myself for unintentionally teaching him on Sunday that crowhopping means the ride is over. Silly me and my sympathy for a horse wearing an uncomfortable saddle!
I got a few polite trot transitions and then I hopped off and lunged him. I got back on and asked for a little bit more trot. He complied but I could tell he wasn't 100% cooperative. I honestly do not want to be schooling my cheeky spring time horse in a bareback pad, but I don't really know what other option I have. When I go out tonight we will definitely be having a lunging session before I hop on. If he's behaving like an idiot this evening I will probably just stay on the ground until I have a saddle. I'm not afraid of him and his little bucks/crowhops aren't terrifying but I don't think it's a smart decision to be
I am excited for my saddle fitter appointment on the 28th for another reason. I'm hoping that my DK saddle can be adjusted to fit Mystic (or even Henry). If it can work for one of them that would be a huge relief. Since no one will ever want to buy that stupid saddle, it would be awesome if it could fit a current herd member. It is a high quality saddle and it's just collecting dust at this point.
Hopefully all will be resolved shortly...!