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Monday, 23 January 2017

Finding a Saddle --> Losing My Mind

So just to be clear I am still planning to order a custom saddle for Henry.  He has just started an awkward growth phase and my husband and I are gearing up to do some work on our condo before it goes on the market (read: $$).  So for the moment I am pressing the pause button on the custom creation.







I had always intended to get something more affordable as a spare and to use in the interim while we waited for the new one to arrive.  I’ve been riding bareback for three months now and I would really like to you know… canter or ride outside.  And I feel like even though Henry is a super duper quiet pony, I don’t think riding outside or cantering are advisable without stirrups.



My original idea was a dressage saddle.  One particular dressage saddle caught my eye – an older prestige.  I made a offensively somewhat low offer to the seller and I think I can officially say that after a week with no response that it isn’t going to happen.  





Not happenin' :'(





I can see that she viewed my message on facebook a week ago.  I also sent a friendly follow-up yesterday because I am an optimist…and *crickets*.  So…?  I had sort of assumed that would pan out so I didn’t really have a plan B in mind. 



CUE PANIC.



I always want to shop for saddles in a really casual way.  Like “Oh this saddle was posted in one of the sale groups I just joined and its perfect!  Only took five minutes to find it!”  

But instead the saddle hunt has taken over my life and the majority of my free time.  I am a frantic creepy saddle stalker who finds herself in strange corners of the internet and liking posts from like 2011, hoping the saddle is still available.  I think I just have to accept that I’m not a chill human being.  Saddle shopping really brings out my inner impatient troll.


Here is what I’m looking for (feel free to weigh in if this is totally unreasonable):

Brands:  Prestige or Amerigo (no Vegas, CC would be best – there are dressage CCs too just to confuse me, and I think a vesuvio would work… I am somewhat confused about other types)

Tree size: 32 for Prestige.  Amerigos continue to confuse the pants off of me, the saddle fitter said a standard medium or +1 would work.  Henry is technically a medium narrow but could probably handle a medium with a Ogilvy/sheepskin.

Type of saddle:  I waffle a lot on this.  Part of me thinks a dressage saddle would be a better long term investment as I hope to have a jump saddle customized to us.  But since I don’t exactly when I will have my custom jump saddle… and I would like to pop over some tiny fences in the meantime.  So I’m open to dressage or close contact.  

Seat size:  Because Henry’s back is sort of short after his long wither I would like to stay in a 17.5 or less.  Ideal would be a 17 or 17.5.  I know Prestiges fit a bit big so I could probably cram my body into a 16 if needed.

Budget: $1000 ($1500 absolute max)… including shipping to Canada.  This is probably my biggest limitation.  Surely I can find something decent in that range… I’m starting to think no… 



Here is another suitor I'm considering... #myitalianboyfriend





Any thoughts of suggestions?  I’ve booked a consult with Jenn at The Saddle Geek and she’s given me permission to share her suggestions on the blog.  So I will have some guidance soon!  


37 comments:

  1. Oh, the Italian boyfriend is beautiful!

    Also, the amount of unread emails you have causes me anxiety...

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    1. Isn't he? ;)

      Yeah me too hahah, I try not to think about it too much.

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    2. If the Amerigo doesn't work for you can you pass on the details?

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  2. I love The Saddle Geek website! Good luck on your search, have you tried ebay?

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    1. She is fantastic! I just got my consult videos yesterday and she gave me so many ideas for my search. I have checked out ebay a little bit! It gets a bit expensive with shipping to Canada but there are some good options on there :)

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  3. Interested in what The Saddle Geek has to say! I'm glad I'm not the only person who gets like this when they go saddle shopping... I hope you find your perfect match! I found a dressage saddle that feels like my ass came home (finally) but I'm kind of afraid to have a fitter tell me it's a titch too narrow for my mare, so I haven't had it fitted by my favorite lady yet.

    A quick search of a favorite consignment place (no idea if they ship to canada) I got this: http://tacksolutions.shoprw.com/Prestige-Hippos-17--Black-Leather-33-USED-Good-Dressage-Saddle-P-83098.html

    and this: http://tacksolutions.shoprw.com/Prestige-Micel-Robert-Dk.-Oiled-Regular-Tree-17--USED-Good-Eventing-Saddle-P-69423.html

    Either way... good luck!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get so completely nuts about saddle shopping, glad I have Jen at the saddle geek to give me some direction! Maybe your saddle can be widened a bit? I hear you, I didn't ask the fitter I used on Henry to check Apollo's saddle because I couldn't handle hearing that it wasn't perfect haha!

      Thanks for sharing those two saddles, I will pass along to Jen for her thoughts! :D

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  4. Saddle searching is simultaneously the best and also the worst. Hopefully you find something that will work for you guys soon!

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    1. Mostly the worst haha! But when you find the perfect one it makes it all worth it :) Fingers crossed I find mine soon!

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  5. I've actually got a wool flocked English made Dressage saddle that I'm parting with for $500. The brand is Walsall Riding Saddle Company, they make the Exselle saddles now. Medium tree, 17.5", just a bit too small for me, I have to really fight for my position in it and I like riding in my jumping saddle better anyway. If you have any interest, feel free to email me!
    Jenn's great! I see her weighing in quite a bit on COTH. Good luck on your saddle search! I gave in and went custom for my jumping saddle a little over a year ago. My bank account is still sad but Chloe's back is happy so, worth it!

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    1. Oh interesting! I will pass that along to Jen for sure. :) I think because of the way Henry and I are built we will eventually need to go full-custom but I hope I can find a saddle to use in the meantime. Ugh! Goodbye monies!

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  6. Ugh I feel your pain. Saddle shopping is .... Basically the worst. It's apparently a necessary evil tho (so they say). Back when I bought my saddle, I compiled a list of resources that were helpful to me. Maybe you'll find your dream saddle on one of these sites too?

    http://fraidycateventing.blogspot.com/2015/02/saddle-shopping-summary.html

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for that list! Very helpful! :D

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  7. I can't wait to hear how it goes with Jen, I'm wanting to book her as well as another opinion. In the meantime, I'm also in saddle purgatory - the fitter from Vancouver/my barnmates also needing consults have rescheduled 3 times since Christmas, so we're still waiting!

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    1. You totally should, she's fantastic! I just got my consult yesterday and am excited to share the scoop. Saddle purgatory is an excellent expression, might be stealing that haha. Local saddle fitters here are pretty hard to get appts with too... which is frustrating!

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  8. Have you thought about treeless? I am insanely picky when it comes to saddle fit and finally found one I absolutely love: The Ansur Excel. OMG it's amazing!!!

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    1. I'm totally open to treeless! I will have to find one of those locally that I can sit in :) I had a barefoot treeless trail saddle that I really didn't like but it was kind of small for my leg.

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    2. I second a love of Ansur saddles. I did my 100 miler in mine and I'm also using it for dressage. Great saddle.

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    3. Interesting! I'm definitely going to have to check them out, I haven't heard of them but they sound pretty fabulous!

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  9. I have found that a good quality used saddle for under $1,000 is a Kneidersuss. There's no fancy bells or whistles, but it's a well-balanced, comfortable saddle that seems to fit a lot of horses and most horses seem to like the brand. I'm not saying that you shouldn't buy an Amerigo or Prestige, just figured it never hurts to have too many options. I hope you find something awesome and comfortable!

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    1. Niedersuss, not Kneidersuss. I have no idea why my phone spelled it like that.

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    2. Interesting! I haven't heard of that brand before (and I'm scared of things I haven't heard of), I will keep my eyes peeled for them now that I have positive review. There are just so many saddles out there! I definitely don't need bells and whistles, just a good fit for me and my pony :)

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  10. Check out: http://www.yoursaddles.com/ they have a lovely selection! (and a dressage Prestige United Elastic 33 cm Medium that looks GREAT!!)

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  11. Saddle searching can be super frustrating! Fingers crossed you can find what you're looking for.

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  12. So I have kind of a weird dressage saddle, 17.5, but it's not super deep so it's easy to get your butt out of if you wanna jump in it (I've foxhunted in it, no problem). It's called a Reactor Panel. I had it for a horse that had INSANE withers and it's super because it's so adjustable. It's kind of a weird design (flexible panels instead of flocking) but horses really seem to like it. I'm selling because I've now only got XXW horses and it's a m/mw ish but it can be adjusted. It also has 4 billets so no matter where your horse's girth spot is it will work. Comes with all the fittings and i think 4 Mattes saddle pads. PM me if you're interested! jen jobst at gmail dot com.

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    1. I like weird things! Sounds like it might do the trick. I will pass that on to Jen for her thoughts :)

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  13. Ugh. Saddle shopping is the worst. I'm on year 2 of looking for a saddle. I like that second saddle. What is it?

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    1. It's an amerigo pinerolo dressage saddle (drool right?). It won't work for Henry and I, so if you want the details on it let me know!

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  14. Something to expand your search- you can also look for a 34 cm tree and get the tree professionally narrowed, but you may have to factor narrowing into your cost, (~$150 USD + shipping) and I don't know if that would complicate things if there isn't a Prestige dealer in Canada.

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    1. That is a good thing to keep in mind for sure. There is a local prestige fitter but she is very difficult to book appointments with, but for the right deal it would be worth the wait for an appt :)

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  15. 100% feel your pain.
    I think you can find a really nice used saddle in that price range!

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  16. 1st - I can relate to you on your saddle search. It took me about 3 months to find the one I fell in love with!
    2nd - how do you have THAT MANY UNREAD EMAILS OMG.

    HAhaa.

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  17. So funny story, but Jenn from The Saddle Geek leases a horse at my barn! LOL

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