Friday, October 19, 2007

Saddle Up - Part 5

Part 1

Yes, I appreared I needed to find a new saddle. At first I resisted. But then I started thinking about what it was like for my horse to be ridden in a saddle that hurt his back every day. I thought of what it would be like going to work in high heels that were a size too small and how my back and feet would feel at the end of the day. That did it. A new saddle was a must!

As I began looking for dressage saddles, I got advice from my trainer as to what brands were good and where I should be looking. It began to dawn on me that I had ben extremely lucky when I found my Collegiate. It seems I wasn't going to be able to get a nice saddle for under $1000. Yikes. But it was worth not destroying my horse's back or making him not want to be ridden.

It just so happened that while I was saddle shopping a gal at the barn sold her horse, and started saying how she should sell her saddle too. So I had her bring it out to the barn and had the saddle fitting lady look at it on my horse. She said that since the panels were wool stuffed it could be made to fit my horse much better than the Collegiate - however, it was not perfect. She said my best option was to get a custom saddle, which I knew I couldn't afford. I asked if this saddle, a Cobra, would work for the time being. She said that it would be a vast improvement over the Collegiate and she was sure Kaswyn would be more comfortable in it.

Then it was time for me to ride in it. Well, I didn't like it. It was a saddle I thought I could get used to, but it had really big knee block and knee rolls, and I felt like they just got in my way. The Cobra also made me feel like there was a whole lot of saddle between me and my horse, which I really thought reduced my feel. Again, since my needs were secondary to Kaswyn's back, I decided I could live with the Cobra and we discussed price.

$1800. Wow. Luckily she allowed me some time to come up with the cash. I was able to put my Collegiate on eBay, where it quickly sold for $350! I made a huge profit, but it only made a small dent in the total price so I still had to come up with the rest of the money. I was able to scrape it together and soon I was the proud owner of this saddle -

You can see that the knee blocks are considerably bigger than my Collegiate. But please don't get me wrong. It was an excellent saddle and well worth the price, especially since I'd be riding in it five times a week. Or so I thought.

Shortly thereafter, I found out I was pregnant with our second daughter.

To be continued...

Part 6


EquineSpirit said...

That's a beautiful saddle! Looking forward to reading more! GREAT story! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi, found your blog while I was looking for information for my National Vocational Qualification in Horse Care (I'm an American ex-pat, having relocated to Britain last year, and the NVQ is a variant of Pony Club).

Nice saddle. It is a pain when you've got to sacrifice feel for whatever reason, but I suppose it just takes getting used to the saddle. I personally am a fan of knee rolls; they put you in the right position and keep you there!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr