I needed to figure out what to do for a saddle for three months while my custom saddle was being made. Using the Cobra was out of the question. I figured I could get by for a week or two bareback, but then I was going to want to start building Kaswyn back up into working shape again, since we had been off for 8 weeks for our shock wave therapy.
I remembered that the gal who let me try her Freedom Holistic had to send her saddle back to have it re-made when her filly grew. In the meantime she was given a demo saddle to use, which was easy to manage because she was good friends with the gal who worked for the saddle company. I asked her if her friend might have a demo for me to use, and she said "Actually, I never gave my demo saddle back. I'll bring it to the barn and you can call her and see if it's okay for you to use."
Then she told me that the demo saddle was an UltraFlex, which I hated. Ugh. But beggars can't be choosers, so I called the saddle gal and she said I could use it until she needed it for another demo, in which case she'd call me. Fantastic!
I put the UltraFlex saddle on Kaswyn and hopped on. Yep, I still hated it. It bulged in a weird way under my thighs, the twist was too narrow, and I didn't like where it put my leg. I'm sure I could get used to it if I had to, but I really disliked it. I have been told that there are two different saddlers who make these saddles - Barry and Nick. Barry is the only one who makes the UltraFlex, but they both make the SemiFlex. Each saddler has their own way of constructing the outside of the saddle, and I have heard that it's a love it or hate it kind of thing. You either like the Nick or the Barry. It was clear that I liked the Nick saddle, which is what I had tested out and ultimately ordered.
On the other hand Kaswyn LOVED the UltraFlex. He was soft and round and as the weeks went by he started really working over his back. It was amazing what a difference the saddle made to his stride. He had more reach, more suspension, and there was hardly any resistance in the base of his neck and back. I felt I had made the right choice. Now all I had to do was wait.
I did have one other small problem. Not only was I not going to put the Cobra back on Kaswyn ever again, but due to the price of the Freedom Holistic dressage saddle the Cobra needed to be sold. As soon as possible. First I tried selling it at the local tack store that takes consignments. And while the Cobra was there to be sold, my new saddle came in. Which meant I needed to pay for it. Ack!
Thank you MasterCard!
Anyhow, my saddle arrived 6 weeks after I ordered it. Everyone was saying how amazing it was that it came in so soon. I think it might have been because the gal from the saddle company also has Arabians, and she had heard of Kaswyn. She might have pushed it through faster, but I can't be sure.
I couldn't wait to try it out. Would I love it, or had I just made a huge, expensive mistake?
To be continued...