Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Princess and The Pea

I'm going to talk about everyone's favorite topic... the quest for the perfect saddle.
Finding the perfect saddle that fits your horse and puts you in the perfect place is like trying to find the perfect man -- in my experience, you have to kiss a lot of frogs.
Please let this fit his withers and keep me out of a chair seat...
Saddle shopping for me has always been fraught with frustration and disappointment.
I have always started with a budget that has been promptly blown out of the water by some improbably odd combination of mine and my horse's conformation.
I am within driving distance of 3 Dover Saddlery-s, a Smartpak and Pelham Saddlery. They are just close enough to be drivable, but far enough away to be a huge waste of time and gas money. I can't tell you the number of saddles I have had on trial and returned, at great expense and inconvenience.
With my last two horses, I have been through no less than 4 different saddle fitters, countless trial saddles and one defective saddle that was at least refunded in the end by the seller.
The most frustrating aspect is that I usually have nothing to ride in during the great saddle-search process. I have no back-up saddle on hand and usually have to borrow from some gracious friend / fellow boarder.
The saddle I have now I feel like is just okay - it has been professionally fitted to Boca and has been re-checked 2 or 3 times in less than a year. So I can safely say at least I know it fits my horse.
But I often find myself struggling for position, and wondering if there isn't something better out there for me. On my trail ride on Sunday, I found myself wiggling around, trying to get into and hold a better position, and once again questioned if this is the best I can do.
I'm sort of just philosophizing here, as there is really no way in hell I can even consider saddle shopping until I know what I am in for in the way of vet bills. Plus, I think my husband just might kill me if I tell him I am going to sell the saddle I have paid to adjust 2, 3, 4 times now.
I guess I am just daydreaming about one day finding my perfect match.
I know it's out there... My one true saddle love.


  1. I'm in a similar position to you. My saddle fits my horse, but I don't love it. However there are no funds for that right now so I'm just going to deal with it!

  2. I've had that saddle several times. I'm lucky enough now that both my saddles (dressage and jump) fit me and my horse, knock on wood. It really does make a huge difference, but if you have to compromise on one, it's definitely fit for you. Hang in there.

  3. Saddle shopping sucks, unless you a) have lots of money and b) have a backup that works suitably well.

  4. I'm going to have to go on a saddle search for Nancy soon, she has been making do with a saddle while she was still developing. Now she's 6 she should be pretty settled in her body shape so I'm hoping to get her fitted for a more permanent saddle this autumn.
    I got Kika a saddle that fits her (me less so) 2 years ago and could do with getting it checked again.

  5. The most annoying thing to me is how different one saddle can feel on two different horses. Since I'm tall finding the right saddle is guaranteed to cost at least $3-6k...and I need one for each horse. Fail!

  6. I HATE saddle shopping. Hate it. That said I now have two saddles- one that fits Irish and me and one that fit Steele and me. Steele's fit me even better than Irish- I felt completely in balance in it. I'm hoping that it will fit Carmen as well. However, it comes with a changeable gullet so should be okay. (*knocks on wood*). Are you wedded to the idea of jumping? if not you may be more comfortable with a dressage saddle.

  7. Have you tried working with Trumbull Mountain? They were great to work with even from a distance. I definitely recommend them!

  8. aw bummer about not being super happy with your saddle despite efforts to make it work... it's definitely frustrating to fight the tack!! fwiw, i bought my saddle from Pelham Saddlery and really enjoyed doing business with them (even tho it was all conducted over the phone)