I know…I have to figure out the Q3 results but that takes a lot of mental power to come up with a great prize and I haven’t done it yet. It will get done by the end of the week.
In the meantime, I need some help. H’Appy (you all can thank Amanda for this new name. I LOVE it and can’t wait to use it as his show name) needs a new saddle. Thankfully Trainer has offered to have me try any of the saddles she has at her barn on him to get a good idea of what to look for and I plan to spend a day doing just that once he is cleared for riding again. I have no idea what all she has beyond a Thorowgood (fit Gemmie well when I tried it and is the reason I got one for her) which obviously I won’t try, but beyond that..no clue.
Doofus was very bored waiting for the farrier to make his custom…yes custom…shoes. Horse, I’ve never had custom anything in my life. I found it fascinating to watch him make a shoe from a bar of steel.
Saddle shopping is a bit mind boggling to me at the moment. Many moons ago with Gem I was shopping for endurance saddles and tried every possible english saddle I could think of before giving up and going with my beloved Advantage endurance saddle which someone will have to pry out of my dead hands to get from me. That saddle, BTW, does not fit Doofus one bit. Of course not, right?
But anyway…I spent over a thousand dollars on trial fees and return shipping trying everything I could think of that might work for her. I really don’t want to go that route again. I mean, opening box after box of nice leather goods wasn’t terrible, but it was expensive and tiresome. Even going through a reputable dealer with tracings went haywire as they sent me very much the wrong size and I still had to pay return shipping fees.
With Doofus, I’m a little clueless as to what will work and what won’t. The T8 was fitted for him and looked really good…until it didn’t and the Big Orange Beast is extremely sore. I would not have guessed based on the way it looks to fit him that he would be this reactive and while I know endurance saddles inside and out and what I need/like, I am a little lost when it comes to jump saddles.
There are no independent fitters in my area. There are a lot of brand specific ones and while I’m not opposed to any single brand I also can’t afford to spend money on a fitter for every single brand to figure out what I like and need. Every time I try to search online I get stuck. Where do I even begin? I have a small budget and prefer used to new, I’m talking maybe $1500 max here, and I don’t mind waiting for a good deal but I need to know what deal I am even looking for and that is where I am stuck. I test rode one of the sales horses in a CWD and adored it, but yeah…not going to be affording one of those any time soon and to have the rep out to give me his specs to still not be able to afford it seems wasteful and sorta mean to myself. I don’t know. Someone better at shopping may be able to give me some tips here.
So…blogger friends who are always amazing…where do I begin? What saddle brands are typically pretty good for low level jumping on a wide horse? Anything to absolutely stay away from? Do I just pick something at random and try it or is there a website that I am not aware of that can help with these things? The used tack shop in Aiken allows you to bring the horse with and the owner is apparently pretty fit savvy, but there is no place to ride and really ends up depending on the current inventory which can be pretty hit or miss. The only wide they had was the Kieffer I brought home and the MW I also brought to try was way too narrow. That cost me $70 to ship back. Ugh.
My old BO is a Stubben dealer. She can come do a fitting, but I wasn’t very thrilled with the Stubbens I tried on Gem while I boarded there. I mean, it was Gem and she was a fitting nightmare but they all seemed so very expensive for what I was getting. They are easy to find used though, so maybe it is worth it?
Basically what I am rambling on about is that I need a starting point. At least a rough idea of what to look for, where to go and where to begin this search beyond opening Smartpak and randomly ordering saddles because they offer free shipping. I know that each brand fits differently so having a fitter out for one brand may not give me very useful information to put towards a different brand…ie: Stubben measures in cm and others in Medium/Wide etc… Plus you know there is flap length and how forward it is and blah blah blah.
So….help?! How did you all begin your saddle search? Did you happen upon your saddle through your Trainer or a friend? Did you pay a fitter to come out? Was it helpful or did they only know one specific brand and it wasn’t applicable to others? I’m pretty fitter skeptical based on previous experiences that ended in saddles that very much did not fit in any way, shape, or form and fitters not standing behind their decisions and making it right, but maybe I’ve just had bum luck I don’t know. Where would you suggest I begin?