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Why We Need Friends

A friend of mine, like good friends do, helped me put things into perspective recently. It isn’t shocking to anyone that I am type A and a perfectionist. Good enough…well isn’t.

Thinking back I had a surgical attending tell me during a case in residency one day “Sara, the enemy of good is better.” A saying that I have to remind myself of constantly in life.

Still can;t figure out how to make the pictures smaller when done on my phone versus ta desktop.

While my friend was out massaging the orange beast’s butt (his second favorite thing in life) I lamented about the saddle shopping experience. My issue? What if the next saddle fits better? Makes me more secure? Places me in a better position? There are so many brands and even more models within a brand – how do you choose? What if I settle for A but should have gotten B?

I’ve now had three different fitters out with four brands: Custom, Smith Worthington, Prestige and Stubben. I also sat in a Black Country Wexford that I took on trial from the local tack shop and fell in love with. Too bad it was a size too narrow for him and too big for me or I would have bought it.

Being me, I began researching Black Country and got it in my head that although the Wexford fit great and I loved it, well maybe the Quantum would be even better or the Richocet or…..

And that brings me back around to my friend. We don’t manage horses the same. She prefers barefoot, bitless and treeless and I’m more of a “if it works, do it” sort. I was talking to her about saddle shopping fully expecting her to tell me to go treeless when instead she looked at me and said “you buy the best fitting saddle your budget can afford. End of story.”

While that is a simple statement it hit me pretty hard because the truth is that good enough has to be good enough. I can’t afford a $6,000 custom made saddle nor do I really want one while his existence here remains questionable.

I found a saddle I really liked. It was so secure and comfortable and allowed me to work him through his temper tantrum without getting tense or grabby. I could ride trails and hunter paces and feel confident. So why not pull the trigger and buy it? Why fuss with other models thinking maybe the next would be even better? Perhaps the Quantum would fit a bit better. Or the Richocet may make me secure without so much saddle under me. But you know what? Maybe they won’t and I really liked the Wexford. A lot.

Sometimes good enough is good enough.

The enemy of good is better.

So that’s it. I’m done with saddle shopping in a sense. I know what I want. I want a Black Country Wexford jump saddle in 17″ Wide.

No more fitting fees. No more shipping costs. Now to find one in good condition for a good price and get back to riding my orange beast. If anyone knows of one for sale $2000 or under please let me know! The big guy needs his job back before he goes totally feral on me.

I’ve joined every facebook group I can find including the UK based Second Hand Black Country page. I emailed Trumbull Mountain to put a bug in their ear though the tend to run $500 more than elsewhere. I put out ISO ads. I’m stalking Pelham saddlery (they do have a 17″ Wide Quantum used in great condition for a good price but it isn’t the Wexford and I don’t feel like spending the $110 shipping fee to try it), Maryland Tack Exchange and the Aiken used tack store. Hopefully something pops up soon. 

29 thoughts on “Why We Need Friends”

  1. Great advice! Something we all need to take to heart (me especially). I have no problem telling people that we do the best we can. And most horses don’t need a $6000 saddle. Do what you CAN do. And there is no point shelling out $6000 if it’s going to mean that you can’t afford feed, care, etc. So, stick to your budget and do the best you can. And I’m going to try to stop beating myself up for only doing the best I can do… And the saddle you want sounds like something that will work for both of you. So good luck finding it!

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  2. Great saying. And good idea to not spend a fortune on a saddle for a horse with a spotty record (but i think will get better soon) that may not work later on or on a later horse. Ive heard good things about Black Country.

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  3. Yay! Figuring that out is like 3/4 the battle! I really like your friend- so practical! I like by the motto “the enemy of good is better” at work. It really helps keep perspective sometimes! Good luck finding the saddle! I’m sure something will pop up!

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  4. thank god for those amazing friends who know exactly how to distill a big question down to its simplest components! i love the idea of “the enemy of good is better,” and also am a big believer that “good enough” is…. ya know, pretty often good enough with horses. we do the best we can, and it’s so so so easy to feel like somehow it’s not good enough or we’re letting our horses down or if we just held out a little longer something better might come along. realistically tho, my priority is, and will always be: actually getting out there and doing things. and whatever gets me to doing The Thing faster is what i’m going to go with, bc i’m going to get more value from that and from the experiences than i would from sitting around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for… *something*.

    also, totally agreed that it doesn’t make sense to make huge investments in a horse before you’re very certain about what the future holds!

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    1. I remember the case he said it to me on like it was yesterday. I had reconstructed this lady’s entire forefoot and it looked damn good but I wanted it to be even better. So I started messing with it and it got worse which then took forever to get back to what I started with before I messed. The enemy of good is better!

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      1. Uh, hope this isn’t creepy but I saw someone commented a County Conquest on one of your FB posts. I have a Conquest and I LOVE it. It’s the most secure feeling saddle I’ve ever had. And the price on the one posted is a good price if that helps at all.

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      2. Not creepy! That saddle is on its way to my house as we speak 🙂 should arrive for trial on Friday. It looks very similar to the BC Wexford and I can’t really find one of those so I jumped on this one. Hoping it fits him. A lot of reviews say County runs big

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  5. i am glad you made a decision and know what you want! YAY. I am such a dithering I can’t even make a decision on flights let alone saddles!! LOL At least with all of us keeping our eyes out we might find one for you (and looks like you have covered all your bases in finding one elsewhere!). Let’s do this! 🙂

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  6. Sounds like you have a solid plan! If you ever win the lottery and can blow money on a $6K saddle (that still MIGHT NOT FIT), you can always sell the black country hahaha.

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    1. There are so many saddles out there that are practically brand new being sold for a fraction of the price with “ordered it new for my horse, but doesn’t fit”. Ugh. It makes me never want to buy a custom saddle. These companies should really be held responsible if one of their reps did the ordering and it comes in wrong.

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      1. Totally agreed. It is SHOCKING that they make money on high-end custom products that aren’t made properly. And yet, people keep ordering them because they’re desperate for the “perfect” solution.

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  7. I instantly had saddle buying paranoia after putting down a massive deposit on my County. What if I just paid this much money when there’s another saddle out there that could fit just as well–OR BETTER–and cost less?! I forced myself to stop looking. I love my saddle, it fits me and my horse perfectly, and who cares if there’s something better or cheaper out there when this is what I own and it’s great!

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