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Houston, We Have A Saddle

This is a story about the absolute best customer service in all the land. Seriously folks. It does not get any better than Farm House Tack. I’m fortunate to live about an hour away, but they also help over the phone and online. I can’t say enough about how wonderful they have been to me.

Monday night Nicest Fitter On The Planet drove all the way to my house after work to help fit the Bates with an anatomic girth. The girth was pricey at $300 (imagine cheapskate me pretty much dying inside with that price tag) and I likely could have found a cheaper one online, but her offering to bring it to me when the store is an hour away was pretty amazing and worth paying a little extra for. Shopping local and independent is important to me and while it can be a bit extra, you can’t get service like that from an online store. I’ll buy from them again and again just based on that.

Plus you know. My new horse is the most expensive gelding on the planet when it comes to tack preferences. Gem was a cheap date. This guy? Just assume the most expensive option is the only one that will work. Every darn time.

I bored. I getting ignored. I eat lead rope while glaring at you.

So anyway, she came out and met my orange beast. He was on his goofiest behavior but she had an Appy in the past and laughed at his ways. It helps that she didn’t have to take him home with her though he is slowly teaching me to get the stick out of my own butt and lighten up. He has a long way to go. I was born this way.

She brought two options in his wide load size (50″), one pure leather with elastic ends and another leather with a memory foam liner. I chose the one with the liner becasue I knew his princess self would probably like that even better.  And you know what? Angels sang when I tightened that thing. I already knew he preferred leather (see above regarding his tastes) and apparently his delicate nature approved of the memory foam liner because this was the first time since I brought him home that he didn’t try to eat me while I girthed up a saddle. He didn’t even flinch an ear when I tightened it all the way. With his fleece girth I had to dodge pawing legs and gnashing teeth while I did it up regardless of the saddle I was using at the time. It’s the reason the Stubben rep thought maybe his sternum was out he reacted so violently to being girthed. Except with this memory foam lined leather princess girth. You wouldn’t have known I was girthing him up at all.

I still ignored. I abused and neglected poneh. I paw and stamp hoof in protest.

I was leaning towards being sold at that point. He obviously approved but it still felt tight on his shoulder. Being the Nicest Fitter On The Planet, she put up with my insistence that it was pinching even though she knew better and eventually had me hold my hand in the spot I worried about while she walked him forward so I could feel. And I’ll be darned. No pinching at all. His shoulder moved freely.

I told her she could head home if she wanted to at that point. I wanted to ride in it but felt bad keeping her out at my place in the dark. Being the Nicest Fitter On The Planet she asked to stay and watch me ride in it and see my reaction. Seriously folks. Nicest Ever.

I still ignored. I sad poneh now. I stand good and rest.

From the moment I sat in it I really liked it. It was cushy enough to be comfortable yet didn’t feel like I was in a couch. The knee blocks were large enough to be secure but out of my way to make me actually learn to ride on my own and not rely on them. I think I need to move them up and back a little but that is the glory of velcro blocks. The only thing I didn’t like was how slippery the leather was. Now it wasn’t synthetic seat slippery like my saddles in the past and maybe I was spoiling myself with all the other lines I tried, but it felt a bit more slick than my wimpy butt would hope for.

We walked and he was free and moving really well without expressing any negative opinions about life so I asked for a trot. Or tried to. He had opinions on that and did more flailing and then slamming on the brakes because “oh crap this feels like work” but it wasn’t saddle fit related. That’s just him at the moment.

All was pretty great even through some tantrums. He moved super well, the saddle didn’t budge with the new anatomic girth and it fit me pretty well too. Of all the saddles I had tired to this point (14 not including the Bates), it was the absolute best fit for us both.

But I had one hang up. The girth cost some big money and the saddle was in great condition but still used and not that much cheaper than a new one. I asked Nicest Fitter On The Planet if we could negotiate the price down. Using my ever famous wife math, if the saddle could be reduced by the cost of the girth then the girth would basically be free. She wasn’t sure the owner would go for it, but said she would ask.

Well, Tuesday she got back to me that the consigner wasn’t up for reducing it. I thought on it. The new version of this exact saddle with the upgraded super sticky luxe leather was only $400 more. I loved that sticky leather. That isn’t a whole lot more money. I loved this saddle other than the fact it was slick. If new was the exact same I would not hesitate to save the money and go used but I wanted that sticky leather.

The more I thought on it the more I convinced myself to return the used one and buy new. I never treat myself. I own two saddle pads. Two. And I still feel that is excessive. Pretty much everything I have is second hand and well darnit I want that luxe leather. I work 50 hours a week in a very much thankless job and well…merry Christmas to me. (I told Hubby he isn’t permitted to buy me anything for Christmas this year since I’m spending so much in tack and boot camp. Treating myself comes with a heaping dose of guilt)

So I texted the now Ever Patient Nicest Fitter Ever and asked if I could ship this one back and have her order one in the sticky leather. Of course she said sure. I mean you don’t get that title for no reason and she definitely earned it after I changed my mind three times on which saddle I wanted. Maybe I should stalk her online and see if she likes wine?

She then went even farther. I’m telling you all. Shop at Farm House Tack. You won’t regret the experience. Anyway…since I live an hour away and work to the point where I can’t get there except on a weekend, she said the store owner was fine with me holding on to the consignment until the weekend when the new saddle should be ready to pick up and save the money on shipping it back. If I had had any doubts about spending that extra money they were all gone now. I’ll spend that much to support them any day. What an amazing experience this has been.

Good pony gets to take selfies and be fawned over and petted. Good pony is smart. Good pony needs to learn this.

Of course I couldn’t help myself from being annoying still (maybe I’m like Doofus after all. That’s a scary thought) and triple checked that it would be the exact same saddle. I was assured it would be. But what about the blocks? They would be that same big size, right? Yup. And the panels would fit the same? Yup. And the seat…not only the same size, but with the same amount of cushion and everything? Yup.

Maybe I need to send her two bottles of wine.

50 thoughts on “Houston, We Have A Saddle”

  1. I’ve heard amazing things about Farm House and so happy that they seem to be true! And yay for the saddle! Sometimes you just NEED to treat yourself. And if you want to commiserate about spending money, let me know. We can talk. I’ll make you feel better about spending money. This whole putting in a barn thing is insane!!!!

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  2. YES!!! WOOHOO!!! I’m so glad you finally FOUND one! It is absolutely a Merry Christmas to you! Treat yoself! lololol I will tell you that I’d spend the extra $400 and buy the lux leather as well. Security it a HUGE part of feeling confident riding any horse you sit on, so I think spending the extra was absolutely worth it. I’m so glad that you found one that really works for both of you, and I can’t wait to see it! (make sure to get TONS of media!)

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  3. wait so you are getting new! and in the leather you wanted. I didnt realize that from our texts. WHOOOHOO! And yes she deserves a case of wine 🙂 HA HA HA that is great. WHEW. I hope Doofus appreciates you (i know he doesnt)! HA HA HA

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  4. Girl, you have earned every bit of the fancy sticky bum saddle and anatomical girth on your patience alone LOL! 😉 This is so exciting for you! What wonderful customer service and finally a fitter who sounds trustworthy and you can use in the future as needed! WHOO!

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  5. Yay! Now that’s how you do customer service! I’m glad that you splurged and bought the new one. In the grand scheme of things it won’t be that big a difference in cost per ride over the years. Life if short, get the right saddle.

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  6. Awesome! So glad you sprung for the upgraded grippy leather – that’s one of those things that you just won’t EVER regret, considering how much time you spend sitting in your saddle and all the things you want to do. Now H’Appy can get his butt back to work!

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    1. I went back and forth a lot but it was such a big difference and I wanted that leather so badly. I’m not sure he will be so happy to get back to it but in the long run he will be more settled with work. Now off to boot camp

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  7. Was it Melissa that helped you? She is wonderful if so! I love Melissa and she’s very knowledgeable!!! I harass her anytime I have a tack question 🙂 And truthfully the Farm House really does have the best pricing around (except if a product is on sale elsewhere but not yet there, but’s that’s true for any place!) I always check there first before buying elsewhere when I can! And omg if you want to treat yourself grab one of Noreen’s cookies when you’re there this weekend!!! She only makes them for the holidays and they’re soooooo delicious!!! Worth every calorie!! Glad you had a great experience!!! And yes for the upgraded sticky leather!!!

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    1. Meaghan. She was so amazing! I’ve never shopped there much because it is far away but wow. It’s worth the drive to support them. I’ve never met a nicer group of people. Wyatt helped himself to several of her cookies last weekend

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  8. You won’t regret sticky leather! So happy you have found a saddle that works. And I miss Farmhouse SO MUCH. I was obsessed with their clearance room. Ugh, I miss being like 30 minutes from them! They’re the BEST.

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  9. You damn well deserve to have had an amazing experience with a fitter after all the rigmarole you’ve been through to date! So freaking exciting to finally have all the saddle pieces solved!

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  10. YES! Definitely worth $400 for better leather. I went for the upgraded buffalo leather with my saddle because I felt like after all I’d been through with saddle fitting, I just damned well deserved it. Husband also isn’t allowed to get my Christmas presents for the same reason- I bought a new girth, new leathers, new river boots and new tall riding boots. If he gets me anything, he’s dead.

    It’ll def be worth the extra money to put this behind you so you can focus on really riding and having a kickass 2019!

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    1. Dusty is allowed to help Wyatt get me something but that is it. Which honestly, there really isn’t anything he could buy at the moment. All I wanted was a saddle and training and I got both already.

      Hopefully once P is set to go H will be too and we can do some schooling or a pace together again

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