Friday, July 13, 2012

Trial Saddle

It arrived!

It definitely has some age on it and I was kind of disappointed in how dry, dirty and scuffed it was. There was oxidation on the silver and it was rather dusty/dirty, but all of that can be taken care of.  (I know if I was selling my saddle, I would want it to be clean and supple, but I'm a bit anal like Pony Club, you learn that tack care is essential.) I think that is why I am still able to ride in my saddles and bridles that are 30+ years old.

The scuff marks are there to stay, but with some oiling, they shouldn't be as noticeable.

See the scuff marks along the pommel and cantle? The seat has staining on it like it was maybe rained on a bit, but all that is cosmetic. It seems to be structurally sound and the stitching seems good. It is foam flocked rather than wool. I've never had a saddle with foam flocking, so I don't really know the pros/cons. I've always heard that wool is better, but with no experience with the foam, I don't have my own opinion on it yet.

Photos of new saddle sitting on Scout's back without a saddle pad:

And with a saddle pad:

Me sitting in the saddle
(my hubby snapped these photos with his iPhone and Scout was standing a little downhill):
(and I dwarf my 12.3 hh pony!)

 With the dark breeches against the dark saddle, it is hard to see my leg position. I can say that this saddle is very, very comfortable though. I have been riding in saddles that were too big for me all of my life. They have all been 17 to 17.5 inches, so I end up sitting on the twist rather than in the seat. My seat bones have always hurt while riding and I have never been able to sit back and deep in the saddle because of this. Who knew what a difference 1/2 to 1 inch makes! (HUGE!!)

With this saddle, I can actually sit up and back comfortably without my seat bones screaming in agony. Wow, what a difference!!

I do think the saddle flap is too long for my leg. The flap measures 15.5 inches, and you can see my foot is hardly below the flap, so if I shortened the stirrups to jumping position, they would hardly hang below the flaps! (Hey, I am a very tall 4'11 and 1/2 inches!, but the flaps are still a little too long.)

Scout rode very well in it and part of that is because it puts me in a better position than my old Stubben Siegfried, (which, BTW is missing from the tack store I consigned it. Story for another day. :( ):

 So, that's the update on the new saddle. My hubby videoed me riding in it, but the file is too big to load and I don't have a YouTube account, so I'll have to get him to make some shorter clips this weekend. I have 7 days to try the saddle.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions on it. Keep in mind that it is very unlikely I will ever ride outside of our pasture and I don't have any grandiose plans to event, compete in dressage or jump again. If I ever did anything major, it would be a local schooling hunter show or trailride with friends. :)


SunnySD said...

Just my two cents, but if the saddle fits you and Scout, is sound and safe, and is affordable, you've got a good deal :)

Braymere said...

I agree. The saddle looks like a good fit on the pony and you're comfortable in it. Those are the two most important things.

Aesthetically, it would be better if the flap wasn't so big. However, that's not terribly important for riding in the field.


Enginerd said...

you like it.
He likes it.

my new one arrived last week. After 3 rides, Rico was so back sore he almost fell out from under me when I got on again.

Custom fit. Riiiight. So I have to send it to the fitter. GRRRR.

East Bound said...

I think the saddle is too long for your pony's back and is too big for you. I think your best bet at your height would be a kids saddle. there's a rule of thumb that the saddle shouldn't sit past a certain rib (sorry i can't remember which) but that saddle sits past all his ribs. if you want an expert's opinion talk to Kitt here:

and read her blog here

buckpony said...

Thank you all for chiming in on the saddle. Since this is my opportunity to purchase one, I need to make sure it is the right one. My problem is my budget. I truly do not have the money to spend on a saddle, so I am going to have to find something in a very small budget (~$400). My dear, sweet Mom is helping me out to make this saddle purchase possible.

Thank you so much for your take on the saddle East Bound and I will certainly check them out! I definitley need more education!

Enginerd, I am so sorry about your saddle! You need to write a book about all of your saddle fitting experiences! I hope the fitter can get it right this time. :)

Braymere, I have enjoyed seeing the photos of you on your pony! She is adorable!!

Thanks again sounds like I need to keep looking. If any of you know of a saddle that sounds appropriate, please let me know! I am looking at 16.5 in, medium tree saddles, but maybe I need to be looking into pony saddles as East Bound suggested...Let me know if you hear of anything!