Monday, February 22, 2016

So this has been talked to death...but....saddles.

So thanks to my super hard work, we sold our house for more than it was listed at when we took it off of the market last year.  SO was also very against the pricing I came up with when it was relisted because he thought we needed to go lower than last year, not higher, despite having entirely new carpet, paint and repair throughout.  I told him that if the pricing didn't work, I would simply lower the price but I was pretty confident I was at the right price point.  Low and behold, the price was spot on, if not too low, as we had 3 showings scheduled with 24 hours and an offer with 48 hours.  So yeah.  I was right on.

It has been decided that I deserve something special for all of my work and get-it-done of this whole process.  No complaining about moving despite not wanting to, getting the house and farm kept up by myself, taking care of both properties alone plus working full time.  We went to California for a short trip last December but I really deserve something special.  So it was decided I will get....a BRAND NEW SADDLE. I have a very liberal budget to get a saddle, hell I can get two of them within my budget!  If I was going to get a new saddle, I would get a new jump saddle. My dressage saddle is less than 10 years old and I think it fits me well.  I mean, I will replace/add a dressage saddle if I have the budget, but if I was going to replace one, it would be my jump saddle.

So what now?  Well, I have heard/read the saddle shopping process can be both invigorating and horrible, saddle fitters who sell for a brand can be really, truly bad and pushy but independents can be very inconsistent and very wrong.  Ugh.  At one point I had a Stubben rep out to fit App and nothing she said made sense and her only repsonse to my questions were "this needs reflocked" and "well, it's an older saddle.  It is from the 90's and they are much better now".  Uh.... okay?  How she was checking the fit went against everything I knew about saddle fitting, I felt I wasted my money.  So anyway, let me break it down, here are my issues.

1.  This is the biggest one.  I have only really known one saddle.  When I started riding english, as I rode western for about 8 years, I bought a no-name all purpose/no purpose for $100 off of a boarder at the barn I was at.  I had no idea of saddle fit and it didn't fit App and sure in hell didn't fit me but we managed because I didn't know better.  Over the course of about 2 years, I made a friend who had a older Stubben VSS and she let me borrow it when she wasn't using it.  It was much easier to ride in and I leared about english saddle fit.  When I finally scraped up my $400,  I found and then bought a Stubben VSS as well as it is what I knew and it is the only jump saddle I have ridden in since.  That was 2003, (I just calculated that in years, yikes I am getting old lol).  So I don't know any other saddles to know if I would like them and have no one to borrow a saddle from to try out.  I am hoping that changes when I start boarding again but am not super hopeful.  I don't know what I would like or not because I only know a Stubben VSS.

2.  Where the heck do I find qualified saddle fitters?  I have to hope that when I move, the boarders will be knowledgeable and helpful.  The rushed, incomplete and bias information is not what I want to deal with.

3.  This is embarrassing.  Don't judge me.  You know what?  Just don't read this one.  Just skip it.  Come on....  Fine, I will admit it.  I don't really want a NEW saddle.  There, I said it.  I know right?  What kind of Tack Ho freak am I not?  See, I am not sure I can convince my penny pinching self to buy a brand new saddle.  And I am great at caring for saddles but the first time I damage it??  I can't handle that kind of responsibility.  You should see me with my truck!  I am hopeful I can find something and look for a used equivilent.  And then maybe buy 2 saddles lol!  Maybe these saddle fitters will do used saddles? Argh!

So tell me peoples....what jump saddles do you have?  Which ones do you love?  Hate?  I am not super concerned about fit because Mia seems to be a pretty standard MW without real issues and I don't seem to have any super weird leg issues and am pretty proportional.  So...any suggestions?  Share your opinions!


  1. So I can't recommend a jump saddle but check out the Kent and Masters- I have the dressage saddle and love it- they have adjustable gullets which is great and are reasonably priced.

    All that said- try out friends saddles (and probably on their horse if possible. Find the saddle that fits you and then get the one that fits your horse. Also, go new- good saddles don't depreciate that much so you probably won't save a lot by buying new

  2. ha i don't really want a 'new' saddle either - there are so many excellent high-quality used saddles available that (imo) the value proposition is higher and you can get more bang for your buck going used.

    that said, tho, well.... my ongoing saddle woes are fully documented and as yet unresolved. and the first saddle fitter i worked with ended up really doing us a disservice fit-wise, so now i'm working with someone different. both came highly recommended... i think it's just the fact of the horse world that everyone will have their own approaches and methodologies and they don't always work for every horse.

    my current jump saddle is a close contact bates caprilli with wool flocking and adjustable gullet plates. i LOVE it and feel so secure and comfortable in it... but its' just the wrong shape for my mare so it's gotta go. le sigh.

  3. I'm casually starting to jump saddle shop too, and I really don't even know where to start. I know I need a forward flap, but then all the different brands have all different descriptions and parameters for what their version of forward is and I DON'T KNOW. I do want used as well though.

    Sorry that was no hope at all. Just commiserating! :P

  4. Saddle shopping sucks. A lot. I have a prestige that I love, but it doesn't fit the mule. I have a M. Toulouse with the genesis tree that kinda fits the mule, but I don't particularly like it. I'd highly recommend a Prestige if your horse has a normal back.

  5. Uhh... I know nothing about jump saddles so I can't help, but it just cracks me up how much we are alike!! I'm the same way about buying new stuff! I'm terrified of messing it up. I hope you can find something. That's so sweet of SO to suggest you buy something nice for yourself as a reward for all of your insane hard work.

  6. practically everyone i ride with has a Antares. They suck for my mare and I. Pitch me onto her neck. I did lots of online review shopping and stumbled upon a good online deal on a CWD jump saddle. Whatever you do, try to get a trial. As far as dressage i've only tried 3, and I loved the cheap Wintec. I don't know if I could buy a new saddle. Eek.