Monday, July 18, 2016

Saddle test #2

I had no idea I would suddenly be granted access to other people saddles just because I mentioned saddle shopping, how awesome!!  After I tried the Innovation, the other barn owner surprised me by offering up her CWD.  (Disclaimer: I know very little about CWD's!  Any info I type about the actual saddle may be wrong).  It is a SE02 with a 3C flap.  From some Google searches, a SE02 is a half deep seat and a 3C is a forward flap.  It is foam flocked, my first experience with one, and it was odd feeling just how squishy it was!

Flap captured for my future reference
I tacked up Mia and this saddle had a better balance than the Innovation and didn't need any front/back shims but Mia was very ear-pinny while tacking up.  She isn't normally grumpy so I kept it in mind as I started my ride, it may be an ill fitting saddle.  I am normally pretty good about figuring out saddle fit, but for the life of me I couldn't tell for certain.  It looked alternately too narrow in her shoulders by the tree and too wide other places  I am leaning towards too narrow though.

The saddle had fairly good balance as we trot/cantered around.  I had the same tippy problem in two point, but not as bad as when I was in the Innovation.  The weirdest thing about the saddle is that it "squished" or "whooshed" out air every time I posted, so it was a constant "pssh...pssh...pssh" the entire ride.  Maybe a foam flocked saddle thing?  No idea, no experience outside of this saddle with foam flocking.  Just odd.

I popped Mia over a little jump and, like the Innovation, my position was immediately more secure than in my beloved Stubben.  Apparently my little saddle has not been helping me out all these years!  I jumped a 2nd jump and Mia was good but a little squirrely.  Hey, she has been doing this, that is why we have the pelham!  I then put her over one of the bigger stadium jumps in the area and it went well.  I then put her over the 3'3" panel jump and the wheels fell off the bus.  Mia knocked down the jump pretty hard.  Odd....  I hopped back on and tried again and holy hell I almost came off.  Mia deer lept over it like it was four fricken foot tall!  I came seriously close to an unplanned dismount but saved it, likely due to the saddle keeping me in position.  Phew!

I was pretty surprised and a little shaken by her jump attempt, maybe she wasn't happy about the panel and was overjumping?  We went over a 3' skinny and again she overjumped it despite having a great distance.  I decided I wanted to live (lol) and popped her over the 2' starter jumps I had and even at a trot, she would massively overjump and was landing really hard.  After 3 mor attempts, I called it quits and swapped out saddles, I was suspicious the saddle didn't fit and Mia was telling me in a not so subtle way.  I came back out with my beloved Stubben and the first jump Mia overjumped a little but then when (I can only assume) she realized it didn't hurt, Mia the Machine came back.  She jumped everything beautifully and didn't knock a thing over.  The one jump that she got really speedy after, a bump with the curb rein on the pelham brought her right back.

We had a cool 3' Swedish crossrail, a 3'3" panel, a 2'9" skinny and 3 smaller jumps.  At the end, I even strung them together in a course and Mia was SOOO good.  No rushing, a nice collected canter and a perfect takeoff at each jump.  When she wants to work with you, man can you get crap accomplished!

So my evaluation of the CWD?  It was pretty nice!  It obviously didn't fit my horse but it kept me in position and I didn't feel like I was fighting at all.  That said, I am not sure it felt good enough to justify the significant cost increase for the CWD over the Innovation.  I am trying another CWD, a monoflap, so we will see what happens there.  The saddle model search continues!


  1. Good for you for listening to her. I would be worried about the foam as my understanding is you can't reflock it if you need to.
    But knowing that that one fits you is good information

  2. Ugh, I hate when the saddle fits you, but not the horse. All my saddles fit my mule, but not me, because I'd rather her be happy (and not buck me off) but I'd love to find that magic saddle that fits us both.

  3. I've ridden in many a foam-flocked saddle and they do not make air noises.