Tuesday, September 27, 2016

So I did a thing.... saddle!

I have been passively doing this saddle shopping thing for a few months now.  Because I am not anywhere close to a big stack store, it has proven a bit more difficult than I expected.  I contacted 5 saddle makers and only ONE was willing to come out.  The rest have said no or still haven't committed after over 30 days of back and forth.  Geez people, I have money I want to give you in exchange for that thing that you do for a living.  Why so difficult??
All together now.  Oooohhh....Ahhh.....
After CWD was out, I rode in the borrowed Innovation the next day.  With CWD fresh in my mind, I wanted to see if I loved the Innovation because it was such a shock from my Stubben or if it really was great.  Reading stories online, everyone seems to love the Innovation and is either a love/hate with CWD.  After riding in the Innovation again, I had to say, I really preferred the Innovation.

Looks like good balance front to back
At this point I had 4 different saddle resellers keeping an eye out on the 2 models I know I liked, a CWD SE02 with a 3C flap or a County Innovation.  The kicker is I want black or dark chocolate brown.  All of my tack is black, I don't want to have to spend another $500+ on replacing my bridles, girths and breastplates.

Very good spine clearance without gapping
I have auto-alerts set up on eBay, ETT, and 5 other FB groups to alert me if anything pops up.  For whatever reason, however, I just did a random search on some sites.  And I found it.  A 17.5 chocolate brown Innovation in a medium tree.  OMG.  The only concern I have is it has "whippy" panels, and I can't find anything out about these kind of panels on the Googles.  Just that it makes you closer to the horse.  Uh....
Why you no fit?!?!
I got the saddle last night and OMG the leather is so much more rich than anything I own.  *swoon*  THANKFULLY UPS decided to show up "early" and I was able to leave for the barn at my normal time of 530p instead of having to wait until when they normally show up, 630p-ish.  Woohoo!
After a thorough grooming (don't want to get the baby dirty), on the saddle plopped.  And I was crestfallen.  It isn't fitting :(  Obviously lopsided, gaping in the tree, Boo!  I started taking pictures to see how things looked and I noticed an....inconsistency.

Well this is a great reason why you no fit....
Apparently mareface is very asymmetrical right now.  Holy crap!  I broke out my trusty Mattes pad and put 3 shims on the left, then reduced it to 2, and now it sits much better.  I am still not 100% certain that this saddle isn't too narrow, I am by far no expert.  Does anyone have any thoughts or comments?  I have emailed the County rep, again, to try to get her out here but I have been emailing her since August 30th and have yet to get an appointment so I am not holding my breath.  And my success so far has been subpar in getting anyone out....

Looking better
I rode in the saddle and it rides like a dream.  It is SO comfortable and I feel so damn balanced <3!!  Mia jumped well in it, though was a little quick.  She was also quick the last time I rode though so I am not sure if it was the saddle or her being quirky.  The whole reason we started with the pelham is because she is being quirky.

Looking much better
The pisser of the whole ordeal is that I bought this saddle and THE DAY it arrives, I see a black Innovation come up for sale in a MW.  I have been searching since June/July!  On the plus side, it is a 17 inch and after riding last night, I don't think I would fit in a 17", but what a big middle finger.  Ha!

Tree vs right shoulder
I am going to ride in this a few more times before I make a decision on whether to keep it or not.  Because I am gone this weekend and have a show next weekend, I will be riding almost exclusively dressage so I won't even be using my nice new saddle very much before the show.  Ugh.  So...what do you think?  Does it fit?  Thoughts???

Tree vs left shoulder


  1. I have had various saddle sagas and I won't touch a county with a 10ft pole. My "custom" saddles made my horse very lame and $$$ later I finally got a different saddle. I have a CWD now with their pro panels and I never want to go back. That saddle will be pried from my cold hands. Hopefully you can return the county since it doesn't fit :(

  2. Try calling the rep, too easy to ignore an email. For my two cents I think the saddle doesn't fit.

  3. I don't think that saddle fits, but it's possible it could be made to fit. I'm not an expert. Good luck in the search. Also, you can re-dye a saddle to make it darker, so don't worry about the color.

  4. Ugh I hate saddle fit. That is all.