Saddle Woes, Whoa and a little bit of Wow

June 12, 2014

I was going to call this post ‘Saddle Sores’, but I was afraid that no one would read it, but worry not, this has nothing to do with one’s comfort issues or lack of comfort issues after spending time in a saddle and everything to do with spending money on a saddle.

We have uncharacteristically been out to our favorite saddle store three times in the last week.  The first time was simply to pick up a bit of off-cut leather and to take Dear John and Dear John’s wife on one of our favorite field trips.  I snagged this picture from Dear John’s blog, you can go there to get their take on the experience and see a bunch of cool pictures.saddlepicm1I have a beautiful saddle, a very beautiful saddle and I love it, but there was concern, that my beautiful Beau does not.  One of the experienced riders at the Saddle club thought that Beau might be bucking because he is hurting, so we loaded up the horse and the saddle and went back out to the experts…Don’s Leather Shop where the Bacon family has been making custom saddles for years.

We rolled in to Bacon’s told the brothers that the saddle we’d bought there last year does not fit our horse.  This was a priceless moment as both brothers looked at the other and said, ‘Did you fit that one?’  I assured them, that we’d messed it up all on our own and that they were not to worry, but we did need their advice.  It was determined that indeed my beautiful saddle did not fit Beau and we would leave it at the saddle store on consignment.  It made me sad, but was the practical thing to do.image

The inside of the saddle, the tree, is what the saddle is built on.  It comes in all sizes and shapes and is the predominant concern for fitting the saddle to the horse, so began our lesson in saddle fitting…a happy horse will certainly be a happier rider, especially if that rider is me.  saddlepicm2

Beau is a big boy.  I am a big gal, so we needed a better saddle to fit us both, as we plan to barrel race at lightning fast speeds, or at least to break out of a trot.  We are quite happy to buy stuff used (cheaper and broken in).  We quickly learn that used saddles do not always fit and are not always cheaper…as in the case of this custom used beauty on sale for $2000.00saddlepicm5(Insert funny caption here about the horse I am riding…)

We find one in the store that almost works and is only a little bit more expensive than my beautiful saddle we are leaving behind…saddlepicm4…but it doesn’t fit Beau…darn.  We leave to think things over….the Bacon’s assuring us that they are happy to help check the fit on any saddle we might find…I am a bit sad, but being practical.

My Loving Spouse starts a saddle hunt on Craig’s list as he is an optimist.  He and Number Two Son also picked up Dixie who had been broken and begun early training, so saddle issues are now in place for her as well!

Fast forward a few days and we are now back at the Saddle store for the third time, with 2 horses and 2 saddles.

1. My Loving Spouses beloved roping saddle that belonged to a good friend

2. One he found on Craig’s list.

The bad news is that his saddle does not fit either horse.

The cheap saddle from Craig’s list is a cheap saddle (one time terrific) from Craig’s list.

The saddle that fits our sweet Dixie?  My beautiful saddle, that we’d left on consignment, but now remove and I say to My Loving Spouse, “Happy Father’s Day/Birthday” you now have a beautiful saddle.

…and for Beau and I?

We break down and order a new saddle with all the right measurements for horse (Beau) and rider (me) at more than I was comfortable spending on me…not on Beau, but you know….not a custom one, but fancy for me none-the-less.

That’s it.

End of the story.

Spending more money on the saddle than we did on the horses (except that the saddles do not eat while we are sleeping).

Until…

The saddle store called…my saddle would take all summer to make and get here, but this particular saddle company has another saddle a bit fancier (more expensive) that is ready now, but it has some small blemishes that they are not happy with, so they’d offer it to me at a discount…and so we say yes…saddlepicm3

  • Diane Brown

    Wow! Beautiful saddle! Congratulations! Glad you don’t have to ride the headless horse.

    • Ellen

      He never bucks, but is not too exciting either.

  • Miriam

    As a city girl, I never knew that not all saddles fit all horses. The things I’m learning from you! Congrats on your new saddle! Happy trails!

  • So glad it’s all working out.

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