Recently I’d been having trouble with Faxx’s saddle continuously sliding to the left. No matter how tight the girth, at some point during my ride, the saddle would end up canted over to the left. I did not realize just HOW much it was slipping until I was at Marie’s during a lesson and got a head-on look at us in the mirror. My left stirrup looked 4 inches longer than my right one! I knew it had been a year or more since I had Faxx’s saddle fitted – unfortunately that is one of the disadvantage of having one’s own place – difficult access to many equine professionals that make regular trips to large boarding barns. Saddle fitters being a perfect example. Marie opined that she did not even think his saddle COULD be made to fit him anymore. Oh joy. The one he was wearing was Lisa’s old County WB that I loved, and that I purchased brand spanking new for $1200 after she had Fling in 2000 and no longer could ‘fit into’ her old saddle. After she had Fling, those ribs really spring out and they did NOT go back to their original shape! I had it fitted to him originally when he was a 4 year old and had it fit twice since then.
But the slipping was a bad sign, and he was also starting to really come off the bit and back off. So I knew the writing was on the wall.
Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately for my checkbook!) Jan Hulsebos was coming to Marie’s the following week.The only time I could go was after work. So I raced home , threw Faxx in the trailer and headed to Marie’s. Of course when I got there they were running behind, AND it was like a hurricane, the wind was blowing so hard. I do not know what it is about Marie’s,but it always seems to be windy there. It was definitely not the ideal conditions to be trying saddles.I am still a bit wary of Faxx after getting dumped, and add to it strong winds and unfamiliar/strange saddles. I did draw the line and told Jan ONLY used saddles. The first one I tried had huge thigh blocks and I continually fought with it.None of my saddles currently have much in the way of thigh blocks, but it seems all the new saddles have such big ones, they ‘lock’ you in place. so it was a no go for Saddle #1. Of course it was ‘only’ $2300. The second one, I thought was pretty – brown and black two toned – but really preferred not to get one that was not just solid black. It just did not look ‘formal’ to me. But, it was like Cinderella’s slipper – for both me and Faxx. And of course it was much more than Saddle #1. Of course. But, he goes better in it, and another plus – he no longer can pull me out of the saddle when he coughs mid-stride! But one down side – other than the price tag – it makes him feel 3 inches taller!!!