Basically I spent the entire weekend (and some of today) looking for saddles. While there haven't been an abundance of saddles posted with my required specifications, I have inquired about a few. I found one for a great price that's structurally sound, but has seen some wear and has a few cosmetic defects. It does have everything I am looking for in the Stabilizer, but I expect to have this saddle for a long time, so I'm wishy washy-ing around about how I feel about the condition. The seller is thinking over my suggestion of a few days trial (apparently she just wants it sold). I'm just not going to make that kind of purchase without seeing the saddle in person first. So we'll see. Hopefully I will get a few more responses to my other inquires soon.
Alex has been doing very well. I'm so excited he's cleaning his feed tub regularly both morning and night including the bulk of his supplements. This has been a struggle since he arrived. I continue to slowly increase his feed so I can get him nice and fat before winter comes :-) He's also doing well under saddle. Tonight there was only one little bounce/buck at the canter and it was not during the depart. I could be wrong, but I'm starting to feel like my thoughts about his bucks being "anticipation/anxiety" about remembered pain were correct. This of course doesn't mean I don't still need a new saddle, but at least we're heading the right direction!