Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saddle Trial... Finally!

As you probably guessed, the saddle didn't come on Friday and I was not pleased.  I decided to go out and lunge Alex anyway, just so we would be ready when the saddle finally arrived.  When I got to the farm, look what I found in front of his stall...

Another casualty... chewed off.  Alex has one more pair of boots with Velcro before he gets pull on boots.

Now, since I know everyone has been waiting on pins and needles about the saddle trial :-)  It finally arrived on Saturday morning!

Of course I couldn't wait more than a few hours to try it out...
I lunged Alex first since he'd had a few days off and hadn't been ridden for almost a week.  After an uneventful few minutes I climbed into the saddle.  First thing I noticed was that it was wider at my thigh, which I attribute to the fact the stirrup bars are not recessed.  It didn't bother me, but was just different.  The second thing I noticed was the difference in the tree.  I'm so used to riding in my Stubben that is eons old, that it's weird to ride in a "cushy" saddle with a spring tree.  The third thing I noticed was that Alex's bounce was back! Part of that was probably the time off, but I also think the saddle played a roll.  There was none of the stiffness from behind and lack of forwardness that I felt last Sunday.  One day down.

After our ride, I took Alex out to graze for a few minutes...

"What's out there, mom?"
Today was our second day in the new saddle, I decided to just get on and ride to see how Alex felt.
Basically all I can say is that the ride went really well, Alex seemed happy as a clam and I felt super secure and balanced.  I also noticed just how much more I can feel in his back with this saddle, it almost feels weird ;-)
Here's a few after ride photos courtesy of the hubs.
We finished up with a bath, where Alex decided to play clown and try to bother me while I took his bell boots off.
"I can almost reach you...."
Soooo, basically, I'm about 90% sure I'm keeping the saddle, it does have a few minor cosmetic issues that I think could be easily fixed.  I have been looking for a month and haven't found any other saddle that has everything recommended by the County Rep/Fitter like this one does and honestly I can't wait any longer, Alex's back needs this now.
Tomorrow I'm going to ride in it again and make a final decision as well as make a call to someone who does repairs for County so I can get an idea what it will cost to fix/how long it will take.  These repairs are not an emergency, but I'd like to get them done so it can be perfect!.
So far, Alex seems very very happy.