tree mail

It's old news that I've had my share of saddle woes. My good old Circle Y Equitation saddle that I loved riding in for years, prior to getting Koda, stopped fitting him somewhere around age three. Four years later, I am still working on getting a saddle that fits both of us...sad, but true.

After trying different saddles that played into my hitting the ground a couple times, I've learned the hard way. A proper fitting saddle can make all the difference in the world! I don't enjoy learning from the school of hard knocks, and have high hopes I won't be repeating those lessons anytime soon. It's not like I didn't know how important saddle fit is to begin with...however, sometimes the ground isn't the only hard thing you run into.

Over the years I've asked a lot of questions, and put faith in trusted professionals. The one person I didn't put faith in was me. Had I listened to what my body was telling me, I wouldn't have purchased a saddle that wasn't completely right. It fit's my horse okay, but it doesn't fit me. I harbor no bad feelings toward the folks I entrusted for help, for in the end I believe we are all ultimately responsible for our own decisions. They have resolved many a saddle woes, and did their best to try to help me too. Guess everything with me has to be more difficult?!! 

I was tired of saddle searching and inconveniencing people. Scheduled trail trips were rapidly approaching. I wanted to move on, and just gave in. I ended up buying what turned out to be the wrong saddle. It's all on me. 

On the brighter side, as you may know, this difficult fitting duo of horse and rider are now looking forward to a custom saddle! After making the hard decision to purchase, and being measured. I found there were a lot of details that make up a saddle, that I had not really thought much about prior to ordering. 

I was going to share the details I chose, but many of them won't make sense. Unless you know what a #1 horn is, or a 13 swell, or the dish size of a cantle. However these details will make sense; I am getting partial rough out leather in key area's, a rounded skirt, and black padded seat. The horn will be wrapped, so I can play! I requested the same double shell edge tooling they did on my chinks:

tooling sample

The little bit of silver hardware will be like the center conch below. I didn't do a lot of cosmetic upgrades, because what matters most to me is that the saddle fits both of us and helps keep me seated. They assured me it will do both.

silver sample

I took photos of my horse "naked" from all angles...

...including a top view, while standing on the back of a tailgate. After emailing photo links for review....

...my anticipation grew...and then tree mail arrived!! Inching us one step closer to a new saddle. It was time for another Koda fashion show, this time wearing just the test tree. From the tree photos, taken from all angles, the saddle maker determines what adjustments need to be made different in order to fit Koda.

With all the tough saddle details figured out, horse and tree fitting photos done, now it's back to waiting and wondering...


Grey Horse Matters said...

I hope when you finally get your saddle it fits both of you perfectly!
As you say saddle fit is so important for both horse and rider.

I had a hard time finding a saddle for Dusty and Blue as they are both wither challenged. Each saddle I tried would slide around. Uncomfortable and unsafe for both of us. Finally, I had a saddle fitter come to the barn and I ordered a custom saddle which fits perfectly. We've had good rides since.

Good Luck!

fernvalley01 said...

so exciting! I have a custom saddle that was built for me by a good friend and saddle maker in the area here, not as custom as yours,but I do love it!

Lori Skoog said...

Finding the proper fit could not be more important to you and your horse. So good that you are willing to make sure this happens...so many have no clue if their saddle fits.

aurora said...

I know in the old days you rode in whatever, but riding & times have changed - and with it comes the need for better fitting saddles. Never realized so many went down this road, but when the fit is right - it's worth it's weight in gold.