On my saddle that is.
My brain malfunctioned several times in the past few weeks and led to my saddle being left in the kitchen – while I was off to the barn. Since my friends either took pity on me, or find my spastic tendencies entertaining, I was able to snag a few rides in new to me saddles.
Saddle in high school days
Remember that my saddle and I are in a serious, long term relationship, the longest that I’ve ever had. It was a secret gift purchased by my mother, unbeknownst to my poor father. The Devoucoux biarritz has been a constant in my riding life ever since. It fit my large and lean TB lease mare in high school, and managed to work for my round as a barrel appendix mare..and almost anything in between. Dee doesn’t count, that mare is a hard fit!
Fits this round mare.
Just not this one.
The first time I showed up saddle-ess to ride, I walked right by my saddle at home and arrived to ride big red horse before I realized my mistake. I borrowed my lesson – mate’s Beval Stamford. I was pretty sure I could survive the ride, but did not think it would fit me. She is all of 5’4” (sorry Julie – just guessing) and I am 5’10”…but after I dropped her stirrup leathers (children’s leathers by the way) 9 holes or so, I managed to get my foot in the stirrup. I was so, so impressed. It was really comfortable for me, and feel like I fit the saddle much better than I thought!
Not good picture, but okay fit!
The second time that I left my saddle (I am a creature of habit), I was riding at the same time as lesson-mate, so I begged a different friend for a ride in her Antares. Formerly my trainer’s saddle, this rider and I have similarly sized limbs, so I didn’t have to adjust as much. Climbing up, I started to feel guilty…because it felt awesome. With just a slightly higher seat and longer knee flap than mine, it really held me in place while big red horse and I hacked around.
In hindsight, I had some kind of illusion in my mind that since my saddle had worked for me for such a long time, that I somehow would be ruined for any others. And for a long time, I think maybe I was. But now I’m an adult, with different proportions than 15 year old me. The idea of saddle shopping gives me nightmares, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the diverse options I had tried, and how well they worked. Maybe when that scary day happens and I have to find a new saddle, it won’t be as bad as I thought?
Anyone else want to tell me good stories about their easy saddle shopping? Or perhaps how many times their barn family put up with them saddle swapping?
Because bareback walks are all about all I can manage without a saddle!