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.
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!
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!
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?