I’ve Been Cheating

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!  


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20 thoughts on “I’ve Been Cheating”

  1. My Antares & Custom were neasy buys but I had saved up the money to get what I wanted, new. Any time I’ve tried to find something used, which is the case with almost every other saddle I’ve bought, ohhhhh the struggle! Neither of these saddles fit my current roly poly guy very well and mytreasured Antares chucks my lower leg laughably forward into his left armpit. Sad face!!!!

  2. I found my CWD used online, after trying lots of barnmates saddles. Antares felt awesome but pitched me forward on downhill mare, no bueno (as did my cheap Pessoa i bought off friend that worked on like every other horse). I am cheap so there are prob better options but after dropping good $$$ on CWD its not going anywhere fast.

  3. i found a great saddle and it took me about 4 months so semi-easy? But i just wanted to laugh with you on walking right by the saddle in the house to go to the barn. OMG so easy to do. (I have at least remembered before I pulled out the driveway).

    Since my new to me saddle cost so much I really don’t want to leave it at the barn. Sad isnt it?? LOL so I schlep it back and forth and it takes up residence in our dining room on a saddle rack #keepingitclassy HA! Glad you are getting to try different saddles though that is good to always keep your options open!

    1. Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who leaves their saddle in the wrong place. When we move in a few weeks, my saddle is coming home and honestly it might live in my dining room too! It’s the most expensive piece of “furniture” I sit on, so why not have it in the house lol

  4. My saddle fitting experience was easy-peasy. We have a very knowledgeable saddle fitter in the North Denver Metro area and I told her the gist of what I was looking for and my budget. She had me come sit in saddles at her shop (to get an idea for my proportions) and about two weeks later she came out to my barn with about 10 demo saddles (maybe 4 brands?). After taking measurements and outline sketches of my horse, we were able to eliminate a few of the saddles she brought, but I bet I still tried 6 or 7 (they were all new – she tends to only sell new). The saddle I wound up purchasing (Prestige X-Meredith – designed for shorties like myself) was also the last saddle I tried. It sounds insane, but it reminded me of wedding dress shopping. It was like “oh yeh… this is THE ONE!”. If you do go saddle shopping, you will know when you find the right saddle for you. Good luck!

    1. Gosh, I so hope I have that experience. We have a few great fitters in the area, but it’s always about what they have at that moment. I’m pushing this shopping trip off until I HAVE to do it, but I hope it goes like yours!

  5. Ugh I’m in the middle of ‘my saddle doesn’t fit my horse’ right now. On top of that, apparently my money is no good since only one saddle company of the four I contacted bothered to call me back… Luckily I seem to have found one I love, but I have this minor doubt that it’s the only brand I got to try.

    1. Oh see that would totally turn me off – if you can’t call me – then I don’t need your fancy leather. And that’s a hard one, I have horrible buyers remorse, so I might need to try a few regardless. Even if they are really bad lol. Fingers crossed this Unicorn is perfect for you!

  6. I have a custom Antares sooooooo I really can’t comment on the ease (or not ease) of saddle shopping haha. Glad you liked the borrowed saddles!

  7. My local saddle rep came out, looked me up and down, said “oh you’re a tall one, aren’t you?” Then she pulled an Antares out of her van and about 20 minutes later I bought it because it was magical. When Francis came along we had it re-paneled to fit, and that’s about the only thing we’ve had to do!

  8. I despise saddle fitting. I’m 5’10” also, with dumb, long legs so regular flaps don’t fit me. Coupled with my hard-to-fit horse and his massive shoulders, we’re a saddle fitters nightmare.

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