I am super happy with my new dressage saddle. It fits him well with room to grow. It even fits my big butt and wonky hips. So why do I need a second saddle? My eventual goal is to do some low level eventing on Dickie. While he won't be jumping anything more than logs or cross rails for a long time I still plan on being outside conditioning him. I have always preferred a jumping saddle trail riding outside. I like to shorten my stirrups and get up into two point for a ride. It is so much easier to get up into two point when doing trot sets or galloping outside. And two point is a fantastic workout. Plus, when I am having a bad hip flare up I can pretty much always handle a jump saddle. Dressage position not so much. I can't justify spending the same amount on a jump saddle as I did on my dressage (nor do I have the funds at this time). If next year rolls around and it seems like Dickie and I both might like to pursue eventing my plan is to look for a Black Country Quantum or Ricochet.
For now my must haves are as follows:
1) A roomy medium tree: He needs a saddle that isn't tooooo wide but gives him a little room to grow. He also has TB withers so there has to be good clearance.
2) Padded knee rolls, and a small thigh block: I used to jump in an old school saddle without any knee padding. Then I had a hunt seat saddle with small thigh blocks and soft knee rolls. I did just find in my older saddle but I loved jump saddle #2. The soft leather is stickier and my leg feels more solid over uneven terrain. It is also just more comfortable on my lazy old joints.
3) Very forward flap: I like the forward flap so I can put my legs where ever I need them. If you are booking along down hill a bit of a chair seat goes with the territory. I don't have amazon legs but it always seems my knees get in front of flaps.
4) A little more saddle to my saddle: My last saddle was a simple hunt seat saddle. It had padded flaps with super thin blocks but nothing locked me into place. The twist was very narrow but that seat was fairly flat. It took my awhile to get strong enough to be stable in the saddle but I LOVED it to pieces. I actually purchased the same model two different times. I have to admit though that I am in a different place now. I am not in great shape and have more injuries that I did back when Bre was three. This time around I want something more cross countryish. I will take a little help from my saddle. Ok, maybe a lot of help.
I have been doing a ton of reading online about saddles that might work for us. One that seemed to gret great reviews from eventers is the Ainsley Chester. Mutlple people describe it to meet all of my conditions. I have been keeping and eye out for Berney Brothers, Courbette Visions, or Ainsleys. I love english made saddles and they seem to like Dickie's back so the BB and Ainsleys were at the top of my list. I have been emailing a few people when one popped up on ebay. It has a tear in the seat (still functional though) so the price is very low. I don't care about cosmetics though because it isn't my forever saddle. Plus, if for some reason it ended up being the best saddle ever my saddle fitter can repair the seat. I bid on the saddle and I hope I get it!! I think I will, it has been up for sale three times and hasn't sold yet. We shall see if it fits. It is such a steal that even if it just fit Bre I will keep it.
|The saddle I sold to pay for Dickie's board when I first got him. Bre and galloped miles and miles in this thing.|