Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taking a poll please make your vote.

Thank you ALL so so much.  You have really made me remember that I love my horse and just need to keep working at this process of finding a saddle to keep him as comfy as possible.  So here is my predicament.  I need to make a choice here and because I am so indecicive and you all are SO smart I thought I would pick your brains.  Here is the thing I want to ride!  I feel like I NEED to ride.  Now I know I will not die if I do not ride but my exsistence will be depressing not doing so.  And with my strong drive to train and compete that is what I WANT to do.  I have already made a deposit on event camp for July.  I was hoping to be fit and ready to really get my moneys worth at this camp as far as training.  So I am now confronted with a few options in order to make this happen or to even just ride.  What say ye?

The County came in the mail today and I rode in it.  My conlusion about it that it is not perfect but I could possibly make it work for the time being.  Alone it sits too close if not on his withers.  But with my Lami-cell pad it comes up off his withers and looks to me to fit fine(but what do I really now about saddle fitting).  Truely if I had to guess he would need wither gussets to fix this problem that we have with every saddle.  Here is the County on Steady with the Lami-cell.

A saddle fitter will be coming to event camp in July that I was planning to make an appointment with.  She is and independent fitter and also has saddles for sale that she brings with her.  There is also a saddle fitter coming to CAF at the end of the month.  I was planning to make an appointment with her but  I found out that I had to have a saddle for her to work with and that is not my situation at this point.

So here are the options in no particular order

1:  Buy the County for $995 and buy a Mattes pad to  make it work until I can meet with a fitter.
       options for fitting
      A: Meet with the fitter at CAF at the end of April with the County.
      B: Call up the local County rep and have her fit the saddle.
      C: Meet with the fitter at camp in July with the County.
2: Ship back the County.
    A: Just wait and see what happens with the saddle fitter at event camp and just be happy that I get to own a horse and plan on taking training seriously next year.
    B: Get a bareback pad and just enjoy trail rides and hacks.(these two options mean I probably won't ride in event camp.  I think I will get everything back but the $100 deposit if they can fill my spot which I am sure she can)
3:Try something like Trumbull Mtn. and take another risk and shipping costs trying to make it work.
4: Any other option I may not be seeing.


  1. Hmmm, well, it's very difficult for amateur me to say without being there, but it sits pretty darn close to the withers, closer than I'm super comfy with, say, landing after a jump. I can see a "bang" waiting to happen.

    On the plus side, it does look like it is sitting level on him.

    On my jumping saddle, it tries to collapse on Solo's withers and I have been able to jury rig it with a fat Fleeceworks sheepskin pad that has a wither cutout. It's not perfect, but it keeps it out of the red zone and Solo moves well.

    We have a similar wither problem. Our solution was wither gussets and a dropped panel (check out our dressage saddle review).

    I think it would be worth taking some more detail pictures of the saddle sans pad (zoom in on the wither area from the front) and talking to the County rep.

    I know how frustrating it is, I rode for three months without a saddle one winter because I couldn't find anything that would fit Solo that I could afford. I will say this -- it is not worth it to buy a saddle that "kinda" fits. You will spend a bunch of money trying to make it fit that you could have just put into a saddle that REALLY fits. Been there, done that twice now (I am a slow learner).

  2. Well, I think the Mattes half-pads are great, for a lot of reasons. They add clearance and stability, primarily. You said you ride in the saddle, but you didn't say very much about that. How did you feel in it, and how did Steady go in it?

    I know how I would feel riding in a $995 saddle - hysterical that I might get a scratch on it! I know there are much more expensive saddles out there, but yikes, saddles cost so much money.

    I'm an amateur too, but it does seem to me you could have set the saddle back a hair or two.

  3. Eventer79 I re-read your dressage saddle reveiw and drooled once again lol. (Ok I just typed up this hugeola long response and decided to just put it all in an email.

    Muddy K if you would have told me a year ago that i would consider spending that amount of money on saddle I would have said "NO way!" as far as me goes the saddle was super comfy and I liked sitting in it. As far as perfect fit not really I really need a more forwad flap for perfect. But it fits good for me.

    Steady went fine in it but he is soooo tolerant that it would take a considerable amount of time for him to protest unless it was crazy bad.

  4. It's hard to say from just the side view. Can you get pics with no padding at all, from the side and also at an angle, so we can see if there are any gaps or pressure areas? Girthed and un-girthed is helpful too.

    Try running your hand under the saddle (again with no padding) and feel for any tight spots or gaps.

    It's a purty saddle, for sure! I know how frustrating saddle shopping/fitting is, for sure. Once you find "the one" though, it's a heavenly feeling:)

  5. A County rep was at our barn just today! Not for our horses...BO and another boarder were having theirs adjusted. Would love to have Countys for our horses!

    In looking at the pics of Steady in the saddle, I agree that pics from the front would be helpful and without the pad. But, looks wide to me and like it is sitting on his withers.

    Have you looked in to a Bates? We purchased one last fall for our daughter's TB - working well for them.

  6. I would look at the saddle without the pads on. With all those pads it's hard to determine how it fits. Can you fit three fingers between the withers and saddle with no pads? If the answer is no, then I wouldn't keep the saddle. If he is uncomfortable no matter how much you ride your training won't be very productive.

  7. The saddle without pads I could NOT fit 3 fingers.

    I agree with the photos it is hard to tell but it is definitly not wide it is a narrow tree. After seeing this saddle I have determined it is not the tree size that is a problem it is the panels that need something different and wither gussets. County trees actually seem to be a good shape for Steady it is those darn hollow spots under the withers. Yes I actually trialed a Bates last week. It was the same thing, fit good EXCEPT those darn withers. I could get by with the pad but alone, no way.

  8. Don't forget that as Steady gets more fit his back will change shape. The hollows under his withers should disappear as he develops more muscle over his back. My TB also gets hollow like that under the wither, my saddler told me to fold up a no-bow bandage and put it under the saddle over the wither. No other pads, just the no-bow.

    If the tree is the correct size, then a good saddler should be able to flock ot to fit Steady correctly. I've never purchased a saddle without a saddler looking at it first, though. They're just too big of an investment! I'd call the County rep and see if she'll come out. My saddler has a trailer full of saddles that he brings with him for you to try out and he always makes house calls.

  9. My only advice is to have the pro saddle fitter(s) out. They can give you the best guidance so that you can ride this year and Steady can stay comfy. :)

  10. I'm going with option 1b. I cannot imagine a narrow horse, but that's cuz I have Ms. Wide. If the profile of the saddle seems to fit him, see what you can do with pads and flocking and solid advice. Those hollows will fill up with proper schooling, so a custom fit saddle now won't help soon. However, you must have something...

    Good luck! Wish I was there to help out.

  11. Wow I know nothing about saddle fit, but I do sympathize. I have a feeling I'll be going through that eventually. Friesians are hard to fit and I can't imagine what a Friesian/Arabian is going to be like lol!


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