This is the lovely package that showed up at my house about 9am on Saturday. It's a 17.5" Passier Lennox with a wide tree. Here's a quick shout out to Patricia at www.yoursaddles.com . She was great to work with and had/has great prices.
While the saddle was shipping, I emailed Passier to verify the information I had. Yep, wide tree (never been adjusted) and built in '97. Perfect.
I took some pictures of the packaging in case it didn't work out and I needed to ship it back to Patricia. (Yep, online store and they do trials. Fab.)
Here's the wondermare herself. It was raining and blowing about a million miles an hour outside, so I dragged her and all my stuff to the indoor to tack up there. I know this isn't a great picture, but doesn't she just look great? Glossy, clean, happy, healthy.
Only the glowing demon eyes let you know how she felt at that particular moment. She was a little bit wild...
Here's the saddle on her. This isn't the greatest picture, but basically, it was low in front and high in back, the direct result of it being too wide in front and thus sitting awkwardly.
Never fear, dear readers. That is exactly how she likes it.
I put it on with a thin pad and lunged her in it. As I expected, she locked her ears on it and was reluctant to move forward. "Hello," she was telling me, "that is not what you're supposed to do."
So. We went back to her favorite option. I put her favorite little front lift pad on, which filled the extra space, lifted the front of the saddle and leveled out the seat.
This picture was taken Sunday, when we got the sun back.
Anyways. She went much better. She didn't even nip at my foot when I mounted, which was interesting.
We had a great ride Saturday, and then I went home to think about it. My primary concerns were that while my butt absolutely LOVED the saddle, I wasn't too sure about the flaps. As you can see in the picture, they're pretty long. Also, The stirrup bars seemed farther forward than I would expect on a dressage saddle. Oh, and the high wither cut out seemed kind of ridiculous. Izzy has high withers, but the saddle is apparently designed for some monster freak.
See? Very high.
I thought about it. I looked at the pictures I took. Then, I trooped back to the barn on Sunday and saddled up again. I didn't wrap the leathers this time (gasp! starting to commit) because I wanted to be absolutely sure this is what I was looking for. Yes, I can and probably will sell and buy again, but this saddle needs to do me for at least a year.
Well, here it is. Sorry about the picture--had to beg a fellow boarder to take it and you have to take what you can get with those.
Izzy is balanced and quiet. She isn't bracing her topline against the saddle. I'm happy and secure.
Yeah, the flap is a bit too long for us. It will be a little better as my leg improves and I can drop my stirrups back down a hole or so. A short flap model would be better, but well out of my price range.
And did I mention that my butt is way, way happy? So good. We officially have a new saddle.