Here is my favorite of the two:
Since it's designed to go cross country, it has a steep pommel, very forward stirrup bar, a balance point further back in the saddle and a relatively high cantle.
I've never really sat in cross country saddles. I've sat a lot in treeless saddles, a bit in dressage saddles, and occasionally in AP or close contact saddles, so this was my first forray into that world.
Unfortunately, this is how it sat on Izzy. Absolutely no way it's going to work.
Sigh. I did try lunging the mare in it with a few different padding configurations while she gave me the evil eye. I ought to know better by now, right?
I trusted in the fact that I've been really good to her lately, so I just hopped on really quick to see how it felt for me. Izzy let me know she was disgusted, but I was only on for less than 30 seconds in the round pen at a walk. Not the end of the world.
Unfortunately, those 30 seconds completely ruined me. The balance of this saddle is completely different than that of my Collegiate Alumni and it just works for me. Understand that I have short legs and a long torso, so I need something to accommodate my conformation a lot better.
1) I realize now that my confidence issues with jumping probably have a lot to do with constantly feeling like I'm off balance because my saddle isn't helping me at all.
2) I'm going to have to break down and do wither tracings on the wondermare. I simply do not have any options available for trying other saddles and I don't have unlimited income to throw at this. Hopefully, I can draft my fellow dressage-riding boarder into helping me. She likes saddle stuff, too.
So... anyone want to buy a Collegiate Alumni in relatively good shape? I'll throw in a couple adjustable gullets.