Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Saddle Shopping II: Well That Was Easy

Want. Can not have.
So last week I mentioned that I was giving it up and actually looking for a saddle that I could ride in that also fit my horse, since I had collected four that didn't work for us. We had a super attractive trial saddle, but it just wasn't quite going to work for us. (Lovely 17.5" adjustable gullet Pessoa with forward flaps, wool flocking, super nice leather, and matching calfskin leathers. Contact Gingham if you're interested!)

I've gone back through the barn and tried on pretty much everything without any great results. C-rage is medium-ish with a pretty average back, but I need something pretty specific and nothing was really working out.

As reference, here are just some of the things we've tried to date:
18" narrow

Lovely Jimmy Wofford Cross Country saddle. Too narrow. Way too narrow for his big ol' shoulders. Not going to work, since I own it.

18" mw
Berney Brothers all purpose-y saddle. Width about right, but is just sits on him funny. Look at how the back of the panels don't touch his back. Flap also does nothing for me.

17" mw
Borrowed custom Stubben saddle. Fits me ok, too wide for him. We can make it work with lots of shims, but hard to find this model online, especially in the width I need and ordering new is not in the works this year.

Because why not? 
I was bummed out and decided to just give it up  completely and buy a western saddle.

And then redheadlins came back from her extended vacation and was like "NO NO NO JUMP SADDLE FIRST". She followed that up by going to our local tack store and telling me I had to come in because there were two that might work for us. I sort of doubted it, but I at least wanted to order a trial of the Ovation monoflap saddle to see if that would work.

Enter local tack store.

17.5" medium? 
I was totally blown away. They had not one, but TWO (!!) forward flap medium tree-ish saddles more or less in my (hypothetical) price range. One was the cross country model of the Berney brothers saddle in a 17" seat and the other was a 17.5 Barnsby Diablo. I wasn't optimistic about the Berney Brothers since I already own one, but the Barsby? Haha. Not only have I run across them when doing research for saddles before, but they came up again last week when chatting with sometime blog reader K (hi K!).

I took both saddles on trial, marched out to the barn, slapped them on C-rage and found...

The Barnsby fits like a glove.

The panels make even contact all along his back. He has plenty of wither clearance. The flaps hang along his side instead of sticking out like would-be Pegasus wings. I even hopped on and rode for a few minutes in the 100f weather on Sunday and it was great. Good balance for me and still looked great with no objections from him.

It's older and needs a little love, but I'm thrilled. This is the easiest saddle shopping round I have ever done.

Because this post needed a cute Courage picture
So... who wants to buy my other saddles? Haha. Guess you'll see me posting those around now.


  1. Yay on such a painless search - wishing you loads of well wear with your new saddle & the very best of luck selling the others!

  2. I hope my saddle shopping goes as smoothly!

  3. Yay new saddle!

  4. Wahoo! Congrats on a (somewhat) painless saddle search :)

    If I wasn't trying to offload my own 17" Stubben, I'd definitely inquire about what you had for sale!

  5. Wow that was fast!! Congrats on your speedy search!

  6. Yay for saddles!!! I'm trying to find a good English saddle for my Western "pony" with a very cheap budget. I know nothing about saddle fit other than the basics because Western Saddles are pretty much one size fits all, lol!

  7. I really miss my Barnsby jumping saddle, it was so comfy! I'm glad you found one that will work for you and Courage!!!

  8. Aw, yay! My dressage saddle is a Barnsby, and I loooove it. It fits my otherwise-narrow-except-for-the-ridiculously-wide-shoulder horse, and I wish I'd thought to comment about that. So glad you found something!

  9. You are so lucky to have found one so easily. I love Barnsbys,....totally underrated I find!

  10. Yay! If anyone can love a saddle back into prime shape, it's you.

  11. That was easy. Yay!

  12. good find! Now treasure that thing since Barnsby just went under last month...

  13. So great to find a saddle that works! I'm still kicking myself for selling my last saddle.

  14. Glad you found something that works, saddles are so tricky.

  15. Almost too good to be true... yahoo!!

  16. Awesome! I'm so glad you found a new saddle with so little fuss!

  17. Yay! I'm interested in the Jimmy Wofford but Hemie is a medium I think...

  18. I feel like you must have hit the lottery! congrats!

  19. I have a Berney, no one else I know has one or has even heard of them! Love it. That Barnsby looks just as gorgeous though. Glad something worked for ya !

  20. *pouts* Now I wanna go saddle shopping too!
    Glad you found such a great fit. If anyone can give that saddle the love it needs to look great again, you sure can ;-)


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