Thursday, March 31, 2016

saddle trial extension

Yesterday I mentioned that saddle fitter J would be coming to take another look at our K&M trial saddle. Technically, our 10-day trial period is coming to a close - and honestly I was ready, should the need for a decision arise, to say "yes, I'll buy it."

gorgeous light for the backlit trees!
Fitter J was quite generous tho, and offered to extend the trial period. For which I'm very grateful! While I'm about 87.5% positive that this is the saddle for us, there's a little more testing that needs doing before we pull the trigger.

why trot when you can float?!?

I've been using the Prolite half pad with the saddle so far into the trial, but recall the whole padding situation went sliding back behind the saddle during our recent xc school. Nooooo bueno!

Could easily have been a situation of not securely tethering the pads to the saddle... Or it could suggest that the half pad is actually interfering with the saddle's fit.

engage: Arab Mode
So we have been directed to ride this additional week with no half pad - just the saddle alone. The saddle itself really fits the horse so well that while part of me is concerned to not have that extra layer of shock absorption... I'm thinking the better fit is worth the sacrifice. But. We have this whole week to try it out.

much arab. so tail flag.
Fitter J was also very considerate in realizing that I truly want my trainer P's opinion on the saddle before purchasing (since last week's lesson was cancelled unexpectedly). So I have until this weekend to make a decision.

Honestly at this point tho - I fully expect that this saddle is our answer. There's a few small things I'm keeping an eye out for that would mean a definitive "No" - but I don't expect that to happen. I really want this saddle to work, and am optimistic it will.

Bolstering this opinion is a mare that continues to grow stronger and more comfortable through her back, and has schooled beautifully in this saddle, and in general, lately. Some of the best schooling (ie: unsupervised) rides we've had in recent memory!

All the same, tho. Decision day has been postponed until this Saturday. We shall see!!

43 comments:

  1. Supposedly if a saddle fits properly, you don't *need* a half pad. But still...I'm with you, so weird to ride without one. It sounds like J is super great :)

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    1. i'm honestly super happy with J - and only wish i had found *her* a year ago... and should i ultimately buy a saddle through her, the first refit/reflock is complimentary. not bad!

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    2. The "other fitter" came so highly recommended - who knew she would be SUCH a mistake :(

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    3. yea seriously... esp compared to J who's resume is still quite slim at this point. but she's good! i'm just happy to have it figured out (hopefully) now

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  2. I had to give up my love of half pads with my dressage saddle. Stinker informed me that he preferred the saddle sans half pad. And well he gets what he wants. Fingers crossed that everything works out and you get the final stamp of approval.

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    1. gotta love a horse who can express themselves that clearly tho! isabel doesn't usually have much to say about the saddle - unless it gets on her shoulders. then she can be quite expressive haha. and that was the worry with the half pad so... yeaahhhh. we'll see tho!

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  3. i always feel so so weird riding without a half pad now, but the fitter is right. the saddle fits her so she shouldnt need one. i guess if you were really worried about shock absorption you could get a thinline, they dont change the fit of the saddle at all (in my opinion).

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    1. i've heard that about thinlines too! my barnmate has one so maybe i can give that a whirl sometime or another too... seeing as i happen to have a penchant for hanging off my horse like a monkey, she could probably use some extra protection lol

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    2. Thinlines are a bit pricey, but I LOVE them. Not the big fluffy one, but the plain type don't interfere with the saddle fit.

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  4. Getting closerrrrr! I'm so eager for you to just hand over the money and be done with this saddle search!

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    1. omg meeeeee toooooo!!!!! i'm prettttttty sure that's what's gonna happen too, exciting :D

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  5. Finger and toes crossed for you that it is perfect.

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  6. I love generous trial policies--basically just did the same thing here.

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    1. seriously! tho i feel a little bad bc i'm honestly a bit rough on the saddle (and told the fitter as much) and will feel terrible if i return a bruised and battered saddle instead of ultimately buying...

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  7. Fingers crossed that the ultimate hunt is over.

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    1. we shall see!! hopefully the weather will cooperate too since i shouldn't technically ride in the rain with the saddle yet... ugh!

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  8. Here's hoping that all is right in the saddle world for you and Izzy!

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    1. yessss we would like that very much!

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  9. Fingers crossed! The girl I rode with last fall uses the Equifit halfpad under her custom saddle for shock absorption - her saddle is custom for her horse and can't fit a "regular" halfpad, but the equifit doesn't add any bulk. They're pricey, but if you run across one to borrow or on sale, might be worth it!

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    1. Def good to know bc I'm thinking we might be wanting a little something

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  10. waiting for the final determination is KILLING me!!!

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    1. Well: wait no longer- I bought it ;)

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  11. Have you thought about trying a Thinline pad? They are so thin that they don't really interfere with saddle fit, but offer lots of shock absorbing.

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    1. I've heard good things about those pads and may borrow my barnmate's thinline to try!

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  12. Fingers crossed that this is the one! Saddle fitting suuuuuuucks.

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  13. Keeping all my crossables crossed for you!

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  14. Technically, a correctly fit saddle doesn't need a half pad because the panels are essentially a half pad and absorb shock, etc. I stopped using a half pad on Fiction and it was the best decision ever haha. But yeah - some horses still need them/can't live without them.

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    1. I agree with you and will do whatever works best for my horse, especially as her back is changing shape somewhat rapidly we may be going back and forth on it for a while

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  15. I'm not sure what Thinlines run, but I will also say that Ogilvy gummy pads are quite thin and provide a bit more shock absorption in my experience that a Thinline. You might need to do a bit of research, but they are advertised as not altering saddle fit and being intended for saddles that already fit properly but need a bit more shock absorption. Because the memory foam squishes and molds, there's also not usually a problem with slippage.

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    1. Interesting! I tried the ogilvy memory foam pad a while ago and it was really NOT the solution to our woes, but perhaps the gummy version would be better?

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    2. It's definitely thinner than the standard pads. I think the gummy pad (which is still made with memory foam?) squishes to a 1/4." So pretty thin, but still provides that little extra.

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  16. I've got everything crossed. Hope this saddle continues to be the one.

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  17. So excited for you and miss mare! Fingers and toes crossed!!

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