Wednesday, January 21, 2015

saddle showdown via gifs

I managed to get in an actual ride with the trial saddle!! For context, it's a Bates X-Country close contact 17" saddle with an adjustable tree (the yellow narrow size is in it now). The Cair panels were replaced with wool flocking, tho the saddle would need to be reflocked if I decide to buy it. 


I'll hopefully get another couple rides in before the trial period expires (and I plan to extend the trial too) - but at least now I have a little more insight on the saddle. First up: it is by FAR a better fit for Isabel than the Wintec. It's not exactly perfect, but reflocking would help. 

The fit for me is good too - tho the leather is slick. Obviously after riding in a Wintec for so long, anything else might feel more slippery... but really, the leather needs some work.


Our motivation for saddle shopping is: 1) get a better fit for Ms Princess; and 2) get a better fit for me. This saddle checks off #1, but what about #2? Below are gif comparisons of me jumping in the Bates and the Wintec. I know it's kind of fast and hard to see bc of the darkness, but maybe this helps to draw some conclusions? 

Bates

plz ignore the questionable elements of my eq that are not related to saddle fit lol

My thoughts? My lower leg swings a little bit, but really for the most part it's staying relatively stable underneath me. 

Wintec 


Granted this is perhaps an unfair comparison bc we hit this oxer at a less-than-ideal distance and it's a bit larger than the green box above... but it's a good example of what I dislike about the Wintec. Like the fact that my knee is practically in front of the knee roll on take-off, and my lower leg swings from Isabel's elbow to quite a few inches behind the girth.

So ultimately, the jury is still out on the Bates. My impression is that it is a definite improvement on the Wintec - but I don't love the saddle's condition (and definitely NOT for its price tag!).

Trainer P says not to settle bc there are so many saddles out there, and I respect that. But I'm considering putting in a low-ball offer that would leave me wiggle room to get something better later...? 

28 comments:

  1. I agree with your trainer. There are LOTS of used saddles out there. I wouldn't settle on the first one you find if you don't love it. Maybe search for another of the same model in better condition?

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    1. haha thanks - i'm officially on the hunt.... and trying to be patient too.. it's just so tempting to settle on something that's *almost* right lol

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  2. I agree too - don't settle. If you're going to take the time to do it right (which you are) you should get something you really like.

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    1. sigh. the voice of reason isn't always my favorite friend!!!

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  3. If you are iffy on this one, I'd move on and try some more! If you LOVED riding in it that would be one thing, but you don't seem to be very moved!

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    1. nah, you're right. i mean, i DEFINITELY prefer it to the wintec - what it's missing in terms of grippiness is more than made up for by the fact that my leg stays more solid. but still - it isn't love... sigh.

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  4. Agree with Susan & trainer - hopefully you find a better condition saddle & a much better price to condition ratio.
    Fingers crossed for your search!

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    1. thanks!!! at least they'll let me extend my trial on the bates through my next lesson so trainer P can get one last look at it.... but i think you are all right - i shouldn't spend this kind of money on something i don't love when there are other options out there...

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  5. Saddle shopping sounds so fun in theory, but then you do it and its so painful! Haha

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    1. haha right?? that was the same way i felt about truck shopping... it actually gives me so much anxiety!!! (lol in a *very* 'first world problems' kind of way...)

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  6. Love the comparision shots and definitely agree don't settle!

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    1. thanks! and yea... the search is definitely on...

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  7. Been there, got the t-shirt. I needed a saddle for Phoenix (after he stretched out my butet panels so it no longer fit Stampede and I had to pay for repaneling, ugh) and I admit to being the hard to fit one of us two. Well since I pretty much only fit in expensive french saddles with massive flaps I was having a hard time so decided maybe the new at the time Pessoa option of long/forward flaps would work so I got one. I was okay with it at first (even though my knee hung over a little) so kept it but later grew to hate it and mostly rode bareback.
    Better yet, I had to put more money out for another saddle and it took over a year to sell the Pessoa. I took less than I wanted just to get rid of it, although I got lucky because it fit a friend well and I am happy she now has a nice saddle!
    So I'm in the do not settle pool. Specifically since I don't think you are a hard fit and there are plenty of saddles that adjust to narrow in a good price range.

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    1. thanks - definitely take your points to heart, and DON'T want to have to keep dealing with this issue. ultimately, whatever saddle i decide on will be THE saddle for my foreseeable future with isabel!!

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  8. There are lots of saddles out there, but a Bates with CAIR flocking replaced is pretty hard to find. I hard a hard time and that's something I was looking for a while back!

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    1. oddly enough - there were TWO bates with wool flocking at the consignment shop, and the other was in much better shape and quickly snagged by B, who is in LUV w it haha. but yea, that's one of the draws of this saddle even tho the condition is meh...

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  9. don't settle. also, FWIW, this one looks to be too short for your thigh.

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    1. interesting! i'm still not super clear on the finer points of saddle fit, so i doubt i would have noticed that... i'm not horribly tall (5'3"ish...) but most of my length is in the thighs... so that makes sense

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  10. I don't know what the price tag is but I definitely think your position looks much better in the bates. I understand sometimes you have to just go within your budget means, though, and you may have to compromise somewhat. But, I do think you can find something decent out there :) good luck!

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    1. thanks! the bates is actually nicely within budget - but is in icky condition for its price, and my fitter and trainer think i can find something nicer (that i actually love) for the same price... so right now (fortunately!!) the compromise isn't about price so much as it is about finding a saddle that fits my specific criteria... and that's proving surprisingly difficult!

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  11. If you aren't in LOVE with the saddle... don't settle! You will find one that you absolutely love!

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    1. sigh- i know you're right!! hopefully it just doesn't take forever lol

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  12. Hope you find something better :)

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    1. thanks!!! i may or may not have just ordered something vurry promising on trial!!!!

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  13. I totally understand how you feel...it's just nice to get something that works so it can be over and done with! Perhaps the answer will come to you as you get closer to the end of the trial period. Will keep my fingers crossed for ya!

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    1. thanks! that is EXACTLY the feeling! but we must resist, i suppose... and actually a couple options are arising, thanks to other bloggers and persistent internet sleuthing.. so i'm not giving up yet!

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  14. Go ahead a low ball them! The worst thing that can happen is they say no lol.

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    1. very true, very true :) and i still haven't completely dismissed that idea, even tho i returned the saddle for now

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