Friday, July 9, 2010

My New Saddle

Well, I think we finally have a winner.  Of course with Louie's two bum legs, I haven't been able to properly test-ride in it, but it's leaving nice sweat marks and seems to fit him well, and I definately like it.  So, I think our grueling saddle search has finally come to a close.  I think I tried about 15 saddles. . . my old no-name beater AP, an Ian Miller close contact, 2 HDR close contact pro's, a Crosby Prix De Nations, a Courbette Pandur FS, a Stubben Kerry II, a Stubben Tristan dressage saddle, a Collegiate Convertible Close Contact, a Collegiate AP, a Lovatt and Ricketts Stellar Altair, and 2 Thornhill Berlins. 

Well I finally found a winner.  The Thornhill Berlin.  I did have to go with an all purpose saddle as I was realizing finding a close contact saddle with all of my requirements (seat size, tree width and shape, flap orientation, flap length, quality, and price range) was next to impossible. This saddle rides like a close contact- I cannot tell I'm riding in an AP saddle, it sits me nicely in the seat, it's well balanced and flat in the lowest part of the seat like a close contact, and doesn't sit uphill like so many all purpose saddles do.  The flaps are long enough for my legs, hold my lower legs in place perfectly, and has very well placed stirrup bars (so many saddles are constructed with stirrup bars not well balanced in proportion to the seat, so your feet end up too far forward or too far back, and swing around in them).  It is quite comfortable to sit in, has a nice soft seat and no big bumps over the stirrup bars.  The saddle also fits Louie quite well.  It is nice and wide, has a very nice wide gullet for spinal clearance, plenty of wither clearance, and nice wide panels that are not too straight or too curved, and make nice contact with his back.  The flaps are also do not extend too far forward over his shoulder so he is able to move his shoulders more freely. 

I've only gotten to try two short rides in the saddle with Louie's legs the way they are (he's moving a little gingerly with all of the skin missing over the hock), but I think I've finally found "the one."  Hooray!  A saddle AT LAST!

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