In Search of Our Precious: Where I Learn Some Things About Remus and His Saddle Needs!

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And I thought this would be easy!! HA

Before I even attempt to recap the awesomeness that was Fair Hill Starter Trials, I figured I would write this saddle fitting recap blog post first. Saturday was a crazy day and I am not sure how many blog posts will come out of it but here is the first one!

After a long ass day at Fair Hill with some amazing peeps and their horses/ponies/unicorns (Alli, Emma, Kim, and Janelle) and then my local friends Jess, Tanya, Mary Beth and Kate who were so nice and came to support me (and brought Gatorade, friends for life!), I drove white-knuckled home in the rain/storm from hell. LUCKILY, our rides stayed dry so we didn’t get rained on for once at FH!

I had had a call from the saddle fitter at around 3:30 (about the time I was probably jumping the ditch or going through the water at FH) and she had left a message that she was going to be closer to 6. Lucky thing because by the time she pulled in, the sun was back out, and we could do our thing. From 5-6 pm,  it was a DELUGE and thunder and lightning from all directions! YIKES

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You guessed it, Remus is SPECIAL! are you shocked?

First off, I have to say Emily at Hastilow was so great to work. It was fascinating to watch and learn and find out things about your horse you may not have known before.  I am not mathematically or scientifically inclined (another shocker HA) and probably if I hadn’t been exhausted from the day at FH, I would have retained more LOL!

The best thing is when the saddle fitter falls in love with your horse. She did. She just was so awed by him. he was perfect for her letting her line up his feet and pretty much measure him each way but Sunday and then try numerous saddles on him, etc. She loved his attitude and when I actually got on him to try a couple saddles she was like even more impressed. He was not as impressed…he was tired AF after his day at FH. But he was a good sport. She did say she was amazed how level he was on both sides (as you can see in the diagram below he is only slightly uneven on his left side.She says he is pretty darn symmetrical which is pretty cool).

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Geeky chart with all the measurements…color me fascinated! Also note she put BN as our level, Gulp.

SO first things first. The Intrepid I have been trying, hoping it would work. Won’t work. Cue the awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwws now. 😦

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so so so wrong…damn it.

Even Emily, the fitter, said it was a nice saddle and a great price, and if she could make it work, she would have! But she couldn’t. And she definitely tried. It was a med-wide tree but even with the wide tree the stirrup points would be too narrow. Remus needs a wide tree ,we figured out but he also needs a wider point underneath the saddle with flatter back panels. AND we need to be very cautious about the lumbar spine area as his back area is definitely his weak spot. (He has a longish back for a QH). The saddle I was trying was just on the line and she was worried.  And when I rode in it for her there was definite movement. So she got even more worried. And she thought even if we put the wide tree it would only increase the movement. SIGH….there goes the deal of the century.

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Me, shopping for saddles…LOL

more money

She then brought out a few that she had brought to try on him. Unfortunately, most she had brought were med/wide trees and didn’t fit right in the tree area, but we at least found the kind of panels (flatter back panels and wider under the stirrup bars) and shape we need.

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Ideal Impala

The photo to the left is the Ideal (which I liked the look of, a lot) but we tried an Ideal Impala, a Kent & Masters (see below), a Albion Jump, and a Hastilow Jumpmaster. And a Jaguar which did not work at all, it fit like the Intrepid on Remus (and would cause back soreness in the long run, no bueno!). The four above could work with the right tree and right size and right style. I actually rode in the Kent and Masters S Jump,  as she swapped a wide tree in it. That was the most reasonable one as in 1500 new. It was not that bad but I honestly didn’t love the seat at all (Caveat: I told her I had been in my breeches for hours and my butt was sore from riding LOL). The leg position and the movable blocks were nice. But I did not have that security I yearn for. And need (Let’s be real, people, it is an effort getting that buckskin over fences, I need to be in a sticky secure seat!)

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Kent and Masters S Jump

I thought the Albion and Ideal looked interesting. And the Hastilow was a bit more all purpose than I want but she says they have others that could work.  She knows now I want a more forward jump after seeing the Intrepid so she said they could search as well.

My knee to hip measurements are 17.5. So I am supposed to take all this info and Remus’ info and commence the saddle search! I am returning the Intrepid to my friend Mary Beth, who was so nice to let me try it so long (anyone with a bigger type (it is a med wide tree but she has the wide tree to swap out if needed) horse in this area, it is a steal and so comfy if you are looking, message me!)….and back  to the drawing board I go! UGH.

Since I am traveling the next few weeks for work, she said for me to set up a time in August for her to come back and they can bring five-ten more saddles to try (they get used in too). With my budget right now she says I am a bit limited on what I can find, but if I sell my Zaldi for a few hundred and my Luc Childeric for a decent price then I would have even more in the piggy bank. All the ones above  we tried, were not too expensive (from 1500-to about 2700) so doable for sure. Just need to figure out the one that will work and be comfy for me AND Remus.

flying-pigShe did say that with his build and needs, the French saddles will not work on him very well. Boo hoo. In fact, she said don’t even show me the Luc Childeric on him cause I don’t want you to know what is wrong with it on him as I may still have to ride in it for now! Ha. I really can’t ride well in it so am consolidating to one saddle (a nicer one) and then using just the one for all three phases. If I could find a monoflap, even better! Pigs can fly right??

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I may have to hire Amanda to search for me. I hate saddle shopping worse than she does. I will keep an eye on the Hastilow site as they have a lot of turnover and do a 10- day trial. She also said to feel free to e-mail them anything I see or if i get one on trial from somewhere else, they could come out to see what it looks like. I feel like the money spent with her yesterday was SO worth it for the knowledge I gained. She was there at least 2 hours. Now to go count pennies….and find that unicorn saddle!!

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Every blog post needs a charging unicorn, right? 🙂

10 thoughts on “In Search of Our Precious: Where I Learn Some Things About Remus and His Saddle Needs!

  1. See, here’s where I am very lucky because my horse is perfectly shaped for a french saddle. I cannot ride at all in any of those English-made ones, they’re like chair seat central for me, so I appreciate that he isn’t flat or wide. Sadie was built that way though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i mentioned you and the Devoucoux search and she was was like YOU don’t want one do you and I was like well no i can’t afford one. LOL I know, I don’t know what I am going to do cause I did not like the chair seat in the K & M. To be fair the others didn’t look at chair’y if that is a word.

      I guess if you think about it Remus and Sadie ARE built alike. Solid ahem beasts. 🙂 She is just a million hands taller 😉

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      1. What about something like a Stubben Zaria? I know they’re wool flocked and the trees can be adjusted up or down a little. They’re kind of hard to find used, and a little pricey, but… if it’s going to be your ONE saddle….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. good luck with the shopping! i used a fitter who sounds very similar to the one you’re using (it’s not actually the same person, but she had an identical chart and had many of the same brands) who ultimately recommended a Kent & Masters to me, which i bought from her new. And…. it was a disaster. I ended up selling it just a few months after (through her, thus paying her a fee and taking a bath on the used sale price vs new, ugh). it turned out i couldn’t freaking two point in that saddle. go figure, two point is kinda important.

    i don’t necessarily blame that fitter, tho i didn’t end up using her again for saddle shopping. hopefully your search goes better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes I liked the K & M fine but the seat got me. Like if it had even fitted a bit better to me I could have seen buying it. But nope. The good thing is she really didn’t try to sell her saddles to me she just gave me ideas of saddles they had to sell that might work. But she was open to to other brands.

      YIKES no 2 point. HA i didnt even try that. The only thing i could say about the K &M was it wasnt as slippery as my Zaldi. But even my Zaldi is better for my position.

      Saddle shopping is hard. 😦

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  3. Good luck shopping! It sounds like a few of us are in the shopping boat now. Yeah finding a saddle that’s comfy for you and fits the wide monsters and is ALSO comfy for them is very very tough. I’m lucky with my Prestige. I’m not sure your thoughts on Dover? Their monoflap circuit event saddle looked promising and doesn’t break the bank….? I really hope you find your unicorn tho!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i meant to ask her about that very saddle as I have it bookmarked. I have a feeling it is not set for wide loads but I might do some research. Haven’t seen one in the Dover store yet either only online. Thanks for your good thoughts. I have a friend at my barn with a Prestige who has offered for me to try it on Remus. I should take her up on it!

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      1. Yeah I had originally wanted to try the Dover. Their wide seemed wide enough for a few other QHs around town, but I went with Prestige. Yes you should! If it helps, Amber wears a 36 cm (the widest Prestige makes is a 37 cm) and if you send the saddle to a Prestige dealer they can adjust it 2 cm to fit :). I know Amber sure is happy with hers!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg we are seriously saddle shopping twins!!!! I tried a fifth (?!?) saddle last week and still need to do a write-up on it. I have another saddle fitter with some used saddles coming out on Wednesday to get another opinion and see what other options might fit my budget. There is a wide tree, monoflap Black Country on farmhousetack.com. Might work for you? It’s a 17.5″ and a bit pricey, but desperation makes us do crazy things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew May and Remus were similar in build. How frustrating right?? Too bad we arent closer so we could saddle shop together 🙂 Keep me posted on your saga (I will learn from you oh wise one 🙂 )

      i will take a look at farmhousetack thanks!

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