It started with the news that EquestrianClearance.com had some good deals at the minute, and I have been after some nice competition breeches for a while. There I found some - Ariat Performance Breeches with knee patches in Tan for £39.99! Perfect, or so I hoped, having not seen them in the flesh, or tried them on. Still they are advertised as having 4 way stretch which I figured should work in my favour.
Next, S and another girl at the yard were having a saddle fitter out. Now I love my saddle, but I've never been 100% certain it was right for the horse. There have been niggles here and there, but I had had it fitted to her in the past and was told it was a good fit, but with needing to use a chamoix leather to keep it in the right place, I knew it needed checking again.
The saddle fitter that came out to us this time really was knowledgeable. She took the time to get a feel for the horse, watched her walk and trot, had a really good feel of her back before checking the saddle. It turns out my saddle is too narrow for my mare's broad spine, and too long for her short back. What I really need is almost a pony saddle with a wide gullet and short seat, and something called continental panels. Sadly, not much could be done to my saddle to make it fit properly. The saddle fitter doesn't really have much in the way of second hand saddles, and I certainly cannot afford a new one (well, not of the quality I want!) So I was advised to search eBay and the like for something suitable. This wasn't easy. Lots of saddles for sale in a 17 - 17.5 inch seat, but very few in 16.5 that were also jump saddles.
But then I looked on eBay on Wednesday (after a rather stressful day - kids are on Easter hols and running me ragged) only to find THE saddle. Someone was selling a beautiful jump saddle, made by a very good make, Buy It Now in the right size, for a very, very good price! Sadly for them it was because their horse was no longer with them after a field injury, and they had huge vets fees to pay. So we snapped it up, hoping it wasn't too good to be true. Then spent the next few days cursing Good Friday and bank holidays in general because I wanted it NOW!
Saddle arrived on the Saturday morning (yay!) and was truly beautiful. But was a fair bit wider than I thought. Managed to get it to fit ok with a thick prolite pad and tried it out in the school. It felt very strange, but the horse felt good in it! She was more willing to bend, and our canter transitions were instant, rather than the slight run we usually get. The next day we tried jumping in it. Again the mare seemed happy, but the pads slipped so it wasn't as secure.
I jumped the mare again on Monday in our usual saddle which felt hugely comfy to me, having moulded to my bum in the last 100 years or so that I've had it (ok, maybe nearer 15) the mare was like a rocket, but that's a whole other post.
Saddle fitter is coming today, so fingers crossed she can make this super beautiful saddle fit my horse and then I can get to work on the all important arse groove ;D