Thursday, April 3, 2014

Such a tiny thing...

Remember the relatively recent conundrum about the Fancy Pony developing more topline and the saddle had begun to slide forward?  Just as I had reached my wits end, a saddle fitter appeared!  I was prepared to shell out the big bucks for his visit, then everyone else wanted to pick his brain, too… So, I got to share the cost of his visit around the barn!  BONUS!!

before a ride...

after a ride!

I was prepared for much of what he had to tell me:
 - Fancy Pony has a very forward girth groove
 - a point billet will make all the difference in the world
 - an offset girth with help immensely as well
I was surprised to hear some of the other nuggets he had to share:
 - many horses need a narrower tree as they get stronger
 - the shoulder configuration changes as the horses get stronger
 - my tree and saddle appeared to fit her just fine!
The part the absolutely blows my mind:
He took my front billet and slipped it through a slit in the sweat flap that allowed it to run straight down the front of my saddle.  As if by magic, I had point billets!
Off I went to ride in my new saddle configuration, and it barely moved at all!  Now, I could tell that my saddle was sitting differently…  My leg felt like it was falling behind me, but not uncomfortably so.  Fancy Pony minimized her ‘hops’ in the upward transitions, and I suddenly has much more access to the canter!  It was immediately more elastic!
He looked at both of my saddles.  When I told him that the Ainsley jumping saddle was, by far, the best saddle I had ridden in, he replied, “Then you have never tried one of ours.”  Not condescending.  Not trying to sell me anything.  Just as a statement of fact.  So, you know what I did?
I rode in a $4,000 saddle…
I noticed some similar differences.  My leg was way back, opening my hip.  It was a little easier to sit up tall, but I had to consciously think about it over and over again.  I could access my lower abdominals more readily (including my pyramidalis!), and I could feel how ridiculously weak they were.
I got a more in-depth explanation about how saddles can and should be made differently for men or women, and why.  I continue to read and research about this…  and while I’m not prepared to drop $4,000 on a saddle this year, I feel liberated that I don’t have to replace my saddles just yet.
When I do, I will be getting an adjustable gullet saddle…


  1. Glad you don't have to replace your saddles! He sounds like a great fitter.

  2. So exciting that you don't have to replace your saddles!!

  3. Yippee for saddles fitting!!



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