And her name is Makila. Devoucoux Makila.
When I drafted that post it was late one evening when I was home alone without much to do. After I drafted it I played around on the internet, looking longingly at all the things I’d put on my wishlist and pondering just how much good fortune it would take to make any of them happen. Then I was sitting there thinking about what an amazing deal I got on my CWD by buying from overseas, and figured I’d scope out all my favorite french used saddle sites and the various european countries’ eBays, just to get an idea of what kind of money I’d really be looking at for my coveted Devoucoux dressage saddle (either a Milady or a Makila). As I was scrolling oh so innocently through the German eBay, I happened upon a Makila that only had a few hours left on the bidding and had gotten no love. No surprise really, the Germans really love their own tack more than the French stuff.
The price was amazing, so just for grins I fired off a message to the seller asking if they’d ship to the US. Having been through the buying a saddle from overseas process before, usually the answer to that question is no, if you get an answer at all. But within an hour she answered back and said yes, she would ship to the US for an additional 48 Euro. We went back and forth a bit, I asked her some questions, did some quick comparisons of the panel configuration against what my CWD has, and it actually is a pretty darn close match. Well then. I pondered it for a little while and remembered that in addition to our profit sharing bonus, which is my show money for the year, I was also going to get another $750 bonus for my 10 year work anniversary, money that I’d totally forgotten about. I figured I could probably get around $500 from selling my Frank Baines, so add that together and the magic number is $1250. The saddle was $1255. Coincidence, I think not. So I bid at the last minute, remained the only bidder, and won the saddle.
I know it’s a little crazy to buy something from overseas without a trial, but a) I figure if it doesn’t work I can always re-sell it, and b) it worked out so amazingly for me last time with my CWD. Am I nuts for hoping lightning strikes twice? Probably, but I’m willing to try. The Frank Baines is fine but neither of us love it, so I find myself not riding in it very much. Henry and I both seem to be fans of a French saddle, and who am I to deny him?
On another note – ever tried to get an international wire transfer? I got quizzed like CRAZY while the company made very sure that I was not a terrorist. I had to explain why I was buying this item from a foreign country instead of stateside, and the honest answer of “I’m cheap, opportunistic, and nuts” isn’t really what they’re looking for so I had to find another more eloquent way to word it. It took a few days of back and forth to get approved for the transfer, then it took a while to go through on my side, then a few more days to go through on her side, so it’s been about 2 weeks and the saddle is just now finally on it’s way to me. I didn’t want to say anything until it was actually in the mail just in case it fell through (which almost happened a couple of times). Of course, it’s coming DHL Paket which is notorious for being sloooooow, so it could be somewhere between a week and month before it shows up. Let me tell you how unsatisfactory the obsessive tracking process is about to become.
Cross all your crossables that it arrives in one piece, fits the pony, and we like it. Risky? Yep, absolutely. Hopefully it will go the same way the CWD went and be a case of “with great risk comes great reward”.