As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, the hunt for a dressage saddle is in full swing. I finally sold my beloved Devoucoux that Henry outgrew (ok, it wasn’t actually for sale for very long but it’s my theory that time actually slows down when you’re trying to sell big dollar items like saddles and horses) and became a one saddle family again. Not ideal for an eventer, with that whole dressage thing we have to do. Or try to do, at least.
Once the Devoucoux officially hit the road, the feelings of panic started to set in. I haven’t ridden in a lot of different dressage saddles before, and of the ones I’ve tried, the only ones I’ve liked are CWD and Devoucoux. Apparently my ass is French. But I don’t really have the budget that allows me to easily find either of those brands, especially considering I took some of the saddle money and put it in the Black Betty Rejuvenation Fund.
My trainer was kind enough to let me borrow her saddle (also a Devoucoux, but with the right panels for Henry) for Greenwood, which… I’m pretty sure that thing was blessed at birth by a voodoo priestess or something, because that saddle is divine. Definitely different from my Makila, and it was just so easy to ride in, not to mention that Henry moved great in it too. I’ve considered offing said trainer and keeping the saddle for myself, but I figure I actually need her for other things, so that’s out (at least for now… we’ll call it Plan B if nothing else works out).
My problem now is that my budget is lower than my ass’s expectations. Since I haven’t been able to sit in a lot of dressage saddles in my time, I don’t really know how to guess at what I’ll like vs hate. I can do it with jumping saddles because I know exactly what I like, but dressage saddles are more of an enigma. Big block or little block? Set high or low? Deep seat or shallow? Narrow or wide twist? High or low pommel? Hellifiknow. So I stared at the Dev for a long time to observe it’s attributes and made a list of what features it has, and what I know Henry needs. I also made a list of all the other dressage saddles I’ve sat in and not liked or didn’t fit Henry. I scoured ebay, facebook, and used saddle sites and quickly decided I was screwed. One night I found a Kentaur Andromeda for super cheap and snapped it up, figuring it was worth the gamble considering how underpriced it was.
It fit Henry ok – a little bit too flat for him but good in the tree/shoulder – but it didn’t work for me at all. I was able to sell it on facebook the next day at enough of a profit to have made the venture worthwhile, but still a little disappointing. So I did what anyone with #firstworldproblems would do in my situation: had a little pity party for myself and did a lot of whining, because I just couldn’t find a single thing that looked promising in my price range unless it was in questionable condition. Finally I decided to get super serious and scour every single used saddle site I could find, foreign or domestic, and happened upon this little gem:
A Luc Childeric. All the specs are right on paper, so I’m really hoping this is The One. The shop I got it from in New York offers a 5 day trial, and it was listed at a really reasonable price. It’ll be here on Tuesday, so cross all your crossables that it works. Otherwise I might take up bareback dressage. Or heavy drinking. Or both combined.