I think we can blame this one on my derriere’s love for French saddles combined with my wallet’s general state of emptiness. It all started back in 2011 when I desperately wanted to get my hands on a CWD but, with two horses to pay for, had a tiny budget. I combed the internet for the exact configuration I was looking for and, miraculously, one popped up on a French classified site. Many awkward half French/half English emails and $1050 later, I had my unicorn saddle and a new internet obsession.
Once you get a taste of victory it’s hard to stop. No surprise, French saddles are just a lot cheaper in Europe. My Devoucoux Makila came from Germany; also a really good deal. Now that I’m super obsessed with getting a Loreak I find myself wandering around French classifieds at least twice a week. Not that I have the funds to actually buy one right now, but ya know… details. Despite taking French for 2 years, I really don’t speak much of it. I know numbers, colors, days of the week, basic food items and, now, literally every single tack related word you can imagine. If you need a sangle, collier de chasse, or some guêtres, I’m all over it.
I can read enough to decipher the classified ads, but I’m not so great at forming coherent emails. I got a fluent friend to help me out, and now I have a generic inquiry email saved, just in case I need to ask about a saddle. I also have a wanted ad drafted, for when I’m ready to actively seek out that Loreak. I’m not crazy or anything. I prefer the word “prepared”. And hey, my obsession served me well in Paris last year… I could read all the tags on everything at the tack shop.
I’ve spent enough time on Le Bon Coin (sorta like their craigslist) to where the search bar already knows what I want before I get more than one letter typed. Attractive Saddle is set to email me any time one comes up that meets my criteria. Otherwise I filter through all of my main sites and do general searches… Selle Expert, Equirodi, Selles Occasions, Notabene, Du Cheval, and a few others. I go hit up a French horse message board every once a while and page through their classified forum. I may or may not be a member of a couple difference French used saddle facebook groups (side note: super annoying facebook sellers are universal).
The real question is why do I do this? Some people like to window shop for horses, I like to window shop for saddles. I can’t help it. Just seeing them gets me daydreaming. You never know… the day might come where I finally find my unicorn Loreak or, my secondary pipe dream, a monoflap version of my CWD. Gotta keep on believing.