Monday, 24 November 2014

Saddle Woes

When I bought Dee I owned 5 saddles (I know, I'm on my way to being a compulsive hoarder):
17.5" M Santa Cruz monoflap
17.5" MW Forestier monoflap
18" M JES Elite by Schleese dressage saddle
18.5" MN cheap synthetic dressage saddle
And a mediocre sidesaddle.

The Santa Cruz remained with the red mare while she was in training and she apparently had a hissy fit about someone touching her ears and reared, fell over and busted the tree.  I'm currently in the midst of an insurance claim to repair/replace the saddle but the insurance company is taking their sweet time about it.

The crease at the cantle is where it broken :(

This left me with the Forestier to jump in.  I knew it wasn't a great fit, it is snug in the shoulders and not wide enough in the back and slides back.  We compensated by purchasing a breastplate and an Ogilvy pad to try and protect old-lady back.  This has gotten us through the first few months but now every time I try and ride in it she is uneven.  So it's officially been shelved :(  I have no desire to sell this saddle because I got an amazing deal on it and it fits Merlin like a glove.

Purdy Forestier with snazzy Ogilvy

The synthetic dressage is for sale since it is way too narrow for Dee (a girl at the barn is actually trying it right now).

Cheapy synthetic

My Schleese is an awesome saddle.  I completely fell in love with it when I got it.  It's brown, puts me in a great position and fit the red mare like a glove.  Unfortunately it doesn't work too great for Dee.  It actually fits her not bad except it is too long for her super short back.  It ends a few inches past her last rib.  So for right now I am riding her in it with the Ogilvy but I know it is only a short-term solution.
It's brown and beautiful.

I sold the sidesaddle (for more than I paid for it!) after I bought Dee since it never fit me right and it was WAY too long for Dee.

I love riding sidesaddle, just not in this saddle.

So right now, my best option is bareback.  Which is fine for the occasional ride but I really need to find saddles that fit both me and her.

I've started looking, but she is remarkably hard to fit.  She's actually a medium width at her withers but she's almost flat across her back.  She also has a very short back and a giant upright shoulder that makes everything more difficult.

I'm also not really ready to compromise the monoflap.  I have a major love affair with the monoflap and my new jumping saddle must be one.  It'd be awesome if I could get a dressage monoflap too!

I'm completely open to suggestions!


  1. Love that brown Schleese.

  2. good luck! saddle fit is, uh, pretty much the worst... hope you find a good solution :)

  3. Saddle shopping is the worst. Good luck.

  4. I was bareback for a few weeks while my custom (HA! not custom at all) saddle was tweaked by a different saddle fitter. Saddle shopping is no fun. Unless maybe you have an unlimited budget! Good luck on your hunt :)