Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dusty’s New Saddle

Dusty modeling her new saddle
It’s been busy around here lately.  We’ve had two more bouts of snow--not much though, just an inch or two (just enough to be annoying.)  Thursday, Kate Wilson delivered Dusty’s new saddle purchased through Dutchess Bridle and Saddle.  Kate has been our saddle-fitter, repairer and salesperson for over ten years.  She’s very professional and knows her saddles.  The saddle is from Black Country Saddles in England, it’s the Wexford jumping model.

I opted for 5 billets because it offers more stability on broad backed horses
I’m happy to report that it made it across The Pond in great shape and fits her very well.  I decided to have a saddle custom made for her because she has such a broad back and is “wither challenged.”  Nothing “off the rack” is going to fit my buxom girl. The Albion GP that I have been using is a decent fit but it does seem to slide side to side occasionally.  While riding I would sometimes wind up hanging off the side, so it just wasn’t working out.  Maybe now that she’s lost some weight it will fit her better, we’ll see.  In any case I bit the bullet and went for the expense of a new saddle.

I tried it out on Thursday, for a quick walk around and an unauthorized trot.  I’m sure she was just so excited to have a new saddle she couldn’t control herself.  Color me surprised that I didn’t hit the ground, as I was time-pressed and rode in jeans, having only planned on a walk to see how it felt and fit me.

Saturday we did manage a nice ride with some walk and trot circles.  It has been two months since I rode Dusty and she was slightly excitable but listening well.  Personally, I think she and the rest of the herd are so bored out of their minds with this weather she was eager to do some work. We didn’t do much since neither one of us is in shape and she will have to be built back up slowly.  It’s no sense overworking her and risking an injury, so slow and steady wins the race.

The longer process will be getting this new saddle broken in.  I’d forgotten how slippery new leather could be. I’ve conditioned it twice now but it’s got miles to go before it breaks in.  I’m impressed with how comfortable it is even in this stiff condition and how light in weight it is compared to my Albion.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our Albion saddles and have ridden in them for years but they do weigh a ton.  Time will tell how the Black Country holds up to them. They do come with a ten-year guarantee.

It seems we’re in for some warmer weather this week and I can only hope spring isn’t far behind.  How nice it will be to see some color instead of living in a white and gray world. Hope we all start getting in some riding.

Until next time
Quote for Today
When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have.
    - Sir Winston Churchill

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