So tomorrow (as I write this), or today (as you read this) is my birthday.
The only thing that makes this OK is that the annual Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento always falls around my birthday.
Since the Expo always happens around my birthday, I give myself permission to attend all three days and to spend more money than I should.
Actually, I don’t have enough to spend. That’s the problem.
Usually I go to the Expo to discover all the new gear and interesting inventions (and the not so interesting ones). I love the ‘show specials, the awful food, the brand new trailers, the elite horse auction, the clinicians… all of it!
But my favorite part of all is still, and always will be, the VENDORS. I just love to learn and I dissect every booth!
BUT THIS YEAR
This year, I’m going to try to find a saddle for BG which I most certainly cannot afford and most likely they haven’t invented yet.
So far, she has been impossible to fit.
Now I know that most of you instantly had a ‘fitting’ idea pop right into your head as I said that… Yup. I’ve heard most of them and tried them all.
She is an anomaly. BG is like the Princess and the Pea. Every little thing upsets her. She can feel it.
BG: “OMG Human, there is a hair under the pad! You expect me to carry you under these conditions?!”
But, her trainer also had the same issue yet she made BG wear the saddle that fit her best.
BG bit me the next time I tried to saddle her.
I started my quest that moment and have not stopped.
Oh sure, we’ve had some “pretty goods” and some “this almost works!” but nothing that she settles into that leaves an even mark after a long ride.
(It isn’t her back or a need for an adjustment, shim pads or her trim.)
It has come to the point that I’ve decided to only ride her on short trails, or not at all.
The sad part is that she loves to ride in the trailer and always wants to ‘go!’.
I decided to go to the Expo website and print out the exhibitor list. I then circled all the saddle makers and went to their sites.
I found two saddlers who are exhibiting this year that have saddles I’d like to try.
The Advantage Saddle and the Stonewall Saddle.
I’ve contacted the vendors and I’m going to try them both (I hope) during the Expo.
THE ADVANTAGE SADDLE
OK, well, I chose this one because of the weight, the rigging, the small footprint, cutback style (I think), large airflow channel, endurance pommel, short bars and because they say it works well with gaited horses.
I also like it because it is very much like my Boz saddle (my all time fav) but a bit less expensive.
The website isn’t very sophisticated which can be good or bad. The company is small which can also be good or bad…
I cannot wait to sit in this and get a feel… For me, I don’t appreciate Western fenders for my tiny Oompa Loompa legs. But, they do come with regular leathers so that’s good. And, I don’t think I like the deep seat. I think I like a flat seat. But, I’m willing to try something new.
The Testimonial page reads like what real riders would say. I like that. It doesn’t sound like the manufacturer put words in their mouths.
And, when I emailed them, I got a quick response. She asked for photos and a video. She was also very keen to let me take home a demo and try it. (She doesn’t know that I write this blog so she wasn’t trying to be nice…)
THE STONEWALL SADDLE
I happened to have been at a feed store recently that had a ‘used tack’ section. In there, I found a beat-up, spartan saddle and it peaked my interest. It was called a ‘Stonewall’. From the looks of it, someone rode it A LOT – usually a good sign that it fit both the horse and the rider, hopefully.
So, I took it home for a trial.
It was way too narrow. But, it looked very interesting. I liked the small footprint, I liked the endurance pommel, it was lightweight, had less under the rider’s leg and the foam underside was interesting.
I got online (linked here) to read about it and found out that they will be at the Expo, too!
They didn’t offer a demo, but they did offer for me to measure my horse with their measuring tools. OK, I’ll do that and see what they say!
Today is my birthday. My hope is that I can have a great time at the Expo this weekend, discover a bunch of thrilling new things, and maybe, just maybe… find a saddle that fits my horse!
VIDEO – I HAVE TO ADD THIS!
It is a short video of a dog escape artists who so reminds me of my Dexter!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
JUNE BUCKET FUND
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