Dear Wise Cross Country Saddle,
You are wonderful. Your leather is buttery soft and has formed to my butt like it was custom made for it. You are very secure even through epic spooks, jump run outs, sudden dirty stops and 180 degree spins. Your knee roll fits just right under my knee allowing for security while still allowing it to slide under and into proper jumping position. You also have provided me with a calf block for going down hill and into sticky situations. I don't know how you've done it, but the placement of your stirrup leathers allows my leg to drape down in exactly the right position placing my foot in line with my hip without any effort on my part.
I love how light weight you are at only 9 pounds. 9 pounds! Every time I tack up I thank you for this as I can easily swing you over my mare. The special air flow holes keeps my horse's back so much cooler than other saddles which is a big deal on the trails in the summer. Her spine has plenty of clearance between your panels which have the nicest foam padding I have ever come across. You have saved me during many times when I otherwise would have kissed the dirt and looked up into my mare's smug face. Since you only have one flap on each side (monoflap saddle) I can feel at one with my mare with so little leather between my leg and my mare's side. It has led to a better communication between the two of us which has led to a better partnership.
In return I have kept you well conditioned and oiled. I have kept you in climate controlled rooms and under a soft, fleece lined cover. I have avoided riding in the rain or swimming with you on. In addition, I have purchased a nice custom made saddle pad to aid you in your job. I have nice, plush stirrup leathers to avoid leaving marks on your flaps.
But, 2 years later I don't think this is going to work out. Trust me...it isn't your fault. You have done your job well and should be proud to know you are loved and spoken highly of. It's my fault. I can't keep you on my mare's back in the correct spot. I have failed though I do feel that I have given it my best shot. I have tried numerous girths of different construction, size and material all to no avail. I keep finding sweat patterns over my mare's shoulders causing impingement. While I would love to cross the 50 mile finish line proudly perched atop you, I feel as though this can not be. Maybe if things were different. If my mare's girth groove was farther back. If her back wasn't so broad and her ribs so well sprung. Maybe if your panels had a little more or less rock to them. Maybe a crupper would help. I don't know.
I just know that I can't keep trying anymore. All my spare money has gone into failed attempts to make this relationship work. Each time I tack up in my heart I know things are just not right and no gadget is going to fix it. I am slow to part with you. I feel as though a goodbye now would mean a goodbye forever. If I could I would keep you for another day on another horse. Or allow you to go on my husband's horse for a time. But I can't afford to keep you and have another. It would feel awkward and I would be embarrassed every time I passed you in the tack room begging me to feel the heat of my horse beneath you and the wind caressing your sides. No. I think it is better if you found another yourself. Someone you can make happy without needing to change. Without needing a point billet sewn on or D rings added to your back. Someone who will allow you to be what you were meant to be: a cross country saddle soaring over difficult jumps and turns safely cradling your rider and helping them to cross the finish line in style. Our dreams are much too different.
You will have a home with me until another home can be found who will treat you right. I will need you to stay strong and keep being you until I find another to take your spot.
Thank you for the last two years spent together and know that it wasn't you...it was me.