August 15, 2016

Best Saddle Shopping Experience Ever

Armed with the wonderful opinions of my fellow bloggers, I took to the internet to begin a full bore search of used jumping saddles. My eyes feasted upon leather goods of all makes and colors: forward versus straighter flaps, round versus square, deep versus flat seats, havana, tan, and luxurious chocolate brown.

Not a jump saddle

The options seemed limitless with hundreds of jumping saddles flooding the used tack sites and dozens upon dozens within my price range in good used condition. As I flicked through the images I began to grow disappointed though. None appeared to have the features that I needed for a good Gemmie fit.

I did more research and found the brand that I knew would fit her like a glove. I put out ISO ads, looked frantically on all the used tack sites online and on facebook and then jumped the ocean and began looking on the used UK sites as well.


Eventually, one saddle popped up. It was at the high end of my budget without figuring in overseas shipping. I was excited as I flipped through the pictures until I saw a hole worn into the flap. Darn.

Additional research brought up the higher quality cousin of my saddle, which retails new at over twice the price and was a little easier to find used overseas although still absent on the US market. Unfortunately, even used ones were double my measley budget.

I regrouped. Maybe I could buy one of the other dozens of saddles and take it to a fitter to have it altered to fit my Gemmie. Add on those features of my beloved. Some searches for saddle fitters able to modify saddles proved that while it could be done, it would end of costing the same as a new version of my beloved saddle and was still out of budget.

Then it happened.

I stumbled upon an ad for the dressage version. With stirrup irons, leathers and girth included all within my price range. The best part? Even though I found it on a national English tack page on Facebook, the woman lived one town over from me.

The reason it fits Gem. Movable front billet and sliding rear V billet

We messaged back and forth a bit as I debated whether or not to jump ship and go full blown dressage or not. I hemmed and hawed, made an appointment to meet her and then cancelled it. Friday morning she messaged me again. I gave in. Believe what you want, but sometimes the Universe is literally screaming at you to get your attention. I chose to listen.

I bailed on a couple of hours of work Friday afternoon and drove over to meet her. She knew I was only 50% sure I would buy it. It would depend on how the rigging was set up, the channel width and the quality. When she pulled the saddle out of her trunk, I was sold.

It was everything I needed.

Money exchanged hands, my horse funds PayPal account is now down to $0 and I am insanely happy.

Saturday morning, I drove out to the barn to try it on her with a small amount of trepidation. What if it didn't fit after all?

I could even use my old red and black trail pad with pockets once again

I needn't have worried. It fit her like a glove although the girth is a bit too long and will eventually need replaced. The benefit of living in Hades is that you can get a great sweat pattern with minimal effort and I was pleased with it once we were finished with the ride.

I will give a full write up about the saddle, the reasons I purchased it, my thoughts on Gem fit and my fit in a future post once I have ridden in it a bit more, but for now I am really, really happy. I know it isn't a jump saddle and that I won't be jumping in it, but I am perfectly fine with that. I started this year off with a goal of taking dressage lessons over the summer and the eventing thing only happened because BO events.

Love, love love where it naturally puts my leg
Right now Gem and I need to focus on our flat work more than anything and we will see how the fall and winter go. If I feel the need to add jumping to our lives, hopefully by next spring I can afford to start looking for the jump version again.

Look out dressage world. Here comes Team Gemmie!!!

Not looking particularly amused to be working in the late morning heat with a screaming, mud covered toddler monster playing behind her on the mountain of sand. 


  1. It fits her beautifully! What a great experience. Congrats!

    1. Thank you! I love how it fits her. I'm so excited!

  2. Wow! That's the best saddle shopping experience

    1. It was incredible. Online tack pages on facebook are my new addiction.

  3. So much win (: Love it everything seems to just work out when buying tack- especially on the first go!

    1. I was shocked that it fit her. She is so hard to fit.

  4. HMM- That looks a lot like my saddle. I can't wait to hear what type it is.

    1. Oooh....I will post soon wht it is and my thoughts on it, but so far my butt is in love.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you. It is already opening up new adventures for us.