Friday, September 25, 2015

Total Saddle Fit is Awesome and Saddle Hunting Gives Me Ulcers

The Jaguar with the 24" TSF girth.
Neither fit this horse.
FYI, the black things under the irons are felt and vinyl snap on saddle protectors.
The Jaguar's leather is so soft (even after 2 years of use) that the irons and pads leave permanent dents in the leather if they're set directly against the leather. Not cool!
I decided to contact Total Saddle Fit because Penn needs immediate relief from his current girth situation.

I told them that I bought a 24" girth last December, and my horse unexpectedly passed away in August. I have a new horse, but he needs a 20" girth, but I was afraid to buy another one because he's going to be getting a new saddle and he's still filling out, so I didn't want to end up with two girths that don't fit him, but he needs immediate relief from his current girth. I then asked if they had any used stock or if they did trades.

I've always heard good things about TSF's customer service, and they really delivered here. They said that they don't usually do exchanges this far out from the purchase date, but they'd make an exception for me. They asked me to ship them my girth, our email thread, and a note with my address and what size girth my horse needs. Then they'll send one of their gently used girths back to me. I don't know why, but it made me want to cry because they were so willing to work with me on it. I guess I never expected them to offer a trade; I figured I would have to buy something. I'm really touched that they're willing to trade. They earned major points in my eyes and I have no problem telling people how awesome they are. Starting here.

Total Saddle Fit has a great product, and are incredible as a company. Their customer service is excellent and so is their return policy, so no excuses for not trying one of their products. If you think it might help, give it a try!

I will be buying a 44" brown long girth from them in the next few months. Absolutely. They earned it.

Penn will have one of these. I'm loving the upper D rings for our 5 point breastplate.
But back to the dressage girth: I need to very carefully decide if I want a 20" or 22" for Penn. I think I want a 20". When I put the 24" on him, I could just barely get it tight enough before the leather under the billet keeper interfered with the saddle pad, and 2" smaller really doesn't seem like a lot of difference. I almost think I need an 18", however as he fills out, I know that will go wrong. I'll put my 24" back on him and check it's fit one more time.

I also contacted two other people: my local tack shop and Trainer's CWD rep.

I paroozed CWD's website and panicked because they only show one dressage model on their site, and I didn't like the description. That's when I contacted my local tack shop and asked them to contact their Stubben rep and see if he can send them a Euphoria trial saddle, preferably a wide tree. When I talked to him last week, he said that he didn't currently have one, and sometimes it takes several weeks to get saddles from the reps because they have to take them to saddle fittings. So basically, my tack shop could have it next week, or in a month or more.

It has bling. I'm digging it. But in the black crystal, not the clear.
From Stubben's website:
The Euphoria is the result of extensive consultation and testing with leading riders in the Dressage world. The extra deep seat incorporating the new "Free Move" technology, is combined with our patented NT spring tree. The narrow twist, which is particularly appreciated by female riders, together with our special padding, make for a very soft and extremely comfortable seat.
The new "Maxi Fit" wool pad provides for a large contact area on the horses back whilst at the same time providing excellent clearance for the horse's spine. In the area of the shoulder muscles, the pad is cut back, thereby allowing optimal movement and length of stride. The special V billets ensure ideal distribution of pressure when the saddle is girthed. 
Good leg position is ensured by the high anatomical pommel and the knee rolls which are padded in super soft leather. The stirrup leather loops are discretely set with black Swarovski crystals which give the Euphoria it's particularly elegant appearance. Various colour crystals are available to add that touch of individuality.
Then I used Facebook to contact my Trainer's CWD rep. I asked her if she sold monoflap saddles or if the website was right and it was just the one saddle. She said she has 3 dressage monoflaps with customize-able blocks, and we're working on setting up a time for her to come to the farm during Thanksgiving week.

I want to get him a saddle ASAP. Logic says I am a dressage rider, I can't dressage in a cross country saddle.

But then reality knocks and says: winter is coming. You won't get to USE your new saddle much since you don't have an indoor. He also won't be filled out properly for it yet... because he's a baby horse and is still gaining weight and muscle. But he's only going to get so broad- not like Mikey who suddenly grew a topline when I figured out how to work him properly. Penn is already working properly, and he graduated to the XW tree in my jump saddle (I've found Pessoas run small though), so how much wider can he possibly get? He's still 75% TB. I think he'll have a little whither and spine no matter what. Trainer seemed to think he might be done filling out by next spring. I have to find out how flexible size-wise both of these brands are if he does beef up more.

It also takes time for saddles to be made. CWD needs 3 months minimum. My Jaguar needed 3 months. I imagine Stubben is the same. I'd like to start showing in March/April, so I have to have it ordered no later than November/December, which doesn't leave me much time to get it figured out. I hate saddle shopping. It's going to give me ulcers! I think ideally I'd like to have a saddle in mind in the next few weeks, keep riding him and building his muscle, he'll keep putting on weight the way Trainer is feeding him, and the have the appropriate rep come out and properly size him in November or December and get a saddle ordered! I don't know if it works that way, but I feel like that should be the way to go.

Ack. I hate saddle shopping.


  1. saddle shopping is the absolute worst. exciting about possible custom options tho!

    1. I know you're feeling my pain! I'm super excited to have a rep look at Penn!

  2. omg I'm going through the "correct work makes a wide thoroughbred" stage right now and it is mind boggling. He feels like riding a fence rail. How is a medium tree too narrow?!

    1. The back broadens and the ribcage doesn't! Mikey was a flat sided medium wide! He became hard to fit, which is why the Jaguar worked for us. It was for a Thoroughbred type horse.

  3. I agree, saddle shopping is hard! But so exciting when you finally find one. Just stumbled upon your blog today - looking forward to reading. :-)

    1. I can't wait to find the right saddle! Thank you for reading!