June 24, 2013

Saddle Adventures

I got feisty this weekend and listed both of my saddles for sale.  Nevermind the fact that I have an event this weekend and a clinic the next and am now (almost) saddleless?

The Stackhouse sold, like, immediately.  I guess I got the deal of a lifetime on it last summer, because I posted it for $200 more than I paid a year ago and within minutes had people commenting on it being such a good deal.  I like it when my major purchases appreciate over time!  The girl that bought it, through the Facebook group, is so excited to have gotten it, she doesn't mind if I have to wait a week until after Leg Up to ship it.  Very cool.  One down.

My first, and maybe only, Stackhouse.

The County has six watchers on the eBay auction, which ends Saturday.  Cross your fingers for me, both of them need to go.
Freakin love this saddle.  So sad to see it go.

Where does that leave me?  Looking for a 16.5" wide close contact saddle, used, preferably with short flaps, preferably a good brand that will not depreciate quickly like the saddles I currently own, that's flat through the panels for my broad-backed pony.  Unsurprisingly, eBay is not helpful for something that specific.

The only saddle fitter in Indiana is a (well-loved and talented) County rep.  As much as I love my County, I don't like being locked into a specific brand at all.  But do I buy a County (used) in order to have a saddle fitter nearby?  (Also, someone PLEASE get certified as a master saddle fitter and come to this state!)

There's a saddle fitter that flies up from Florida to do intensive saddle fitting sessions with folks here, but she doesn't come until October.

There's a tack store two hours from me in Ohio that has loads of consignment saddles, high-quality brands, and they allow you a three-week trial on each saddle.  Do I hike over there and trial something, even if it's just to get me through that clinic?  Road trip, Austen?

There's the Trumbull Mtn option.  I've heard very good things about their remote saddle fitting service and trials.  Apparently they stick with you through the entire process, responding to as many emails with photos and videos that you can throw at them, and don't give up until you're totally satisfied.  I'm interested, but wish I knew someone who had done that process.  Anyone?

Trumbull Mtn also carries Kent and Masters saddles, a British saddlery that makes a Cob tree, which I am very interested in, but the resale value wouldn't be as high as it is for the saddles I'm selling now.  But if this is a forever saddle, do I care that much if it fits both of us and is of good quality?  I'm hoping to be done with the revolving saddle door now.

Thoughts?  Your own experiences?


  1. I highly recommend Trumbull Mtn. Although I ultimately bought my jump saddle locally, they were so helpful and easy to work with. I would not hesitate to use them again someday when I am back in the horse world.

  2. I would see if you can borrow a Trumbull saddle first, there was one in my barn and while high quality the twist was just too wide for the person looking at it.

  3. I've had good experiences with Trumbull, although it was a few years back and they have I think changed hands since then? At least some of the same fitters remain.

    I have no personal mileage with the K&M, but the friend of mine who has one is very picky about saddles and fit and is very happy with hers.

  4. I agree that Indiana needs an independent rep - much as I love my County and our area rep, you do feel like that is the only option.

  5. ROAD TRIP! I basically have my narrow County sold, and really need to replace it with something not so scooped in the back. Especially as we are doing so much sitting trot. Let's goooooooooooo. I have vacation time. Let's do a Friday, or Monday, or something!

  6. I will be interested in what you find out! At the end of this show season I am going to start my search for a new jump saddle.

  7. STH, Trumbull is a saddle shop/fitting service that carries a few brands and also does consignment, but there's no Trumbull brand. They insist you trial everything they recommend for you. I've heard good things about it!

  8. I love my Dominus, and they run wideish. They don't make them any more, but you can pick one up used in the $600-$800 range. That being said, i don't think it holds it's value EXTREMELY well because they are no longer made. I'm not sure of your budget, but another good saddle in the $800 range used is the Beval Natural. Good luck!

  9. Maybe you can find something here?


    Not sure your budget :)

  10. Jen do a wither/back tracing of Connor to bring with you if you do the roadtrip. That will help streamline the process. When I got my Thornhill I had to send a wither tracing to the company because they did not believe my 13.3 hand Arab needed that wide a tree.
    Try to plan for some growth of the muscles on either side of the withers,which will still develop as your training continues.
    Hopefully, Connor won't change too much in the future. Good Luck!

  11. A price range would help, wouldn't it? Thanks, Karley! Once both saddles sell, up to $1,800. For a once-in-a-lifetime saddle, I could probably swing $2k. This is waaaay more than I've ever spent before, but since it's for a forever saddle...

  12. I get a little behind on blogs and find you in quite a whirlwind. Best wishes to your hubs in the job search and you in the saddle search. Connor is completely the opposite of any type of horse I've ever saddle shopped for, so all I can say is that you might look into Duett saddles if he's going to need a hoop tree. They're built wide and not super expensive. They do hold their resale pretty well (I think) for the wide horse market.

  13. I'd definitely get in touch with Trumbell Mtn. Although I didn't end up buying a saddle through them, they were very helpful in figuring out what would and wouldn't work for my guy.

  14. In your shoes, I would call the local consignment shop and talk to them for a bit about their stock, then do a back/wither tracing of Connor and bring that to the shop with you. Then sit in all the saddles they think will work and take a few out on trial. If they have any kind of consignment selection they'll have someone there who has experience in saddle fitting, whether they're certified etc. or not.

    Trumbull Mountain is terrific and I have seen many people do well with them. I've had a few on trial from them myself, but I ultimately got too frustrated with the back and forth and went to Pelham Saddlery (which also has an extensive remote fitting program, though I went to the store in person as they were about an hour away) and sat in a dozen saddles. The one I brought home on trial is now my forever dressage saddle.

  15. I didn't buy a saddle with Trumball but I did start the process. They were quite helpful. Ultimately I wanted someone to actually see Houston and the saddle together in person.

    I hope that you find something perfect for you guys! :)