June 27, 2013

Saddle Preferences

Connor spoke loud and clear about his tree preference tonight.  After Sunday's shenanigans, my trainer wanted me to try her M. Toulouse...Premia? during my lesson tonight.  She also had me swap out his full cheek french link snaffle (which apparently is quite heavy and thick) for a thin, light baucher in order to give me a little more leverage.

The combination of those two things gave me the best canter we've ever had, and the best jump school we've ever had - we jumped a full course at 2'3-ish, oxers and a skinny painted panel and everything!  My trainer couldn't stop commenting on how he was working better over his back than ever before.  "I definitely think you're on the right track by thinking it's the saddle," she said.  Phew, approval!  It was way too big for me at 17.5", and I had to fight to keep my leg underneath me over the fences at times, but he felt so good in it, that we decided to go with it for the event this weekend.  It felt like he wanted to use his back, rather than doing it because he had to.

The lesson didn't start out so great, as he was flat and dull at the trot.  I unsuccessfully tried every trick in my book and got nowhere, so my trainer suggested trying him at the canter.  "Sometimes when he's stuck in a gait like that, you just have to leave it and go to something else and come back."  That did the trick, and is something I need to remember for the future.  Normally the trot is my Swiss army knife gait, the one at which it's easiest to establish him in a soft, forward frame of mind, but that's not always going to be the case.

Toulouse fit
I trust my trainer and liked the Toulouse, but I've heard such bad things about the longevity, quality and fit of those saddles that I am reluctant to buy one unless I get a spectacular deal on it.  I'm definitely going to look, it'd be a nice saddle to have around, but I also think I'm going to stick to my plan of working with a remote saddle fitter.


  1. I know Riva's trot is always better after cantering. Good luck at your event!!! And have fun :)

  2. My friend has one of the older Toulouse saddles that doesn't have the double layer leather and it has lasted her an exceptionally long time. However, the newer models I was considering for a while but I also read a bunch of reviews and even my Trainer mentioned some bad things, so I decided to stray from it.

    Working with a saddle fitter is always best - that's what I did!

  3. My saddle fitter hates that brand. She said she has had to repair so many different ones that weren't even that old.

  4. Our Morgan had better trot work after cantering too.
    Can't wait to hear about your show.
    When I look at local ads for saddles I keep an eye out for stuff that might work for you. Always tough trying to find saddles.

  5. I see them come up a lot on English Tack Trader on fb. I haven't paid attention to sizes and models because I'm not in the market and have expensive tastes anyways, but it's worth a look. Glad you're making progress!

  6. Hope you can find something perfect for you both :)