June 5, 2019

The Brown Dressage Saddle Conspiracy, Part the First of Many I'm Sure

Right after Rolex, I put my local CWD rep on the hunt for an SE24 demo, ideally in a 1 flap.  (Reminder that the SE24 is a monoflap Dressage saddle built on the same tree as my jump saddle.)

Turns out finding that demo is nowhere near as easy as it sounds: CWD only has two SE24 demos in the entire USA right now.  The flat, open seated SE24 is far less popular than its deep seated cousin, the SE08.
SE 24

Our local rep managed to snag one, and she brought it out for a test ride last Sunday.  And of course it's brown, the universe is really full of itself lately:

Just for comparison:

The seat was too big for me, but the flap and balance were great - once I shortened my stirrups by another hole.  Thanks, Mary Wanless, for the awareness necessary to make that adjustment.

After shortening - so this is four big holes higher than where I was when the clinic started!
The flap in particular, I absolutely loved.  Mary has always told me I'm going to prefer a monoflap on Connor due to the way he's shaped, and she was 100% correct.

But something wasn't right.  The rep swore it was the exact same seat as my jump saddle, but it felt like there was a lot between my legs, like I was riding in a diaper.  I wasn't getting the "slot into place and everything is right in the world" feeling I do in the jump saddle.

It wasn't until I got off that she figured out the problem:

It was ordered with a wide pommel, which means it was most likely made for a man  I wasn't wrong that I felt like I had extra material between my legs.  I called Mary afterward and she laughed SO hard.  "YOU POOR THING! A WIDE POMMEL! AHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I told the rep I can deal with anything else being wrong in a demo, but I need to feel the right feeling between my legs (HAHA) before I can even think about (gulp) spending this much money on a saddle.   I reiterated that I'm in NO hurry whatsoever.

Two days later, after talking to her manager, she made me an offer I couldn't refuse: she's currently short a demo saddle and given how few demo SE24s CWD has, she offered to make a new demo saddle to my exact specs.  If I like it, I write her a check and I keep it.  If I don't like it, she keeps it as a demo and I am out precisely $0.  Needless to say, I jumped allllllllllll over that!

That means I need to get my trainer and Mary engaged since I have to decide things like knee rolls and flap shape and leather type, so I asked the rep if she could bring the man-shaped demo back out for another test ride with my trainer present, but nobody's schedules lined up for that.  As it turns out, both me and my CWD rep are in Kansas City for work this week and she has that saddle with her, so we're going to meet up so I can take it home with me!  Yes, I'm flying a demo saddle home on a business trip as checked luggage.  Thanks for the free checked bags, Southwest!

My poor husband
I almost didn't agree to it until the rep agreed to pack it herself AND put it in writing that I'm not responsible for anything if the airlines damage it.  I'm going to have it for at least 10 days due to the rep's travel schedule, during which I'm going to take lessons and facetime Mary.

I can't believe how this is falling into place.  CWD could not be making it any easier to part with my money, which is both amazing and terrifying...two thumbs up for customer service, at any rate!


  1. Did she say what it is about his shape that would make a monoflap more attractive?

    1. I simplified it excessively in order to make this post less wordy, but basically it's the fact that he's got a very wide-sprung barrel and I have short stubby short person legs, his barrel pushes my legs straight out. The less material I have between me and him, the more it will help minimize that and give me better top-to-bottom contact with his body and the saddle.

  2. So cool!!! I really enjoyed riding in your CWD and that dressage version is gorgeous!

    1. It's really pretty. I feel crazy for doing this but that tree just works for both of us, why mess with success?

  3. So exciting!!! I hope it all works out!