As equestrians, we take pride in everything to do with our horses but one thing in particular is ensuring our tack is clean and well looked after. And rightly so, that s*** is expensive!! And while every piece of tack deserves to be well looked after, I think a special consideration needs to be made for the saddle. Logically, this is one of the most important pieces of equipment you need for riding your horse and one that cannot be taken for granted…unless you prefer bareback in which case you can stop reading now.
A few weeks ago, it became apparent that Coco’s saddle no longer fit her. Her old saddle sore started becoming quite raw and I realised that her saddle was sitting too low on her deceivingly high withers. To be honest I was surprised with how suddenly it seemed to no longer fit her. The most frustrating part however was that no matter what saddle we tried on her, none of them seemed to fit! I gave a few saddle fitters a call and the earliest anyone could come out to her would be another two weeks. Considering all the work I put into her over the last few weeks, I really didn’t want to lose what would be a total of 3 weeks of work by the time we got sorted with a saddle. So I decided to ship Coco out and bring her to Holmestead Saddlery to get fit with a new saddle.
We tried 3 different saddles on Coco before finally finding ‘The One’. The first sat too low on her, the second had me sitting too high up her back and the third didn’t allow much freedom in her shoulders. We got to the last saddle, a brown Barnsby Schockemohle. This one was hands-down the prettiest of all the saddles we had tried, although I wasn’t too fussed about how the saddle looked so long as it was a good fit for both of us. I sat up in this one and instantly felt at home. It gave Coco plenty of room around the withers, it put my leg in the correct position, it didn’t move too much on her back and it is probably the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in. A match made in heaven. Although my bank account really didn’t agree.
There is so much to be said for having a well fitting saddle. A part of me has always felt that the reason I’ve had so many issues with Coco is because she’s always been that little bit uncomfortable but since changing saddles I’ve really seen a difference in her. With the extra freedom in her shoulders, she has started tracking up much better and she is seriously enjoying her jumping again. She just seems like a much happier horse. And after a good few months of backsteps, I finally feel like there’s no more excuses, its time to get out and start having some fun.
So what’s in a saddle? So very much. Your horses comfort and sanity. Your own confidence. And at least half your bank account.