Thursday, January 20, 2011

And the hunt begins...

It all started innocently enough just before Christmas. We got a "new" saddle in at the store (I work at a consignment tack store): a Collegiate Diploma Convertible. As sort of an impulse, I took it home to try out on my horses, with the thought that it could potentially be a second saddle (not that I can ride two horses at once, but there have been times that having a second saddle would have been a good thing!) Well, so much for that innocent whim. The saddle (which I had thought would be far too narrow) actually fit my horses much better than I expected; as for me, I felt much better balanced, and I wasn't ending up in a chair seat on Star (always a challenge, due to her conformation). The fit is still not quite ideal for my horses, but much better than my current saddle. It was really the kick in the pants that I needed to get moving with finding a new saddle.

“Well, it sounds like you just did!” you say. Weeeell… no. The problem is this: I'm a tack snob, in the sense that I prefer better-quality tack because it wears better and lasts longer. There were also some structural features of the Collegiate (especially when changing the gullet) with which I was not thrilled, and to be honest, though the saddle was much better than my current saddle, it still wasn’t a perfect fit for me OR my horses. So I returned the Collegiate.

After talking with the owner of the consignment tack store where I work on Saturdays, she suggested I try the County Symmetry that we had in. So after I got back from Christmas, I did. And it was saddle LOVE. Comfortable, balanced, fit horses well, fit me well - I was able to do an auto release over a 3' vertical, and I've never been able to do that over anything bigger than 2'6" before (and even that might be a stretch). Problem: $2000 for a used, discontinued model. I can’t justify that kind of money right now. So back it went.

However, I am now out a saddle, because I cannot, in good conscience, put my old saddle back on my horses' backs. *Sigh*

So I start trolling eBay. Lo and behold, I find a used County Symmetry that was going to go for a good price, so I put in my bid.

And thus goes the Master Saddle Procurement Plan:
Plan A: Win the Symmetry off eBay

Sounds great, right? It was. Until I got outbid.

So the Master Saddle Procurement Plan changed to something like this:
Plan B: Buy the Collegiate for now and us the extra money to participate in the Greg Best clinic being held at a nearby farm
Plan C: Buy the Collegiate for now and continue saving money to eventually purchase a nicer, higher-end saddle.

As much as I would have loved to have participated in the Greg Best clinic, I chose to go with Plan C. To get the most from the clinic, I would have wanted to participate all three days, and two things prevent me from doing so. #1) Having to take a day off work doesn’t work so well when an individual has no available vacation time, and #2) The clinic is the same weekend as the IEA show. Jen, my honorary big sister, usually uses Star to meet her team’s horse quota for IEA shows, and I couldn’t just say, “Nope, not available, sorry.” (Well, I could, but I would have felt bad).

So I now own a Collegiate Convertible Diploma – the very same saddle that started all this.

But the hunt continues…

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for updating your blog!!! And I would TOTALLY understand you pulling your beautiful flying couch to participate in the clinic. But the no vacation days thing kind of does put a crimp in those plans!