Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Conquest of the Saddle Hunt

You know I love a good price... but a good price isn't necessarily a bargain unless whatever the item is will work for you and is what you want.  And so while a new Duett Presto is only 1/3 the price of a new County Conquest, I have decided that it is not, for me, a good deal.

So I started bargain hunting online for a used XW County.  It's a lot easier to find used County dressage saddles in an XW than jumping saddles, that's for sure.  Prior to the fitting in Georgia, I had a lead on a 17"W County Symmetry, but after the fitting, I realized it just wasn't going to work.  That same seller, however also happened to have a 17 1/2" XW Conquest available.  But I still wasn't convinced that the Conquest was the right saddle for me... it has a round cantle for Pete's sake!  I searched high and low for a Symmetry and I did token searches for a Conquest, but nothing quite right came up.  Except for the Conquest listed by the person who also had the Symmetry.  After many emails between the County Rep and me, and after consulting Honorary Big Sister Jen, I decided that maybe I could deal with the round cantle, and I inquired about the Conquest.

It turned out that the Symmetry seller had listed the Conquest for a friend, so it took a little while before I heard back.  The pictures looked good, the price was good (half of what a new Conquest would cost), and based on the serial number, the County Rep thought it would probably work.  The seller agreed to a trial, and I feverishly worked to get everyone lined up to have the saddle checked in my absence.

It took a bit of work to make sure everyone necessary was available to execute the saddle trial/assessment for me, but I managed to coordinate all involved parties.  Everything was looking good... but the day of the trial was nearly a disaster.  I was expecting the saddle the day before the trial... and it didn't show up.  The day of the trial, there was still no saddle in the morning.  And no saddle at noon.  And no saddle at 2:30PM.  This wasn't looking good.  Just as I was about to give up hope and call the County Rep to cancel (after she had already rescheduled someone else to accommodate me!), I got a phone call that the saddle had arrived!  Seriously, it was just in the nick of time.

The County Rep came and assessed the condition and fit of the saddle for my horses, Lovely Rider rode my horses in the saddle, and my wonderful Former Roommate did everything to get the horses ready.

The verdict?  I have a new saddle!  Everyone tells me it's lovely.  

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