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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  

Saddle Fitting Appointment (Finally!)

Phew, it has been a crazy few weeks with school starting and my entire daily schedule changing entirely!  There is so much to write and no time to just sit down and do so.  

The biggest recent event is that after waiting on the saddle brand's rep/fitter since July, I finally gave up on that (she did schedule something for the end of August to only cancel on me late the night before....grrr!).  I contacted Nancy Sherick, who has fit saddles for me before years ago, and she came right out on September 4.  Now that is good customer service!  I will never bother to ask anyone else to fit my saddles from now on, that is for sure.  I figured Nancy would be too booked up or not come up here, but I was happily wrong!

Before fitting - a decent fit but not perfect

Also before fitting - just sitting every so slightly too low
I had a feeling that the wide tree was OK but the saddle just needed flocking up in the front. I also wasn't convinced the panels fit her just right but everything seemed so slightly off that I figured flocking could be the answer, not an entirely new saddle. I didn't quite believe it was too wide, but let's face it, had it been an incorrect fit I would have found yet another new saddle.  You have to do what the horse needs, even when it is not what you really want to do haha.  As luck would have it, I did find a MW Juventus on Facebook for a good price and only a year old, so I knew that I could purchase it if indeed Ellie needed a MW after all.

After checking out Ellie's back, Nancy had me place the saddle.  Like in her previous visits, she asked me why I put it where I did, and this time I was pleased to tell her because SHE is the one who taught me to place the saddle behind the edge of the shoulder bone back in 2010.  And it was indeed in the right spot!  Yay for listening to your saddle fitter lol!  

Curvy back 
Immediately Nancy remarked that she really liked the tree on Ellie but it seemed to need some flocking.  FUCK YEAH! is what I wanted to yell, but of course, I politely smiled and cried, "Oh good!" instead.  She examined it all around and then had me run my hand under the front gusset and along her spine.  There were noticeable gaps in all the areas I had suspected.  Nancy assured me this would be a simple fix of adding flocking.  

We also talked about saddle pads, as she asked me to bring out the pads I most generally use.  Because of Ellie's quite curvy back, she wanted me to stick with pads with wither relief to prevent the pad from bunching underneath the seat.  She approved my PRI and Ogilvy pads but encouraged me to purchase anything new with even more obvious wither relief.  It is such a pain to find pony pads in the first place, but I will definitely follow her advice in the future.  I mean, she was pretty much telling me I need to buy new saddle pads, right?  This saddle pad addict didn't need to be told twice!  

There is really not a lot of room for a saddle! 
Good thing I am tiny and can fit in a child's sized saddle haha
I put Ellie into her stall to hang out while Nancy adjusted the saddle while sitting on my wooden tack trunk in the aisle.  I love listening to her talk about saddles and I know I may have asked her 39465652 questions haha, but it is such a fascinating topic to me.  I could seriously follow her around all day and watch her fit horses.  I don't think it is something I personally would ever want to do, but I love the art and science of fitting saddles.

Once she felt the saddle was appropriate for Ellie, we brought her back out and tried it on.  I could see an immediate difference and after feeling all the spots she worked on, she had me feel everything as well.  The addition of wool flocking was such an easy fix and once I saddled her up for a quick test ride, it was so impressed to feel how much more balanced the saddle felt, which in turn balanced me as well!  YAY!  

Nancy recommends for saddles to be looked at every six months or so.  Of course, if something looks off, she will come out sooner, but I do plan to have her out again in the spring.  She confided that she much rather come out to see a saddle and have it be fine or only need a slight adjustment rather than having an owner wait so long an ill fitting saddle causes serious problems.  That made me feel good, since I would hate to feel as though I were wasting her time to come tell me the saddle is OK.  But there is also a good feeling and peace of mind about having a saddle fitter's stamp of approval.  She felt this saddle would work well for us for a long time, since Ellie is already six and there is still a lot of ways to adjust the flocking as needed on this particular saddle.  She said that by Second level I might want a different saddle, but maybe not.  

I love feeling confident and happy knowing that the saddle finally fits Ellie much better and I have someone I can depend on.  The other best part is that I don't need to deal with finding a new saddle, which was such a relief lol!  

Slight changes but it makes all the difference!


Amy McKenna said…
I could feel the difference right away as well when I got my saddle readjusted for Gwyn. I'm glad you finally got someone out!
T said…
I used to have that saddle for my girl. She sadly outgrew even their 32cm tree, so I had to sell it, but I loved it for me and still miss it. I hope you enjoy yours for many years!
Yes, it is amazing how just a little wool can make a huge difference!
It is definitely a great saddle! Such a bummer your mare outgrew it!
Holly said…
Yay! Love that feeling when you get the reassurance that you got it 'right'! And gee, what a shame you need more saddle pads...
TeresaA said…
I could feel right away when Rachael came and adjusted mine. I too can sit and chat with her for hours. I would love to know how to do it- not for others but for myself!
Martidoll said…
still love my stubben even tho i havent ridden in it FOREVER :) I am so glad you could adjust that for Ms Ellie. It is a gorgeous saddle :) AND YAY for finding a good saddle fitter. How dare that person cancel on you before I hate that. (I Mean I Know shit happens but still)

AND HOW CAN IT BE SEPT Already. it was 98 heat index yesterday and today it was 65 and it is getting down to 59 tnite? Huh what? I am sure it will warm up but it is giving me a taste for fall :)

Sorry life is so busy for you now but before you know it you will be up to your ears in snow :)
Nadia Novik said…
This had me laughing out loud! Especially your reaction to not needing a new saddle, lol. I love good saddle fitters, and agree, I could follow one around learning for days.
Hahaha I agree, SUCH A SHAME!
I don't know that I would be able to handle dealing with horse people all day hahaha, but I definitely would love to be able to work on my own for sure. It is nice to have a fitter who believes in educating her clients, so I felt confident to figure out when things are not correct.
Yeah, I totally get when folks have to cancel. She cancelled because it was calling for rain, which I understand because I don't have an indoor, but it wasn't even raining at the time of the cancelled appointment, so I was frustrated. Oh well. It all worked out probably even better because most reps want to sell saddles. ;-)

Yeah, it is suddenly super cold in Maine, too! Though I see it is supposed to be back into the 80s at the end of the week. I am already cold, so I welcome more summer weather hahaha.

Oh, I was happier than a pig in poop to not have to buy a new saddle hahaha! I love a fitter who wants to educate their clients.
Martidoll said…
i use that phrase all the time (happier than a pig in poop) i like to think we share a brain at times :) HA HA HA
TheFoxRider said…
Oh I love that saddle. Glad it sounds like it's going to stick around for a long long time! Wish I was tiny and could fit into such a pretty black and brown thing :D
emma said…
i'm at this point highly skeptical of the saddle fitting profession in general, even as i'm increasingly convinced of the importance of fit. definitely makes it challenging haha, so at this point whenever i find a fitter i like, i cling to them like a cheap suit lol. sounds like you've got a good one!
Sara said…
Gorgeous saddle. I'm glad you could get the fitter out and ti went smoothly for you
KateRose said…
I love the brown trim on your saddle! I've always liked the look of that model. Happy for you that your saddle fits :D
L.Williams said…
Glad that the fitter was finally able to get out and give you a hand :)
Hahaha I think we definitely do!! :-)
Isn't is great!?! I love it so very much. There are definitely a few perks to being a tiny person LOL!
I know where you are coming from! It seems as though everyone and their brother has become a fitter, though not all fitter educations are equal. :-/ I am NEVER straying from Nancy again for sure!
Thank you! It was such a relief!
Isn't it a cool saddle? I am SO HAPPY it worked and I didn't need to buy a new one. I know you of all my readers understand the frustrations of saddle fitting! :-)
Dave Miller said…
Hey Guys
Eventing results from WEG 2018
Here are the top 20 individual standings, and the top 10 team standings, after the cross country at WEG yesterday
Please drop me a mail if you’re not enjoying these comments, I really don’t want to make a nuisance of myself 
LiveToFly said…
Loved reading this!
Dave Miller said…
Hi Guys
Here are the final results for the Eventing at WEG 2018

Ingrid Klimke's one rail down in the showjumping cost her and Germany dearly, and open the way for young Rosalind Canter and Team GBR. Here are the top 20 individual results and the top 10 team results in the Eventing at WEG 2018