This is worth bullet points:
- From a surgery gone bad I have some nerve damage. Only a select few saddles have worked for me. The Crestridge "J" bar tree has been the best, and it fit both Phebes and I. I've tried a long line up of saddles since, and each fit her well just about everytime except one that she outgrew between ages 5-6 and the Specialized that just was totally wrong on her and was the most miserable ride for me that I ever tried, not a statement against the saddle, just didn't work for me. The other is the Abetta Arabian. The Abetta fit my first mare Puddin' really well. When I quit riding her I sold it and began on my saddle adventure trying to fit Phebes. Phebes was too wide for the Abetta after about six months under saddle. But trying my daughter's on Journey, it seemed to fit pretty well and I've put a lot of trail miles on an Abetta, so if they have not changed the design of the tree I should be good. All the saddle buying and selling has really sucked in a big way as you never recoup your $ on any of them if you've bought new. But getting gear to fit both myself and my horse both has been difficult.
- Beta and biothane. I just have no excuse other than a very short attention span and I like dressing my horse in pretty colors. My beta is well cared for and I love every single piece of it. It is fun to say today we are going red! blue! silver! black! and a new undisclosed color ☺ Do I need all that stuff? Well---probably not. But I enjoy it, tremendously. Phebes was a horse that looked good in bright colors. Journey has a lot going on already color-wise and I felt something a bit low key might suit her better. Really...could you see her in zebra or cheeta boots? My little spotted wonder already looks like she stood on the wrong end of a paint sprayer or she dodged into a game of paintball gone wrong. Before I discovered beta/biothane I had a leather bridle, and then a nylon bridle, and then handmade and braided sidepulls for Puddin'. It took me a long time to discover that there was this wonderous stuff called beta.
- Saddle pads? I haven't done too bad. Let's see 2 made by Crestridge that worked fabulously until warm weather and then caused heat bumps. 2 Toklat Cool back which I like and are used for backup when my good pad is dirty. Everyone knows the pad for me is Skito. Hands down, and I worry they will go out of business (the business is for sale). In fact they've nearly priced me out of the loop now anyway. But if I had too, I'd buy a third. So I have one very used Skito and one almost new Skito both black because black goes with anything.
- Hoof boots. I started out with Old Mac's and that really didn't work for my old arabian mare who had a lot of leg action and kind of paddled on the hind. She'd torque right out of them. I eventually got her into Epics and those worked well enough as long as we didn't gallop. Thankfully she had some tough little hooves and we went bare 99% of the time. She retired, later died and I started looking for boots again for Phebes. She had a set of Epics which fit her pretty well, but as soon as Gloves came out I traded those in on Gloves. Now a new horse, and of course none of the boots fit. Of course. *sigh* If I could define the shape of Journey's hoof I'd have to say they have a "square" look about them, and that is due to needing to work out some flaring at the heel on all four. It also makes her not at all right for a glove, at least not at this point. She measures 121 mm X 121 mm which is round, but those little flares make the hoof appear distorted, which it is.
- Splint boots. I have a few, and they are mostly generic. Most are black with various scuffs, and little tears in them. One set is red, another blue. My favorite pair have been a set of Pegasus boots in black that are a little different to apply, but are a nice boot. My set is about worn out and velcro doesn't hold so well anymore.
Moral of the story?
Well, there really isn't one. I have more fun dressing my horse, braiding her mane, and making her shine than I do pounding down the trail by ourselves. I've really missed losing my riding buddy (miss you Chris!) who had a knee replacement and is selling her young horse in hopes of one a little more safe and settled before she goes out there again. Don't get me wrong, I like solo riding, especially at a competition since I'm happier being slower than dirt. But solo training? It sure isn't safe, and I've had a few close calls to prove it. Heat exhaustion, broken finger, injured pelvis, black eye, mashed nose (Phebes was a lot of fun...) Perhaps the heat will break, I'll rediscover the mo-jo that I'm missing, quit mourning Phebes like she is dead (she sure eats a lot for a dead one), climb on the Royal Spotted one and just ride.
But 'til then? I shop. But truly...I hope to NEVER need another saddle again. Not ever. So over it.
I totally get it. That lady who buys saddles. I'll bet she is lonely and needs a riding buddy too? Or maybe she is shy and trying to "fit in." Or perhaps, maybe she is just an equine related shop-a-holic who likes pretty colors...and pretty horses, or she compensates for "never winning" by having the nice "stuff". Maybe she's a little like me. *very big wink* ~ E.G.
p.s. I want to move to Washington State. I don't care if it is boggy, if I have to wear a rain slicker 6 out of 7, or if BIG FOOT really exists. I want my own pirate hat, my own pirate flag, my own cup of GROG and eventually....my own splash of PURPLE.
p.s.s. I'm not sweaty anymore. Central air is a wonderous thing.
Oh what the heck...the big reveal. Plain Jane, caramel brown (better known as russet).
The nose band is being shipped...that one is ugly, but functional.
Good luck charm we all need a little luck!