My problem right now is that I've ridden in the same two saddles for over 10 years and I really don't know what I do and don't like. Ann and I talked a bit about what I should look for in a jump saddle, and here's what I think I want at this point after talking with Ann and my saddle fitter:
1. Wool flocking
2. Front and rear blocks
3. Medium deep seat
With my budget in mind (~ $1,500), I've started to look around at my options. The Stubben Roxanne looks like something I'd like to try as does the Duett Bravo. While Duett is known for making saddles for wide horses, I'm curious if they could narrow a tree to fit Kwik. The Bravo just looks like a very nice saddle for the price, and Stacy over at The Jumping Percheron has two Duett Prestos and raves about them! I may email Duett to see if they have demos available.
Anyhoo, I mentioned that I got to ride Sierra the other day, and subsequently I got to ride in J's Fairfax monoflap dressage saddle. Although I'm looking to replace my jump saddle first, I'm definitely filing that experience away for when the time comes to replace my trusty Wintec Pro because I LOVED it! The external blocks were strange at first, but they really kept my leg in place and the deep seat was awesome. It really felt like the saddle put me in the proper position, and I felt secure but flexible at the same time. Lovely!
|Fairfax Monoflap Dressage|
PL brought her old Collegiate (I think it is similar to the Collegiate Senior Event saddle) out for me to try as well. I like the fit on Kwik- it seemed to make nice contact and gave him enough wither clearance. It smelled great (I'm not used to a saddle smelling like leather!), and I couldn't wait to ride in it. While I think the seat may have been a tad big for me, I felt like the seat was a little flat for my taste. It was also very loud!! I don't know- Wintecs don't make noise. This creaked and made noise with each step. I don't really think I felt all that secure in that saddle either, although it did not have the rear blocks. Will I just know what's right when I feel it? I sure hope so because purchasing a saddle is an investment. I definitely want to make the right choice!