January 14, 2017

It Sprung a Leak!

I've been riding occasionally through the winter this year. Hooray! The plan was to haul into my friend's private indoor arena Tuesday and Thursday nights, weather dependent (I want to be just like her when I grow up; at 39 I still have time to do that right?). She is all the way across the valley, so the frequency of riding, due to poor road conditions, has not been twice a week. It has still been very nice regardless! I am hoping that as we move into February, the frequency will improve.

Where am I going with this, you ask?

Last week when I was riding I started to hear a very rhythmic pshew, pshew, pshew sound coming from the right side of my saddle. It appears that my Bates Caprilli CAIR panel has sprung a leak! I've never truly liked the CAIR panels, and have always wanted to get it wool flocked. Not that I'm a huge fan of the saddle in general, but it is a convenient one for young horses, or if you frequently ride different horses.

I am not in either of those situations at the moment though, so I have decided it is time to get Gentry a saddle specifically for him. No, I am not dropping 5k on a custom saddle, though I wish I could justify it. If I did that, I'm pretty sure I'd be dropping 5k on divorce papers! So, in the vein of continuing to enjoy a happy marriage, I am being realistic about my budget. I have $1800 to spend, and I'm hoping to find a decent used saddle that fits Gentry well, within that price.

What does that get me? Well, it gets one into a lot of different saddle options. I will tell you what it won’t get me though, which I'm sad about. It won't get me a Dresch Legolas Monoflap, or a County Fusion. Both of those saddles fit Gentry's short back perfectly. That is my challenge in finding him a saddle. He has a very short back, and whatever saddle I get needs to have up-swept panels on the back to keep it off of his 18th vertebrae. This is something my Bates currently sits on; another reason for a new saddle for him.

The second challenge is my geographical location. Saddle fitters do not exactly flock to South West Montana to sell used saddles. This is a position I've been in before, and I know I will find something, and it’ll likely involve the internet, but in the mean time I will be having the one saddle fitter in the area pull out my CAIR panels and wool flock my Bates. Regardless of the new saddle, I will be keeping the Bates, if for no other reason than to have it fitted to JR's future pony, so that I can insure the pony remains kid friendly. That is a whole other topic for another day.

Right now though, enjoy this photo of Gentry NOT being ridden. Looks like I have some bareback rides in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Ha that's wild! I've heard of those air panels wearing out... But still. Hopefully getting it converted is nbd. Actually both of my saddles are cheapy bates and I kinda love them both (jump is converted to wool, dressage is still CAIR). But there's certainly many much nicer saddles to be found. Good luck with your search!



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