dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Sharp Dressed Man

"The come runnin' just as fast as they can
coz every girl crazy about a sharp dressed man"

Forgive the foray back into the 80's but I did love ZZ top. 

The first step in the next step of backing Steele requires a saddle that fits. I have been putting Irish's on him but recently I was thinking that it was not a good fit- it looked good but I believed that I could feel some excessive pressure behind the stirrup bars (the piece of metal that the stirrup leathers hook onto). Howevr, I am not a trained saddle fitter, nor do I play one on TV. So I got in touch with Callan Saddlery. The owner is a Master Saddle maker (trained in the UK): http://www.callansaddlery.com/ She also happens to be one of the breeders of Steele. It is a small horse community in the far east of Canada and you are bound to run into the same people for various reasons. We e-mailed back and forth and were having trouble coming up with a time we could both be available. Finally, we arrived on a date. The weather was cold and rainy- but it wasn't raining so I was happy.

Rachael and her apprentice, Holly were right on time. Earlier that day I had given him a groom and told him to stay clean because today was a 'big day'. He looked intrigued but I didn't tell him any more. I brought him out to the cross ties and he stood there taking in the admiration with all the aplomb of royalty.

We tried Irish's saddle on first and it turns out that I was right- there was a major pressure point. We talked budget and use. I really wanted a saddle with an adjustable gullet so that I could adjust it as he grows. I went through 3 saddles with Irish which was expensive, time consuming and stressfull. Rachael brought out a saddle and it fit him well. I sat in it on a saddle rack and decided I needed a slightly larger seat. So it's on order and will be here in about 6 weeks. Which should be perfect timing.
 Steele, was of course consulted. There were so many choices- style, size, colour....

I know that there are many saddles out there and some are very very expensive. I, like most horse people, am on a budget but I also know that a saddle is good investment - not so much for return on value for lasting and comfort. A poor fitting saddle is like walking around in poor fitting shoes. So I give you:

it's a Kent and Masters dressage saddle-http://www.kentandmasters.co.uk/original-range/dressage-range/51-cob-dressage. Made with quality leather, and wool flocked I can adjust the 'gullet' (ie., the size), the placement of the girth straps, movable blocks (to fit my leg), and precut flocking slots so it's easy enough to adjust the flocking.

It is a good working saddle that seems to be well made and competitively priced. I would have loved for brown but this is not an option and I won't pay hundreds more for colour from a diff't saddle maker. Besides, since Steele will eventually be white the black will be sharp on him.

Now we wait. And plan. And train. It's going to be a good summer.


  1. New saddle!

    Most definitely a super important investment.

  2. Ohhhhh!! I can't wait to hear what you think of these saddle. I really like my cardinal for my hip and for Dickie. Once he grows out of it I have been considering a K &M. My current saddle has a really deep seat and my rear is a bit big for it so I doubt I would get another.

  3. PS if you want a good saddle to start him in that you don't care about gettign ruined look for a thorowgood. They are made by K&M and are magic fit saddle. My student just got a cob AP version and my dressage saddle fits everything from Dickie, to a pony, do an 18h WB.

  4. Yay for a new saddle! How exciting. Congrats! I like the black, but I've never been fond of brown English tack, so I would hehe. I can't wait to read all about your first ride on Steele. I still remember my first ride on Chrome like it was yesterday. It's so exciting!


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