Now to happier things - saddle shopping!
Ha ha! That's still a lie - saddle shopping isn't a happy thing.
I'm hard to fit (short legs). My horse is hard to fit (super wide). Saddles are just so damn expensive (I'm broke).
But I want a jump saddle to fit Cisco. I miss jumping. I'll probably only ever jump small things, but I like jumping small things.
After careful consideration, I decided to try a Wow saddle. Unfortunately, the closest dealer is about a 3 days drive from me. Which means everything has to be shipped, which means more $$$. Blargh.
The first step in the fitting process for a Wow saddle is to use their saddle gauge. The idea with it is that it will allow you to figure out the shape and size of panels and headplate that you will need, and what tree shape for the seat. Far cheaper than shipping full saddles or parts back and forth while trying to figure it out.
It took some work though to get some consistent results.
The headplate was easy - Cisco measured a 5U. That's equivalent to a XXX Wide.
Then things got a little trickier.
I'll let you watch the video if you are truly interested in how the gauge works. Far easier than for me to try to explain all the parts.
Long story short, every day that I tried the gauge on Cisco, I got different results. I could get everything balanced with a semi-curved tree one day, then the next day the flat tree looked better. Part of the problem was that I kept showing up at dinner time and someone was a bit hangry at potentially missing his food and wouldn't stand still.
|This one has the extra deep gullet in the back. (These are all like 6 - 7 weeks old and I can't remember which tree they are all on)|
|With a point billet set-up.|
|With a standard girth set-up. Definitely gonna need the point billet.|
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that with the semi-curved tree, he would need deeper gussets in the back, and with the flat tree, the panels would maybe need a bit more air in the Flair bags, but the standard panel gusset would be okay.
The decision was made to try a saddle with DXWG panels (D panels, with an extra wide gullet), with a 5U headplate, with fixed block jump flaps tilted back, and a deep seat (because that was the only seat she had on a flat tree).
Stay tuned for part 2 where I try the saddle!