I’m happy to report, my hunt for a saddle was short lived. I’m pretty sure I searched 24/7 for about 4 days until I found 5 saddles (including 2 in the UK and one that Michele sent over to me). I sent the list over to the saddle fitter and she reduced it down to 3 and told me the choice was mine.
I eliminated a forward flap Albion and was between an Albion Kontrol in the UK and an Albion K2 in the US. Neither had a trial available so I was taking a risk that the tree shape would work. In the end? The K2 won out despite being a little more expensive (it looked in better shape and I’d get it faster). Thanks Michele for finding me my saddle. I bought it Monday, it shipped Tuesday, and arrived on Thursday. And I didn’t get to sit into it until… Wednesday because? Our truck was having surgery.
And the saddle? It’s glorious.
Nay Nay seems VERY happy. In the short bit between seeing the saddle fitter and finding this saddle I tried to ride and it was apparent that Nay was uncomfortable. He’s gotten increasingly heavy and the last couple of rides I could tell his back was hurting. In the end, I just stopped riding because it wasn’t worth it.
So when I got on Wednesday I wasn’t sure what to expect. He’d had time off (almost 2 weeks). He’s been cranky from being sore. And I’m still working on shimming (we’re using the mattes pad for rear right shims as he’s uneven in his back). So I had no idea what I’d get.
Instead? I had a quiet light in my hand, kick ride. We trotted around on the buckle and never once did he try to pull or drag me around. Old Bay Nay was back. Now, the right lead will take a lot of time to get back, but we’ll get there. We got it eventually and with consistency we’ll have it.
As for me? It’s not perfect. This is a LOT of saddle. Basically, it’s a seat belt saddle with huge front blocks and rear blocks (I’ve never actually ridden with rear blocks).I feel a little awkward at the trot, but I’ll get there. The canter though? AMAZING. I can sit and it’s lovely. He felt so good we took a spin over the little plank jump at the end of the ring (Nay Nay’s favorite fence) and the saddle is even more amazing over jumps. To the point that I felt comfortable enough to canter over the jump a few times. I forgot what it was like to feel secure in a saddle.
If I could change anything? I’d probably have looked for a 17″ seat vs the 17.5″ as it feel just a touch big. But, the saddle fitter felt that in the deeper seat the 17.5 would be good. I’m swimming a touch, but it’s not terrible.
Overall? I’m pretty happy and Nay felt great!