With the saddle discussion . . .
I rode yesterday in N's Adam Ellis 17" dressage saddle. It was painful. The seat is too small for me and there was a lot of pressure holding my knees back. My lower back hurt. N kept telling me to relax and to give it a chance. I felt very secure in the seat because there was no room to move.
Did I mention it was painful?
However, Ashke moved out very nicely. It was obvious that the saddle wasn't affecting his shoulders or his back. He felt light and responsive. In retrospect, he's probably been sore for a while. We rode for twenty minutes or so tonight and it just was uncomfortable. I'm not sure I like dressage saddles.
So. My dilemma is this. Do I try out and spend a couple of thousand dollars on a dressage or AP English saddle OR do I spend a couple of hundred on a Wintec and then a couple of thousand on a custom made Alta Escuela. Without ever having tried it on my horse.
I did suggest to J that I book a flight to Washington DC to try out the saddle, but I was shot down. I thought it would be a good compromise. I would at least know if I liked it. Alas, even after shouting and tears and begging, the answer was no. Damnit. I was told to be practical.
Cassandra said dressage saddles are not designed to be comfortable for long periods of time. They are designed to hold the rider in a proper position for proper riding (sure a lot of proper) and not designed to be comfortable on the trail. That is a con in my book.
I could do Working Eq in full Spanish vaquero garb if I had an Alta Escuela. That's actually in the pro column.
The Alta Escuela is designed for a Spanish horse with a short croup and a wide, flat back. I am waiting to see what the bottom of the saddle looks like and what the tree looks like. I also don't know if the saddle tree can be adjusted later on. If it can't be adjusted, that is a con.
What to do? I am still waiting on an appointment with Bev.
It's too far to drive to the saddle place and try them there.
What would you do?