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Thorowgood demo?

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  • Thorowgood demo?

    Does anyone know of a US shop which has Thorowgood Endurance saddle demos available? I've been using a borrowed Thorowgood dressage saddle for a few years. Although the owner is happy to see the saddle getting used and loved, I'm starting to feel a really guilty about putting this much wear on someone else's saddle. Plus I want to add some D rings, and drilling holes in a borrowed saddle is unthinkable.

  • #2
    Buy your friend's saddle

    Well, would you just want to buy your friend's saddle? If she's not using it, and you already know that it's comfortable for you and for your horse, buy her saddle from her and then get D-rings put in. Seems much simpler than dealing with the dreaded and dreadful experience that is saddle shopping. Personally I have always found a dressage saddle quite comfy for several hours of trail riding, though of course I don't know what kind of distances you're doing.

    I know Dover carries Thorowgoods, but probably doesn't keep the Endurance model in stock for demo-ing.


    • Original Poster

      Unfortunately, the saddle isn't for sale. Occasionally my friend wants it back when one of her other friends shows up to ride.

      Dover's demo policy was pretty restrictive the last time I bought a saddle there. From what I can see, they want to be able to return the saddle to inventory as new if I return it: no rubs from stirrup leathers, no sweat marks, no scratches, etc. It's kind of hard to tell if the saddle will really work if I don't dare ride in it.


      • #4

        They carry them and I think do demos. Nice people when I was considering one.


        • #5
          Well, I'm guessing you would let your friend borrow the saddle when she needed it. :-)

          But, anyway, Dover's policy sounds restrictive, but they're just covering themselves. Put a pair of thicker knee-socks with the toes cut off over the stirrup leathers, avoid riding in the rain, wipe down the saddle with a soft clean cloth when you're done, and all should be well.

          Or, go with Trumbull Mountain Tack. The people there are fantastic, and they don't get fussed over your actually riding in the saddle.


          • #6
            Dover doesn't carry the Thorowgood endurance model. They will special order it for you, but you have to pay in full before they will even place the order, and you can't return it under any circumstances.

            A second vote here for http://www.hastilowusa.com/. Annette is very helpful and knowledgeable, and if you're reasonably close to her (south central PA), she'll come out and do a fitting as well. She let me keep mine for a few weeks to demo and was completely understanding about the need to do a LONG ride in it to determine if it would work out.

            If you do endurance or CTR, I would say definitely go with the endurance model over the dressage. It has a few modifications that make a huge difference over longer distances, such as a comfier seat for you, wider panels for your horse's comfort, and D-rings everywhere.
            RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


            • #7
              Yes Annette is great, I worked with her to get my Hastilow Concept dressage saddle (built on same tree as Thorowgood), and she really wants to make sure that you get a saddle that works for you.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by SharonA View Post
                Well, I'm guessing you would let your friend borrow the saddle when she needed it. :-)
                Oh yeah, I let her borrow other tack all the time. The difficulty comes when one of her other friends also needs to borrow the saddle. We had an amusing (for me) episode of this a few weeks ago. Someone who rides maybe twice a year showed up, unannounced, after I was already done tacking up my horse. I pulled out another saddle and put it on the rack for her.

                Infrequent rider disappeared into the tack shed and started digging like a hamster. I yelled in after her asking what she was looking for. "A saddle," she yelled back. "It's out here," I yelled in to her. She came out, glanced at the rack, and disappeared back into the shed. "It's right here, on the rack," I insisted. "No, the one I always use," she hollered from the shed. "It's HERE, already on MY HORSE," I yelled back. Moral of the story: the early bird gets the worm. Had she bothered to tell anyone she was coming, I would certainly have let her use her favorite saddle. However, there was no way I was going to untack my horse when there was another saddle she could use.

                Anyhow, the Hastilow suggestion from several people sounds worth checking out. I didn't see Thorowgood Endurance on the Trumbull site, but maybe she just doesn't list them.