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I have a confession to make....

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  • I have a confession to make....

    I just bought a saddle on eBay.

    No, I don't have my own horse. No, I've never owned a saddle before. Yes, I literally JUST started riding again (after a 3 year break).

    BUT . . .

    I have heard awesome things about this saddle––a Crosby Equilibrium (Tad Coffin model). AND it's my seat size (17.5"). AND it's a wide tree, so hopefully it'll fit just about any horse (with the help of some pads).

    I know it was a rash decision, but I hope it will turn out OK. Part of the reason I wanted a saddle was because the school saddles at my new barn kinda suck. (I got spoiled––I learned to ride in my old trainer's saddle, an older but very comfy Beval, which she let me use for 3 years until I moved away.)

    When my husband finds out what I did, I think he's going to turn into one of those old cartoons where someone gets really mad and their head turns into a red steam whistle.

    Am I an idiot for buying this saddle?

  • #2
    I'm sorry, but its unlikely that any one saddle 'will fit most horses'. If you're lucky, and you can find a horse to fit your saddle, you'll be...well...lucky. Saddle fitting is HARD, and I don't think there's much point to having your own (saddle) unless you have it for a particular horse. It's not the end of the world though. You MIGHT find a horse it fits, and if you don't, you can always sell it.

    Comment


    • #3
      No, you aren't an idiot. On the contrary, I think you chose a good saddle. I like the open seat and rather "plain" balance of the Equilibrium. No big knee rolls, no forward knee rolls that invite you to pretend you'll always jack up your stirrups for huge oxers, no bucket seat.

      The tree in these saddles is a good shape, IMO. The panels also help these fit a variety of horses. They are built to give close contact-- panels that help the tree and saddle sit close to the horse's back. In a saddle meant to go on many horses, I'd take a tree that was of a good shape but a tad too wide over a tad to narrow. You can handle too wide (too an extent), while too narrow leaves you SOL. Because this saddle is a close fitting one, you need to be scrupulous about making sure your saddle and pad combo works for the narrow or high-withered horse.

      The quality in these Crosbys pleases me. I'm not a fan of the pebbly schrump leather used on some Equilibrium seats, but that's a personal thing. It will last and look nice for a long time.

      In short, you did a good job. Hubby may not know enough about saddling horse to appreciate just what you did right in choosing this one.

      Let us know how you like riding in it.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

      Comment


      • #4
        I think having your own saddle is an important tool in learning to ride - it fits you and you get used to it. Especially if the school saddles are not that great. I'm sure your instructor will help make sure that it works with the horse(s) you ride, but you'll enjoy having your own seat, too.
        A proud friend of bar.ka.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome to Tack Collectors Anonymous
          While no saddle is going to fit every horse, I have noticed that the equilibriums seem to fit a fair number. I also recall them being comfortable and nicely balanced. Enjoy your new purchase.
          "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            I have owned saddles when I didn't have a horse and completely understand not wanting to ride in school saddles.

            My only advice to you is to learn about saddle fitting so that you understand how to use pads correctly. There's a lot of good information on the net but if you have the chance try to get a saddle fitter to come to your barn and show you how to fit the saddle to a horse that you ride frequently so you can experience it first hand.

            I've watched my saddle fitter for years and have learned a lot that way.
            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Yeah, I know that saddle fit is a science, and no saddle will fit every horse. And if I had my own horse, and rode several times a week, I would likely get a nice(r) saddle custom-fit to that horse by a saddle fitter. But right now, I can't get a $2k saddle, or even a $1k saddle. I had heard great things about the Equilibriums designed by Tad Coffin, and how they were pretty versatile in terms of fitting lots of horses.

              Honestly, I just need something "good enough". I hate saying that, but in reality, that's the truth. As I get used to riding again, I don't want to have to worry about how a random saddle I'm using that day is affecting me––throwing me forward or backward or otherwise off-balance. I figured having my own saddle would at least give me some sense of stability in terms of my seat. I know saddle pads don't fit ill-fitting saddles, but I'd much rather add some extra padding than stick a too-narrow saddle on a wider horse.

              Also, I won't be spending a ton of time riding, at least for the foreseeable future. In all likelihood, I'll be riding 2-3 times a week for no more than an hour at a time. Again, if I were riding several hours a day practically every single day, it would definitely be worth it to get a saddle matched to the horse I'm riding, but that's (sadly) not the case.

              I just really hope this saddle will be "good enough" for my purposes––relatively comfortable for the horse I'm riding, and relatively comfortable for me.

              ETA: I do care about saddle fitting, I promise. I know throwing pads on the horse isn't the answer. I have a good book about saddle-fitting (The Horse's Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book by Joyce Harman) and I've read it several times, and keep it around as a reference. Also, I have a regular Thinline pad and SOMEWHERE around here (buried in a box I haven't found yet, I'm sure) I have a Thinline therapeutic sheepskin pad, the kind that uses shims. Whatever horse I'm riding, I take their comfort into account, I swear!
              Last edited by bluebelle; May. 15, 2011, 04:30 PM. Reason: The lady doth protest too much.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mjmvet View Post
                I'm sorry, but its unlikely that any one saddle 'will fit most horses'. If you're lucky, and you can find a horse to fit your saddle, you'll be...well...lucky. Saddle fitting is HARD, and I don't think there's much point to having your own (saddle) unless you have it for a particular horse. It's not the end of the world though. You MIGHT find a horse it fits, and if you don't, you can always sell it.
                This is honestly irrelevant to the post. As someone whose owned three different saddles while riding tons of different horses, I think you were right to go with the wide tree. Wither pads are now your friend

                A saddle that is well and thoughtfully padded will be fine for your hour lesson. And chances are the school saddles don't fit them much better than yours.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hope it fits ok! I absoloutly LOVE my Crosby Equilibrium. It feels like sitting on a cloud. Hope it is the same for you (:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bluebelle View Post
                    Honestly, I just need something "good enough". I hate saying that, but in reality, that's the truth. As I get used to riding again, I don't want to have to worry about how a random saddle I'm using that day is affecting me––throwing me forward or backward or otherwise off-balance.
                    I did the same thing back in January. I don't own a horse and only do lessons on schoolies at this point, but I hated switching saddles, and dealing with stirrup lengths and all of that. Plus, I had always rode in a plain flap/no block saddle years ago, and all the barn's saddles had blocks and padded flaps. It felt so weird.

                    So, I started my hunt and ended up with a Crosby PDN from the mid-90s in great condition. I did send my trainer an e-mail to see what size tree to go with, just to make sure.

                    But I've been SO happy with it. It was definitely a good decision. I know what saddle I'll be in every week, my stirrups are the same every lesson and I don't have to worry about getting accustomed to the saddle every time I get on.
                    The dude abides ...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Somebody on this board has as their signature line: "My worst nightmare is that I've died and my husband sells my tack for what I told him I paid!"

                      How big is your closet?
                      "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ship It to the Barn!!!


                        Ask me, I know, I just bought an Antares. All saddles look alike to my husband.....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hope you like it! Having a saddle you are used to will really help your riding - I know it must be hard to ride in saddle that throw you all out of whack. I am quite attached to my saddle (which is fitted to my TB) and I use it on all the other horses I ride (a schoolie in a weekly lesson, a horse I am putting miles on once a week at a therapuetic riding center, and any others I sit on, if I can!). I use pads and such when I need to on the others. I think your thinline with the shims will be great - wish I had one!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by carasmom View Post

                            Ask me, I know, I just bought an Antares. All saddles look alike to my husband.....
                            LOL! I'm just buying a new pair of tall boots from Smart Pak and having them shipped to the barn with the supplements!

                            OP - completely understand what you are saying about riding in school saddles. We just had a saddle fitter out to the barn, and he recommended the Mattes All Purpose Correction Half Pad and Prolite Multi Riser pad. Both come with shims to help fit. Good luck and enjoy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Makes perfect sense to me! I bought a saddle because only one or two of the school saddles fit the horse I was half-leasing, lol. A good saddle with judiciously used pads will fit a lot of horses. Might not be perfect but as you said, it'll be good enough. Enjoy it!
                              Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                              Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                              VW sucks.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Congrats! The Equilibrium is a good choice. I rode in one years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. As has been mentioned, wider is better than narrow, just watch the withers! I have a Beval Devon that I ride in on various school horses, and find comfort in having the same "seat" every week.
                                The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Very sensible. Your own saddle is a good investment if you ride schoolies. It fits you, you won't have to adjust the stirrup leathers every time, you can make sure it's clean and oiled and someday if you're lucky, it will fit your horse. Or if not, it can go back on ebay.
                                  It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                  www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I totally understand. I've had my own saddle(s) for years, whether or not I have a horse. As a kid I had to convince my parents it was still beneficial for me to have my own, even though I didn't have a horse. They allowed me to save up my allowance for a used Collegiate, and that thing lasted me almost another 10 years until I grew out of it.

                                    I also bought an HDR on ebay once. It was great. Needed a little conditioning when it got to me, but ended up being a great saddle for the money.

                                    As far as fitting the horses, you'll be fine most of the time. Not like the school saddles are fitted to all the lesson horses! (At least not at your average boarding/lesson barn - never for the ones I've been at, and it sounds like not for yours either since you're not fond of the saddles available.) You might get a wild card with a super skinny TB or something, but you can worry about that if/when it happens.
                                    If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm another who owned a saddle before I bought a horse. The lesson saddles were a tad too small for me; switched to my trainer's husband's saddle - too big. So, I went shopping at my local tack store. Luckily, the manager of the store knew that I wanted no knee rolls, no thigh blocks, no sofa seat. I was lucky enough to end up with a brand new but never sold Crosby PDN from the mid 90's. Lucky in that my trainer had one and used it on every horse she rode.

                                      I loved having my own saddle - no readjusting the leathers, no having to deal with where somebody else's leg hung against the side.

                                      A year ago I got a horse to go with the saddle (LOL) - a tb. It fits him great and we are both happy!
                                      And nothing bad happened!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        No, you got a find! The Coffin model Equilibriums are hard to find. Mine is hard as a rock but very well balanced, it doesn't lock you into a position like most newer saddles. You Dan actually lengthen you stirrups for flat work and stay balanced. It fits most horses quite well as long as they have withers but its a regular tree size.

                                        Score for you!

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