So in April and May, my barn had several visits from the saddle company CWD. My trainer was in the process of upgrading her saddle from and Antares to a CWD with the 2G technology and so were a lot of people at my barn. Everyone was trying out new saddles! At first I didn’t get on board with the movement. First of all, a new custom, or even a used saddle that was found to fit both horse and rider, could cost as much, if not more than I actually paid for my pony! However, once my friend upgraded her saddle to the 2G jumping saddle, I rode in it once just to see if there was really all that difference from my M. Toulouse I currently had. WOW is all I could really think. There really IS a huge difference! Even though her saddle was much too big for me (the seat and flap were too long) I still felt like I had a much better feel of the horse underneath me, and the close contact feel was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before! The big push was how my pony responded. Although my Toulouse had an adjustable tree and “fit” him, I could tell this saddle was more comfortable for him. He really had freedom in his shoulders, and was much happier to round out his back and use his hind end more when I asked.
After this experience, I decided to call out the CWD Rep myself to sit in and ride in a few of their different models. So it took a few weeks, but he was able to come out and I tried about 4 saddles. I wasn’t super impressed with the first few, as they didn’t have the flexible tree, and didn’t feel a whole lot different than my current saddle. THEN I sat in one of their 2G models called the Mademoiselle! OMG I practically fell in love instantly. This particular saddle is designed for women, and has a narrow twist and a VERY close contact feel. The model I tried was just slightly too large for me as the flap was one size too long and the seat about a half inch too large. I definitely could have made do with that exact saddle, but when you are spending that kind of $$$ you want it to be exact! I ideally needed a shorter flap called a 1L (2L is considered “standard) and a 16.5” seat. The one I tried had a 17” seat and a 2L flap. My rep called into the national data base in California to see if any saddles that had already been made matched what I needed with the 1L flap, an extra wide tree, and a 16.5” seat. I was in luck! There was a saddle that was used in the FL Winter Show Circuit earlier that year as a demo, that was now back in California, virtually unused at all. The only problem was that it had bright red piping on the saddle trim. In the Hunter ring, colors and “bling” are definitely frowned upon, if not unacceptable. So they could change the piping out for me and ship it to me, it just had to go back to France to have it done. I decided to take the plunge, justifying that it would be the last saddle I ever needed to buy (hopefully!) I wasn’t going to grow, and this saddle could fit virtually any horse, or be adjusted to fit if ever need be. My lovely husband agreed that getting this saddle for us would be an investment in our riding and comfort for many many years to come.
Let’s jump to early June, when the saddle finally came back from France with the brown piping and I put it to use immediately! Lovely saddle, that I very much look forward to riding in for the upcoming shows!