Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The saga of the saddle

Just a quick update on my saddle shopping.  While I was visiting my friend and playing dress up with my horse, a Dale Martin Ranch Cutter fit Theo surprisingly well.  It had enough room for his shoulders but didn't lay on his withers.  Flare through the shoulders, something something my horse is a freak.

The downside?  That thing is a monster.  At least 40 pounds and long enough to almost touch Theo's hip.  Way too much saddle for my use.  Even when Theo gets to meet cattle this summer (cow camp in June!), it won't be a roping or cutting exercise.  They said I could go in my dressage saddle if I want.  I couldn't lift this dang saddle on my own.  It was pathetic.  I needed help and poor Theo had to stand there while I struggled to get the thing clear of his withers.

But the tree seemed to suit him.  I didn't see any Dale Martin saddles that were short enough for Theo while being appropriate for western dressage.  The barrel saddles were short enough, but feet way out in front.  Bummer.  But they do make a line of saddles on the same Axis tree called Cashel.

Skirt is only 26" long and it weighs 25 pounds.  Score!  It has nice flare in the shoulders while keeping the gullet at 6.5" wide.  This should help with the problem where the wide tree had too wide of a gullet but the medium tree had too narrow of a shoulder angle.

Fun fact!  In a western saddle, when you move up to wide, the whole gullet gets a half inch wider.  Sit down on the withers much?

It's not nearly as fancy.  I'll admit to being sad to not have that rich, mahogany color and all of that beautiful tooling.  The tree is not a fancy flex anything.  The fenders are not preturned.  This is meant to be a saddle you go out and ride in.  It will definitely serve my purpose and if Theo is happy, I'm happy.  It should be going in the mail today or tomorrow.  And it's about $700 cheaper than the Circle Y.

But then I was on horsesaddleshop today while bored at work and what do I see?  New models of Dale Martin including this beauty.

OMG WANT.  And it's a shorter skirt.  And only weighs 28 lbs because it's a single skirt (I'm learning all sorts of new things).  UGGGGGH.  But it's a $3K saddle and capable of holding up through team roping.  That's a lot of saddle.  I should really figure out if I like this western dressage thing before I invest in that beauty, right?  Or maybe I can find one used?

I'm currently convincing myself to try the Cashel that is already ON THE WAY and see how I like it.  And if I like it?  Then try this western dressage thing.  The Cashel's have decent resale value, it can be the down payment on the Dale Martin upgrade if I decide I need it.  I mean, I already know I need it, but I should see if Theo needs it by trying the tree on him for awhile. 

The seat is blue and quilted.  I'm so in love.

Hide my credit card.


  1. That last saddle is super pretty, but if it's any consolation, that basketweave pattern is a b*tch to keep clean.

  2. 40lbs would definitely crush me as I went to throw it on my horse lol