- Price (< $1,000)
- Fit for me
When I was little and riding at Tricorne Farm, I used the saddle that went with the horse or pony I was assigned to that day. I cringe when I see photos of my small self floating around in a ginormous hunk of leather on the back of some patient 16hh plodder. Bet it made my legs stronger, though!
This photo isn't quite as dramatic, as I was more like eight years old than five (my age when I started at Tricorne), but I guarantee you those leathers were wrapped at least once. I can remember them having to be wrapped two or even three times.
|Not mine, but looks just like it.|
I have been very happy with this saddle and it's garnered quite a few compliments. I see that Dover has upgraded the leather since my purchase; a good thing, since it took a lot of elbow grease and Lexol to break in the flaps on this one (and remove a bunch of superfluous dye). Still, I have to tell you it was made a lot better than a low-end model from Beval that I also looked at. I was not impressed with the unmatching leather on that one at all - and they were the exact same price.
When I finally do get my own horse I will be sure to have a saddle fitter out. I would have no problem replacing the Dover if that's best, as I've learned I could use something better for myself anyway (narrower, more forward flap, for starters).
If you noticed, I was talking about my "current" saddle. My first one was none other than a Crosby PDN, purchased well-used in 1988. I still remember how beyond thrilled I was when I saw it for sale on a flyer hanging up after the 4-H show at the Ohio State Fair. I couldn't believe it - my dream saddle, in my size, for $75! The ironic part was I wasn't even riding then, but I didn't care (and I also didn't really have the $75, being right out of college and living on my own). I drove two hours away to pick it up and was so excited that I actually pulled over at a rest stop to hang the thing on a guard rail and sit in it. Lord knows what passing motorists thought I was doing.
Another 11 years went by before I had the opportunity to ride in this saddle. It was now 1999, and you know where this is going... much to my dismay, flat saddles were largely gone from the H/J world. Everyone had padded knee rolls again. My rock-hard, needed-reflocking, slippery PDN was not only not in fashion, it revealed itself to be mighty uncomfortable. I had never noticed when I was a kid but I sure did as an adult! It had to go... hence the search that resulted in the Circuit Elite. I looked for a used saddle to no avail, as I would have liked something already broken in.
The longed-for Crosby is now adorning a display shelf in my bedroom. I know some people still love them, and I'm sure I could sell it to one of them or a person just starting out in English riding, but for now it's merely a decoration:
|I have published glimpses of this display shelf before. Coming soon: a post where I explain everything up there! And, I told you the panels need restuffing... ugh.|