I have finally decided that my Bates Caprilli just does not fit Dreamy correctly. :( I sort of knew the panels were not right, but I think I was in denial. After all that work of selling the County and getting the Bates...UGGGG. There is plenty of wither clearance with the Bates so it looked like it should fit. But it is those damn CAIR panels, I just know it! Now that the muscles have actually started to atrophy, I am 100% sure the saddle is not right. If it were a wool stuffed saddle I could just get a fitter to fix it. But the CAIR panels are air filled foam, so no go. They are what they are. But my horse must be comfortable, so we start THE SADDLE SEARCH again.
On Friday afternoon (8/1) I received two saddles from Trumbull Mountain in VT. One is a Duett Fidelio and the other a Thornhill Vienna 2. The Duett costs twice as much as the Thornhill and of course it is the one that I like best! LOL! I rode in the Duett on Friday and LOVED it. I had sent wither tracings and pics to one of the fitters at Trumbull and Dreamy was an exact match for this saddle in a 34 cm tree. Bad thing is they only had a 17.5" in stock. So while I LOVED the saddle and it fit Dreamy so well, I felt like I was slipping all over the place. I had to keep scooting myself up to the pommel. Not good.
I REALLY LIKED the Thornhill when I rode in it on Saturday. It was not quite as comfortable as the Duett, however it fit me very well, so it was a better ride. It seemed to fit Dreamy well through the withers and spine, but the panels did not rest flat on her back. Not sure if this is just because of atrophy or an improper fit. They did rest evenly on her back once I was mounted, but it did feel as though it could have used a bit of padding back there (I rode with just a medium thickness square pad...no risers or gel pads, etc). It did seem to put my leg in a better spot, but I wonder if that is because the 17” seat fit me. More than likely this is true...
The only drawback on the Thornhill was the quality. And I did not like the "rough" leather on the flaps. Of course, it is hard to get two saddles to compare and have one literally half the price of the other. LOL! But if this saddle ends up being the best fit, I can handle a lower quality saddle...though I will get the billets replaced with better quality ones!
SO..long story short they are having a 17" Duett shipped directly from the company to me. I should get it tomorrow or Thursday. I am hoping it will be as comfortable as I think it will be. It is such a nice saddle! :) I would hate to end up sending ALL three back to Trumbull. :(
Hopefully this time I will end up with something that really is PERFECT rather than something that seems perfect. It helps to have an actual saddle fitter helping me....though she is in VT. If anyone reading this is thinking of getting a new saddle, CALL TRUMBULL MOUNTAIN! They are absolutely fabulous!!!!!
I sent pics of Dreamy with each saddle on, girthed up. She liked the fit of each, but agreed the Duett was better. It honestly fits her perfectly. I asked about using a gel pad with the Thornhill and she said she does not the gel pads and recommended a Mattes. Well, yes, I would love to own a Mattes! :P We all would! But it is a bit cost prohibitive right now. Maybe.....if I do get the Thornhill I can probably swing it because it is a much cheaper saddle. So paying for a Mattes and new billets would still be cheaper than the Duett. But I REALLY hope the 17" Duett they are sending out fits!
I will say Dreamy was much happier in a saddle that fits. DUH!!! Her back was so free and her trot was huge. We did canter transitions on half of a 20 m. circle and she was good. It sucks to have to take a step back in our canter training, but well, I get too caught up on always having had forward progress this year so far.....I need to remember that is not always reality. :)