Monday, February 21, 2011

New Saddle!

I finally bought a new saddle!

I hate buying saddles. I really dislike buying saddles because I have to figure out in a short period of time whether I like the saddle and if it fits correctly or not, then I have to actually pay for this very expensive and important piece of tack.

On Saturday a woman came to town with a used Pessoa (she was only in town for a couple hours so I had to decide really fast) that she was selling for $800. I thought it was a pretty reasonable price as new Pessoa's sell for the $1500 to $2000 range. It's an older model, a Nelson Pessoa A/O. I have always liked Pessoas (it was my dream saddle when I was younger) but I was a little tentative about this saddle because I had heard a lot of negative things about Pessoas recently.

A lot of people think that they're uncomfortable (ML says that she hates Pessoa's because they're "hard as a rock" but she likes mine!) and some people find that the quality is not up to par. Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised with this saddle. It is a 17" seat, wide tree (though to me, it fits more like a medium tree). Very cushiony seat, knee pads and panels. Talking with the owner, she said that this saddle is probably from the late 90's. It is well used but in excellent condition. There is minor cracking on the seat and knee pads, but I've heard that's pretty standard on Pessoas and some other saddles that use the same type of leather.

I didn't think that I'd like it's flattish seat because I love deep seat saddles (as shown by my old jumping saddle and my dressage saddle) but I was actually very comfy in it. I felt secure, the balance point was in the right place and the twist is not too narrow for my taste. Overall, I am happy with it!

One thing I'm interested in is if it is foam or wool flocked. The dressage lady (still can't remember her name!) at the barn thought it might have air bladders, but I think it's too old for that. The paneling is just so soft and squishy, it makes me think that it's foam or possibly was recently reflocked. I was thinking of having a saddlefitter come tweak the flocking if they can to make it fit Jetta perfectly, but as it is it fits great. And the best part? It fits my leg! Even with super short jumping length stirrups my knee doesn't go over the edge!

Poor Jetta. I kept getting on and riding her around, walk, trot, canter, then getting off and looking at it, then getting back on, again and again. By the end she was like "Don't get back on me, pleeease, don't get back on!"

I am so, so glad to be done with the whole saddle shopping thing for now. Now, to just sell my other saddles...


  1. Even the old Pessoa's are foam, I found out. This is why I didn't buy one when I was shopping around. If it's wool you should be able to feel natural irregularities in the flocking; it wouldn't feel completely smooth.

  2. I hate saddle shopping. I love new saddles, but the constant unknowns of saddle shopping are enough to drive me batty! Glad you found one that works.

  3. @Kate - interesting. I'm pretty sure it is foam cause it's so smooth and springy still. I like it though.

    @SprinklerBandit - Yes, that is exactly how I feel! Glad I'm not the only one :)