Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sarge's New Saddle


Sometimes husbands need to be gently lead to the right decision.....

Last fall (and this will also give you a clue as to how far behind I am on blog news)
I decided that Cloud's saddle (an adjustable "Specialized Saddle") needed to be refitted.

After a little Googling, I found Terry Peiper who owns Fit Right Saddle Solutions
and scheduled a date to bring Cloud up to her place in Carlisle PA.  

Its definitely doable to tweak and refit your own Specialized Saddle, 
but I just didn't want to do it.... Terry's charge wasn't that much 
and more importantly,  I had an ulterior motive.   

I suggested to Joe that since Carlisle was only a short drive from  Gettysburg,
"Wouldn't it be fun camp for the weekend and ride the bridle trails at Gettysburg National Park?"
So..... Sarge got to come along.  

And my plan was in action.  
Because riding at Gettysburg wasn't the ulterior motive.... 
it was the carrot on the stick.
:)

Ever patient Sarge has been tolerating a poorly fitting saddle for some time now.  
He's eighteen years old and between muscular changes due to age,
his 8 year old custom built saddle from California wasn't right for him
and hadn't been a good fit from the very beginning.   

So after Terry finished with my saddle and Cloud.... 
Well....
 Since Sarge had come along (you know for the ride at Gettysburg)
..... why not have him looked at too?

Terry measured and checked over Sarge, analyzed his saddle and watched Joe ride.  
The verdict was what we already knew in our hearts:  his saddle woes weren't fixable with a pad.... 
Sarge needed a new saddle.  
I believe this was Terry's husbands saddle that she's trying on Sarge for a comparison....

Sarge is a sweetheart..... 
and Joe was glad to try and make him more comfortable.
Sometimes it helps to have a tiny push to get the wheels of change in motion!
Hearing Terry's explanation of what was going on with Sarge's old saddle
and the intricacies of his back made it much clearer for both of us.
And easier for Joe to accept writing the deposit check!
:)   
Based on the tree and the pommel clearance that Sarge needed, 
Joe picked out the saddle style, color, and a various other options,
and his saddle was ordered.    
Specialized Saddles are made in Texas and it takes a while to have one built.
Note that in the above photos, Terry is wearing a short sleeved shirt!

The saddle came in at Christmas time but we couldn't get away.  
And then we cancelled because of snow.....
and then because it was 12 degrees and icy....
and finally we braved the elements 
and got up there in February on a frigid 15 degree morning!!!
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Sarge's back was carefully measured again....
Isn't this a cool flexible caliper thingie??

The removable under saddle panels were carefully shimmed
 to fill all the hollows of his aging back and give support where needed.
I wish I'd have gotten more photos but I was afraid my hands would freeze off!  
We'll go back in a few months after Sarge gets back in shape and have another fitting done.

Everybody's happy now! 
Even Sarge is smiling!  
And yes, we did camp and ride at Gettysburg!