So needed to have a vent somewhere, thought horse forum would be the best place.
I bought my in very tidy condition Wintec Isabell nearly 2 years ago second hand. At the time I was told the saddle was not very old, and only used as a show saddle so kept in excellent condition. When it arrived, this all fit the story - so I had no need to question it's age.
Fast forward to late last year where I suspected one of the CAIR panels had burst and caused my mare to go sore. This was accompanied with the obvious hard section in the back of the saddle where it had consequently hurt my mare and a chiropractor helped her back out of pain. Saddle was no longer ridden in (well hadn't been as soon as mare went sore/I found the panel difference). Took the saddle into the local saddler in DEC, and they just reopened for repairs. Thinking it was only a changing to flock repair, I've not been too worried.
Got the call today that the saddle's tree has in fact been broken near the girth area. And to find out my saddle is not young, but 12yrs old now! I'm not throwing any blame onto the previous owner of the saddle for the tree breaking (though there has been some things that now slip into place but who knows really), but I'm really peeved they weren't completely truthful either about it's age. All the same, I've been riding in it on/off for the past two years, not sure when the tree broke, but the pressure must've pierced the panel, making the hard bit which alerted me. God I feel terrible for hurting my mare, despite not actually knowing!
Guess the point to this whole vent is to really make sure when buying second hand you get what you pay for. I didn't even second guess it's age (wouldn't have known where to look anyways) because it was as described in very good condition. Will be going in to see the saddler and where it's broken in the next couple of days, but I'm now looking at a costly repair for a beloved saddle - what a great start to the year
And before anyone asks, saddle is always treated exceptionally well - as if it was a child... I saved up for six years for it, so I wasn't about to waste that by biffing it around! Guess I should be thankful it looks good for it's age and once the tree is fixed, will be almost like new!