Just Sharing My New Rig...! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 729
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Just Sharing My New Rig...!

Hello, all.

Just want to share my 'second child'. I'm completely over the moon with my latest purchase - something I was sure I would have to wait years before affording. We live in a pretty creatively stagnant region of Canada, when it comes to quality creations. There's a major assembly line saddle manufacture that I wanted nothing to do with (my hubby has one of their saddles and is happy with it but it hurts me and my horse).

This past weekend I was at a fabulous expo called The Mane Event in Red Deer, AB. I sat in so many saddles of the calibre I've only been able to drool over online for years. After three days of mulling it over and discussing what would fit my needs best, I finally took the plunge. How could I not, given this kind of opportunity?

I'm an avid trail rider, often riding in some pretty extreme terrain. I've been using my beater dressage saddle (very comfy) while my boy has finished growing but sustained a broken rib this past fall when I was left groping for purchase during a bad spook. I've always just coped with the sliding of the saddle on the hills we've traversed, either getting off and adjusting or waiting for the opposite pitch to wriggle it back into position, lol.

I've always admired the quality and integrity of a good working ranch saddle but due to a damaged shoulder, cannot muscle one around anymore. Someone mentioned a barrel saddle and I recalled that sitting in one is very much like sitting in a dressage saddle. So began my hunt for a QUALITY barrel saddle at this event. So many of them are built on bling for a dime, you just know the construction has to be suspect. I wanted something that would withstand my riding life.

The folks at K & K Saddlery tuned me into some custom saddles that they have made in their name by a mom & pop operation. All their western models are built on the same quality Bowden tree and let me tell you, the time and love was put into this creation!

FQHB, real sheeps wool underlay, hand-tooled. So comfortable I did not want to get off it at the expo, sat there grinning like an idiot. The fenders are so soft there's almost no torque on my knees (but I'm oiling it anyway for that truly gravy feel). Roughed-out seat for added security, nice high cantle.

I've always thought I wanted a dark finish and I may yet oil the roughed-out part to bring it closer to the tooling and hide some wear, but I'm so gone on this thing, it's ridiculous.

As far as fitting my horse, he seems very happy with it, somehow quicker to step (he's a SLOW walker) and when asked for the canter in the arena, in two strides he slowed down and came up right underneath me like never before. We scaled the steepest sand dunes without a hitch or twitch. The only thing left is to really dissect his sweat patterns after some good sweat work, which recent rains haven't provided the best footing for. Crossing my fingers for sun tomorrow...

Anyhow, enough blathering. I'm thinking a maroon pad (the black one is borrowed to discern the thickness we might prefer).

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 12:41 AM
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Location: Seattle, WA
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gorgeous!! and the horse is adorable. looks like it has good balance.

I don't like the tall horns of barrel saddles. I would not want one for trail riding because it will stab me in the front going up hills, and get caught on jackets and such. I also feel "locked" by the high back and high front. To me, they are NOTHING like dressage saddles.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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I've had a few too many wrecks and can't dance with fate anymore. I enjoy the high cantle and deal with the horn. Seriously scaled a vertical dune that defied physics two days ago without a hitch. Saddle didn't budge, either. The only other saddle I've felt remotely this comfortable in is my dressage beater. So many western saddles I have to fight against fenders to get my legs where I want them or float my seat bones from one edge of the seat to the other. I feel so 'plugged in' with this one.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-04-2012, 10:58 AM
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Nice Saddle and Horse :)


May all your Trails be happy and safe ones

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-05-2012, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I usually don't like barrel saddles but that ones really pretty!
I love how it's just plain leather, with really nice tooling. A lot more attractive to me.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-05-2012, 12:04 PM
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Location: Erie, PA
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I am really not a fan of light colored saddles, but I have to admit, this one is really pretty! Good buy!

Fly Without Wings
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-05-2012, 12:15 PM
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Yay, its gorgeous. And I know what you mean by locked in! That is the best feeling in the world. You feel like you can ride anything! Congrats!!
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Thanks everyone!

I typically gravitate to darker finishes, myself and it did make me hesitate on this one. I weighed my choices, though and logic won out. I'd never be able to actually put my hands on a saddle of this quality before buying it (would have to go off internet photos), I could save ridiculously on shipping and the tooling is just the kind I prefer. Now that I've ridden in it and spent some time loving on it, it's completely won me over. I see this saddle being in my hands for a LONG time. I am toying with oiling the roughed-out part of the seat to bring it closer to a medium shade, perhaps working well with the painted-out tooling, but we'll see. I'm going to just enjoy it for a while before I make any decisions.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Awww, I thought I was gonna see pictures of a truck and trailer, not a saddle. Never heard a saddle called a 'rig' before.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-07-2012, 03:25 PM
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Location: South East Texas
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^ thats what I was expecting to see, too xD very nice saddle though :)

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
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