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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Exciting News

I am buying an Arabian Company Solstice Saddle! It's the saddle that I've always wanted since I started endurance - I'm not sure why but I like the look, the feel, and what ever "aura" a saddle gives off! This post is mostly self-serving, but it's a fulfillment of a smaller dream of mine, so either stick with it, or come back later when I have some more interesting to post. :)

Before everyone starts drifting off with their eyes glazed over, I'll post the most fabulous part of my post first! I got to experience REAL conversation.

The seller was an incredible friendly person. I think people in California should take note of southerners and learn from them how to have a conversation. We talked, we listened, we responded, and I didn't interrupt too many times. For an hour I had one of the most delightful conversations I've ever had in my life. The purpose of the phone call was to exchange account information for the wiring process. When I saw her call come in I was walking up to my apartment with a handful of stuff and no paper or pen in sight. As I answered the phone I dropped everything to dash to my truck to grab said items. In true California form I thought she would start rattling off information as soon as a picked up the phone - I shouldn't have worried or hurried. For an hour we talked about endurance, horsey trail-mixes, electrolytes, the virtues of alfalfa and the lack of endurance riders in her area. Yes, we even talked about the Tevis Cup. We finally got off the phone after exchanging the bank information. I felt refreshed - maybe if most of my phone calls were like this, I wouldn't dread talking on the phone. In fact, I was having so much fun on the phone, I forgot important information like - final total price including shipping? Last name? Address of the bank?.....

So what can I do now that I have discovered a delightful little gold nugget - true conversation? Well, as for me - I am going to work on my conversation skills. While I'll never have the alluring southern accent I CAN work on not interrupting, not giving off impatient vibes, and listening and responding to a person instead of multi-tasking within my own head. Yep - a lot of work to be done here!

OK - back to the self-serving and self-congratulatory portion of the blog:
The unfortunate part of falling in love with this saddle - it is way out of my price range. Even used, they are out of my price range! I've kept an eye out for an affordable used one. I've come to the conclusion that although I love my Duett and would buy it again in a heartbeat, Farley's withers are prominent enough that this saddle will not work for us in the long term. It still fits well, but the wither clearance at the pommel is getting closer and closer and I can see the writing on the wall, the girl's back is a changin'!

Last week I came across a used Solstice for a fabulous the size tree AND size seat I needed. The price was so fabulous that I can actually sell my Duett (not sure I will...I do dearly love the saddle...) to finance it! Amazing. It had been on the market more than a couple of days, so I'm not sure why it didn't sell like a hot cake, but it's probably because of how the seller measured the saddle - typically you measure from the nail to the back of the cantle, not straight across from pommel to cantle. I think some buyers thought it was a 16" seat, but from the serial number and picture of the measurement, it is clearly a 17" seat. Perfect!

The wire transfer has been finalized and the saddle has been sent. I'm very very excited. I'm 90% sure it should fit both me and the horse. I am selling my Thorowgood and Specialized to finance this saddle, (and the fact that adding yet ANOTHER saddle to my collection without getting rid of SOMETHING is pure foolishness). I'm really sad to see the Thorowgood go - I think it's a wonderful saddle, but it REALLY doesn't fit Farley.


  1. Selling your Specialized? >g< That's the saddle I sold two saddles so I could buy! And after 2 years I still love it!

    You'll have to do a post about your Great Saddle Search someday. We've all had them. It's good to hear the stories.

  2. I will do a full post some day but I warn you - it's pretty boring and anticlamatic! - Here's the short version.

    The first saddle I bought for Minx worked (Mcclellen) and we did all our endurance miles in it. I did switch to the Thorowgood for all the conditioing rides so her back got different pressures. For Farley - I did a bunch of research, decided I wanted a Duett saddle or a Solstice and lo and behold - here came a Duett 34cm Companion and it fit perfectly for almost a year. And now the only reason it doens't fit is wither clearance. So yep - I've been pretty lucky. I've had plenty of other issues to figure out though! Just look at my pull record.

  3. I have been wanting the Solstice for over a year now. It is way outside my price range. I had a google search alert set up for every time the saddle was listed incase one came up for sale in my desired size. That is how I found your blog. I am also an endurance rider and I am in the southeast region. Good luck, enjoy and know you are envied.

  4. lifeshighway - welcome to the blog and thank you for stopping by!

    If the saddle does not work out for me, I will forward you the information. The saddle is priced lower than any other Solstice I've seen to date, which is the only reason I can afford it! Be patient - one will come along - I never thought I would be able to afford one.

  5. Thank you. Love your blog. Been there, doing that but without the Tevis! I really envy you west coasters. The riding there is so much better and the terrain more diverse.


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