Saturday, October 17, 2015

Summer Favorites

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a long time. I actually had a post typed up for summer favorites but never completed it and didn’t have as many fun things to talk about. My idea is to do a seasonal favorites post about items used in the previous season since I would have a pretty good impression of the product by then. This summer in particular I feel like I had a lot of new things to try since I basically refitted Katai with a new saddle, new bridle, new reins etc. I’ve also been riding in a new wool pad and got some new dressage saddle pads that I really like but since that wasn’t until more recently they’ll need to wait for my fall favorites post.

 

So, let’s start off with my saddle!

 

In early spring I started saving for a Heritage Custom Saddlery mono flap dressage saddle and it arrived, I think, sometime in June. I was really hesitant to order this saddle since there was no opportunity for me to sit in one and during the waiting period while it was being made I was really concerned that I would get it and it wouldn’t fit or would just be uncomfortable or put me in a bad position. Luckily my fears proved to be untrue and it fit both pony mare and myself very well.

 


think my review of this saddle is almost completely positive with just really one small thing that I wish I could change. I would absolutely, 100%, do exactly the same thing again though and it’s a really amazing saddle.

 


 One thing I wish I could change is the placement of the stirrup bars. I’ve always had trouble with a chair seat no matter that placement but my personal confirmation wishes that these were a little further back. Matt will actually make saddles with adjustable stirrup bars so part of me wishes I’d done that but I also know that it adds more bulk and sometimes still doesn’t adjust to the point where it would be helpful. Instead, I’ve put small spacers on my bars to keep the leathers back a little further. Between that and working on my position I have no ongoing issues with this.

 


The only other small things right now are that the flocking has settled which is causing it to be a little low in front and #newsaddleproblems it’s still a little squeaky and smells strongly of new leather. I’ve actually never owned a new saddle before so these are obviously things I haven’t dealt with in the past J I’m currently trying to locate a good saddle fitter that can come out and reflock it but until then I have my wool pad!

 

This saddle is one of my favorites for obvious reasons and I hope that it works and fits Katai for a long time because its easily the best, most comfortable saddle that I’ve ever ridden in.

 

My new Micklem bridle is my next favorite item but honestly it didn’t easily make the list. It fits, doesn’t look bad on Katai’s particular head, and does what it’s supposed to but it also hasn’t been a magic bullet. I do think that Katai was a little more likely to take the bit when I first got it but ultimately her being comfortable going on contact came from hard work. She also still rubs her head after every ride so it hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference in that either.

 


So basically it does pretty much what any bridle I’ve ever owned would do and let’s face it, the leather just isn’t very nice. Mine is all wrinkled looking across the brow band and the lining around the nose seems to be coming unglued a little. Honestly, I’m really considering getting a PS of Sweden instead since they’re still anatomical bridles but with nicer leather and a more traditional look. With the price that is pretty far in the future right now though so I’ll happily keep riding in the Micklem for the time being.

 


The reason the Micklem makes the favorites list is that for a reasonable cost I have a nice bridle, in brown to match her saddle, that fits Katai. It was also her first exposure to any type of flash and she’s been really comfortable with it and never seemed to have any issue so I’ll chock that up to the Micklem and who knows, maybe she’ll hate any other bridle now that she’s worn this one! I also really like the way it’s designed with fewer leather straps. It just seems nice and simple and is easier to handle for cleaning than other bridles I’ve owned.

 

The next thing on my list of favorites is something I’ve been waiting to talk about for a while. It’s the Topline conditioning spray and it is AMAZING! This stuff smells like an Aveda salon in the best possible way. It’s very herby and almost has a toasty smell, it also leaves Katai nice and glossy without the same slipperiness of Show Sheen.

 

 

Unfortunately I have the last two known bottles in existence. *que crying*

 

I originally got this at a local tack store only because it was on clearance. Once I realized how much I liked it I started looking online for other products but couldn’t locate the company. Of course I went back to the store to ask and she said that it had been made by a local guy who had gone out of business and whatever they had was the last of it. I pretty much ran to the back of the store and found one more bottle. So I have 1.5 bottles of this amazing, incredible, perfect stuff and then it’s gone for good.

 

The Total Saddle Fit shaped girth is the final thing on my list. Of course this thing can’t make every saddle fit but it sure helps keep my saddle back where it should be on my pony (provided I remember to actually girth it up tightly enough J ) I’ve had one of these for a long time and I think I’ve talked about it before, however, I had an 18” but with my new saddle’s shorter billet straps I needed a longer one so I got a 24” and I love it just as much. The leather isn’t quite as nice on the 24” as the 18” but otherwise the quality is the same. I would absolutely order another if I ever needed to and have been eying the fleece cover that they now offer.

 

Since it was 34* out this morning and we are rapidly moving into Winter I will have a Fall Favorites review in a couple more months!

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