The saddle seemed to fit as well (or better) than anything I've ever had on him and he was calm and stretching/licking/chewing during the brief walk/trot ride. I was thrilled to find that I could hold my rein hand where it's supposed to be. In my other saddles I always felt that the horn was in my way. I guess it truly was! The saddle did not bounce when I posted the trot. Overall I approve the fit for me and for him. And he didn't seem lame at all, as we all expected. Tomorrow he gets back into work so I'll be keeping an eye on it.
So I'm pretty solid on tree(FQHB)/size(15" - Yes,You-Know-Who-You-Are, You were right)/shape(27" skirt), but for color I'm still on the fence. I don't like the color of the darker one in real life, but I know it can darken up with some oiling and after feeling how stiff the leather is on a brand new saddle I will HAVE to condition/soften whatever I get. On the other hand, the light will darken with time/light/conditioning. I kind of feel like the light isn't light enough and the dark isn't dark enough. I guess it's a hue issue.
It seems that the folks who don't show like the dark, and the folks who do show say to get the light. The nice Ginger Cowboy that helped me today thought I'd look less out of place with the light at a trail ride/cowboy challenge than I would trying to do western pleasure in the dark one.
In my mind I don't want the "light" oil because it ends up looking like THIS. But is that just me wanting the color of my hunt saddle? Am I the only one who doesn't like this look? My attraction to dark could also be from my history with Arabs. We liked dark. But is using a darker colored saddle going to be as bad a faux pas as when I had a black hunt saddle? THAT was a poor choice in soooo many ways. Have I not yet learned from that mistake? That being a little "different" just makes you look stupid?
Anyone know if THIS works? Or what advice do you have for keeping light leathers soft but not darkened?
Border Reining Saddle in ??? Chestnut???
See the color of his headstall? I thought this saddle would be that color. I believe it's Circle Y's "Walnut". The reins are Rod's show reins that have been oiled with neatsfoot.
2736 in Light:
Close-up of hand tooling:
My plan is to order on Monday..... gulp!