Yes, it's the light color. And I don't hate it! In fact, I like it more and more! I went back and forth and considered many factors and bits of advice. I think I made the right decision. It took just over 6 weeks to arrive so not bad!
Junior doesn't really care, but it seems to fit him really well. You can see how much shorter it is front to back than the original model. In so many ways I think it fits me better than any saddle I've ever had. I think we as women (and by we I mean ME) gravitate to bigger saddles because we feel smaller. Like when you're sitting in a committee meeting and you look over at the really large lady who's rear barely fits in the chair and then you become conscious of how much room YOU have between the chair arms and you feel slimmer. Same concept. However, the saddle should fit you. So I had been looking for 16" saddles when a 15" fits just fine and feels more useable.
The seat pocket is deeper than I thought it would be but I found it very comfortable. My lower back was very appreciative of the support as it has been forced into that English saddle for months. I did find posting a little uncomfortable which will help make me use my English saddle more, which is a good thing.
I was terrified when I first saw the "Youth" fenders they put on. I gave them my inseam measurement and I had to trust they knew what they were doing since they obviously know more about fitting their saddles than I do, but they looked more like "Toddler" fenders when I pulled the saddle out of the box. A little adjustment to the length and to the way they were hanging and we had a winner! They're not properly adjusted in the first photo but they're lower than when they came out of the box! Once I got them adjusted they looked a lot more normal and they felt nice and free moving and I felt good contact with Junior's sides. I think having the longer fenders put the wide part of the fender right where I would want to make contact with the horse, not to mention a whole bunch of extra leather wrapped up in the stirrup rigging.
I also noticed that for possibly the first time, I can hold my rein hand where it's supposed to go! With my last 2 saddles it was so difficult to get my hand in front of the horn without either leaning forward or having my arm straight out of the socket. But now it feels right.
Now it's time for a show headstall! I can't decide if I should get a simple headstall amore like the saddle, or a fancier one since the saddle is so understated.
What do you think?I've only seen C and D in person.
A. is a two-ear with barrels which I don't trust. They always feel flimsy to me.
B. and F. are semi-custom from an Ebay seller. I think she just replaces the hardware on them. F is a two-ear. This one just seems like a lot of silver.
C is in stock at Rod's and looks very nice with the saddle. I do like it, but I wish it were a two-ear, and there's something about the shape of the cheek I'm not sure about. The ear slider is cool and it seems like good quality.
D would have to have the hardware changed out so I don't really want that one after seeing it in person.
E is by far my favorite. It's simple but unique and quite pretty.... but of course isn't in stock yet at Rod's. It's on their website so I saw it an began drooling and squealing, but called and found out it won't be in for 3-5 weeks or who knows how long. I'd have to do at least my first show with a different headstall. And what if I wait and then I don't like it when it comes in?!? I really like it and it reminds me of THIS ONE that I cannot afford from Hobby Horse's new tack line.
Here's a better shot of E and C. Don't assume they're to scale.
The saddle is at my house waiting some conditioning and fender bending. I'm doing some research on that but I'm also going to call the store and check to make sure I have the right plan. I've never had a brand new western saddle before. :)