Had church in the morning, grabbed a quick bite at the annual church picnic, then headed home.
I had my Ansur saddle demo up in North Jersey at around 2 PM. Since the drive is a good hour and a half, I didn't have much time to fool around once I got home.
It seemed to take forever to get up there, mostly because my GPS directed me along the major highways, and that drive is rather boring.
I ended up having three clients try the Ansur saddles. The woman who had contacted me originally was interested in the Excel dressage saddle, and one of her friends wanted to try it too. At least six people in that barn ride Ansurs already. Most of them are the Classic saddles which are quite different than the Excel. So everyone was well versed in the concept of treeless saddles.
L. was riding a a big Thoroughbred/Belgium cross, a former eventer, now focusing on dressage. He was a nice sweet horse with big gaits. She was a really good rider and liked that saddle quite a bit. However, she is having a demo from another saddle maker as well, so before she makes a decision, she wants to look at their saddles as well.
J. has a really cute, and good moving Appaloosa. He has been a bit of a problem horse and she is not an experienced rider, so she had a bit more trouble evaluating the Excel. The trainer rode her horse in the saddle, however, and really liked it. Again, no decision, but I feel everyone had a good chance to evaluate the saddle.
The trainer had, years ago, owned an older design/model Konklusion event saddle and had ended up selling it. She was interested in the new Elite jumping saddle. She rode two different horses in it and really liked it a lot. I also had her try the new model Konklusion, but she ended up preferring the Elite. Again, no decision, but once more she had more than enough opportunity to try the saddles, including some jumping on two different Thoroughbred mares.
I do not do a "hard sell" when I demo Ansurs. I try to evaluate the situation, make sure the saddle suits the horse and fits the rider. I will make suggestions about saddle options or pad options, and answer any questions that arise. I really want clients to make the decision to buy or not to buy on their own. I always explain the benefits of treeless saddles and why they are a good investment.
If the client is sold on the concept, that saddles usually sell themselves. But, especially in today's economy, buying one is a big financial investment and a big decision. Hopefully, one of these women will buy a new Ansur, but if not, I feel quite confident that I gave them the best opportunity to test ride each saddle.
I did not get home until nearly 7PM and I am tired. I want to test ride the two jumping saddles myself, but I guess I will wait until morning. Then, I'll pack them back up and send them off to the other distributor.
One more long, exhausting day.