Meeting A Fellow Blogger
Stacey, who writes Behind the Bit, is in search of a new saddle for Riley, her young dressage horse. As matter of course, I recommended she try and Ansur, and sure enough, she got in touch with me to arrange a demo ride.
I drove to her farm yesterday. Stacey is as genuine in real life as on her blog. While I'm not sure about the rest of the Internet world, I have a feeling most other horse bloggers I know are as real as they are in their writings too. There's something about the connection to horses here. If we talk about our relationships to them on an everyday basis, I think it's kind of hard to pretend to be someone else. Our horses will never let us be anything less than honest.
I'm sure there are some charlatan horse bloggers out there somewhere, but I don't think I have any on my "reading list."
But back to Stacey, Riley and the Ansur. She may well post about the experience, but on the whole it was a good one. But as a representative, I have a problem. As with many riders who are not 100% convinced that treeless is "the way to go," one demo ride is really not enough. Ansur does have a policy where, after you order and pay for your saddle, you have a seven day trial period, but that's only after purchase.
That makes it a bit frustrating for riders who need more time and more rides to make a decision. I have one client who has now had two test rides and would like a third. I understand completely. An Ansur, and most any good saddle, is a big investment. The trouble is, she is a nearly two hour drive away for me. I will definitely go there for her, but it would be so much nicer if there were a way she could borrow a saddle to try for herself for a week or so.
Most saddle companies do not offer that option. Liability, lease contracts, etc. are just to complicated. There are tack shops that offer trial periods, for sure, mostly on used saddles, but Ansurs do not show up very often in such places, nor do a number of other excellent saddle brands out there.
I keep thinking, if I had the money, I would buy another Excel--the Ansur dressage model--and create some kind of leasing arrangement for clients. I'd certainly have to look into all the ramifications, but it would help people more easily "take the leap of faith" to treeless saddles if they could ride in one for more than just the few hours of a demo ride.
For now, we just have to deal with the situation as it stands.
Regardless, I am glad the Ansur saddle allowed me to meet my fellow blogger. That, in itself was well worth the trip.