Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Real Life

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.


  1. Nice to hear you met a fellow blogger. I hope the saddle works out for her and Riley. I think all of us horse bloggers are pretty genuine too. I think you get what you think you will just from reading how someone writes. I was surprised a few years ago when I found a fellow horse blogger in the next town over. We've since become friends and have lunch all the time. If it wasn't for the internet I'd have never known her. She rides Western and keeps her horses at home. I was boarding at the time.

    I wish there were a way to keep saddles and try them on trial for a while. It would make it easier to make an informed decision. Would definitely save money in the long run too. I've had some saddles that just didn't work out and I was stuck with them. As a matter of fact I have about five saddles with a saddle fitter/seller who is trying to sell them for us.

  2. Oh my, how interesting to meet Stacie. An ansur seems like a logical choice for her but I guess it wasn't a dramatic change or you both would have noticed. I know for some people (well actually horses) it is.

  3. I think you are right Jean, the idea of leasing a saddle is a good one. But just like horses, you only get to trail the saddle a couple of times. In my quest for saddle, I was very fortunate to have friends that let me use their saddle.

    I think the idea of leasing a treeless is a good one!
    Have a look into it ^-^

  4. always good to meet friends "in the real world" - i've not been disappointed yet!

    i know what you mean about trial saddles. It can be done .. usually require a hefty deposit, to be returned when the saddle is returned or otherwise taken off the price (you could even do it by charging the full price, give it back if saddle returned in good condition) would need a written contract, properly drawn T & C's.

  5. Jean, I just read the comment u left on Behind the Bit blog. I purchased a Barefoot treeless in hopes that it will help my OTTB as we work on strengthening his top line, etc. Any experiences with that brand?