If you have been following this blog for any length of time you know I have been on a quest to find a saddle that fits Harley. I think the quest may be over and I am truly in love. Let's do a little history on the saddle search. I bought a Crates reining saddle brand new in 1996. I was very happy with the saddle from first ride, it was supple and did not take any time to feel like a good broke in saddle. I used the saddle on many different horses of varied shapes and sizes with no problems. Then along came Harley my pint sized 14.1 hand mutton withered little guy. No matter what I did I could not get that crates to fit him. Oh I tried different pads, girths and still it rolled and shifted and drove me plain nuts.
This is a photo of my old crates.
When I took Harley to the Craig's barn for training, I spoke with them about my saddle woes and they agreed it just did not fit him. I noticed at the end of last year he was getting little white hairs on either side of his withers, a sure sign of bad saddle fit. Mike was nice enough to tell me to try any and all of the saddles in their tack room to see what if any fit him better. I settled on a Billy Cook Cutter and rode it about six times before I was convinced that indeed it fit him good and I actually rode better balanced in the flat seat. It was decided I put my saddle on EBAY and bought the Billy Cook. Happy at last ..... or so I thought.
Here is the Billy Cook I bought in May. My crates brought a fair amount on EBAY and now resides in sunny California. This past weekend I went to the Craig's for a lesson and to try another gelding out and Mike had three saddles for me to sell for him. We have a little deal where I sell saddles and tack on EBay and my lessons are traded in exchange. Hey a girl must be resourceful these days. Well the saddles were put in my trailer and Sunday I started the picture taking and measuring for EBay listings. Two of the saddles were Billy Cook, one cutter, one reiner and the third was a cutter by Murphy saddle company. I liked the look of that third saddle and wow was it soft and supple. I called Mike to get the scoop on it and asked where he got it. He told me he had bought it used (but barely) in Texas in the spring. It is a hand made saddle by Bill Lamb. I tried researching the maker and the company but have come up short. I decided to try it out on Harley this week and it fit him good.
I couldn't believe how comfortable it was, I felt like I was riding him bareback almost. I went ahead and rode it again and still liked it so I decided to give it the real test, I took it trail riding. I rode it at least three hours yesterday and I must say I loved it! My knees did not hurt and even with all the jogging and climbing hills I really enjoyed it. Best thing was when I got back to the trailer there were no dry spots on Harley's back and he was not sore at all.
Here are some pictures of the new beauty. I think it is a bit more feminine than the Billy Cook anyway. HA! as if that matters......
So yes, the Billy Cook is officially on EBay as of tonight and I am once again riding the winds of change. I am doing a cattle clinic on Saturday and cannot wait to try it out. Just a little tease so you know what's next on the blog!