I found my perfect saddle! A swinging fender from HP Australia – on ebay for $600, and only used once. It came with everything but the girth, including the saddle pad. I borrowed a girth today, and had my first ride in my new saddle– and my first trail ride on Tana.
I am still getting used to girthing the western way, as there are no buckles like on English style saddles. It is definitely very secure though.
The saddle is very comfy, and I felt very secure. The weather was perfect and we had a lovely ride, at just a walk and very relaxed. Tana did well, even when we met some cows, and she splashed through the edges of the dam quite happily.
I have ordered a girth, monkey grip and saddle bag from HPs website. I have also ordered a fly/shadecloth rug for Tana off ebay to help keep some of the burrs off her. Even though it’s winter here it not’s very cold – the days are t-shirt friendly and the nights don’t get below 7 C. I am not really a rug person, but these burrs are horrible. The rug is also great for keeping off bugs, including ticks, and acts as a sunscreen. I also aim to get her a face mask in a few months to protect her white blaze from the sun.
Anyway, hopefully the rain will stay away and I will get to ride again on Saturday. Mind you I will be a little busy – we have a new four legged family member on the way. Watch this space!