Yeah, yeah, I know. You all saw it coming a mile away after sitting in that Voltaire at HITS Ocala. I came back with saddle fever. After trolling through almost every 2nd hand Voltaire monoflap with similar measurement listed online in North America, I had pretty much made my peace with waiting a looong time to get a saddle that would help me more over fences.
And then a friend shared this ad on my Facebook feed ...
If you aren't familiar, that's an out of production Passier Military XC saddle, the OG of popular XC monoflaps, and in the same lighter leather as the rest of my tack. Open 18" seat, light, external knee/calf blocks and a large suede section for extra grip under the knee block. I've coveted this saddle for years.
Despite the long history of Passier jumping saddle flaps being cartoonishly long for my legs, I sent the question "What's the stirrup bar to flap bottom measurement?" Desperation and a digestible price make strange bedfellows since history on other models has been 14, 15 and even 16 inch flaps.
Back comes the answer ...13". Wait, WHAT?!?!?! That's ... workable. A 12.5" extra forward flap is my sweet spot.
I was practically vibrating in excitement and enlisted a local to let me try her saddle, which was the same model and tree width.
Throw on the saddle and fasten. Hmm that's not bad looking.
Longe for a few minutes. Hippo seems fine with it, no obvious discomfort.
Climb on and warm up a bit. Hippo feels like herself, moving nicely from the ground and nothing seems to be in my way walk, trot, canter or jump. Even better, my legs appear to have stopped Spoonering. (Even though riding in yoga pants, to test for worst case)
|Above: GP rider Richard Spooner|
Spoonering: (verb) to successfully ride a jump while one's lower legs fly around at seemingly impossible angles
The message went out that night, "Send that sucker my way" YEEHAW!!!