(Another entry before this if you missed it.)
So like the Sprinkler Bandit, I too obsessively tack-shop when I'm broke. And I am definitely shopping for my future saddle. I got the Collegiate back from the FLTS, all fixed and with the red medium-wide gullet installed. It needs a good cleaning and conditioning, which I will probably get to this weekend. But other than that, I think it'll work okay until I save up some money. I think. I'll see if MT or TD will look at it with the new gullet in, see what they say. I'm a little concerned that it rolls with the wider gullet -- either it rolls or I didn't tighten my girth enough on Friday, because it slid a bit when I dismounted. That latter is possible.
ANYway. The problem with this obsessive saddle shopping is that I'm not entirely sure WHAT I'm looking for. I think a Black Country or a County. Or maybe a Devoucoux. Or maybe a Prestige. I don't think a Stubben.
And I'm not a thousand percent sure what size Apollo wears or fits me best. 17.5? 18? 18.5? I don't know. Shorter flaps are definitely better for my short little legs, but those are a bit hard to come by used.
So I'm thinking I ought to get a professional fitter involved.
But ... The only fitters I can think of around here are affiliated with specific saddle brands. I wouldn't mind talking to the County fitter, but would she recommend a Black Country? The other fitter is pretty loyal to her brand. Is it worth it to send a tracing to Trumbull Mtn? I kind of suspect yes, because they'll be open to recommending various brands, but then again, the idea of fit-via-internet is a little scary.
I guess my criteria are pretty simple: 1. In my price range 2. Fits Apollo 3. Fits me 4. Appropriate for cross-country and showjumping 5. In good shape; serviceable 6. Makes me feel secure.
And I guess my path is ... uh ... clear? 1. Figure out what I'm looking for 2. Save at least $1000 3. Sell Collegiate jump saddle 4. Find the best deal available on the saddle I'm looking for 5. Buy saddle.
It's that #1 that's the doozy. :/ I'm skipping to step 2 for now. Step 1 is, like, hard and stuff. :/