The saddle arrived Friday in a plain large, brown box that was lined with foam.
It was already opened by the boy, who probably knew I would tear open the box like an over-exuberant kid on Christmas.
At first blush, it looked way too narrow and I went into panic mode, finding my original tracings, matching them up with my flex tool and comparing the width. I even had nightmares about it running too narrow and Sinari coming up lame from the bad tracings.
Such is the life of a person who has a continually developing, hard-to-fit pony.
After my paranoia was sated after 10 hours of sleep, I took it to the local saddler and had her check it out. Vetted clean for soundness.
Then came the moment of truth, fitting it. I was itching to do it all day Saturday, but I had a few very welcomed company and it was delayed till the very end, but well worth the wait. By the time I opened my truck door, the smell of leather was heavy and heaven.
I threw it over the pony, and let it sit, ran my hands over it, under it, it fit at that point. I girthed it up, no girthy-ness (one of the best signs ever).
And then I girthed it up today with all the fittings and just a clean square pad and rode.
The ride itself was uneventful, Sinari is out of shape (as am I), and it was warm. I was more or less to see her reaction to it under saddle.
While she wasn't exactly forward (the saddle took my leg off), she was super soft in the bridle and deeply engaged, especially on what I consider her weaker side- the left. Lateral work is nice. Ride lasted about twenty minutes with her huffing towards the end.
The only thing I can pick on with the saddle is that it feels like I'm sitting on top instead of into the horse. This could be flocking issues, or the way the seat is designed (the twist) and I might invest in a ThinLine pad to help with adjusting/development issues.
Otherwise, no slipping, no sitting weird, no truly hard sides and no leaning.
Overall, I'm sold.