I got it today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The saddler called me on Friday evening to let me know that it was finished but I had to arrange for him to come today as we had a Halloween Eve hack and Halloween party in my tack room yesterday.
It BEAUTIFUL!!!! And it fits!!!!
The saddler spent a few hours tweaking the fit of it for Hattie as at the beginning it was still sliding forwards on her. He used a medium/wide tree as Hattie is a bit tricky to fit as she has wide chunky shoulders which would suit a wide width saddle but her high withers suit a medium tree which ends up being too narrow in the shoulders for her. A heavily flocked up medium/wide fitting is the best of both worlds for her. He put loads of flocking at the off-side shoulder which helps to keep the saddle put and not slide forward onto her shoulders.
It's got a REALLY COMFY, lovely flat and wide 14 1/2" seat. I got the 17" seat (it measures 20 1/2" from cantle to front of the fixed head) as my thighs are stupidly short for someone of 5'9" so if anyone out there who is tall, and decides to order one, just check your thigh measurement as you may need the longer seat than what I got. The saddle also made me a lovely 7" wide fixed head to support my poor arthritic knee too, my knee thanks the saddler for this consideration!
I just have serge lining instead of linen and serge as the serge provides a bit more grip and Hattie needs all the grip she can get to keep saddles put. The saddler also made me a Mayhew stirrup leather, three buckle girth (like my antique Owen one!), balance girth and even gave me a new side saddle stirrup iron too! That is handy as I can keep my collapsible one on my off-side sidesaddle as it only has a roller bar fitting and saves me having to swap stirrups around all the time.
I wanted to make sure the saddle was perfect for Hattie and the saddler needed to see what needed tweaking so we did some walking, trotting and cantering on both reins and I popped a little 1' jump. She did it perfectly the first and third time but refused the second time, LOL! I think I was starting to get a bit tired as I am SO out of shape which then affects your position and balance and Hattie felt that from me. She's a good mare as if she feels me start to waiver, she will just refuse to do anything or do it VERY begrudgingly so that I don't get hurt. I think she felt bad when I fell off and broke my rib as she just stood there over me and didn't move, not even to graze on the grass. The two times we did jump today, felt really secure and comfortable. I even felt secure at the refusal!
I don't think I'm going to be ready for the Prelim dressage tests this month as I need to build up my fitness again and Hattie won't work properly if I'm all off balance and uneven. We might do an Intro A or B test at the end of the month just to ease us back into things and to test out our new saddle.
After the saddle left, we went on a short hack down the lane, had a little canter on the grass verge and walked through the ford river. I'm giving her the day off tomorrow as she was good today!