Thursday, 6 January 2011

What Were They Thinking?

My throat is all swollen and I feel like rubbish at the moment so there was no riding for me this week. I hope I'm feeling better for Saturday as the saddler is coming out in the afternoon to reflock both my side saddles. Rain is also predicted so it's not going to be fun standing outside in it with a stinking cold and swollen throat, trying to dodge Hattie's teeth while I do up the girth!!

My right hip isn't doing so well this week either. I don't know if it's the lack of riding over the past week or the arthritis getting worse but I was laying down yesterday reading and my hip locked up. It was VERY painful so I had to flip over onto my other side to unlock it. It was like it grinded and locked up. Sigh...not good new since most side saddles are made for sitting onn your right hip and mine has been aching all day from being locked yesterday.

I think I may have to think seriously about saving up and maybe selling my current off-side side saddle and getting a bigger seated one made for me. It's so annoying as my current off-side side saddle fits Hattie perfectly, like it was made for her and she is happy in it. It's just my huge butt that is too big for it. I could do with it being a little wider in the seat and 1/2"- 1" longer. The only way I'm going to fit into it, is if I lose 40lbs- 50lbs. That should shave enough off of my butt to ride more comfortably in it.

So the choice is, save up a mega amount of money and have to sell my off-side saddle which fits Hattie's weird hard-to-fit conformation perfectly OR lose 40lbs- 50lbs and keep my off-side saddle which fits Hattie's weird hard-to-fit conformation perfectly!!

Pros: Get to keep saddle which fits Hattie perfectly, save money on not having to buy a new saddle, save money not buying chocolate and chips, look great, not so much weight on hip.

Cons: Not being able to eat chocolate, having to buy a new habit as old one will be too big so will have to fork out £££ on a new one.


While I ponder these intricacies, have a look at this funkified side saddle I found while on the net...

It's a Champion & Wilton side saddle which was sold at one of those auction drop off shops you see popping up here and there.

It looks to be in pretty good condition, the pigskin seat looks virtually new...

Whoever had it before, had some sort of suede seat cover made for it and you can see that there is a leather queen on the fixed pommel to pad it out a bit.

Bizarrely, they added bright ROYAL BLUE velvet? wool? to the panels!!! LOL, WHAT were they thinking?? Someone out there must like blue as it sold for $900.01!


  1. That went across the UK eBay, but I don't recall if that's where it sold? I think it was UK. Hard to keep it all straight! Wherever you were looking has more pictures. It makes more sense now, the eBay pics made it look like someone had glued foam to the panels and it had molded!

  2. Oh, and I'll bet there isn't a proper fitting on the stirrup leather. Just a brass ring like you get at the hardware store. I suppose it works, but when it comes to my own personal safety, I prefer to shell out for the proper hardware!

  3. I just went back to the website, it's and they have drop off stores in parts of Australia so looks like the saddle ended up "down under"!

    You are probably right about the D-ring stirrup fixing, I've seen that done before and wouldn't like to trust that! I suppose since side saddle stuff is hard to find there or very expensive, they just used a D-ring and normal leather.

  4. Interestingly I have just been to Laura Dempsey's, and also a specialist SS saddler down in Hampshire and they are both now making those tie on suede seat covers shown here - not cheap but much cheaper than having a new seat put in.
    They were also saying that you can no longer buy proper cream or white serge for lining, so perhaps thats where the blue has come in!
    Do you know where I might find a pattern for making a smart queen like that?

  5. Well, Equxtra is still using cream serge (perhaps they have a lot on hand), and there is dark brown available, which is far more acceptable than blue. It wouldn't surprise me if that saddle turned up in the arabian sidesaddle division as is.

    I've seen one or two of those seat covers made for sidesaddles, but not because the seats were wearing out. They were sort of Wickham pads for the riders, in that they were shimmed to change the way in which the saddle rode and/or fitted the rider.

    I might like one just to absorb the shock of the extended trot, since like Leila I have some chronic lower back and pelvic injuries.

    Insofar as hoping to lose weight to fit a saddle (or habit), it's a discouraging enterprise. It's a nice idea, but I've found it hard to accomplish, especially in the winter time. It must be satisfying, but of course you have to maintain the weight loss as you age...

    Middle age sucks!

  6. MummyMellie, I've never seen a pattern for a queen like that as I suppose most side saddlers create their own patterns to make them. It is nice one though!

    Robin, Leo Wright Saddlery, makes those "Wykham pad" type of seat covers like that. I've not seen them but according to his website, they can make a older style dipped seat saddle ride like a flat seat!

    I've got to loose the weight anyways as the less weight on my lower back and hip, the better. I lost about 35lbs in 2006 (over the course of a year) and my pain wasn't so bad. I gained most of it back but if I could loose it then, I can do it again. Hopefully, LOL!

  7. My new side saddle has serge (no linen at the moment) which is cream, it was made by a master saddler (SS specialist) for a SS competition and I bought it recently.

    Can't wait to get it properly fitted so I can ride in it. I think it will probably need reflocking lots though until it has settled.

    Loving your blog


  8. Thank you Caroline! Glad you are enjoying it!

    Your new saddle sounds lovely! Which saddler did you get it from. Feel free to post bragging photos as I love to see everyone's beautiful saddles.

    My saddle has white serge but no linen either. It needs too much adjusting at the moment to have linen put on it just yet.

  9. hi i live in australia have two side saddles that needs the underside serge replaced, not a common thing in australia can you tell me where or who do I contact to buy serge linen??

  10. The reason blue wool serge was used was that the saddle was no doubt repaired in Australia and that is the common panel lining for Auatralian stock saddles! It would not have appeared quite so unusual to someone already used to seeing blue or mustard yellow panels! I have made covers for stock saddle seats as is often an easier job as the seat can be glued down in construction when made so the saddler was probably just working with the knowledge they had on standard Aussie saddles!