Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And *One* More Time for Good Measure...

Getting ready to head back to the sunshine for our final week of Thermal (tear) and thinking about what I want to make sure I do while I'm there.

So far the show has totally (and completely) exceeded my expectations in terms of Prair's performance and our rides together.  So that's great.  No pressure or expectations to be worried about there.

I've also done a pretty good job of making sure I support our barn mates when I can (which I love) and watching everyone else's horses go.

What I've done a fairly terrible job of is a) taking pictures (oops) and b) deliberately watching some of the fun stuff in the Grand Prix Ring.  Similarly, though I have perused the on site vendors and shopping I have also really procrastinated on a few things and keep thinking that I'll "go back" to check things out.

Ya'll might shoot me for even suggesting this, but I've been meaning to have Voltaire come by and see what their saddles could do for Prair.  I've been rather disappointed with CWD (to be frank) and I'm frustrated that my saddle still isn't quite right.  The guys down at Thermal have been helpful and have moved some shims around in the panels to make adjustments - and while it's better - It's not perfect and as I start to push the 1 year mark from when I ordered this thing my patience is wearing thin.

This is all probably exaggerated by the fact that literally 4 other people at the barn are also having issues with their CWD's (either brand new or similar to me and still NQR)... Of course I just bought that CWD bridle (with it's not so subtle branding) so it's not as though I'm throwing everything in the fire... just evaluating options.

The team at Voltaire has been nice, professional and really, really helpful for a couple folks who have made the switch.  If I can get my CWD where it needs to be... obviously I'll hang on to it, but if someone else can do something better for Prair's back I will not hesitate to switch.  It makes no sense from a $$ perspective, but Prair's back is too sensitive and too important to comprise even the teensiest bit on saddle fit.

Also - Ogilvy is next on my list.  I love my pretty pad, but am somewhat disappointed in the size of it. I ordered what they suggested (the 17/17/5") but my saddle panels pretty much swallow up the entire pad and hang over a bit on the side.  I'm pretty sure the pad isn't supposed to work that way, and I don't love the idea of the pressure point from the seam, so I'm going to have a chat with them too...

I've only used the pad twice (since I was having to use my Mattes Correction pad until CWD re-shimmed the saddle..) so we'll see about that.

Only hitch is that after seeing Ogilvy there during Week IV... I couldn't find them during Week V...

So in terms of vendors, CWD, Voltaire, and Ogilvy are on my list.  Must. Make. Time.

In terms of other things?  There were a couple decent pictures of us from Week IV, so I need to go back and see if anything good happened in Week V and make myself order prints.  Who knows if/when we'll be back and if/when we'll get better pictures.  Plus Prair's won several picture frames and even a photo album, that say "HITS" all over them, so it wouldn't be horrid to put something in those...

I finally had a chance last week to watch the Grand Prix on Sunday.. we got there just in time to see Flexible go (so cute) but he pulled a rail and missed the jump off (boo).  I'll miss the Prix this weekend since I fly home late Saturday, but as the serious horse flesh starts to arrive for the Million Dollar Grand Prix during Week VII, I should make an effort to see some of the bigger classes.

Man, you'd think that with three weeks down there I'd have plenty of time to get everything done, but no! There is just never enough time at a horse show...


  1. Good luck on your last week!


  3. Have fun! Do great! Enjoy every moment!

  4. Please tell us all about your shopping so we can do it vicariously! And good luck on your last week at Thermals!

  5. I have never seen a Voltaire in person. I am disappointed for you that CWD hasn't come through. I would have thought by now they would have tried everything possible. We have a lady in the barn who's new Devoucoux doesn't fit just right and I'm pretty sure they will be replacing the saddle. I hope that it works out for you.

    As far as ogilvy I just ordered one and went for the large size since my saddle is 18" but now having seen a profile pad in that size I am worried it will be humongous. Fingers crossed. Everything I have heard about Ogilvy says that they take great care of their customers so I hope that is the case for you too. :)

  6. CWD is overrated. I'm really into this German saddlemaker Design & Technik. Pretty terrible website, translating to English is pretty rough, but the saddles are so intelligently designed they fit at least 85% of horses as they come with no adjustment. Very comfortable and pretty to boot.
    I love the Uta Graf Dressage saddle
    There are 4 hinges which allow for horizontal and vertical shoulder and back movement under saddle

    I'm not a retailer or anything, just love a smart saddle with cutting edge design ;-)

  7. Wishing you the very best of luck for your last week(end) @ Thermal. Thank you so much fpr sharing your adventures with us, what an experience!

  8. Is your Oglivy the hunter version? I had a similar issue with the width fitting my panels and ended up switching to the jumper pad in the same size and was much more satisfied. That said, when I asked the vet about half pads, she was adamant that I stick with the Mattes for Stampede and his kissing spines because of the open channel and the proven absorption of sheepskin. So for now I have him in a Mattes.
    I'm trying to make the Oglivy work for Phoenix, but he needs more fill right behind the shoulder. I ordered the lifts at the beginning of December and I'm still twiddling my thumbs. If that doesn't work I figure at least I can sell mine for a good price.
    Do you know anyone who's had a Voltaire long term? I looked at them a little for Phoenix (before going Antares) since they had many used ones out there and I wondered how they would hold up long term with the thinner flap leather.
    Enjoy your last week in horse show heaven!

  9. Oh please don't tell me that! I just got my custom saddle in and its not quite right... They are making moves though to fix it for me, and I've been a big stickler for getting what Libby needs, so I'm hoping they'll stick to their guarantee.


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