The Reluctant Upgrade

Yeah I know, it’s like freakin’ tack week around here. But trust me, they all weave together and come to one final conclusion, so stay with me.


Remember at the show when I forgot my saddles and had to (oh man, poor me…) ride in Trainer’s Devoucoux monoflap instead? Remember how I said that thing literally saved my ass on XC? Not just that, but really it was quite magical in general. Drops were easier, galloping was easier, staying balanced over terrain was easier. A couple bad habits that I typically struggle with on XC just went *poof* (unfortunately not the ducking to the right thing, I’m a long-time devotee to that particular maneuver) and it was really easy to stay in all the right places. It was a little eye-opening, but… maybe just a fluke, right?

Then this past Sunday I jumped Henry again, trying to emulate more of an XC school vibe with a few of the fences/terrain, and the normal struggles all came back. Cue a major uh-oh moment.


I’m really bummed about this, because I’ve loved my CWD from the moment my butt first settled into it’s delightfully french seat. It fits me great, it has fit my horses REALLY well, and it’s held up admirably to my abuse. It’s enjoyed 5 1/2 delightful years as the crowning jewel of my tack collection. If I was still doing h/j, or eventing at a lower level, I would never even dream of selling that thing. I’m fairly certain it’s like the saddle version of those weird traveling pants that they made a terrible movie about. But it’s also been made really clear to me, after a couple rides in Trainer’s saddle that was actually designed for cross country, that it’s not the best choice for what we’re doing now.

Yep, you guessed it, this is why I sold off a bunch of my extra stuff, and the CWD will have to be sold too. It’s time for a real XC saddle.

Trainer’s saddle is a fancy newer Devoucoux Chiberta with D3D panels. I know from a history of fitting dressage saddles to Henry that the D3D panels are probably the only option for him when it comes to Devoucoux. That’s what’s on my Loreak and he finds them to be delightful. Of course, they just started doing the D3D panels a few years ago so they’re kind of hard to find. Especially on a saddle that fits all of MY required specs (18-18.5 seat 2AA flap). And aren’t ridiculously painfully expensive. I also really wanted to try a CWD monoflap to compare to the Devoucoux, since I’ve had so much luck with the current CWD over the years.

So, yesterday the lovely CWD rep came out with a saddle for me to try. It was kind of a weird panel, super built up for some reason, so at first I felt very tipped forward. When she stuck some shims under the front to level it out, it definitely felt better. Devoucoux-comparable better? Meh. I dunno.

Time to do some thinking and some perusing..

28 thoughts on “The Reluctant Upgrade

  1. Since Merritt is NEVER EVER popping that kid out just take her saddle. Problem solved. I am pretty sure she is going to have a full grown toddler in there before she gives birth πŸ™‚ LOL
    I feel your pain and my budget is even smaller than yours. I hate saddle shopping and i hate waiting for saddle fitters to get back to you (as in never).



  2. I tried a monoflap a couple weeks ago and loved it-my leg felt AMAZING. But alas a few other major purchases are ahead of replacing my flat seated, flap too short saddle.

    That being said, I go back and forth about CWD. I took care of mine, rode in it maybe 4 days a week (max because I did travel a lot for work) only in breeches and after not quite 6 years, the buffalo seat split….


    1. Mine has held up really well, all things considered. I do not baby my tack and all the important parts are still intact and holding up just fine. The layers came unstitched on the billets and stretched out, so they either need to be re-stitched or replaced, but for a 10 year old saddle, that’s pretty reasonable. Otherwise it’s still totally good to go for many more years. I don’t have any experience with the buffalo though.


  3. I have the D3D Chiberta! Love love LOVE it. I know you mentioned the D3D panels fit Henry well, and in my experience they fit every horse I’ve tried them on… all vastly different types. Devoucoux has worked some voodoo magic in that regard. It also keeps my leg in an incredibly stable position. Wouldn’t trade it for the world and can’t recommend it more!!


  4. It is very difficult to sell something you love. Yes, it’s tack, but it’s been there with you and you two have miles together. (Let’s just hope I’m not the only one that get’s attached to inanimate objects….) But I know how you feel. My mom bought a very nice jump saddle, but I never noticed how much I didn’t feel stable in it until I sat in the Prestige demo saddle. Man, that thing hugged me and my butt was so very happy. Even if I only ever do baby eventing I feel very secure in that saddle, even with my body relearning how to do everything. Although now I’m wondering if I should’ve gotten calf blocks on it… I think, too that when you feel better and more secure as you did in that saddle, your horse feels it and responds and does better as well. Good luck hunting!


    1. I get attached to inanimate objects, which is why I have many old things in my house and my tack trunk. I just can’t get rid of them. So I totally understand that sentiment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Selling tack is THE WORST. Well, second worst, actual worst is then finding NEW tack…..

    I’m having serious regret over selling my Tucker trail in 2008. “Oh, I’ll never ride again!”

    *grump* That was DUMB.


  6. Saddle shopping is kind of the worst isn’t it? I love mine so much, I’ve had it for 16 years. Two new seats and some new billets later…
    Personally I’ve never been a CWD fan (sorry) but I do like the devoucoux’s. I’ve never tried the eventing saddles obviously, so I’m not sure I can give a real opinion to you. I hope you find the one you really want though!
    There’s a Voltaire on ebay that’s exactly what I want should I decide to upgrade my old saddle… It’s kind of killing me knowing it’s there just waiting for a new owner with a Best Offer option on it…


  7. Good luck… I’m doing the saddle hunt thing bc I hate my chiberta so much and the flaps are way too short. I tried a county and omgz 😍

    I wish I could afford full custom…


    1. I wish I could afford full custom too, considering what I want/need is really specific. My friend actually just got a custom County monoflap with purple, you would probably love it lol. Something will come along though… for both of us…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. D3D is magic. Not in love with the company but my Loreak 😍

    Finding a Chiberta in your specs that’s not 4K might be like finding the holy grail… I have faith in your internet stalking though!


  9. Good luck! I bought my horse over a year ago and have not managed to find something that works for us both. I bought a Prestige Eventing that fits him really well and it turns out I hate riding in such a forward flap saddle so now I’m waiting for that to sell before I try yet another saddle.


  10. I feel like I will be in your boat soon. My Antares doesn’t fit Rio quite right. Since he is still growing a lot and muscling up I have put off buying a new one, but I won’t be able to do that forever. I detest saddle shopping, bwcause i have to get a stupid long flap and they are always hard to find used. Good luck!


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