Finding a saddle that you love is often a challenge but if you happen to be in a little town located kilometres from anywhere, the going gets even harder.
Rebecca Bell, who lives in Lake Cargelligo, a rural town way out in the Central West region of NSW, has been riding for 16 years.
As for Rebecca’s discipline, well, that’s a bit of a mix: Because we’re so isolated out here we do a little of everything and that includes showing, gymkhanas, camp drafting, and ranch sorting, which is a new sport that’s pretty much a cross between cutting and team penning, she explains.
I’m a bit of a saddle collector and I’m really fussy about what I buy. I have a Black Country Eloquence that I love, she says. It was professionally fitted and custom made to accommodate my big gelding’s odd shape. But obviously that saddle was never going to work with my other younger horses and ponies, so I needed another option.
Given Lake Cargelligo’s remote location, finding a saddle fitter who’s prepared to go the distance is tricky – so Rebecca, who had previously visited the Equestrian Hub website, decided to make a return visit and found a Black Country Show Hunter saddle that was perfect.
I particularly like the calfskin cover, which looks really elegant in the show ring, and the fact that the smaller knee blocks sit snugly and don’t look overly chunky, Rebecca says. The saddle has soft, broad panels and a wide channel which makes it very comfortable on the horses backs, and it’s a good general fit for all my horses. And that includes the ponies that young rider Jade Smith shows for both Rebecca and her mum.
I really like the Show Hunter model because it has a nice open seat while still feeling secure, and puts the rider in a great position with good alignment for the shoulders, hips and heels, Rebecca says.