I didn't want to say anything sooner for fear of jinxing it, but as many of you know, I have been on the "Great Saddle Search" for some time now. In the end, I resolved that the Duett line of saddles is about the only way I can go. They are not cheap, but I have yet to hear any bad feedback at all about them. In fact, they are so well liked, as a general rule, that finding a good used one is kind of like finding a unicorn... and finding a good used one that would be both wide enough for Bronwyn and big enough in the seat for me... they exist, oh, they exist... but to get one that is USED is kind of a "from my cold, dead hands.", a la Charlton Heston.
I have doggedly kept my eyes on eBay and Tack Trader looking for something that will fit me and (most importantly) Bronwyn... a couple of times they have come up, out of my price range. Two went over the summer in the $500-600 range which would have been right up my alley, had I had money in my hands. I eventually gave up on the idea of something used and took on a second job through the November/December months in order to buy a new one in the new year.
And then it happened. I found a 38cm, 19" Duett Companion Trail on eBay with a starting bid at $500. This was doable. I was excited!
I don't dig the two-tone going on, but with what I do with Bronwyn at this moment, and considering the fact that my butt and thighs will cover most of the ugly up, it will do. Heck, at this point, I wouldn't care if it had Mickey Mouse all over it, as long as it fits Bronwyn.
Anyways, the seller, "Nora", was beyond helpful. I contacted her with what I anticipated to be my payment schedule prior to even bidding on the account. She was so easy to get along with and even expressed excitement when I won the auction. So, Nora... thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for assisting in this wonderful adventure we call saddle-fitting!
Now, I am a pretty experienced eBayer, but I am also pretty anxious, and I have a hard time (and heart palpitations) when I am bidding on something that is not that common to find and that I also "need". I enlisted my mother, who I would call a "MASTER EBAYER" to help me out with the bidding. What that meant is that she sat at the desktop computer with the page open ready to "snipe" the bidding at 10 seconds prior to the auction ending, and I sat in my bedroom, on my bed, with a blanket over my head and my laptop open before me, neurotically refreshing and refreshing the eBay page and occasionally letting out squeals and shrieks. I had already decided what price I wanted to go to, but what if someone else went $10 higher and I lost the auction?!?! THEN I would have to continue this neurotic searching of eBay and all things internet or wait until the new year before I could buy a saddle.
In the end, I ended up winning the Companion for less than half of what it would cost new (even including the shipping), and I am pretty darn excited. It got into the mail on Friday and I have only a delivery confirmation number so I can do some more neurotic refreshing on the USPS website (probably better that there isn't an actual tracking number so I have more details to anticipate looking for).
Does anyone see a pattern with neurosis here? I am practically bouncing in my seat hoping that it will land before Christmas (they said 8 days but I know USPS can sometimes be faster... but also during this time of year can also be MUCH MUCH SLOWER) and I will have a REAL Christmas present for myself and for my horse.
I usually have buyer's remorse after spending any amount of money on anything (sometimes even grocery shopping gives me buyer's remorse!), but I haven't experienced an ounce of it yet and I am so darn excited!