Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, November 30, 2015

My New Stonewall Sport Saddle~

Stonewall Sport
Last Friday, a big box came in the mail!  Three months to the day since I'd ordered it!  (The wait was mitigated - since Jackie let me buy a used saddle to ride until this one was completed.  Now, that saddle will be returned for full credit.)  With no time to ride over the weekend & the ground frozen hard - by today I was champing at the bit to get it out on a ride!
Solid Ice~
I had errands in town this morning, by the time I got home & saddled - it was already after 2 p.m. & about 35 degrees.  Once we were on the trail - it was obviously, by far the worst conditions I've ever gone out in...  Farah was so full of herself - not a good combination at all...
Ice Flowers~
I dismounted to walk her on the side & was amazed to see these flowers!  So delicate & beautiful!
Another tree down~
I'd already had to saw off pointed branches on a tree that had done down on our first section of trail -  Farah hopped over.  We'd made it through the icy section, then found this tree down.  I cut off the two branches & again Farah just jumped over on her own.
A "Oh No" moment...
Another 1/2 mile further & we'd just turned the corner when we came up on this!  It really doesn't look as bad as it was.  The larger trees in the middle were about 3ft. high - with a 8" gap between the two largest.  Again, not to be stopped - at least not easily...  I got out my little saw & went to work.  I cut all the branches that were sticking up & made a clear jump path.  I tied up Farah's reins, climbed over & told her to come.  When she put a front foot between the two big ones - I got worried, but she made it through with two nice jumps.  About another 1/2-mile to Cottonwood Cathedral...
Next...  More Cottonwoods~
 Here too, they don't look as high as they are, but we couldn't get around...  About chest high, the road with a soft shoulder on both sides, with the creek flowing under, so both sides are wet & full of broken limbs, branches & debris.
Farah said she would eat the moss off at least!
  By now, I'd spent more time out of the saddle than IN it!  We turned back, I was thinking that we'd ride the south trail & at least see what was happening with the construction.
Yep, still there...
ATV's have made a way around the gate.  I wised up & decided that we'd just go right on through, loop around & take the far way back home.  That would eliminate the trees that Farah would have to jump again to get us back.  I was a little more worried about the jump coming from the other direction - so it sounded like a reasonable plan.
There were huge new homes on the far side of the road, people already moving in & putting up decorations.  Several were friendly & so surprised to see a horse going through.
Turning toward home~
As we made the turn at the far end, there were fires burning on both sides of the road.  Farah really got excited at that & all the noise, but she knew what we were up to.
Heavy equipment
I've got the "Native Growth Protection Area" signage figured out now.  They put them up, then take them down, cut down the trees, bulldoze everything - put the signs against what trees are left, at the far back of the lot where the house is going.  We thought we had it made - we'd gotten around the gate between the construction & our way home, when we came to this...
Well...  this isn't going to work...
Even Farah realized that we were stopped within a mile of getting back to our neighborhood...  Nothing to do but turn back & it was getting later by the minute.   I stopped for a few minutes to let Farah take a mental break :-)  Grazing always seems to help - when she's wired.  
Farah gets a bite~
 The saddle was working great, but it wasn't like we could do any long trotting.  I ordered the "Pocket seat" which has more padding that what the Classic did that I've been using.  (I thought it was the twist, but no - I still had my stirrups a notch too long :-)  Very comfortable - I like the pommel style much better, the pommel height of the Classic was a little tall for my short upper body.  I'm Very happy that I ordered the footman's on the sides of the pommel too - perfect place to clip my camera.
Our route~
 After all that - we only covered over six-miles & it wasn't much of a trial for the saddle.  I know it will take me time to get used to the different seat.  When I lifted it off - there wasn't a hair out of place, Farah's back looked like she hadn't had a saddle on!  Time will tell, but it's positive so far! 


  1. Nice new saddle & glad you're liking it. What colour is Farrah now? I thought she was brown by her 2012 pic, but she almost looks like she's finished up more of a sooty buckskin?
    I recently picked up a used Big Horn endurance saddle (intending to clean it up for re-sell) because I thought it was way under-priced. Used it for the 2nd time today and.... I really don't think it's going to be up for sale after all. So comfortable!

    1. Her winter coat is lighter than her dark summer chocolate. I have my original Big Horn :-)

  2. I've really learned a lot and appreciated your insight through all your saddle woes. I was even inspired to finally try the Stonewall after your comments. I've got a demo of the classic and am ready to order. Was curious about the security in your sport vs. the classic now that you've had a chance to ride both.

    1. The security is IMO - the same. Yes - the additional padding raised the seat just slightly - but the padding is So worth it! I'm still going to install bucking rolls. Did you see the photo of the tree that I posted in a later post?

    2. Thanks!! I appreciate your opinion as I've read how important security and comfort are to you. I did see that photo of the tree. Can't wait to see how you install the bucking rolls, I'd like to do that as well. Please share the details when you do.

    3. Will do, it's been hard to locate black ones! Everett, our friend & saddle maker in Ellensburg has offered to help with the installation.


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