From Endurance to Dressage
My saddle cover was a nice one. It had a soft, fleece liner, sturdy polyester fabric on the outside, and it had velcro openings in the side to allow your stirrups to come through. It's no longer nice.
I was actually embarrassed by it at the last show I did. You can see why.
I have been looking around for a new one for quite some time. I know there are even some bloggers who make custom saddle covers. The thing is that I am not that great at dealing with too many choices. If I can't even pick out a browband by myself, how am I expected to custom order a saddle cover? I can't, so I didn't.
I am not even sure where I saw the ad, probably on Facebook, but LeMieux makes a saddle cover that checks off all my boxes. It's made of a durable polyester outer with a soft fleece inside, it has an adjustable elastic drawstring, and as an added bonus, it has a sleeve to store the girth. And it's black which means no agonizing over a color choice. My birthday was coming up, so I sent a link to my husband.
Guess what I unwrapped over the weekend? At right around 35 bucks, it was a win-win for everybody. My husband got off pretty light, and I got something I've been wanting for a long, long time. It is just as nice in person, too.
The edges are really stretchy, so they enclose my saddle perfectly. As the elastic wears out, there are drawstrings up near the pommel to make it fit more snugly. I also love, love, love the sleeve for the girth.
For every day use, I hang my girths on the pull handle of my other saddle stand. At shows though, my girth is forever sliding off my saddle as I tote it back to the trailer for storage. I am too poor to get a tack stall, so I schlepp my saddle and bridle back and forth each day from my trailer to my stall and back again. That ingenious little sleeve is going to make that task a whole lot easier.
While I don't have a lot of experience with the LeMieux brand, I do like the one pair of breeches that I own, so I expected the saddle cover to be of at least equal quality. It does not disappoint. The fabric on the top feels very durable, and the fleece on the underside is soft and smooth.
The cover has an added feature that some might find helpful, but I can't see that I'll use it much. There is a lower slot through which you can run your billets. I suppose that for traveling, it will help secure the cover to the saddle, but for day in and day out usage, that would be a bit unnecessary for my barn. My tack is very secure where it is with no one bumping my saddles or sliding theirs past mine. For carrying my saddle back and forth to the trailer, this might be a handy feature, otherwise, not so much.
Overall, my first impression is that this saddle cover earns an A+ for both quality and value. I can't say how long it's going to last, but my guess is that it will be around for a while.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read