From Endurance to Dressage
I bought my Custom Revolution saddle more than 6 years ago. While it was used, there were absolutely zero wear marks. It was in pristine condition. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
I like to think I take good care of my tack. My saddle is stored on a saddle stand that is padded with wool, I keep it covered at all times, and I clean and condition it regularly.
On the other hand, it gets used a lot. For a number of years, I rode two horses a day, six to seven days a week. Over the past year, it's been ridden in just once a day ... usually.
On top of the heavy use, it lives in one of the hottest and driest places on the planet. We don't call it Bakersfield for nothing. That's a joke. The city was really named after Colonel Baker. But come on, it's a funny name for a city that literally bakes all summer long.
Over the past year, I've been seeing wear marks begin to appear here and there. The pommel's leather has separated, the stitching that holds my knee rolls in place is falling apart, and my billet straps are starting to look worn.
The tear in the seat is brand new; it's the wear mark that worries me the most. As luck would have it, I showed the tear to Tracy, one of the volunteers at the most recent Tehachapi show. She quickly called over a friend of hers, Terry Zambrana, who happens to be a Trilogy Saddle Rep.
Terry gave the saddle a quick look and immediately reassured me that my saddle wasn't going to fall apart that day. Yes, the saddle is showing its age, but she thought I could get more miles out of it yet. I appreciated her willingness to offer a solution that didn't include a new saddle.
She estimated that it would cost around $500 for the repair, but in her opinion, that was too pricey for a saddle with this much use on it. She suggested that instead of getting it fixed, I ought to simply get a seat cover to protect the area from further wear while I start saving for a new saddle. Outside of the endurance world, I had never heard of a seat cover.
I didn't know it, but Tracy makes custom seat covers. Now how lucky was I to chat about my saddle with the one person at the show who had a solution for me? In between tests, Tracy and Terry procured a demo to try on my saddle. After a few measurements here and there, they came up with a plan for the size I would need.
Tracy makes her seat covers from a very smooth deerskin leather. Each cover is custom made for your saddle and costs $50. Tracy delivered it to me a day or two after I ordered it.
My first ride on it was just a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, but as soon as I sat down, I completely forgot about it. Since then, I've put several regular rides on it, including lots of sitting trot and canter work. I can't even tell it's there. I think my problem might be solved.
If you'd like to talk to Tracy about a seat cover, let me know, and I'll pass on her contact information. If it it works, it's cheaper than a new saddle!
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
2022 Pending …
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 (***)
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
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