Buy Nice, or Buy Twice?

Even though I am frugal, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the good things in life. For example: horses. And there are plenty of luxurious things that go with that.

Since Lefty has been lame, I’ve been lucky to have been lent some very nice horses. And very nice saddles, and even an entire truck and trailer to transport the very nice horse. (I have some wonderful friends who trust me way too much.) The CWD saddle that was lent to me, though, made such an impression I found myself daydreaming about it repeatedly.

It was like sitting on an ergonomic cloud that also had the ability to make my horse behave.  I brought my shoulders back an inch and everything fell into alignment. I had a rocking horse canter, uphill, lovely, controlled. This happens only rarely in my current saddle, a pancake-flat Crosby Prix des Nations which has been described as the “panty liner” and “pretty much the last thing you would want to hunt in.”

Photo courtesy Pat Michaels. The angle emphasizes how insignificant the saddle truly is

I don’t know that I would go that far, since I have certainly survived many hunting days and belligerent rides in the arena in the Crosby, but it is certainly not cushy and soft and dreamlike. There is no padding, there are no knee rolls, but I like it for a lot of reasons. It is the saddle I used on my first horse in high school. It is a saddle that fits Lefty. It is a saddle that will make you learn how to use your leg properly, or you will die. It is a saddle that George Morris definitely approves of. All for the cheap, cheap price of $450 (which I think is a bit more expensive than some Crosbys, but it is made of fancy bridle-quality leather).

Lefty hangs his head in disapproval, says “God damn it woman, why are you so cheap?!”

But after riding in the Comfort Wondrous Derriere saddle…well, thoughts started creeping into my mind. The Crosby has served me well over three years and has plenty of life left in it, probably decades. But for hunting…well, safety trumps everything, doesn’t it? And isn’t my safety “worth it”?

Well, maybe not $5000 “worth it.” I don’t think I’m at the phase of life yet where I should be spending that on a saddle, particularly when $1000 or $2000 should be perfectly fine to find a more appropriate saddle for my sport.

So consider this my announcement and my official saving start date. I will not bore you all with the trials of a saddle search because we all know it is maddening. But I will use this blog to stay accountable to my saving goal:

  • I would like to save at least $2000 for a used saddle and saddle fitting. If I end up spending less than that, great.
  • I’m going to contribute $1000 from my Christmas bonus to this goal now.
  • If my end date is July, this is going to require additional savings of about $150/month.
  • I’m going to automate this saving using Capital One 360, and eat out only once a week at the office.

Let’s go!


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