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Saddle fitting at Double G
By Maddy B. Gray
A few friends told me about
Double G Ranch
, the big tack shop in Lebanon, Maine. It sounded like a good place to buy a saddle.
I checked out the website and my jaw just about dropped to the floor.
Look at all those saddles! Western, English, Australian, Endurance… The Double G has hundreds of saddles as well as a fine selection of other horse products (“One of New England’s Largest and Most Complete Tack Shops,” or so says the website).
Some saddles cost a lot. Some cost a lot less. But the selling point for me was being able to bring my horse and have someone help fit the two of us with just the right saddle.
So I called a few times to ask about the process. Then I set up an appointment. On the given day, I loaded up Shea and headed 75 miles southwest to Lebanon.
The Double G may be many things, but conveniently located ain’t one of them!
About the only thing Lebanon is close to is the New Hampshire border. (which helps explain why tax is included in all their prices – those New Hampshire folks are used to no tax, of course.)
The shop is situated a mile or so down a dirt road. So there’s little traffic and plenty of room to pull in, park, and unload. I left Shea with her hay and headed inside to check it out. There, I met Katie, the woman lined up to help me. I told her my limit was $1,000. Oh, but then I saw the Tucker saddles and the Circle Y saddles!
Katie came outside to size up Shea. Then we ran many saddles through preliminary fittings, that is to say – I sat on them on in the store and Katie commented on each one’s fit. We pulled out about a dozen saddles and settled on six to try on my horse. They ranged in price from a Big Horn at $650 to Circle Y at $1,600.
It was determined that Shea needed a wide tree and I needed about a 16 ½ inch seat. All the saddles met those parameters. The rest would come down to comfort and feel and superficial stuff like color, tooling, etc.
Katie got a good work out with all the back and forth. And Shea tolerated the Saddle On, Rider On, Rider Off, Saddle Off many times over.
The Tucker Cheyenne suited us both wonderfully. Nice and wide for Shea and a super comfortable trail saddle for me. This saddle is wonderfully made without being ostentatious. No basket weaving or floral tooling. No silver woven into the leather. Gel cushioning for my long rides. Nothing synthetic, just high quality leather. I rationalized that it’ll be the only saddle I’d ever buy. Well, it was going to cost me more than I paid for my dear horse, so it better be, right?
Sure, the Double G won me over. But I got a saddle at internet price ($1,395). I didn’t have to truck it and a bunch of other saddles to and from a shop or ship them back and forth until I stumbled upon the right one. I had a pro to help guide me through the process and I bought local – well, relatively speaking!
Here we are with the end result - heading out for a nice, long, comfy trail ride!
View Reader Comments:
Thanks for the info, I have tried so many different saddles on my mare, with no luck. I have tried to find saddle fitters in Maine, with no luck. This is great info. Thank you so much.
I purchased my Circle Y saddle from Double G and they were great. I took my horse don there and they helped me find a saddle that fit both me and my horse. I highly recommend them. I did the same thing at Adam's Horse Supply in Winthrop an found them to be equally helpful. They spent a lot of time with me until we found the perfect Pessoa saddle that I still love today. I would recommend them just as highly. Great staff.
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