1. Buy a horse.
2. Decide that you should probably have a saddle for said horse so that you can stop borrowing your trainer’s tack.
3. Do a shit ton of research, then buy a flexible ruler and take wither tracings of your horse.
4. Take the tracings to the tack shop and pick out three saddles to take on trial.
5. Drive all the way back to the barn, only to realize none of the saddles fit your horse.
6. Throw all of your stupid tracings away and give up.
7. Impulse buy a saddle off of Ebay. (What could go wrong?)
8. Ha ha ha, wow, no.
9. Buy a western saddle instead.
10. Remember that you hate riding western.
11. Buy a second horse—one that your trainer deems “the most English of English horses”.
12. Refuse to let a western saddle touch your OTTB’s back.
13. Borrow your trainer’s ancient Crosby. It’s hard as rock, has no knee rolls, and makes you feel like you’re sitting on a 2×4, but at least you can actually feel your horse.
14. HATE HATE HATE your trainer’s spare saddle.
15. Resign yourself to resuming your doomed saddle search.
16. Wander into your local tack shop with a laundry list of things you want in a saddle (all for a super low price, of course).
17. Hope that they have a database so you don’t have to dig through the stacks.
18. Have to dig through the stacks anyways.
19. Have a minor heart attack when the sales associate pulls out a Devoucoux—BUT PLAY IT COOL.
20. Whisper, “It’s French,” to your mother when the sales associate has her back turned.
21. Take three saddles on trial even though you’re already having a not-so-secret love affair with the Devoucoux.
22. Tell yourself that you’ll ride in the Devoucoux last.
23. Ride in the Devoucoux first.
24. Have a spiritual experience in the Devoucoux.
25. Realize that meeting the “establish the canter” goal by the end of November is doable with a saddle that hugs you like Velcro.
26. Admit that the flap on the Devoucoux could be a little shorter/more forward…
27. Sit in the other trial saddles for three seconds and then declare them the worst thing ever.
28. Try not to look too hopeful while TrainerA analyzes the fit on the Devoucoux.
29. Say, “It’s French,” at least three more times before the day is over.
30. Bounce back and forth between “it’s perfect” and “oh God, my wallet”.
31. Place it on an altar before TrainerM and pray that she doesn’t hate it.
32. Rejoice when TrainerM doesn’t hate it.
33. Spend the night plagued by last minute doubts because $$$
34. Buy it anyways.
35. DE VOU COUX ♥ ♥ ♥