Day 2 of the new saddle. On Monday, Mary came over and it was taken on an extensive test ride in both the arena and the neighbor's trail. Mary loved it. A lot. I was still on the fence about the look of it, but I trust her opinion on all things equine...so the saddle...stays. Sigh. Not only that; it appears to have moved into the house (actually, I think it looks sort of cool by the front door).
When saddles are new, they squeak like crazy. While riding in it, every time Mary said something to me I hollered back, "What?" because I couldn't hear her voice over the deafening creaking of leather. Once I'd made the decision to keep it, I got out the leather soap/conditioner and liberally rubbed the stuff in to try to quiet things down. This helped a bit, but it's going to take awhile -- this is one noisy saddle. I also think that the conditioning might have toned down the orangey brightness somewhat.
Leave it to a draft horse to make a large Western trail saddle look petite. Compared to Corny's sizable butt, the thing on his back looks about the size of a postage stamp. Be that as it may, the saddle fits his back well and he's moving comfortably under it. This is all the more surprising because it's designed for Quarter Horses, which are a much smaller breed (although they can be chunky).
In the late afternoon, Corny, the saddle and I went merrily squeaking around the pond together. The three of us had a good time. It looks like Mary (as usual) was right.