Thursday, June 16, 2011

Don't Go There, Girlfriend (Got My Crank On)

I love it when people comment on my blog.  I take that as an indicator that the info I've put out has given them something to think about, or touched on an experience they've had or maybe answered a question they've always had but never asked.  Comments also give me an idea of what people want to hear about, and it gives them a chance to share experiences they've had.

There are two things I will NOT tolerate, however:  First, I won't allow people to talk smack about an individual fitter/trainer/rider/rep/tack shop (see this post), even if they're righteously pissed because of something rotten the fitter/trainer/rider/rep/tack shop has done.  This isn't the venue for that sort of conversation.

Second, I will not tolerate comments made by individuals seeking a sleazy, back door method of promoting their web site - especially their saddle and tack retail web site.  I've had a slew of those recently.  I moderate all comments, and yes, I do check to see where they come from ... so no, you aren't going to get a freebie link on this blog just by saying things like, "WOW.  Fantastic post.  Very informative as well.  Keep posting. I am waiting for your next post :)." This is sort of like pretending to give someone a pat on the back while trying to stick a "GO TO MY SITE" sign on their shirt.  While it's nice to know that people find my posts helpful and informative, I'm not starved for validation.

While there have been a lot of comments in this vein (some quite literate, and some that make me want to repeatedly slam my face into my keyboard) the ultimate in icky (at least so far), has to be this one: "Jeffries manufactures its own spring trees, each to a design that is renowned for its excellent fit, produced in 6-ply laminated wood to prevent distortion whilst retaining flexibility for comfort. Jeffries also source specialist trees from Walsall based manufacturers. The finest quality leather is prepared and finished meticulously, providing ultimate durability and rider safety."  I'm not sure what I find most amazing ...their sheer laziness in lifting something right from Jeffries' ad copy, the fact that they didn't think I'd recognize something lifted from Jeffries' ad copy, or just the fact that they had the balls to lift this from the Jeffries' ad copy and try to pass it off as a legit comment.  Now they're not just trying to use me, they've also brought Jeffries Saddlery (an old and well-respected UK saddle maker) into the mix ... Look, Mom!  Sleaze squared! 

So while I'm more than happy to publish ideas, questions and commentary, don't try to use this as a portal to your web site.  It won't succeed, you'll only piss me off (and that's not much of a feather in your cap - I'm usually just a short jump from that state on most days), and eventually karma will bite you.  You won't rise to the top by climbing over someone else's head.


gillian said...

If it makes you feel any better a lot of those messages sound like spam bots not actual readers. By the way you can visit my website at...... just kidding!

Claire said...

but since you have a captcha enabled, it can't be spam bots, very odd.

i find your posts very informative and wish many of my friends in treed saddles would read you...wish many professionals would too!

Ashleigh said...

Since you use comments to figure out what people want to hear about, I figure I'll offer up some of my questions as post ideas. I've tried to go through your old posts and read everything, but some of it may have slipped out of my head so if I'm asking questions you've already answered, just tell me to find it earlier in the blog.
I have recently acquired a lease (more of a lease-who-I-will-eventually-own) and the saddle his owner has is just terrible. It fits him awkwardly, it’s too small for me, and it’s made of a godawful cardboard-looks-like-leather-but-is-certainly-not type of material that makes me die a bit inside when I look at it (I’m slightly leather obsessed. There is nothing I adore more than well used, well cared for leather). I was looking in to purchasing a saddle (read as: obsessing and spending hours poring over reviews of saddle makers and brands ) and of course, wound up with many, many questions.
The horse is rather out of shape at the moment. He’s gone from pasture-puff-owner-never-comes-to-do-anything-with-him to my would-be low level eventer, hunter/jumper, foxhunter, and trail buddy. His back has (to my eye) very little muscle, and I know with conditioning that will change, but my question is: how much? Is it better to purchase a saddle that fits him well so his back is comfortable while he builds muscle, or is it better to wait until his back resembles what it will (likely) resemble for the rest of his riding career? Is there that much of a significant difference? Or would it be something easy enough to correct with an adjustment from a saddle fitter? I know horses fluctuate between competition season and off season, but I feel like this is a bit more of a significant difference with him just being a big bag of flab right now.
With the things I’ve been reading, the general consensus seems to be “If you can’t afford one of the truly good saddle brands, just wait for your saddle”. If this is true, I am willing to sink in $3000 for a saddle. But is it really true? Are there no real good brands anymore in the “in-between” price ranges of $900-1500? I just want something that fits the two of us together, is well made, and will last. I’m looking for superior materials and quality workmanship, regardless of name- where does one find that?
Off my main topic, but questions that still intrigue me: Why calf leather? Why such fine, soft leathers on such an oft used piece of equipment such as a saddle? When did that start? I feel as if that just...isn’t sensible. If I were to ever get the saddle of my dreams, it would be buffalo leather- something a bit more hard wearing than the leather off a not-yet-fully grown animal. I understand calfskin is more comfortable from the get-go, but if buffalo leather truly that much harder to break in? Perhaps I’m looking at this wrong, but I would think buffalo would be the stronger more durable choice. Now that I think about it though, when people say “buffalo”, do they mean something like water buffalo? Or do they mean American bison? The bison is rather what I had pictured, but now I question it…what does the saddle industry commonly use? What is your opinion on it?

Snowhawk Przhevalsky said...

Yeah, pretty much all of those that don't actually touch on the post and have a "BY THE WAY" link are just spam bots, which have been running nuts over certain blogs lately.

The blog of Second Life content creator that I follow (she hasn't updated her blog in over a year, or released any new content) has been absolutely flooded with them. So much so that the notifications for the few posts I watch comments on automatically go to Gmail's spam folder.

Barefoot Basics said...

I really like your blog and it is a shame that people try and post to further their own ends.

I particularly like the repair blogs that you post, I am just learning at the moment and there isn't really anyone near me that I could go and get some work experience with. Bizarrely as the UK is known for saddlery there aren't many courses either unless you work for a tack shop and they sponsor you to attend courses.

Guess what I am trying to say is please keep on posting and don't let the barstewards get you down.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad. I own a Jeffries Piaffe and am thrilled with it. Lovely blog, by the way.

Joanne said...

I'm still here reading!

~Jo from COTH