Friday, October 29, 2010

Serge and Durability

Good saddles aren't cheap.  All of the new saddles we sell cost more than my first horse - and to be perfectly honest, they all cost more than my first car (which was a used 1973 Chevy Vega of dubious mechanical health).  So when you're buying something that's going to cost you a few weeks' (or more) worth of paychecks, you want it to last.  So what's the expected life span of a $3500 saddle with cloth panels?!

That's often the concern voiced by our customers when they see a saddle with serge panels.  Back in the day, English saddles had serge panels; at some point (and I'm still researching to find out why), leather became the material of choice.  And while leather panels are still the norm, serge is gaining in popularity, and with good reason.  Serge has a lot of benefits:  it breaks in more quickly, it helps wick sweat and dissipate heat, it's lighter weight, it helps keep the pad from slipping, it dries quickly, it can be a big help with a sensitive or "cold-backed" horse ... and it wears very, very well.

How well?  Ok - remember the "Black Country Rocks Customer Service" post I did a couple months ago?  (Click here if you need a refresher.)  Remember Jenny Kimberly's Black Country Equinox - the 4 and a half year old saddle that's been ridden (by a conservative estimate) more than 6800 miles? Take a look at these photos, and you can see for yourself how well serge panels hold up, even under some pretty extreme conditions.


Six thousand, eight hundred miles down, and a LOT more miles left in it.  That's a pretty convincing case for the durability of a serge panel!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back Up and Running

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm back at it after getting notices that my blog had been flagged for distrubuting malware.  If any of you had issues because of this, I'm really, really, REALLY sorry.  I have to admit to being pretty technologically challenged, and I had no idea this was going on until one of my readers contacted me on the Ultimate Dressage bb to let me know.  I was mortified.  After almost two weeks of stumbling through tutorials and chat rooms and on-line help, I was finally able to find and remove the bad code (it was ridiculously easy once I found the right help site); I blew out all the gadgets or widgets or whatever they're called and decided to use a fresh new template (which I'm still not sure I really like).  I'm still not 100% certain how it happened, but I'm learning how to protect my blog from this sort of infection in the future.  I have a couple ideas rolling around in my head, so as soon as I get a lull in repairs, reflocks and helping customers find saddles, I'll be posting again.