I stumbled upon a saddle that was in my price range and looked promising on Ebay. I did some googling and was excited to find out that tall people hated it!!! It had a very short and forward flap and anyone over 5' 5" said it didn't fit their leg at all. Which sounded just about perfect for me!
I had some alarm bells go off talking to the seller and decided to google like mad and see if I could find another one.
Finally I located one at VTO. It was more expensive than the Ebay find but I could take it on trial and send it back instead of working on reselling it so I decided to email VTO. I was quite surprised when they told me they wouldn't even consider sending it until I sent them pictures of my horse, and me on my horse. They didn't want to send me something that didn't look suitable and they were concerned the tree would be too wide.
Pictures sent and they approved enough to send me the saddle.
After a few days on trial they asked for pictures of the saddle on Stella, and me in the saddle. Looks pretty good!
They analyzed the fit and asked for more specific photos from certain angles
Finally they told me to take a few extra days and make sure I really wanted it.
All of this on a low budget saddle they barely made a commission off of! The service simply blew me away! To care on such a level about someone they didn't know was amazing. I can't recommend them enough.
What do I think about the saddle? Overall I'm happy to have something that fits Stella well, she seemed to work well in it, going long and low, picking up the bit, and bucking less and less with each ride.
Quality wise I'd say it rates among the newer courbettes which I expected. It isn't as nice quality as the saddle I'm selling but I think with some oiling and conditioning the leather will improve a bit. I think it was a good value for my money, and without wasting a great deal of money shipping things back and forth or buying and selling I'm glad it worked out.
Now to get past my busy time of year and work so I'll have some leftover energy to ride in the evenings!