During my trip to Rolex I discovered that there was a new Indiana area rep for Bliss saddlery, to replace the old rep whom the company and many local riders had issues with. The new rep has not only gone through all the training but is a local trainer and fellow eventer so she knows her stuff. As it turned out she had a string of students at the show I just attended, How not to prep for a show, and offered to bring several Bliss saddles for me to try even though I explained they were currently out of my budget.
How awesome is that!
While she was there she also checked out the fit of my dressage saddle, which sadly will never fit Stella so it's also up for sale.
I was able to sit in the Loxley Dressage, which, while being from their "lower end" line was of excellent quality. The leather was super grippy and the saddle fit my leg well. From someone riding in a lot of old school saddles the seat felt very cushy. The panels had plenty of wiggle room to be custom fit to almost any horse. I liked the placement of the blocks, and that they could move the blocks to suit me. Big enough to keep your leg in place but not so big that I felt locked in, which I hate. Stella went well in it for our trial and I think she was less girthy.
I sat in the Loxley Foxhunter on the fitting horse, but chose not to ride in it because I found the seat too confining for my taste. Coming from a very shallow seat background I think that is probably my personal preference and someone galloping for hours over brush fences would probably like it.
I tried out the Liberty Eventer, which is an excellent option for someone planning on going over some drop fences as the shallow long seat lets you slide back enough to get your leg out in front.
I decided to ride in the Loxley Jump LX. It fit me the best out of the box and was closely aligned to my modest goals while having a few extra options. It has a cupped knee pad to add a little bit of extra security, and the pad can be adjusted to fit a rider's leg.
It also comes with a semi deep or flat seat, forward or short flaps, deep or shallow seats, as well as different options for blocks under the flap, I rode in the semi deep seat and it offered some extra security without feeling locked in. As someone who is used to flat seat saddles I didn't mind the slightly deeper seat. I think it's a good option for someone looking for an "average" type of saddle. If you aren't doing big drops with super short stirrups so you don't need the longer seat and you aren't planning on doing hardcore foxhunting so you don't want a super deep seat. With the addition of the knee cups it gives you some extra security for a bit of everything.