Maybe I should have kept the Schleese forward seat saddle that was custom fitted to Phantom and me. But at the time I decided to sell it I didn't have the funds to take jump lessons.
Anyone who has done hunter-jumpers knows it requires several lessons a week to work on position and timing. And for safety's sake you shouldn't jump on your own. Dressage, on the other hand, allows for solitary "homework" between lessons. Plus, one is less likely to go flying over a fence sans horse. I could afford one dressage lesson a month and an occasional in-barn clinic. So I opted to sell my forward seat saddle.
The good news was -- the sale of the saddle paid for Indy as well as the vet bills for his baseline exam and to have him fixed.
However, there are times when I feel like I'm fighting against the dressage position. Particularly when cantering Phantom. His initial canters can be difficult to engage since he bulges against the inside leg in his effort to crossfire on the depart. Once Phantom attains the canter I struggle against the desire to take a half seat to move him forward. The whole dressage deep seat thing goes against my natural inclinations. Hunt seat seems so much more natural to me.
Given various factors in my life it's pretty obvious that I'm not going to do anything with dressage. If I'm just going to hack Phantom around the arena a few times a week and maybe venture outside on the track -- I could do that in a forward seat saddle.
So the last time I rode Phantom (when I was alone in the arena with no one to wonder "what the heck?") I tried a half seat at the canter. It confused Phantom a little. But I felt like I could make better use of my legs to massage him forward into the bit.
The whole idea of saddle shopping is depressing even without contemplating where the money will come from. Phantom is a mutton-withered, round Arab. I have short legs and a generous derriere. Our combination is a saddle-fitting nightmare. And to think I gave up a custom saddle!!
There's nothing like twenty-twenty hindsight.