Well, that’s one wee mystery solved. Okay, it wasn’t truly a mystery in the literal sense, but I figured out something yesterday.
Remember me going on and on about jumping saddles and how I can’t seem to find a decent used saddle (with short billets) to ride in because the girth buckles rub the insides of my knees? It was an issue that confused me because I love the Albion Legend I borrow whenever I ride at one farm, and I don’t experience any kind of leg chafing, no matter where my leg is or what length my stirrups are.
I was determined to figure out why, so I placed the Pessoa I had out on trial next to the Albion to compare them. Turns out the flaps on the Albion are more forward, and the billets are positioned towards the back, not in the middle. This means the billets and girth are behind my leg, not under it.
Just simply lifting the flaps to compare the two saddles and noticing this difference was a eureka moment, because honestly I wouldn’t have thought a saddle with forward flaps would make that much difference. Especially since I don’t do a lot of jumping or riding at speed, which would necessitate shorter stirrups. Plus, I’m only around 5’4″ and have short legs, but there’s the answer.
I explained all this to the tack store manager when I returned the Pessoa, and she tried to sell me a monoflap saddle that was new and well out of my price range, even with the holiday discount she offered me. So I’ll just continue my search.