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saddles/ Crosby Prix des Nations

With all the discussion of saddles, I've been wanting to bring this up but a
bit shy.  We have maybe three people who import saddles here in Egypt and
most of their interest is in dressage or jumping. If you buy a saddle,
unless you order it from outside and carry it in, you get what is there and
NO WAY to try it out.  My first saddle was a used (20 yr old) Stubben
all-purpose/jumping and then later my husband brought a Stubben
all-purpose/dressage from Germany.  No way to try the saddles on the horses,
we just hoped they wouldn't do too much damage, and having two pretty
average size mares (for Arabs) they were ok.  Later, I had a chance to try a
friend's Crosby Prix des Nations, as far as I can see about as far as you
can go in the no-saddle saddle route, and fell in love.  Since then, that
has been what I ride Dorika with for about the past 4 years.  We've gone as
long as 35-40 km with it with no ill effects.  It fits her well (no dry
spots) and I use a foam pad (some French thing that is almost impossible to
find but seems to meet with the horses' approval).  I'm sure that my Crosby
isn't at all the usual saddle for distance riding, but is there a problem
with it?  I'm not exactly a lightweight and I've figured that with the
Crosby weighing in at one half or one quarter the weight of the Stubbens it
might be better, not to mention that both Dory and I seem to like the
feeling of being almost naked (in a saddle sort of way).

I'd be really interested in comments.
Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

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