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View Full Version : Dressage saddles you avoid



AlexMakowski
Dec. 23, 2007, 03:28 PM
Are there any brands or models of dressage saddles that you try to avoid because of personal experiences or by word of mouth?

I have been thinking for quite some time about purchasing a dressage saddle, but finding a quality one to fit a variety of horses may be a challenge.

Im new to dressage. So any comments would be appreaciated.

merrygoround
Dec. 23, 2007, 03:50 PM
I personally avoid Stubbens, I find them bulky under my leg. They may have changed since last I sat in one. I found their all purpose saddles the same.

3horsemom
Dec. 23, 2007, 03:54 PM
second that. i would also avoid a stubben.

Daydream Believer
Dec. 23, 2007, 03:54 PM
Wintec. I think they are very uncomfortable.

Equibrit
Dec. 23, 2007, 03:57 PM
It's pretty naive to imagine that you can find one saddle to FIT a variety of horses.

To find a saddle that fits the rider and one horse is a triumph.

ToN Farm
Dec. 23, 2007, 04:11 PM
Ditto Wintec or anything not made of quality leather. I'd probably avoid any saddle that did not have good resell value; i.e. an odd brand.

Sabovee
Dec. 23, 2007, 04:34 PM
I'm not a fan of Countys, Stubbens or Passiers.

enjoytheride
Dec. 23, 2007, 04:37 PM
I love my wintec, it fits my horse and was in my price range. I even show in it. Don't care that it isn't leather.

WindyIsles
Dec. 23, 2007, 04:42 PM
Ditto Wintec or anything not made of quality leather. I'd probably avoid any saddle that did not have good resell value; i.e. an odd brand.

Thirded Wintec.

onetempies
Dec. 23, 2007, 05:13 PM
Shleese, Wintec, & County WB 2000s. Anything else I'll look at in various lines but I do like Passiers and their ability to be adjusted easily by saddlefitters/makers.

ideayoda
Dec. 23, 2007, 05:26 PM
I avoid anything with big thigh blocks and wide twists. I use an old passier (it has four billets so fits all developments of horses) from 84 and it fits everything. Certainly the Shultheis saddles have no knee rolls either.

J-Lu
Dec. 23, 2007, 05:26 PM
For me, I like Wintecs because they put me so close to the back of the horse and I like that feeling.

I'm not fond of Niedersuss, which makes me feel a mile off the back of my horse, or schleese, which often makes me feel like I'm sitting on a 2x4 and actually hurts my seatbones and upper thighs where I can feel the "drop off" of the seat (although they put me in a nice position). Older Passiers also hurt my butt but they make me feel close to the horse.

I think that for every person who tells you to avoid saddle X, you'll find someone who loves saddle X. I think your only solution is to sit in a bunch of saddles. It's a bummer, I tell you!!!!!! :winkgrin:

J.

appychik
Dec. 23, 2007, 05:35 PM
I think that for every person who tells you to avoid saddle X, you'll find someone who loves saddle X. I think your only solution is to sit in a bunch of saddles. It's a bummer, I tell you!!!!!! :winkgrin:

J.

I agree. That being said, I did love my Wintec before I finally had a lovely Kieffer get literally dropped into my lap. I also would love a Stubben Maestoso Deluxe... look absolutely divine. It's all personal preference and what will work for your and your horse. I have another Stubben (Woton) that's an all-purpose that puts you in a great seat for lower level jumping or when we're just hacking around. I think you'll have to just try lots out.

Tiki
Dec. 23, 2007, 05:46 PM
I'd avoid anything with a big thigh block, or especially an external thigh block, i.e. visible on the outside of the flap of the saddle. I tried a couple at DAD last year and I had to have a friend pull me out of a couple they hurt so badly AND pinned me in a position that wasn't anatomically possible for me. Ouch!!

dressagediosa
Dec. 23, 2007, 06:15 PM
I don't mind Wintecs, but anything with CAIR is bad news. I ride in Albions - I like the feel for me, as well as the big panels for my horses.

Go to your biggest local tack shop and sit in lots of brands. Figure out what's comfortable for you, in your price range, and then see if the tack shop or manufacturer directly will give you demo saddles. I know Dover Saddlery has a Demo saddle program.

EqTrainer
Dec. 23, 2007, 06:45 PM
ANY wide twist Albion. OMG! I never knew I could hurt that bad.

philosoraptor
Dec. 23, 2007, 08:23 PM
LOVE my wintec. Admittedly no saddle fits all horses, but it's one of the few you can adjust. Also love that it's not leather: no mold, no maintenance, and I ride in it regularly with very little wear showing.

Hate: too many of the older saddles due to the horribly narrow trees and/or no spine clearance. I don't care how fancy or exclusive the brand name, the saddle must fit the horse.

In your situation I'd suggest making a trek to a larger saddle shop. You'll have more selection and you may find what you need used. Used = cheaper; cheaper = able to buy 2 or more so you can fit all your horses. In my region, the place I buy saddles from is Rick's Heritage Saddlery (http://www.saddlesource.com/).

Tiligsmom
Dec. 23, 2007, 11:18 PM
Hulsebos

Windriderr
Dec. 24, 2007, 12:27 AM
Avoid Schleese. Can't get good service.

Forte
Dec. 24, 2007, 01:30 AM
Avoid DK (terrible service), Passier (puts me in a chair seat, might work well for others.) I have a Wintec that I use for breaking babies, and it's suitable for that purpose but I wouldn't want to do high level work in it. I would love to have a Stubben. I'm surprised that people here complain that they are bulky. They are one of the more stripped down saddles on the market. Right now I also have a custom Regal which I love.

Kyrie
Dec. 24, 2007, 02:59 AM
You will be hard pressed to find a saddle that fits a variety of horses - that is akin to buying a pair of shoes that fit all your family members.

I have a TB mare and two foals from her (now of a mature age) and none of them fit the same saddle.

As for what type of saddle do I hate, I really dislike Isabels - their stirrup bars often cause pain due to pressure on the horse's back and they don't actually allow you to ride, rather they hold you in position.

However, each to their own.

europa
Dec. 24, 2007, 08:21 AM
Has anyone tried the new Genf model it looks wonderful...the one from Kieffer that looks somewhat sueded? I am SOOO wanting to try it.

cuatx55
Dec. 24, 2007, 09:41 AM
"pretty saddles" that I like but don't like me: Amerigo and Laser...

Saddle that works for me but don't look the best: Wintec Pro

Saddles I would consider buying next: Thornhill, Passier and Albion.

Saddle that I would avoid: County connection-screwed up my leg position.

I like stubben scandica, but they don't work for my wider horse-too narrow in the back.

magnum
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:02 AM
Are there any brands or models of dressage saddles that you try to avoid because of personal experiences or by word of mouth?

1 -- Treeless

2 -- COURBETTE

3 -- Anything SYNTHETIC

4- Anything with a narrow gullet that might put pressure on the spine. Also, anything with an overly WIDE gullet, which can then put too much pressure on the back muscles alongside the spine.

Magnum

citydog
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:13 AM
I *detest* Wintecs and the Bates Isabell.

*Love* St├╝bbens and Theo Sommers. :yes:

MyReality
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:19 AM
I generally do not like Stubbens, but it has to do my own and my horse's conformation more than anything else. They tend to be too narrow for both of us. However, I will never buy: plastic saddle, treeless or air panels, ever.

NoDQhere
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:37 AM
Our older stallion competed through GP in a Wintec Isabel. Our younger (xwide) stallion has a "customized" Smith-Worthington Ultimate, mono flap. Really a nice saddle. We have a Stubben Excaliber for the medium horses. This is a really nice saddle, also a mono flap, that fits a variety of "normal shaped" horses. We are riding a couple of horses for a friend and their saddle is a mono flap Devacoux (sp). Also a really nice saddle.

We have a Wintec close contac for jumping, a Wintec all purpose, a Wintec Pro, and the Isabel for starting the young horses.

Saddles we haven't liked would be Neidersuss, Kieffer and Butet.

Sit on as many as you can and then get it fitted to your horse.

MontanaDun
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:45 AM
Well, butts and horses are all individuals.

The trick is to find a saddle that a) fits your horse and b) fits you.

Most of the brands folks have mentioned are well-made and serviceable - figuring out which is a match for you & your horse is the hard part.

A good saddle-fitter can really help, but your horse will tell you in the end what works and what doesn't.

MD

FriesianX
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:57 AM
Is your question, saddles to avoid because they are poor quality and fall apart? Or saddle fitters/makers to avoid because of poor customer service? Because, as someone else noted, everyone fits differently - some of the "hated" saddles are also "loved" saddles. It all depends on your pelvic structure and length of leg, and your horse's back width, length, and shape.

I hate treeless, but some swear by them. I hate Stubbens but some swear by them. I actually LIKE the Wintec Isabelle, in spite of the fake leather stuff, while others hate 'em. I hate the Wintec Pro. My friend swears by DK and has GREAT customer service - and she has two of them now and has refit one several times, each time w/ fabulous service. Someone else on the Board had bad service from them.

One of my horses went well in treeless, the others have all hated them. Some horses like Cair, others don't. Some horses need wider panels, and for others, that means the saddle sits too low on their back. Some horses like gusseted panels, and others with short backs hate 'em. Some horses need curved panels, others need flat.

I guess the point is, there is no perfect saddle.

mishmash
Dec. 24, 2007, 11:06 AM
I have a Wintec dressage-not the most comfortable to ride in, but it fits my older Morgan, and he likes it, and since we only hack around, I tolerate it. Advantages are that it seems pretty sturdy, and is very lightweight.
I have also had a Windsor that I loved-very comfy. It did not fit my dressage horse well, so ordered another one, but the quality was not there-tilted me to the right, and it was very uncomfortable. Fortunately, the tack shop allowed me to return it. I have since heard that is a problem with the Windsor saddle-inconsistent quality.
I now have a County Fusion that fits both me and my horse-LOVE it, as does the YR that also rides him. And a nice company to deal with. I liked that they came out and fit both me and my horse, plus was able to ride in a variety of their saddles. Pricey, though.
A good tack shop to deal with is Hartmeyers-ask for Jane, who handles the saddles.

redhorse5
Dec. 24, 2007, 12:17 PM
I have to say that the Hennig that I have fits almost every horse in the barn. I went to try a horse in Florida several years ago. I didn't buy the horse but I was blown away by the saddle. I bought one and have been able to sell three other saddles that I had been relying on for different horses. It fits everyone somehow except for one guy that I use a fleece pad underneath. I love riding in this saddle. I expect with the Euro at it's current point they would be very expensive but I'll bet you could find one used here for a reasonable price.

kmgibs4
Dec. 24, 2007, 04:22 PM
I love my Passier (grand gilbert-nichole) it fits my horse and my rear/leg very well; and as my horse's shoulder/back changed I was able to have the saddle refitted. Before I first got the Passier I rode in a Crosby AP...good for jumping only. The first time I rode in the Passier my horse immediately moved with a freer shoulder and back and I was able to find his center of balance so I was not working against him...it was awesome, I felt like he was a whole new horse and we went up a level in one lesson!!

However, I think you can get that feeling from any saddle that is properly fitted to your horse and you (leg flaps, twist etc.) From my experience Wintecs are good for children, beginners that may have an insecure seat and trail rides as the material doesn't allow for a lot of free movement of the seat. I avidly avoid all saddles made in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru as they use a stiffer, low quality leather that gets hard and brittle with age regardless of how well you oil, also their measurements always seemed a bit off (ie leg flap vs. seat) and the stitching falls apart. Some US makers are excellent, most German and English saddles are worth the money. Austrailian saddle makers are producing better and better products.

How did I find the perfect saddle....take your trainer (who knows you and your horse) to the tack store. Pick out one or two, leave your deposite and take them home and ride in them. If your tack store doesn't allow you to ride in the saddle before you commit to buying it....get a new tack store!

petitefilly
Dec. 24, 2007, 04:26 PM
Saddle buying is as personal as boyfriend picking. It all depends on how you fit together. You will get an opinion on any saddle from anyone. If they were all super we would not need as many brands! We would only need ONE saddle and it would fit a lifetime.

Alas, nothing is written in stone, you have to try them out on your horse with your butt and decide. It has taken me many moons to be so wise, and many more moons to sit in a saddle that A. helped me, B. fit the horse, and C. made out lives more useful. :)


I have had a Neidersuss, 2 Stubbens, a Prestige, a Rembrandt, a Sommer, 2 Stackhouses, a Frank Baines, and now a Black Country. Many horses, many saddles, and we all fit differently with each horse or saddle. No one fit fits every horse, or even one person.

I will never sit on another plastic tree. I like a wide twist, I do not like a large knee roll, I do not like deep holes, and lastly I think a second hand saddle has a great deal to offer. It is broken in, it is cheaper, and it will hold it's value if it is well made so if you keep the saddle five or ten years you will be able to resell it at nearly what you paid for it. <JMHO> Good luck!

eurofoal
Dec. 24, 2007, 04:58 PM
Go to www.horsetackreview.com for lots of reviews. Very handy web site when faced with a new purchase.

Bogie
Dec. 24, 2007, 05:00 PM
My likes/dislikes have changed over the years. When I first started taking dressage lessons, I liked having a saddle with a deeper seat that just locked me into position. Over time I found that restrictive. Now I like a closer contact feel and have actually gone treeless.

Saddles I have avoided: Neidersuss because I knew several people who had early models and over time their horses all developed back problems. There have been times when I liked a deep seat -- which I really no longer care for. I like a flatter seat with small to no blocks. Any saddle that's not flocked with wool.

Saddles I've liked: albion, prestige, roosli, Freeform

tempichange
Dec. 24, 2007, 05:03 PM
What may be good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.

Saddles are such a personal choice and they vary so much horse to horse that honestly you just need to try as many as possible (think Harry Potter trying out a wand).

What works for me is a short flap, cutback with a narrow to medium twist. I prefer a chunky thigh block that is set a little farther back and must be very wide for the current beasties. For this I prefer Wintec Isabelle, Duett, Henig and Bates Caprelli. I despise Thornhill, cheapest pain in the arse saddle I've ever sat in.

Mary in Area 1
Dec. 24, 2007, 07:10 PM
Detest: Albions--too wide in the tree, no matter WHAT they say.
Amerigo--like sitting on Jackie Kennedy's hat box. OUCH!
Hennig--like trying to make a bean bag fit on a horse. WAY too much stuffing!
Hulsebos--got tricked into buying THREE of these, and they ALL fell apart, the rivets broke, the leather bubbled up and rubbed off. The horses ALL had sore backs (didn't start that way, only after their CUSTOM saddles!) Horrible, expensive, wasted $$$.
Anything foam or air.

Love--Jaguar, esp. the one WITHOUT the deep seat.
Vega--lovely saddle for the price, fits everything
Neidersuss--the N tree fits EVERY high withered narrow event horse I've ever known!

Soldier06
Dec. 24, 2007, 08:42 PM
I have to say that the Hennig that I have fits almost every horse in the barn. I went to try a horse in Florida several years ago. I didn't buy the horse but I was blown away by the saddle. I bought one and have been able to sell three other saddles that I had been relying on for different horses. It fits everyone somehow except for one guy that I use a fleece pad underneath. I love riding in this saddle. I expect with the Euro at it's current point they would be very expensive but I'll bet you could find one used here for a reasonable price.

Here's a site with some Hennigs. She was FABULOUS to deal with, I just bought a Delgrange (jump saddle) from her.

http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/catalog.htm?Vl=2&Tp=2

As for saddles that I hate, Albions. I didn't think I would be able to walk again after riding in that, it was like a straight jacket. Felt VERY deep, HUGE knee blocks, and a very wide twist, which is a personal preference, and I don't like them.;) As for some that I love, I LOVE my mom's Neidersus and the my old trainer's Hulsebous (can't spell either of them though :winkgrin:) The Hulsebous was a little too much, but I LOVE riding in flat, nothing saddles. My mom's Neidersus is perfect, not a lot of knee stuff, and a relitively flat seat (for a dressage saddle ;)).

It is a personal preference, and every saddle is different. Normally I hate wide twists with a flat seat but the saddle I just bought is flat as a board with a fairly wide twist and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. :D It just has the perfect balance. :)

CDNJumperGirl
Dec. 24, 2007, 10:32 PM
Avoid Stubbens- I love how stripped down they are, but they simply do not fit me comfortably; I ACHE after riding in one

Avoid Wintecs- rode in Wintecs for ages and thought they were just fine, then I started riding in nice saddles and suddenly I have no idea how I survived. Every time I school in one now I get off sore.



Love Schleese- some people hate them but I love the way they fit me, I can actually ride in one and sit in a decent position without struggling and they wear like iron. Its also easy to get customer service for them up here, we have more of them than any other saddle in the barn.

Love Hennig- I'm saving my pennies for one, these are my dream saddles. My coach has one and I can sit in it and my legs fall immediately into the correct position, plus it fits just about every horse we've put it on.

Love DK- its hard to get customer service for them when you need it, but the air panels seem to be wearing pretty well- I'm surprised. We've nick named my coaches' DK the sofa, its so unbelievably comfortable. I adore it.

pintopiaffe
Dec. 25, 2007, 12:08 AM
--like sitting on Jackie Kennedy's hat box. OUCH!


:lol:

The only thing I stay away from is *too* cheap and narrow. My last find was a 30+ yo Passier in fabulous condition, for $500. My Princess & the Pea stallion loves it more than any other treed saddle he's ever met. Go figure.

Now of course I can't find another one for the young'uns.

I am not put off by medium quality leather, as with care and conditioning I can make it better.

I don't think you can rule out any brands until you know what you're looking for tree wise, size wise etc.

see u at x
Dec. 25, 2007, 02:31 AM
Personally, I'm not a fan of Albion, Schleese, or Passier. The Albion and Schleese saddles I've tested just were really uncomfortable. I'm not sure what it is with Schleese (possibly the twist?), but they feel very hard to me and make me sit on my seatbones funny. I've been riding a lot in my instructor's older Neidersus, but I haven't ridden in it without the seat saver, so I don't know how comfy it would be without that. Also, like someone else said, I find it to sit really high up off the horse, which is kind of weird. Plus, with it being an older model, it is really, really heavy compared to most other saddles I've used.

I love, love, love my Theo Sommer. It has a flex tree, is super comfy, and is made very well for the price. I'm also a big fan of Stubbens - every Stubben I've ever sat in, I've loved, with the exception of the Scandica DL. It just wasn't as comfy as I liked. However, the Maestoso was a dream. Had that been more in my price range, I probably would have gotten that one instead of my Sommer. I've just found that both brands tend to fit both me and my horse really, really well.

Kyrie
Dec. 25, 2007, 04:17 AM
I forgot to say, I wish to rid the world of treeless saddles - saddles have trees for a reason! (actually, quite a few reasons). Anyways, each to their own.

As for flocking, I'm all for Flair - mind you, my mum is the NZ agent for First Thought so I don't have any probs getting my saddle looked at :D

ellie_dq
Dec. 25, 2007, 08:32 AM
Really don't like anything with a super wide twist. Most of the horses i ride are already wide enough - don't need all that extra width. It is really uncomfortable and makes it hard to sit in to the saddle. I don't even like the wide twist styles on narrower horses. Really dislike the Duett, Arabian Saddle Co., most Albions. And though I hate to be a dressage snob, I really don't like synthetic saddles of any variety.

rothmpp
Dec. 25, 2007, 11:24 AM
Hate the Neidersuss - did not like the way that it sat for me or on the horses's back - though it was probably too big for her. It belonged to the owner of the horse and she insisted that it was only saddle that fit the mare. Since I was borrowing the horse - no real choice in the matter.

I rode in the plastic tree, foam flocked Courbette for *years* and really liked it. I found that it fit every horse but the absolute widest of warmbloods, and when you ride a variety of horses (when you don't own your own and have to take whatever rides you get) that is real necessity.

Currently using an older County - I also really like this saddle, but my experience with County is that it really depends on the saddle. I rode in one that I really didn't like, and have had several horses that it did not fit well.

Liked some of the Schleese, but have not heard good things about service in my area. After trying a lot of saddles, discovered that I need a really narrow twist and apparently have a freakishly long thigh.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 25, 2007, 01:48 PM
My absolute favorite has been a JP Giacomini that he sold me, well-used but still much nicer than the newer saddles I have had. It is older and more "traditional". NO huge knee blocks, the seat is average depth. It is not wool flocked because he feels that most horses far prefer a nice foam panel. Mine certainly does.

I have a Bates Event that I love for jumping, and my mare seems to like the CAIR panels.

I avoid anything wool-flocked or anything that sells off of past success, as in the quality is not up to the standard I would expect for the price. As a general rule, I don't like Stubben because they flock their saddles with odd lumpy stuff instead of real wool. I do like Barnsby, their saddles are well made and you can generally find them for a reasonable price. Passier is OK, but I think the leather on the newer ones could be nicer. I really like the old Kieffers, except for the wool flocking.

Picking a saddle is so personal.

Donella
Dec. 25, 2007, 05:13 PM
I also hate the Wintecs, but good for starting youngsters.

For the best bang for your buck..I think Windsor Blue line.
Love the Regal saddles..that will be my next purchase when I can afford it.
Jagaur is also nice..but still I like Regal alot more.

_downpour_
Dec. 25, 2007, 07:52 PM
Why does everyone hate cair?

ThreeFigs
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:01 PM
Only have to read the first page to see that what works for some, does not work for others. Saddle fit is as individual (or more so!) as taste in clothing, home decor, whatnot. Especially because you have to buy a saddle that works for the rider AND the horse. I don't like Albions, but many people love them. Doesn't make them right or me wrong, or vice versa. Same with most of the British built saddles I've tried with the exception of a Harry Dabbs I had years ago. Sorry I sold it.

I've ridden Wintecs that were acceptable, and others I hated. Ditto Keiffers. Ditto Passiers. I love my Neidersuss, but many can't stand them. I don't like pencil kneerolls OR the enormous pillows some saddlers put in frnt of the rider's leg. I'm somehwere in between. Agree that you will have to sit in and ride many saddles to find the one that 's right for you and your horse.

If you must find one saddle to fit many horses, cutback pommels tend to be more forgiving. And a wide tree. Horses must be getting wider these days. Lots of narrow and medium saddles in the used tack shops. Folks are trading up to wide trees. And then there are extra-wides, extra-extra wides, where will it end?

I prefer wool flocking -- traditional. That's why I dislike most of the Wintecs I've ridden. And I foolishly bought a Theo Sommer flocked with foam on Ebay that was and is an absolute nightmare. What a waste of money. Andy NOBODY else wants the thing. it's sat on consignment for years in a local tack shop.

citydog
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:10 PM
As a general rule, I don't like Stubben because they flock their saddles with odd lumpy stuff instead of real wool.

That is so NOT true. They use wool, and it's lovely and smooth.

Not that someone else can't alter them and stuff crap in there, but they come with quality wool flocking.

Auventera Two
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:55 PM
I forgot to say, I wish to rid the world of treeless saddles - saddles have trees for a reason! (actually, quite a few reasons). Anyways, each to their own.

Well that's too bad for the endurance riders and their horses who cover 100 miles in a day, isn't it? ;) Treeless may not be ideal for dressage, but they certainly have their purpose. Descending thousands of feet in altitude with a tree in the shoulder blades and withers can sure make horses sore. Thus far my rides have been no longer than about 35 miles, but my mares are loving their treeless saddles, as am I. I wish I'd discovered them years ago.

sid
Dec. 26, 2007, 04:11 PM
I certainly haven't used all of the above, but of those mentioned that I have used over the years on various horses the most disppointing in the long run was Devoucoux. They were wonderful at low levels, but as the horses progressed they started to object to bringing their back up. It seems the way the tree is shaped there's little room to bring the back up.

Additionally, the foam panels started to compress and crack after 3 years of use (admittedly a LOT of use). Devoucoux said they could not be repaired but I needed to buy completely new panels at a huge cost. For a $4+ saddle I said forget it, not if they would only last another 3 years.

My favorites have been Roosli, Spirig, Larische and Albion...and the pre-early 90's Passier. I've never known anyone happy with a Wintec or Stubben.

flshgordon
Dec. 27, 2007, 12:15 PM
Schleese......ICK ICK ICK, most uncomfortable saddles on the planet!

Maude
Dec. 28, 2007, 08:28 AM
Gotta jump in here. I love my Schleese Wave. The only saddle that fits both my horse and I after some custom work. I originally purchased it for the horse's sake. I did not like the twist. I sent it back and they narrowed it. I didn't have enough room in the seat and felt it pushed me forward. They scooped out the foam in the back of the seat so I have room for my butt and my very long thigh. I have small 1/2 thigh blocks that taper and I can put them where I want them (velcro). Most comfortable saddle I've ever had. There are unlimited options for customizing for both horse and rider. They are expensive and the service, while excellent (my experience) is also pricy. But, at this point in my life and my horse's career We're Worth It. Those that don't like the Schleese may have one that doesn't fit them properly. The techs from Schleese are very knowledeable, but you are the one who ultimately must know what you do and don't like and explain it to them.

That said, I also love a Roosli. Unfortunately, the Roosli's tree cannot be altered to fit different horses. The tree in my Schleese can be adjusted to fit my horse as she changes and can be fit to any horse I own.

Saddles that I would never buy again? Albion and a "well know custom saddler's" saddle. I won't publicly trash them. Almost ruined my poor horse's back.

Dressage Art
Dec. 28, 2007, 02:36 PM
Niedersuss - was very painful for my pubic bone. This saddle has so much bulk on the front and comes up quite high, that it hits the front of my pubic bone just the wrong way. After that saddle, I discovered that any other saddle with high and wide front seat is painful for me. If I remember correctly, there are 3 basics types of female pelvic built and some saddles compliment one built and yet they are painful for other built. So as others mentioned - you'll have to find out for yourself. One thing may be helpful is for example if somebody is painful in Niedersuss they will be painful in other saddles with similar construction and you can research what other saddles have the construction that your body doesn't like.

Dressage Art
Dec. 28, 2007, 02:41 PM
And though I hate to be a dressage snob, I really don't like synthetic saddles of any variety.I prefer real leather saddles myself, but still find it odd that horse lovers, aka animal lovers, don't like synthetic and prefer leather over it - fact: leather comes from skinning the animals.

atr
Dec. 28, 2007, 02:50 PM
I'm an animal lover and I'm not a vegetarian, either...

J-Lu
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:29 PM
Those that don't like the Schleese may have one that doesn't fit them properly. The techs from Schleese are very knowledeable, but you are the one who ultimately must know what you do and don't like and explain it to them.

In my experience, this very much depends on who your Schleese rep is. The Shleese wave is very cushy, but alot of other models aren't after even modest riding. Says my butt. :winkgrin:

WhatzUp
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:06 AM
Well that's too bad for the endurance riders and their horses who cover 100 miles in a day, isn't it? ;) Treeless may not be ideal for dressage, but they certainly have their purpose. Descending thousands of feet in altitude with a tree in the shoulder blades and withers can sure make horses sore. Thus far my rides have been no longer than about 35 miles, but my mares are loving their treeless saddles, as am I. I wish I'd discovered them years ago.

Hi,

I respectfully disagree about a saddle tree "in the shoulder blades
and withers can sure make horses sore." as this would not be the
case with a saddle that fits properly.

If what you wrote IS happening then clearly the saddle does not fit.

The same could be said for jumpers over fences, dressage horses
executing movements, schooling on the flat and the person riding in
an open field.

The key here is a proper fitting saddle. :yes:

Yours in sport,

Lynn

Sabine
Dec. 29, 2007, 03:47 AM
Schleese......ICK ICK ICK, most uncomfortable saddles on the planet!

that's what I used to think too....I had 2 and they fit me well but were hard on my boney butt.
Then I got a Custom Saddlery saddle and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Then Jochen came around and challenged me to make me a saddle that was as comfy as the custom but clearly perfectly correct for my horse (which the custom wasn't).
At first I thought that this one was not going to work either- but after 3 rides- I am now a true believer- my horse never moved better- my butt never felt better- my rides are much more effective because my aides are going through like butter and my horse is happy!!

So- I am now a Schleese believer!!!