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View Full Version : HDR vs M. Toulouse vs Phillipe Fontaine vs Ovation saddles



CTRL ALT DELETE
May. 4, 2009, 03:41 PM
I know I JUST had a saddle thread recently asking for saddle suggestions...BUT...
I was considering buying used off e-bay or other sites after going to my local tack store to get fitted, and I have ultimately decided that I would much rather have the opportunity to try the saddle before dropping money on it and THEN realizing it throws me out of position/is extremely uncomfortable/etc. Unfortunately there are no tack stores in my area that sell used english saddles, so now I am looking for opinions on the saddles mentioned in the title.

If you have any other suggestions for saddles $1,000-1,500 (preferably closer to $1,000), please chime in!

As a note: I have long thighs, so my knees hang over the edge of most saddles I have sat in (including my current long-flapped Crosby), or come very close.

Thanks in advance!

Hunter Mom
May. 4, 2009, 04:27 PM
The Ovations are well liked by many in this area. They are a good entry level saddle. Beval also makes at least one in the low $1000 range. I personally ride in a Collegiate Alumni (I know - gasp! Collegiate!) and really love it. I believe all of these come in various flap lengths/forwardnesses. The HDRs that I've seen usually put people into a funky seat - not really impressed with them.

Rebels_Princess
May. 4, 2009, 07:58 PM
I just got a M Toulouse Annice double leather. So far I have been really happy with it. It took oil really nicely.

trv_at_tacf
May. 4, 2009, 09:09 PM
I have had the M Toulouse Padjette Double Leather for a few months now and i absolutely love it. Its very similar to the Annice that the previous poster has. It took ALOT of oil, and could still take more. Its a great saddle for the money, i didnt really want a new saddle but i needed to get rid of my medium tree and buy a wide one, so didnt have alot to spend. But like i said, i absolutely love mine!

Good luck!

CTRL ALT DELETE
May. 5, 2009, 12:44 AM
Thanks all...
Now how about these saddles and jeans though? I ride anywhere from 2-5 days a week, sometimes multiple horses a day and I very rarely if ever don an actual pair of riding pants. Usually I'm wearing jeans and half chaps...think the leather will stand up to that?

Little Indian
May. 5, 2009, 01:13 AM
From what I have personally seen from working in the tack store (and my personal preference) I would say go for the Phillipe Fontaine. The leather is a little bit stronger than the M Toulouse, and personally, for me, the Toulouse has way too wide of a twist. Both the PF and the Toulouse have soft leather seats, whereas from what I have seen the HDR and Ovations don't. So if you're not planning on riding in breeches, the the PF and the Toulouse might actually not be a good idea as the seat will wear faster.

Spud&Saf
May. 5, 2009, 09:13 AM
I recently picked up a used HDR. It was a good price and I needed something to ride in after selling my Bates.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the saddle. I actually think the leather on the HDR looks and feels better than my old Bates. However, it is an older model HDR, so the leather it is not "plasticy" like the new ones.

I am long from hip to knee but average from knee to calf, I don't know what model it is but the flap is just forward enough and not too long.

I find it puts me in a much better position than the Bates, which seemed to push my leg too far back.

It's a medium/wide tree and it seems to fit a lot of horses.

Will it be my forever saddle? No, but I will probably hang on to it, even when I decide to get something higher end.

CTRL ALT DELETE
May. 5, 2009, 11:37 AM
Thanks again all
I'll be heading to the tack store to be fitted today...due to the rain I won't be able to ride, so the tack store it is!!
If anyone else has any comments on these saddles please chime in!

fancyfooted
May. 5, 2009, 11:57 AM
I have the M. Toulouse Brione, a style they don't make anymore, and I love it! I've put a hurting on it since I bought it 3 years ago and it's held up really well =) Heck, I will admit that I hardly EVER clean it too and it still looks great! It darkened to that beautiful cordovan brown, like Edgewood leather does. Plus it's super comfortable!

I have a long thigh as well, and while my saddle doesn't have a very forward flap, my knee doesn't go over unless I've hiked up the stirrups to ride a pony. However, their new styles are made with a more forward flap.

Good luck!

rabicon
May. 5, 2009, 12:05 PM
I've tried the M. toulouses. Some fit and some do not put my leg under myself so my knees come off the blocks. They are very comfy and nice saddles though. ;) for the price. I tried the ovation quarter horse saddle and the jumping saddle and neither fit my leg. My knee came off the blocks. I have long legs and am 5'7 1/2. I'm not a big fan of HDRs. I've never tried the Phillipe Fontaine, though I did look at them. If there is anyway to try a courbette magic or close contact saddle I really recommend trying one. If you go online a lot of online tack stores will let you try them.

http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=VTO&Product_Code=CMS&Category_Code=SDL

http://www.sunrisetack.com/p-327-courbette-close-contact-magic-saddle.aspx

The close contact doesn't have as deep of a seat if you like that better.

nlk
May. 7, 2009, 08:49 PM
So I just went and sat in saddles today. I tried a few M. Toulouse saddles and an Ovation and also had a client whose horse went in an HDR.

The Ovation literally made my hips cramp! :no: I think the pommel was to forward, if that makes since.

I do not like HDR's I agree with who ever said they put people in funky seats, it's like riding on ply wood (and I liked my flat no blocks collegiate)

I liked the M. Toulouse. I tried two and brought one home to try on my horse. One had a narrower seat and Puffy knee rolls. I liked it but not as much as the Annice. It has a wider seat and flatter knee rolls

CTRL ALT DELETE
May. 8, 2009, 03:06 AM
I went to my local Dover to try saddles and of course NONE of these four fit me. Sigh.
I ended up trying a Pessoa GenX, a Stubben Roxanne, Circuit XC and and a Circuit pro. The GenX was out of my price range and wouldn't have held my knee if I had stirrups on, Roxanne was just not comfortable for me, the XC fit me very, very well, and the Circuit my knees came off the flap.
In ALL but the XC I had to go up at least a seat size...not for my butt, but for my leg! The XC I only had to go up to a 17.5, and that fit me best. I'm probably going to take it on trial next week, and if it gets the green light from my trainer and I feel comfortable in it then its a go.

Dramapony_misty
May. 8, 2009, 04:32 PM
I have an OV Competition Show jumper that I absolutely love. I've had it for every a year and jump, flat (dressage mostly), and even trail ride in that saddle...mostly in jeans and seems to be wearing like iron. The flaps where the leathers are show more wear than the seat!

I don't find the seat hard at all, but maybe that's because my last saddle had a pretty hard seat. If that's a concern, their new line "Evolution" has a significantly more padded seat and seems to be a little more flap than the Comp S/J.

I tried the Toulouses saddles and just couldn't find my balance in them...and the test ride I had (can't remember which one now) squeaked like crazy. Maybe oil would have fixed that but it turned me right off. Pony didn't like that sound much either.

HDRs remind me of Barbie saddles anymore...PLASTIC looking and all. :no:

No experience with the PF saddles...never even heard of them until this year.

Pirateer
May. 8, 2009, 04:40 PM
Also suggest trying the BdH, right now on closeout through Dover :)

fancyfooted
May. 8, 2009, 04:42 PM
I went to my local Dover to try saddles and of course NONE of these four fit me. Sigh.
I ended up trying a Pessoa GenX, a Stubben Roxanne, Circuit XC and and a Circuit pro. The GenX was out of my price range and wouldn't have held my knee if I had stirrups on, Roxanne was just not comfortable for me, the XC fit me very, very well, and the Circuit my knees came off the flap.
In ALL but the XC I had to go up at least a seat size...not for my butt, but for my leg! The XC I only had to go up to a 17.5, and that fit me best. I'm probably going to take it on trial next week, and if it gets the green light from my trainer and I feel comfortable in it then its a go.

Good luck! You may also look into a used County if you can find it. Great for tall, long legged riders :)

PROTACKGUY
May. 9, 2009, 07:42 AM
If I was in the market for one of the three it would definetly be the Ovation. But just my opinion.

Schune
May. 9, 2009, 01:25 PM
I have an OV Competition Show jumper that I absolutely love. I've had it for every a year and jump, flat (dressage mostly), and even trail ride in that saddle...mostly in jeans and seems to be wearing like iron. The flaps where the leathers are show more wear than the seat!

I don't find the seat hard at all, but maybe that's because my last saddle had a pretty hard seat. If that's a concern, their new line "Evolution" has a significantly more padded seat and seems to be a little more flap than the Comp S/J.

I tried the Toulouses saddles and just couldn't find my balance in them...and the test ride I had (can't remember which one now) squeaked like crazy. Maybe oil would have fixed that but it turned me right off. Pony didn't like that sound much either.

HDRs remind me of Barbie saddles anymore...PLASTIC looking and all. :no:

No experience with the PF saddles...never even heard of them until this year.

Ditto.

I've had my Ovation competition showjumper for a while now, and it really is a very nice saddle for the price range. It's fit a wide variety of horses, which is important since I do my school's IHSA team and I ride a different horse every week.

I'm actually really sad because I have to get a new saddle - my Ovation is a 17" but I now need a 16.5" and I've decided to save up for an Antares.

But I always give Ovations two thumbs-up.