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View Full Version : At what point do you attach your nameplate to a brand new saddle?



Across Sicily
Jul. 30, 2009, 08:58 PM
Well... nameplate, condition the thing, etc.

I have a new custom County that's supposed to appear either today or tomorrow and I am *terrified* it's not going to fit my horse or he won't like it or I won't like it, or SOMETHING. I know County has a policy about returns... so...

At what point, when you've gotten a new saddle, have you felt it was going to work out well enough to put your nameplate on, condition it, and really USE it? Or do you just ignore that and re-sell it on eBay if necessary?

klmck63
Jul. 30, 2009, 09:10 PM
I have bought saddles a grand total of two times, but first I had the saddle fit by a professional saddle fitter. Once I had the go ahead that the saddle fit I rode in it to make sure it was comfortable and that I liked it. I had one lesson in it to make sure my coach approved. Then I went ahead and oiled it and conditioned it and once it was all nice and dry etc. I put the nameplate on.

Hope your new saddle works out!!

MILOUTE55
Jul. 30, 2009, 09:17 PM
you should NOT ride in a saddle before conditioning it, ever.
The leather might not evenly "absorb" the conditioner afterwards. Most of the time this is how sweat marks appear on saddle panels too.
I'm sure they'll send some instructions on how to condition your saddle before the first ride; Or maybe they'll even have conditioned it for you at the factory!

Donkey
Jul. 30, 2009, 09:20 PM
In the next couple of weeks I plan on putting in an order with County. I was told that County guarantees the fit for the horse but not the rider so I am mostly worried about me loving the saddle.

When I get my saddle I plan to hire an independent saddle fitter (that I've worked with before) to come out and evaluate the fit before I call the County rep to come out and make adjustments. This will cost $100 which is peanuts compared to the saddle cost. I just met someone who 4 months after her purchase (of a county), realized that her saddle no longer fits her horse very well and now she's questioning if it fit well in the first place.

Don't quote me, read the fine print yourself, but I think County has a return policy where you can return it within 15 days if it is in like new condition. I'll be wrapping my leathers for the first two weeks and doing no oiling until I am sure. It's a big risk ordering a custom saddle with a limited return/satisfaction policy. Hopefully if you or I have a problem they will do their best to fix it but I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling when I asked my local rep about it (ie. what if I don't like it? Their answer - too bad)

horsepoor
Jul. 30, 2009, 09:45 PM
County should have had you sign a warranty agreement of some sort that detailed under what circumstances you can return the saddle. I seem to recall it is a very short period where you have to let them know there is a problem, and it might only be if they made the thing wrong or something. If I can locate mine (bought the saddle a year ago so it is filed somewhere), I'll see what it says. I do know I had to sign it and fax a copy back when I placed the order, so you should have done so as well.

So I guess my thought is that as soon as that period passes, put a plate on the saddle and call it yours!

klmck63
Jul. 30, 2009, 09:56 PM
you should NOT ride in a saddle before conditioning it, ever.
The leather might not evenly "absorb" the conditioner afterwards. Most of the time this is how sweat marks appear on saddle panels too.
I'm sure they'll send some instructions on how to condition your saddle before the first ride; Or maybe they'll even have conditioned it for you at the factory!

It is just too much money for me NOT to try it out to make sure I like it before I do something to it that makes me unable to return it.

What if I condition it and then get on for the first ride and just hate the thing? Then you're out a substantial chunk of money. Even if you do sell it second hand, once it leaves the store (particularly after being oiled or conditioned) you can't sell it for the same price as a new saddle. Plus, sometimes sitting on the fake horse in the store and sitting on your horse with the saddle are different things.

Either way, I have had no problems with my saddle conditioning and oiling evenly :)

PNWjumper
Jul. 30, 2009, 11:08 PM
I bought one of the County reps Innovation saddles that had been used as a fitting saddle. It had been ridden in maybe 10 times prior to my purchase and I rode in it for almost a month before oiling it or putting a nameplate on it (partly because I lost one of the saddle plate nails the first time I tried to put it on). It oiled up beautifully, as have all of my other saddles (which all came brand new and were ridden in for at least a couple of weeks before oiling).

Across Sicily
Jul. 31, 2009, 02:01 AM
Thanks PNWJumper - that makes me feel a looooot better.

I'd love to get the breaking in process going sooner rather than later since I'd like to show in it in early Sept, but not if the trade-off is a saddle that doesn't work.

PNWjumper
Jul. 31, 2009, 02:58 AM
I think the County saddles come basically ready-to-go. I never felt like I had to "break in" any of mine. My newest Innovation was brand-new-out-of-the-box looking when I got it but felt like a completely broken in saddle. It looks prettier now that I've oiled it and been riding in it for a month, but it doesn't feel any different. I used it at a Greg Best clinic as a demo and LOVED it (which is what prompted me to buy it)....and at that point it looked like it hadn't ever been ridden in. I then showed in it a couple of weeks ago at a show a little over a week after getting it. I did get a lot of people asking me about my new saddle (apparently it was obvious enough that my un-oiled saddle was new :lol:), but I loved loved loved it at the show on my horse that tries to jump me out of the tack over every fence. If it makes you feel better about the break in time, here's my brand new saddle at it's first show (they're not the greatest pictures of the saddle, but you can see that it's not "ridiculous" looking):
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2307673330094686761usCoCn
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2237627730094686761CoKQVw

My Stabilizer had the same "no break in period" straight out of the box when I got it many years ago.

So I think you'll be safe to ride in it for a week or two (seems like the paperwork says 2 weeks if I'm remembering it correctly), have your saddle fitter out, and then oil it and add your name plate at that point.

Enjoy your new saddle :)

Pirateer
Jul. 31, 2009, 01:44 PM
I purchased a nameplate from Dover in about 2000, about the time I got my first saddle. I've gone through 3 saddles since then- nameplate is still in the bag. New saddle has holes predrilled though, so maybe that will convince me to finally put it on!

Across Sicily
Jul. 31, 2009, 06:20 PM
Excellent to hear PNWJumper - you're really put my mind at ease! Now if the darn thing would just show up...

MILOUTE55
Jul. 31, 2009, 06:47 PM
It is just too much money for me NOT to try it out to make sure I like it before I do something to it that makes me unable to return it.

What if I condition it and then get on for the first ride and just hate the thing? Then you're out a substantial chunk of money. Even if you do sell it second hand, once it leaves the store (particularly after being oiled or conditioned) you can't sell it for the same price as a new saddle. Plus, sometimes sitting on the fake horse in the store and sitting on your horse with the saddle are different things.

Either way, I have had no problems with my saddle conditioning and oiling evenly :)

Conditioning it should not make it non-returnable.
I'm just saying, from experience, that is is always a bad idea to ride in a saddle that has not been conditioned. It is better to return/sell a saddle that has been conditioned than a saddle that shows ugly marks because it was ridden in before being conditioned and the first thing the leather had to absorb was sweat instead of conditioner! Those marks are impossible to remove....

Trust me, this is my job... I'm surrounded by 80+ high end saddles right now :yes:

Now, it is highly possible that your saddle will be oiled from the factory, then you don't really have to worry about conditioning it right away. You will see immediately from the color if it's been oiled or not.

Amandine

DancingQueen
Aug. 1, 2009, 02:54 AM
I would not personally put a name plate on a new saddle unless I had to share a tack room with 40 other people who all had the same saddle. Even so I'd probably figure out a different way to easily spot mine.

I guess if you know you'll own the saddle for the rest of your life, why not? But in case you think you might want to sell it in a few years, leave it be.

Lost In Space
Aug. 1, 2009, 11:18 AM
I have always put name plates on as soon as I get the saddle. If you're in a barn with more than 3 riders and 1 other has a County you need the plate. If you do any showing at all please put a name plate on it. It amazes me that anyone would not put a name plate on for identity purposes. I have seen saddles sitting at the rings with no name plates (during a jog) that can easily be picked up and walked off with. Even if you go to sell the saddle later on the nail holes from the plate will not reduce the price! I can't even tell you the number of saddles I've sold that the new rider keeps the old plate on them, they can still identify them that way.