View Full Version : Saddle Search Dilemma- another one

Jan. 7, 2010, 08:11 PM
So I was pretty gung ho to buy the new County Innovation (LOVED IT) but now im having second thoughts on spending over $4000 on a saddle when I feel like I haven't tried enough saddles, what saddles do you guys love??

I loved the secure feeling of the innovation, put my leg in a very correct position and i loved the seat. And it fit my mare nicely... I like the idea of wool flocking because I feel like its easier to adjust the saddle to a new horse/keep up maintenance over time. Any thoughts?

Jan. 7, 2010, 08:36 PM
I have a butet and an hermes essentielle, i wouldn't trade either of them for the world.

Jan. 8, 2010, 12:27 AM
Try Stubbens! Fabulous saddles. Spend half... Think of all the other things that you could get yourself with the rest of the money!

Can't hurt to try.

Jan. 8, 2010, 08:25 AM
You might like a Black County Quantum well enough-- for much less money. The seat will feel a little more open than the Innovation. Trumbull Mountain can send you one to ride in.

Jeffries also makes a CC saddle that may have what you want-- wool flocking, nice quality for the price. I found the balance point of the seat too far back and/or the flaps too forward for my taste. But if you are of the long-thighed variety or want that kind of jumpery position, this saddle might please you.

In the used world, you might try a DelGrange and get what you want for a reasonable price. This saddle will be flocked with foam but many people like them. Besides really old stubbens, these were the "french buckets" that started it all. IMO, the Innovation was County's answer to the DelGrange's geometry.

Jan. 8, 2010, 10:57 AM
If you're having doubts, don't buy anything yet, just keep trying more and more saddles until you are sure which one is the best fit for you and your horse.

I have a CWD which I love (they offer wool flocking as an option), I think the leather quality is superior to County, I also love Butets. Antares makes a great product too. If you try enough you'll eventually know which one is the one for you.

Jan. 8, 2010, 12:33 PM
And to confuse you further....

I had a County Innovation (for my shark finned DWB) and it fit him and me fine for about 4 months. But then all things went south. It needed some extra flocking (was hitting his withers) and after that the saddle was never right. The rep came out like 8 times and the saddle got worse and worse. Never ended up fitting right. I got a Stablizer shortly thereafter. Ugh, hated that. I am not a County fan I guess.

I ended up getting a custom Amerigo CC and I love it. My horse is a tough fit (18 h, high withers, large shoulder, flat narrow back, uphill) and it fits him beautifully and me as well. I have had it about 6 months now and haven't had one issue. I feel secure and it puts my leg in a good spot. I love it!

Skip's Rider
Jan. 8, 2010, 01:29 PM
If you're going to spend that much on a saddle, make sure it is the one YOU want. You'll find all kinds of opinions on here about wool vs. foam, this brand has nicer leather, this one fell apart after a year.... Saddle likes and dislikes are really a matter of personal taste. I have ridden in County, Butet, Bevel, Crosby, Collegiate. By far I prefer the County Innovation. Next is the County Stabilizer, and then the Butet. My previous horse absolutely HATED the Butet. So, since you're feeling like you should try more saddles, you should. It's better than second guessing yourself after you make the purchase. Choose what will work best for you and your horse. FWIW, my daughter doesn't like my Stabilizer. She prefers her Collegiate that has a plain flap. Just because it isn't my choice doesn't make it wrong (unless, of course, it is hurting the horse).

Jan. 8, 2010, 05:29 PM
I agree with the poster that is telling you that maybe you shouldn't buy anything right now. In this economy, 4 grand is a lot (a lot!) of cash to spend on a purchase you are having second thoughts about.

In my opinion, there are a lot (a lot!) of nice saddle brands out there. Keep looking.

Jan. 8, 2010, 08:07 PM
Keep looking and also you might want to consider used. There are some Innovations out there that are used for a lot less money. Maybe your County rep can tell you if he/she knows of any used that are the configuration you need or look on web sites that have used saddles and try some of those - be sure there is a return option available if it does not fit you or your horse.

I love my Stabilizer but have never tried the Innovation - guess I should ask the lady at the barn who has one if I can sit in it someday on her horse as her horse and mine are completely different builds.

Jan. 10, 2010, 11:15 PM
I've been hearing great things about Black Country saddles, especially if you are someone who likes the fit of county's, does anyone have one/had any experience with these saddles? They seem reasonably priced!

Jan. 11, 2010, 02:15 AM
People have already recommended the Black Country saddles, which I like, but noone has yet mentioned the Albions, which I LOVE.


Jan. 11, 2010, 09:34 AM

Affordable, comfortable, nice grippy leather once oiled/conditioned. You will need to oil the grain leather quite a bit to break it in but once you do it is very soft and grippy.
I found mine used on Ebay for 800.00. Fits a wide range of horses, especially those harder to fit horses with a wither and big shoulder. My TBX is hard to fit, as was my friends WBX because of a high wither and big shoulder/barrel. the BdH fit both of them fantastic.
Certainly alot more affordable than 4k and I think Dover has new one's on clearance now for around 1k.

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:36 AM
I've been hearing great things about Black Country saddles, especially if you are someone who likes the fit of county's, does anyone have one/had any experience with these saddles? They seem reasonably priced!

I have one (the quantum) and love it - great quality and worth the $$ to have saddle that I know fits my horse (and me!) perfectly. I chose the leather, longer flap length, it was made to the back tracing my saddle fitter took - cost $2400 after tax and everything. I'm glad I went ahead and spent the extra money on it. I was having trouble finding a saddle both my horse and I liked - he's wide with no withers, and I needed something with a bit more forward flap - it was such a pain trying saddles - this was so much easier! It was probably especially easy for me since my saddle fitter sells Black Country and did everything for me.

PS- I've ridden in LookinSouth's bdh and like that too!

Jan. 11, 2010, 09:29 PM
Black Country saddles are very high quality, well made saddles. They have several different tree types, leathers etc to choose from so you can get semi-custom for MUCH less that a lot of the others out there.

I tried the Quantum, and the Wexford. I decided if I were going to be jumping the moon, the Quantum would be perfect, but I don't jump higher than 2 feet, so went with the Wexford so I could do lots of flat work, but have the option of jumping/hunter pacing etc.

Try them - I think you'll like them. Trumbull mountain is the go-to place for info about all the options available. Customer service is excellent, and they are knowledgeable enough to answer whatever questions you may have.

Good luck!

Jan. 12, 2010, 11:58 AM
Unless your horse is crazy hard to fit, or you have proportions that require a custom, I'd pick up a used County.

We have 11 County saddles for 13 horses at my barn. They are a favorite.

All but two were purchased used and re-flocked to fit without any problem.

All saddles are a 2003 or newer. Purchase prices ranged from $1100 to $1850. The saddles were all in good shape.

Jan. 12, 2010, 12:02 PM
I've ridden in most of the high end brands (County, Antares, Devoucoux, Delgrange, Butet, CWD, Tad Coffin) and so far my Antares has been the most comfortable for me and has fit the widest variety of horses.

Jan. 12, 2010, 01:07 PM
Honestly? I think there are a LOT of nice saddle brands out there.

Are they the ones that are being currently "hyped"? No. Are the ones being currently "hyped" better saddles? No. JMHO!

It's just marketing.

Go with your gut on saddle choice. Lord, if you are spending THOUSANDS on a saddle... don't do it because it is the one currently "hyped" unless you can afford to flush thousands down the drain. Can you afford to flush thousands down the drain on re-sale if your expensive saddle falls out of favor?

Go with your gut.