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JackSprats Mom
Mar. 22, 2010, 10:22 PM
Seeing quite a lot of these at good prices, anyone know anything about them?

The good the bad and the ugly?

Ride On
Mar. 22, 2010, 10:33 PM
I have a Black Country Minuet and love it.

easyrider
Mar. 22, 2010, 10:34 PM
I like them. They're well made and have some innovative features available (serge panels). Monoflap is available. I loved the hunt saddle I rode in years ago, which unfortunately didn't fit my horse, and have ridden in one of their dressage saddles which I also liked.

mjmvet
Mar. 22, 2010, 11:19 PM
They're truly beautiful. And super comfy. And really well made. You should take a look at Trumbull mountain's website for ideas on all the features the different models offer. They'll make a saddle with components from any of the models you like. Someday, I want to save up for a monoflap...

islgrl
Mar. 23, 2010, 06:45 AM
Oh - I'm glad this thread came up, I've been thinking about buying one of these with the serge panels and wondered what people thought about them. Particularly if there have been any problems with the serge, but also are they a nice saddle in general?

petit fromage
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:06 AM
My horse is a big mover with a broad, flat back. Bought a serge-paneled Black Country about a year and half ago. It is fantastic!

cmdrcltr
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:21 AM
I had an older Black Country Eden that I absolutely loved. It killed me to have to sell it because it didn't fit my new horse, especially since I had gotten it for such a good deal. Now I can't even afford a used one, but if I could I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

hopper20
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:30 AM
And if you happen to have a narrow, bony-backed Thoroughbred, the Black Country Eden with dropped panels and wither gussets fits like a glove. It's pretty comfortable for me too, and the standard "printed vintage" leather on the saddle is wearing well.

Maude
Mar. 23, 2010, 07:48 AM
I had a mono flap Vinici with the wither gusset and wool serge panel. Most comfy saddle I've ever sat in, but the flap and thigh roll were in the wrong place and knee block was too large/wrong place for my long thigh. Once the saddle is opened up, the workmanship is not up to par with say a Passier or Schleese. If you only ride 1 or 2 horses they are great, but I wonder if they would hold up for a professional who rides mant horses daily. I did love my BC and would have another in a different model more suited to my long femur.

tollertwins
Mar. 23, 2010, 08:47 AM
My pony is in a Wide hoop tree - and is almost an x-wide.

At that size - the twist starts getting kinda wide, but I understand not as much as the Duett's.

Jeito
Mar. 23, 2010, 10:38 AM
I LOVE my Black Country. The only down side is finding a good fitter in the area. . .but I think that may be true about any saddle. . .e.g., I've heard everything from "I love my Schleese" (or County or Custom Saddlery) to "it was a disaster."

Ginger
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:27 PM
I have a BC Eden with serge panels. Bought it from Trumbull Mtn. I can't say enough good things about it. Super comfortable for both of us. My pony's back was impossible to fit with off-the-rack. I sent them a template and they got it right.

The serge panels mold much better to the back and are cooler than leather. Also with serge, you will never have to worry about slipping saddle pads again.

buck22
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:35 PM
I have an xw BC eloquence which I adore, and had a w gpd which I liked very much but didn't fit my horse well. Neither was serge though, I'd like to try serge panels if given the opportunity. I'm curious if hair sticks to serge panels?

I've found both of mine to be lovely to ride and well made. I prefer a wide twist generally and am not bothered by the twist of mine. I'd recommend BC to anyone, they are thoughtful in design and custom options seem near limitless.

islgrl
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:40 PM
The serge panels mold much better to the back and are cooler than leather. Also with serge, you will never have to worry about slipping saddle pads again.

Do you not use a saddle pad? How do you keep it clean?

Ginger
Mar. 23, 2010, 12:46 PM
Sorry, I wasn't very clear, was I. I always use a saddle pad, but because serge is wool, it "sticks" to the fabric of the saddle pad so well you don't need those billet straps. The pad never slips back. The serge is like velcro.

supaflyskye
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:21 PM
I can't personally speak on Black Country's dressage models, but in general I find them to be a wonderful company.
I have a Vinici Jump saddle that I absolutely adore.

islgrl
Mar. 23, 2010, 02:47 PM
Sorry, I wasn't very clear, was I. I always use a saddle pad, but because serge is wool, it "sticks" to the fabric of the saddle pad so well you don't need those billet straps. The pad never slips back. The serge is like velcro.

Ah - that makes more sense... :D

staceyk
Mar. 23, 2010, 03:26 PM
As a former hunter rider I have never been that comfortable in the super-confining dressage saddle types. The BC is comfortable but fairly neutral in terms of how you sit. I find it helpful in battling my chair seat problem -- it's up to me to fix it, but the saddle doesn't make it harder. I am surprised this saddle is not more well known in the dressage community.

Ginger
Mar. 23, 2010, 09:15 PM
I'm also surprised they aren't more well known. I am glad that others find them as comfortable as I do. No, they are not Passiers. But I also have a Passier Optimum, and while that saddle is extremely well made, guess which saddle I'd rather ride in? :winkgrin:

jn4jenny
Mar. 24, 2010, 09:15 AM
I'm also surprised they aren't more well known.

I'm not. It's part of their marketing model: rather than charging $4000 to pay for an elaborate system of barn-visiting reps and hundreds of demo saddles and visits to the big fancy show circuits, Black Country only distributes through a few saddleries in the US. Low advertising = low brand recognition. They are REALLY popular over in eventing land, where word of mouth has spread the brand name quickly and easily.

As for the innards of a Black Country, I had nothing but compliments from the one fitter (who overflocked mine) and the custom saddle builder (who looked at mine when I had them out on demo because he'd never seen one and was curious).

A very fine product at a very, very good price. And I say this as someone who sold her BC years ago to buy an Amerigo--I'm still a BC fan for anyone who wants great tack in the $2500-$3000 price range.

SLNELSON25
Mar. 24, 2010, 08:47 PM
I recently bought a BC equinox through Trumbull mtn after trying everything under the sun to fit my wide draft cross. I love it more with each ride. It is an AP with a definite dressage leaning. It suits us both, and I find it comfy and secure, and when I want to pop over a little fence I can also get out of the seat!

I liked the saddle and the Trumbull Mtn experience so much that I got one for my other ride (who had no hope of fitting into the XW, lol).

Oh, and I like the serge, as it also lowers the weight of the saddle, and no, I haven't experienced it getting dirty or hair sticking in it!

All good stuff here...

staceyk
Mar. 25, 2010, 08:34 AM
I'm not sure that being unknown is exactly a marketing strategy -- at least not a good one. I can certainly understand why a small company might not want to spend the $$, esp. if they can't handle the growth.

In the dressage community I get blank looks when people ask about my saddle, and in this part of the country County is very popular. I think they assume it's a County knockoff, which pains me.

I found out about the BC through this board, it was suggested as a good saddle for tall, long-legged people. Trumbull is super to work with, or I probably would not have gone to the effort to test a saddle via mail.

COTH to the rescue again!

Haf N Haf
Mar. 25, 2010, 11:13 AM
I am so glad to see this thread. I expect Trumbull Mtn. to receive my Black Country from across the pond any day now. Which means it'll be in my hands by next week (hopefully!).

After spending $5200 on a custom and losing $1200 of that by returning it, I was desperate to find something that was comfortable for me and fit my boy. The BCS Wexford did it. I wasn't necessarily looking for a jump saddle, just whatever fit my boy that would be good for trails, some basic dressage and if we can jump again, some small jumps.

Thanks to some word of mouth I found a BCS experienced fitter 3 hours from me and she helped me determine this is the one. I wish I had investigated the serge panels more, but I just didn't even think about it!

mvp
Mar. 25, 2010, 11:44 AM
I'm not sure that being unknown is exactly a marketing strategy -- at least not a good one. I can certainly understand why a small company might not want to spend the $$, esp. if they can't handle the growth.

In the dressage community I get blank looks when people ask about my saddle, and in this part of the country County is very popular. I think they assume it's a County knockoff, which pains me.

I found out about the BC through this board, it was suggested as a good saddle for tall, long-legged people. Trumbull is super to work with, or I probably would not have gone to the effort to test a saddle via mail.

COTH to the rescue again!

Wow! I'm the opposite! When I see Butet chatting up Kris Kappler or GM, I realize their doing that on my nickel should I choose to buy. I think those guys have more money and better access to saddles than do I, your average working stiff. I'd like to buy myself a saddle before I help these BNTs out with theirs.

Ames
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:07 PM
for those with long legs - you can get the thigh/knee blocks moved/shaped to fit you when you order them. I had mine ordered with the knee blocks moved forward 1/2 inch so I could not be jammed into the saddle - HUGE difference in fit and no extra charge :)