View Full Version : County Owners: Compare TREE shapes on the WB, Competitor, Connection...old or new

Jan. 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
Does County build on the same tree (in the same year) or do they have some trees that are different shapes than others?

I am my 22 year old County WB, and my gelding goes well in it...but baby maresy morgan has started really objecting to the WB (now, she's only been u/s 3 months and she can be WITCHY, so it's possible she's just having a hormonal week, but since the ONLY change has been the switch from the Stubben to the County, I'm thinking it's a saddle objection...her language seems clear...), so I've had to switch her back to a new Stubben dressage saddle for right now (which I don't personally love) until I can get it sold. My position is EFFORTLESS in that old County...are the trees on the WB, Competitor, Connection basically the same tree if they are constructed around the same time? I'm thinking the WB must be too curvy for her?

I have called a fitter, but I like to be INFORMED on tree shapes before we talk flocking (for OBVIOUS REASONS).

Thanks all.

Jan. 21, 2011, 10:45 PM
I like the old ones better. I had an old Competitor. Love that saddle. It finally died. Looked at new ones....nice but didn't like as much. The new ones have a much deeper seat and more knee/thigh blocks. I like a closer contact feel so it was not an improvement for me.

Jan. 21, 2011, 11:08 PM
you really have to sit in them on your horse to know what will work best. I have had 3 custom made county saddles for 3 different horses and they all came out of the box fitting my horse and I perfectly....2 connections and 1 fusion. It is important to let the horse have a say in what works best for them and factor that into your decision.

With the fusion, I wanted another connection but my horse hated the connection. multiple fittings over several days going back and forth between all the models and every time we went back to the fusion, my horse moved significantly better. He is the prince and the pea with a definite opinion.

And I am just as comfortable in the connection on that horse as I am on the horse with the fusion.

I like the county's in large part that we have a wonderful county saddle fitter who comes to the barn 2-3 times a year. That service is important to me and where I live, there is no other saddle manufacture that can do that. There are other great saddles out there but I want the ability to ensure my saddles are optimal for my horses.

I have also bought a couple used county saddles when I could not buy new. Because of having a relationship with our saddle fitter, we have been able to determine what I needed and then I watch for it on ebay or other places. She knows she will be servicing the saddle. I leased a horse last year and that is how we handled it. Was not going to buy a new custom saddle for a leased horse. I've now sold that saddle to someone else in my barn.

There is absolutely no way you can buy a saddle without trying them out....sit in as many saddles on your horse that you can....then goes with what works best for the both of you.

Jan. 22, 2011, 09:35 AM
That's good info...what I love about this older W.B. is that I can feel every movement or building of tension in my two horses' backs. It's also been difficult to assess in ONE ride or even TEN how a saddle will work...I've been down the "custom saddle" route before and my difficult to fit gelding was SORELY disappointed in his back...it appeared to fit both of us, but over time, was a disaster.

I'm hoping the newer models of the County also allow that CLOSE contact feel through the seat...that's what I'm looking for...it does force my hips to move/flex a lot to accomodate back movement, but my aids are RIGHT there, which is really refreshing.

Jan. 22, 2011, 10:44 AM
I love my Connection even at the cost. I love having the saddle fitter who checks it at least one a year. Would love to own a Perfection but can't justify the cost since my Connection is so perfect.

A German clinician commented on the saddle's comfort after he got off my horse. Of course, I'm tall with long legs and he was even taller with longer legs. He was probably thrilled just having a saddle that came close to fitting him.

You need to sit and ride in the saddles. That's what the County agents are for.

Jan. 22, 2011, 11:04 AM
Another vote to sit in the different County models to figure out the best one for you and your horse. I used to have an older County Competitor. When I got my current horse, it did not fit him. I thought I wanted a Perfection or Fusion, as I had ridden in a friends saddle and was really starting to like the external thigh blocks. Met with the County rep (same one as stoneymeadow, as my fitting was at her farm. Fantastic rep) and tried lots of different models in various combinations of seat and tree sizes. Turns out my horse was in love with the Connection and I was very happy with it, as well. I couldn't afford to order a brand new one, but the rep worked with me to find a demo model that worked within my budget.

Jan. 24, 2011, 09:35 PM
I am looking into getting a used county having sat in a few now. I really like them and I have noticed that they retain their value pretty well also. I love the perfection but I have not ridden in one, I have ridden in a competitor and a connection, both are so comfortable to me.

Jan. 29, 2011, 07:59 AM
I've read the newer County trees are flatter in shape...might this make a difference?

Oct. 5, 2011, 02:54 AM
My mom surprised me by getting me a new used saddle the other day. It is a Pessoa. It is gorgeous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It was just recently re-flocked too. It fits my horse perfectly. I still have it on trial as I want to ride in it a few more times before deciding.

What are everyone’s thoughts on these saddles? The tree (http://www.gardeningclan.com/prune-apple-tree.html) brand particularly, not so much the saddle I am looking at. Thoughts on the brand please!

Thank you!!

Oct. 5, 2011, 08:51 AM
I had 3 old Countys and the saddle fitter came out and said the one that is my favorite is not putting pressure as spread as it should on my WB as it is designed for a shorter back the way it is designed - it is an old County Comp.

But it fit my 14.1 perfectly.

She also said the way they were designed - the trees are never completely straight when you turn them upside down and line everything up - but the spring tree gives it - well, SPRING.

Basically, in that saddle, I have NEVER had a horse be unhappy but she did talk me into making that the smaller horse's saddle officially and getting a bigger saddle - its a custom JRD for the WB.

I sold one of the other ones on ebay because I did not need two and the third one is a slightly larger one Ilet people use on trails as its starting to fall apart.

A client bought a NEW one recently - same saddlefitter said it was a perfect fit for her WB - its a WB tree.