PDA

View Full Version : KN saddles question (update post 14: looking at Frank Baines now)



quietann
May. 27, 2011, 12:57 PM
Just wondering... I had a chance to ride in a KN Symphonie and I loved it -- it's very open, has minimal blocks, and I felt nicely balanced. However, the back of the panels barely touched my horse's back when I put just the saddle on (no pads). Have a second KN Symphonie on trial and while the panels are better, it seems to have the same issue. Horse in question is a Morgan, MW tree in almost everything, has good withers and is fairly flat (front to back)and broad (side to side) and long in the back, especially for a Morgan.

Since I suspect the problem with the Symphonie is the tree, do all the KN saddles have the same tree shape? Is it worth trying any other KNs?

(The saddle that fits the horse is a Frank Baines Reflex, which is a bit more pricey and has a very high cantle, which I don't like. Any ideas about FB saddles would be appreciated, too. I already know the Elegance does not fit either of us.)

atr
May. 27, 2011, 04:44 PM
Different philosophy of saddle fitting--in the view of KN, this upswept panel frees up the horse's back so the muscles can move more freely than they can in a broader flatter panel with more surface area connection.

The other viewpoint is that this type of panel is that it concentrates pressure too much in a smaller area than the gusseted type of panel on say a Trilogy or an Albion--don't know the shape of the Reflex off the top of my head.

You pays you money, you takes your choice...

easyrider
May. 27, 2011, 10:30 PM
How did your horse go in it? Did the saddle rock from pommel to cantle?

quietann
May. 27, 2011, 10:54 PM
How did your horse go in it? Did the saddle rock from pommel to cantle?

My horse seemed OK with it (the first one) but the back of the panels was just weird -- the panels were quite stuffed but came to a ridge, so there was very little surface area touching her back. The second one will probably rock but I have not tried it yet.

quietann
May. 27, 2011, 10:58 PM
Different philosophy of saddle fitting--in the view of KN, this upswept panel frees up the horse's back so the muscles can move more freely than they can in a broader flatter panel with more surface area connection.

The other viewpoint is that this type of panel is that it concentrates pressure too much in a smaller area than the gusseted type of panel on say a Trilogy or an Albion--don't know the shape of the Reflex off the top of my head.


Hm, interesting. I have an Albion Style for her now, but the seat is too small and the flaps are too long for me, and the MW tree is just a tiny bit too wide in front for her. It has gusseted panels. When it fit both of us, it was absolutely the most comfortable saddle I'd ever been in; I trail rode in it and stayed comfy no matter what. Other people who used the saddle always said how comfortable it was.

The FB Reflex has a similar panel design but is a monoflap. I suspect we'll both be happier with gusseted panels but most such saddles are the super-deep-seat hold you in type. At least the Reflex has velcro knee blocks so I could downsize them a bit...

kinnip
May. 27, 2011, 11:04 PM
I love my KN Symphonie, and it does have gussets, so no rocking.

Maude
May. 28, 2011, 08:57 AM
I had 2 KNs on trial. The wide tree fit my horse, the extra wide did not. The workmanship was nice for the price of the saddle. However...The gullet on the wide was 2 fingers wide and the panels were very overstuffed on both saddles. Their quality control leaves much to be desired IMHO. Were I to do it again, I would have the saddles hand picked by the dealer and the gullet measured. Any off the rack saddle should be fit to the horse by an experienced fitter (again IMHO), but a 2" gullet on a wide saddle? Poor quality control. That said, the KNs I sat in (new ones) did not seem to have a nice flat spot to sit in which the older ones do. So, $250.00+ in shipping charges later...I found a lovely used Albion AP saddle to ride in for now. It fits so well that I will be looking for an Albion dressage saddle when my 4 year old is more mature.

KarenC
May. 28, 2011, 09:11 AM
I have no idea if that is typical, but I had the same - actually more extreme - experience. Tried a used one, LOVED it for me, but the panels were not making any contact at the back.

easyrider
May. 28, 2011, 09:23 AM
If the saddle didn't rock, that's good (saddles with gussets can rock too). I found that my horse went substantially better in the KN than any other saddle I tried (albeit it is an older one), which is why I asked you how your horse went.

Because of the trend towards more saddle rather than less, we're all now very used to seeing a lot of saddle -- from blocks to a lot of panel contact, etc., etc. The Symphonie is an old-fashioned dressage saddle, with much more minimal panel contact (even with the gussets) and support for the rider.

I wouldn't reject a saddle just because it looks odd to you. Have someone watch you while you ride to see how the saddle is sitting on your horse's back during movement and if there's anything he's responding to negatively.

Check the fit (cantle/pommel high, pencil in low point of seat, etc.). Put your hand under the panels and check for bridging with the saddle ungirthed and girthed. Look at a white saddle pad after you ride and see whether you can see any bridging there. You might have to reflock the saddle to fit your horse.

quietann
May. 28, 2011, 11:43 AM
OK, tried the KN this morning. *I* love it; it actually feels more secure than a "hold you in" kind of saddle; I found it easier to sit the trot than I do in many other saddles (but not sitting trot much these days anyway.) And in our usual padding -- regular pad plus a fleece half pad -- it sat very nicely on the mare. I need a couple more rides to know for sure, and there's a chiro/saddle fitter coming to the barn this week, so I'll get his opinion, too.

TickleFight
May. 28, 2011, 05:29 PM
Good for you for choosing a saddle with minimal accoutrements. I ride in a Stubben Tristan Special and it is a similar design... no thigh rolls etc. You will develop a very independent and balanced seat in this type of saddle, and your horse will thank you for it.

TBrescue
May. 30, 2011, 10:55 PM
OK, tried the KN this morning. *I* love it; it actually feels more secure than a "hold you in" kind of saddle; I found it easier to sit the trot than I do in many other saddles (but not sitting trot much these days anyway.) And in our usual padding -- regular pad plus a fleece half pad -- it sat very nicely on the mare. I need a couple more rides to know for sure, and there's a chiro/saddle fitter coming to the barn this week, so I'll get his opinion, too.

I have one and LOVE it and so does my OTTB!!! I think having a saddle fitter look at it is a good idea, but you can get an idea of how well it fits by looking at the dust pattern on your saddle pad and the sweat pattern on your horse.

Hampton Bay
May. 30, 2011, 11:02 PM
You might look at the Fairfax saddles. They are more minimal, come in a couple different styles for the build of the horse, and the panels make better contact in the back. I've known a couple people who have raved about them. They are the leather version of the Thorowgood saddles.

quietann
Jun. 2, 2011, 04:31 PM
OK, I had to say no to the Symphonie. I love it but it just was not stable on my horse. She wasn't complaining, but I don't want to spring for something that might cause trouble later on.

So, we are back to Frank Baines, because their MW tree fits her pretty much perfectly. The chiro was *thrilled* to hear that would be my choice; he loves these saddles.

I would just go with a Reflex, but since I like the open seat on the Symphonie, I will also trial a Capriole. The Reflex has removable knee blocks (velcro) so that is an advantage there, and the Capriole blocks, while not velcro, are not huge.

Luckily I am not in a huge hurry, so I can browse the net waiting for one of these to come up.

Thanks everyone for your comments!

arabiansrock
Jun. 2, 2011, 04:41 PM
if the reflex fits the capriole may not. when I looked at the frank baines saddles, I was told the reflex fit slightly curvy backs and the capriole was for flatter backs. You may want to try both back to back to see which tree shape fits best.

Also ditto Hampton Bay on the Fairfax, I had one and loved it, but... panels were too long for mares back and she objected, so got very similar saddle with short panels, but same tree.

good luck\

quietann
Jun. 2, 2011, 07:31 PM
Thanks... I should have both on trial either next week or the week after. Mare's back is sort of in between flat and curvy so we'll see...

Pocket Pony
Jun. 2, 2011, 10:54 PM
I have a Capriole on trial for my mustang and I love it. And it does have velcro knee blocks, btw. I like the flatter seat so that it doesn't feel like I'm being "held in." I also love the balance of this saddle - it makes riding seem easy...or easier, rather! There's no fighting for my position, I feel like my leg hangs nicely and my horse likes it. I'm going to order one in different leather than the standard and I can't wait to get it!!!! :D

CHT
Jun. 3, 2011, 12:55 AM
I really like my Frank Baines Reflex. I would not hestitate to buy from him again, and I will when my filly is old enough to deserve a custom saddle.

I had it custom made for me and my horse, so the knee blocks fit my legs perfectly and are in no way annoying. Not sure why their size would matter if they fit right.

With my FB, we wanted a 17 inch tree for my horse, but I don't need that big a seat, so we padded the seat to make it fit smaller. Not sure if the opposite can be done with the seat being made flatter, but it may be an option. I know my client that also bought a FB Reflex also got a 17 inch tree, but her seat was more open to fit her conformation.

The saddle has worn well, and I am very happy with the customer service and the quality.

Petstorejunkie
Jun. 3, 2011, 07:42 AM
Frank Baines makes a sexy saddle with really nice balance to it. I'm sure you'll love it