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View Full Version : Custom Saddlery saddles



jillya
Jul. 4, 2011, 03:34 PM
Who has had experience with Custom Saddlery saddles? I am thinking about one.

Tiligsmom
Jul. 4, 2011, 03:51 PM
I own a Wolfgang Solo. Best saddle - for me - that I've ever owned and I've had many different brands (trilogy, albion, schleese, county, jrd, hulsebos, passier).

tnscvaga
Jul. 4, 2011, 04:07 PM
I own a Wolfgang Solo with the short block. The only saddle that really fit me and I tried between 15 and 20 saddles before I found it.

dotneko
Jul. 4, 2011, 04:08 PM
I have a 12 yo Olympic Star that I love.
Don't know what it is called now.

jillya
Jul. 4, 2011, 04:14 PM
Thank you so much, I am actually looking at the event monoflap but wanted to get perspective on the company, service, quality and it sounds like so far everyone is happy.

petit cheval brun
Jul. 4, 2011, 04:26 PM
My Custom story:

After saddle shopping for nearly a year, I spontaneously bought a brand new Wolfgang Solo off EBay at a killer price. I contacted Custom Saddlery in SC to see about having the saddle sent to them and fitted to my horse. After sending my tracings and comparing them to the saddle specs they had on file, I realized there was no way that saddle was going to fit my narrow beast.

I decided to give some other Custom Saddlery saddles a try. I spent a few hours with a Custom rep riding in about 8 different saddles. I fell in love with their Icon Flight. Fits my beastie and my butt like a glove. Custom Saddlery gave me a very reasonable trade-in price for my WG Solo (actually $700 more than what I paid for it off EBay). My really like my rep, and all my dealings with the main office have been very positive. I am a happy CS customer.

Tiligsmom
Jul. 4, 2011, 05:54 PM
Yes. Love everything about the product: quality, service, fit...

joiedevie99
Jul. 4, 2011, 05:57 PM
Absolutely love my 2010 Everest. Fits my horse and I wonderfully, and my rep has been great. I've heard some not-so-hot things about a few of the reps, so I'd try to speak with someone in your area about your rep too.

altershmalter
Jul. 4, 2011, 06:12 PM
Love, love, love my short block Wolfgang Solo. Not a thing I don't like about the company.

lawchick
Jul. 4, 2011, 08:10 PM
I have the Steffen Peters and I love it. The rep came out with several different types and spent a long time with me trying them out. Some of the versions I thought I'd love (like the Wolfgang), I didn't like as much as I thought and others that I wasn't sure I'd like, worked beautifully. The company was great.

jillya
Jul. 4, 2011, 08:12 PM
This is all very encouraging, hopefully it's the same with the other models. The rep is a real saddle fitter, Custom was the one she thought would work best.

Thanks everyone

GraceLikeRain
Jul. 4, 2011, 10:27 PM
I know 4-5 people who exclusively ride in Custom Saddlery who adore their saddles and have been thrilled with the customer service. After riding in one a handful of times I have to admit it would be at the top of my list if I had the means to purchase one.

HSS
Jul. 4, 2011, 10:55 PM
Bought my Custom saddle a little over 2 years ago now. My small tour horse was literally lame from the poorly fitting custom saddle he was wearing- and my back was a mess from trying to sit in it.

Flash forward to now- horse is now at GP with NO issues, my back despite 2 back surgeries doesn't bother me at all in the saddle. We love our saddle!! We have a great time every day with each other, and I won't even sit in anything else.

My saddler just came by and restuffed it- it's perfect again.

Love my saddle, love the fit, love the saddlers, love it all.

I saved up for nearly a year to buy it, and it was the best money I ever spent.

MysticOakRanch
Jul. 4, 2011, 11:39 PM
I own two of them (Custom Advantages) - have tried a lot of saddles, and for my fit and my boys fit, they are the best saddles out there! They also have a very generous trade in policy AND they do resell used Custom saddles, so don't be afraid to ask what they have available if you are on a budget. I know several people who ride in various models, and everyone really likes their saddle. Customer service - it all depends on the rep that handles your area - so do find out about that specific rep. Right now, one of the reps that covers Nor-Cal is awesome:D

Second Fiddle Farm
Jul. 5, 2011, 08:00 AM
I have a Custom Laguna and love it. It has made a huge difference in my riding and how my horse goes. They have a wide selection of models which makes finding a match a whole lot easier. I think they are fairly priced considering the product you get (for me, worth a million bucks!)

magienoire
Jul. 5, 2011, 09:24 AM
Do a search on the board. I would run screaming into the bushes before I ever dealt with this complete pack of jackasses ever again. Horrible service, absolutely unable to fit a saddle in any way shape or form, rude, and completely unacceptable. Vastly overpriced for horrible quality. You couldn't pay me to ride in a Custom POS.

friesian4me
Jul. 5, 2011, 09:55 AM
I think it depends on the fitter. My friend had a terrible time with the person fitting her saddle. She was told that the fact that the saddle pad was slipping back was fine and the fact that the saddle was tight on one side of the withers was good too. She sent it back and went with another custom saddlery fitter agent.

Boomer
Jul. 5, 2011, 11:00 AM
I have a 2009 Custom Everest and love it! It is a monoflap but I don't know that it really makes a difference. My horse goes great in it.

Fred Taht "fit" it long distance (no fitter in my area) using photos and tracings. I did have an "infamous" fitter from another company check it b/c he was convienent and very little needed to be done.

I did have a Custom fitter at Regionals check it last year and he made very few adjustments.

I'm happy with the purchase/service so far.

ShannonLee
Jul. 6, 2011, 08:39 AM
I ride a Coda and and a Solo, and love them both. I think the best saddles I have ever had. I am sure the quality of fitting is dependent on the quality of the fitter, and some are certainly better than others! I have worked with Cary Wallace, he was super to deal with and did a lovely job.

mickeydoodle
Jul. 6, 2011, 11:48 AM
ditto on working with Cary, I have a monoflap Custom, love it.

Kelly in NJ
Jul. 6, 2011, 12:26 PM
I've had several Custom Saddlery saddles, including the Revolution Buffalo and also the Royal Star (older model).

I've also had Fred from Custom Saddlery in NJ work on and adjust my saddles of other brands (Hennig), and his work has always been perfect. Top notch friendly service and good quality results and products.

I love Custom Saddlery.

Kelly in NJ
Jul. 6, 2011, 12:29 PM
Do a search on the board. I would run screaming into the bushes before I ever dealt with this complete pack of jackasses ever again. Horrible service, absolutely unable to fit a saddle in any way shape or form, rude, and completely unacceptable. Vastly overpriced for horrible quality. You couldn't pay me to ride in a Custom POS.

I'm thinking that you must have bought the non-custom/off-the rack version of one of their saddles through a catalog company that you did not like dealing with or something.

I have NEVER met ANYONE who bought a "custom" version Custom Saddlery saddle directly from Carey or Fred who was unhappy with the quality, fit, or service. That would include friends in FL, CA, SC, and NY and NJ.

NirvanaII
Jul. 6, 2011, 02:23 PM
The Everest by Custom Saddlery is my opinion of heaven in a saddle.

Rep here is very knowledgeable-and sweet.

I would recommend them with confidence to anyone.

barnmouse
Jul. 6, 2011, 08:19 PM
Love the Customs. Cary is wonderful. Now that I moved to Florida he referred me to a new fitter and its working out great. My SO is a trainer and fell in love with my Icon Flight but the model has recently changed. So we purchased another Wolfgang Solo for his horse and most of his clients ride in the Wolfgang Solo as well. The saddles are fabulous. My saddle was adjusted several times over the last 2 years as my horse developed and if it wasn't for the Custom I would have had to switch saddles a few times. Love the quality.

HCF
Jul. 7, 2011, 07:55 AM
I have a Wolfgang Solo and I absolutely love it!! Before the Solo, I had a county saddle that fit my horse, but never fit me correctly. I always felt like I was fighting against it. After I got the Solo, my collective marks for rider were consistently up 1-2 points.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 7, 2011, 09:56 AM
Well I'm mad at them because I had to sell my buffalo S. Peters saddle when I sold my horse (didn't fit the new guy) and they have ruined me for other saddles!

Seriously, I loved that saddle. I have ridden in more expensive saddles that my friends own (they start with an S) and I can't tell you how much more I liked the CS saddle. *sigh*

I bought it used at a horse show and then was able to sell it on Ebay a year or two later for what I paid for it.

JRG
Jul. 7, 2011, 12:19 PM
I'm thinking that you must have bought the non-custom/off-the rack version of one of their saddles through a catalog company that you did not like dealing with or something.

I have NEVER met ANYONE who bought a "custom" version Custom Saddlery saddle directly from Carey or Fred who was unhappy with the quality, fit, or service. That would include friends in FL, CA, SC, and NY and NJ.

Add PA to the list, I have been very happy with my saddle and the service. (Wolfgang solo, long blocks).

RedOakAcres
Jul. 7, 2011, 03:40 PM
ditto on working with Cary, I have a monoflap Custom, love it.

Ditto this!!

magienoire
Jul. 9, 2011, 07:09 PM
I'm thinking that you must have bought the non-custom/off-the rack version of one of their saddles through a catalog company that you did not like dealing with or something.

I have NEVER met ANYONE who bought a "custom" version Custom Saddlery saddle directly from Carey or Fred who was unhappy with the quality, fit, or service. That would include friends in FL, CA, SC, and NY and NJ.

You are guessing quite incorrectly (and marvelously presumptive of you, as well, to assume that this was a catalog purchase). This was a full "custom" version of the Icon Coda (their most expensive saddle at the time). Not only did they initially send me the wrong saddle and lose my order, when they finally did make the right saddle they couldn't get it to fit to save their ever-lovin' souls. After sending it back and forth three times, and being told by my "fitter" that I should try it, the fact that it bridges so badly that I can see daylight under it, and "it is supposed to be like that", and spending a considerable amount of time on the phone with Carey himself, I told them to take that thing and cram it. I don't live in any of the states you listed, by the way.

I stand by my experience. If that was the last saddle made on earth, I'd just knit instead of ride.

Liz
Jul. 9, 2011, 10:14 PM
There is not a saddle brand in the world that does not have a dissatisfied customer somewhere. Magienoire, I have not doubt that you had such a bad experience with custom saddlery that you would rather take up knitting than ride in one :) I had a similar experience with equine fit saddles. I can't begin to tell you what a miserable experience I had with them and their owner/fitter. Talk about bad service......but, that is another thread ;)
That said, I just got a Custom Saddle and my experience with the company and my fitter was great. I have been very pleased and would recommend their saddles. When the saddle came at first it was not quite right. My fitter came out twice to make adjustments, it was no hassle and now I am very happy.
This is just my experience.
All the best.

Painted Wonder
Jul. 9, 2011, 10:41 PM
Another happy Wolfgang Solo person here!
Fred Taht is wonderful.

Elegante E
Jul. 9, 2011, 11:15 PM
There are probably a number of people who've had bad experiences with CS. The fitter is an important element and one can't fit a horse really well just from measurements and drawings. Horse's backs will change when they move and only watching a person ride can account for that and even then it can be difficult figuring out what's going on. We all have to keep this in mind no matter which saddle company we are working with.

What I don't like about the CS saddles I've tried is that they work hard forcing the rider into a specific position: big blocks, small flat spots (where the seat bones sit) and lifted seats meant to tilt the pelvis forward are just some of the elements doing this.

I do currently ride in one and what I like about it is the set back stirrup bars, narrow twist, not so close contact so that I can easily drape my legs and don't do the splits, and that a fitter will come to my place.

Btw, their sales force are mostly made up of fitters: restuff, adjust gullets, adjust flocking. A true saddler can rebuild a saddle from the tree up if need be.

Jeito
Jul. 10, 2011, 06:55 AM
You are guessing quite incorrectly . . .

Yep. I know many people who swear by Custom Saddlery, and others who have had less than happy experiences (including me). I wouldn't buy another CS saddle myself though many of my friends love theirs. You will hear good & bad stories about every saddle maker.

Kelly in NJ
Jul. 10, 2011, 07:27 AM
You are guessing quite incorrectly (and marvelously presumptive of you, as well, to assume that this was a catalog purchase). This was a full "custom" version of the Icon Coda (their most expensive saddle at the time). Not only did they initially send me the wrong saddle and lose my order, when they finally did make the right saddle they couldn't get it to fit to save their ever-lovin' souls. After sending it back and forth three times, and being told by my "fitter" that I should try it, the fact that it bridges so badly that I can see daylight under it, and "it is supposed to be like that", and spending a considerable amount of time on the phone with Carey himself, I told them to take that thing and cram it. I don't live in any of the states you listed, by the way.

I stand by my experience. If that was the last saddle made on earth, I'd just knit instead of ride.



So, as I said in my post, I've never met anyone who bought a saddle DIRECTLY from Carey or Fred who were not satisfied with the purchase. Did Carey or Fred personally come to see your horse or fit your saddle, or was it some other local rep.??

Jeito
Jul. 10, 2011, 08:09 AM
Well, obviously you don't know me, Kelly. I bought my saddle at the Medford store from Fred. I like Fred and like Carey (have known them both since the late 90's when Carey & Lisa were still in New Jersey) so I didn't want to say more than I already said, but since you keep INSISTING. . .geez :eek:!!!!

Jeito
Jul. 10, 2011, 08:15 AM
I would feel terrible if my post dissuaded anyone from buying a CS saddle if it's right for them. They're good quality saddles, and Carey and Fred are experienced fitters. . .just not infallible, as Kelly insisted.

Kelly in NJ
Jul. 10, 2011, 11:51 AM
Noone is infallible, I agree with that. Not saying they are going to be perfect for everyone either, but when maggienoir insisted that the service was terrible and the quality was so horrific, I had to disagree. I currently have Hennig, Hermes, and CS saddles, so I'm not used to low quality either.

No one can ever make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time.

Perhaps if you tell me where you got your saddles, I'd have had a bad experience with them. :winkgrin:

I've also been in NJ for quite some time, also known CS since the 90s, even before Carey and Lisa were a couple. I've bought other brands of saddles since then that were more comfortable for me with certain horses. No one brand of saddle has everything for everyone and every horse. But I've always had EXCEPTIONAL and even more important HONEST service and fittings from CS.

ConcordiaDressage
Jul. 11, 2011, 06:45 PM
LOVE my off the shelf model Advantage. I had my local fitter fit it to my stallion and it's wonderful. Allows for correct rider position without being forced and my horse is happy with it too!

CelticRiverDance
Jul. 12, 2011, 11:44 AM
I bought the Custom Saddlery Advantage full custom dressage saddle from Custom Saddlery in Medford, NJ. Fred did the fitting. I have no complaints regarding the fitting but the saddle's leather on the seat got funky. It stretched out and got wrinkles in the leather. Looked almost like it might split but never did. Very comfy saddle but I could not get past the leather wearing the way it did. Loved the deep seat and the cut back head.

Also, Fred fitted another brand saddle for me and he damaged the saddle. Cut the leather on both sides of the underside of the pommel while adjusting the tree. He gave me no discount on the fitting and never even apologized for it or offered any compensation what so ever. After that I sold both the saddle that was damaged and the Advantage and went with an Albion SLK. Love the Albion!

atlatl
Jul. 12, 2011, 01:59 PM
I'm thinking that you must have bought the non-custom/off-the rack version of one of their saddles through a catalog company that you did not like dealing with or something.

I have NEVER met ANYONE who bought a "custom" version Custom Saddlery saddle directly from Carey or Fred who was unhappy with the quality, fit, or service. That would include friends in FL, CA, SC, and NY and NJ.

I spent 9 months working with one of the fitters you named. I ended up cancelling my "custom" order (each successive try at fitting my horse was worse than the previous ones and the rationale was approaching the bizarre) and went with a Trilogy that I've been very happy with. YMMV

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:09 PM
I'm also considering trying out a Custom Wolfgang Solo (short knee roll). The short knee roll is what draws me to this saddle so my knee isn't jammed into a knee roll like so many other dressage saddles. I sat in an Lovatt & Ricketts Berkeley (brand new model) and LOVED it. Does anyone know how the Custom Wolfgang Solo would compare? Twist? Seat width? Etc.? I called them and they seem helpful but I'm not a customer yet. Their trial policy is quite nice though, one of the reasons I'll even consider them since they are quite expensive but not so wildly more expensive than the Albions, Prestige, L&R, etc. that I've looked at.