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DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 15, 2011, 09:23 AM
Hi,
I'm a dressage rider trying to find a new saddle that has a very deep seat, a "sticky" seat/leather, and pretty substantial knee rolls. Basically, I want a saddle that I feel VERY secure in.

Currently I ride in an 17.5" Wintec Isabell (it's the synthetic kind with the "suede" seat). I love this saddle's deep seat and super grippy texture BUT my upper leg is too long and comes to the edge of the front flap. I can't put any of the blocks under the flap at the front or else my toes would be turned straight out ... the saddle turns my knees out a little as is. It seems like my leg should be further back on the flap however, when I do, then I have to move my seat back and then my seat is up on the pommel. I measure 18" long from center of hip to center of knee and I'm 5'7" tall. I'm about 130 lbs., mostly all legs. Finding a saddle is proving to be very hard. I ride a 15.1hh QH cross with a fairly high wither and his back in a bit swayed ... I would like to get a saddle that encourages him to collect more and come up through his back and through his topline. He fit an Albion Platinum Ultima MW very well with his last owner.

I've been reading reviews online and it looks like the Trilogy Verago has a very deep seat and pretty substantial knee rolls. I have never known anyone that rides in this saddle and was wondering how people who were familiar with all the saddles thought of the Trilogy in comparison.

I also saw the Scheelse Wave that looked really deep seated. Again, I don't know anyone who rides in a Scheelse so I really don't know how this saddle compares.

The County saddles I've seen online don't appear to have as deep a seat as the ones I've listed above so I really haven't pursued that brand.

I saw a picture of a Frank Baines dressage saddle ... never heard of this maker before but that seat sure looked deep! Know absolutely nothing about this brand at all.

Finally, I've known 3 high level dressage riders that have ridden in Albion Platinum Ultima's. They all said that when they got the saddle, their riding improved by leaps and bounds. I've ridden in one once but since I haven't even sat in the others, I have no idea.

There aren't many dressage riders in my area and it looks like I'll have to start paying to ship saddles to trial them but I wanted to see what comments were before I started down that path. Obviously, what works for one person/horse might not work for me but it hopefully will give me a good idea.

Thanks so much for any help anyone can provide!!

meupatdoes
Jul. 15, 2011, 09:51 AM
I loooooove my Albions.

For dressage I ride in the SLK Ultima and it has a deep seat and molded cups. It is great.

However I have other Albions in the non-ultima leather which are also great. These are hunt saddles and I am riding a hunter with a honkin' bascule; a little Stubben Hamanol rubbed into the leather and I stick like glue. They are significantly less expensive than their Ultima versions would have been and I am not sure, having ridden in both, that the Ultima really makes all that much difference.

The saddles are all beautifully balanced which I think does more for security than any kind of leather.

quietann
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:12 AM
Frank Baines are nice saddles and a bit less expensive than the other brands you mention. The FB Reflex has a deep seat and velcro knee blocks so you can get the huge ones w/velcro.

atr
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:37 AM
I have a Trilogy Amadeo, preferred the twist for me to the Verago.

All of these are very nice saddles. What makes the difference between them is the quality of service and fitting you can get for them in your area. Evaluate the quality of the local rep and/or the cost/frequency of a visit from the travelling fitter for each of these--in your area.

alto
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:39 AM
Equestrian Imports offer saddle rentals (http://www.equestrianimports.com/shop/saddle-rentals/info_11.html) so may be a good place to start :)

atlatl
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:41 AM
I have two Veragos and love them!! I would not characterize the knee rolls as "substantial" however. I prefer the Verago to the Custom saddles I've tried. I have no experience with the others you mention.

thatsnotme
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:45 AM
Make sure whoever you buy from has a fitter in your area that can come when needed. Albion & Trilogy do not come to my area. I know alot of people with those saddles who can't get them worked on.

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 15, 2011, 11:30 AM
Thanks so much for all the great feedback so far ... keep it coming!! :)

I know there is a store that is about an hour away that is listed on Albion's website. Should I contact each of the companies to find out if they have a "rep" in my area? Do you take it to a store, saddle fitter, or does a company rep specifically have to come out to make adjustments on the saddles I listed in my original post?

Thanks again everyone!

thatsnotme
Jul. 15, 2011, 11:35 AM
Most saddle fitters make barn calls. Even if you have to haul to them, an hour isn't a big deal (to me). I would call each company and find that out.

cnm161
Jul. 15, 2011, 12:16 PM
I love my Schleese. I especially appreciate that during the saddle-fitting session, the fitters take time to explain the process and educate the owner/purchaser/rider on the proper fit of the saddle. I agree with thatsnotme that it's important to get a brand that is popular locally (or at least has locally available fitters).

My sister has the Wave and loves it. Very comfortable.

2tempe
Jul. 15, 2011, 01:01 PM
I know some people that swear by Trilogies for various reasons, but all the ones I've seen have point billets, which is where the front billet comes directly down from the tree point. This works well for some horses, others either don't like them or it can make them sore if the tree is pulled too tightly into the shoulder.

alto
Jul. 15, 2011, 01:27 PM
If you're buying a new saddle & want to retain the warranty, you may need to only have company certified fitters doing the adjustments, so also enquire about this.

If there is a local saddle fitter, maybe start there :)
(tack shops, local trainers, vets may be able to supply names)



I measure 18" long from center of hip to center of knee and I'm 5'7" tall, mostly all legs. Finding a saddle is proving to be very hard. I ride a 15.1hh QH cross with a fairly high wither and his back in a bit swayed ... I would like to get a saddle that encourages him to collect more and come up through his back and through his topline. He fit an Albion Platinum Ultima MW very well with his last owner.


The deeper the saddle the more you need to go up in seat size (within reason) so don't be shy of trying 18 1/2" & even 19" saddles; as an Albion fit him well in the past & given the reasonable price point of that saddle & the relatively local dealer, I'd start there :) you can easily spend several hundred $$ in trials & fittings :eek:

Watch the Schleese 9 Step saddle fit videos if you haven't already - for him to freely lift his back, the saddle must sit behind the extended shoulder.

DutchDressageQueen
Jul. 15, 2011, 02:53 PM
Albion is the way to go.

smithereens_86
Jul. 15, 2011, 02:56 PM
I borrowed a Trilogy Amadeo for several months while saddle shopping. I liked the saddle. Good quality, nice deep seat, good thigh blocks, very secure feeling. The down side - everyone who has ridden in this saddle at the barn says it rubs them (the rider) during sitting trot/canter. Rubbed me too. That saddle had earned itself a not very polite nickname which I won't repeat here. Suffice it to say, it worked fine for me as I have a youngster that I wasn't doing much/any sitting trot on at the time, so the rubbing wasn't a big issue.

I ended up purchasing an Albion SLK Ultima. LOVE it!! All the same qualities of the Trilogy Amadeo only better - and no rubbing. Very happy with the choice I made for a saddle.

~Shelly~

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 15, 2011, 03:09 PM
The deeper the saddle the more you need to go up in seat size (within reason) so don't be shy of trying 18 1/2" & even 19" saddles;


It was a huge shock when I transferred from hunter/jumper to dressage and they told me what size saddle I needed!! I thought surely they were out of their mind for me to need THAT huge of a saddle and only weigh 130lbs.!! Now, I realize seat size doesn't really reflect of the weight of the rider! Haha! :lol: I don't care what size saddle it is, as long as it fits the horse and myself.

My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.

Any ideas?

Thanks again for all the comments, suggestions, etc.!!

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 15, 2011, 03:10 PM
I know some people that swear by Trilogies for various reasons, but all the ones I've seen have point billets, which is where the front billet comes directly down from the tree point. This works well for some horses, others either don't like them or it can make them sore if the tree is pulled too tightly into the shoulder.


Thanks for making this point ... I hadn't thought of this. I'll look into it!

JanDinWA
Jul. 15, 2011, 04:38 PM
My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.

Any ideas?

I know if you order a new saddle from Schleese that is one of the things they take into account and can change the flap to accommodate your leg better. If you buy a used Schleese, I think they may be able to tell you if the flap would fit you by the serial number of the saddle.

rothmpp
Jul. 15, 2011, 11:42 PM
FWIW - I ride in a Albion SLK Ultima and absolutely love it. They come in both Low and High Heads, with the high head giving a bit more wither clearance.

I really like the way Scheese sits for me on the plastic horse, but I don't know anyone who's had good luck getting it to sit right on a horse's back.

Never seriously tried a Trilogy. Sat in on at a trade fair but that was it.

One thing I would be very cautious about with a 18 1/2" or 19" saddle would be whether it would be too long for your 15.1 hand quarter horse. 60lbs ago I used to have a 18" (measured more like 18 1/2) that was right on the border of being too long for my 16.3 Dutch cross. I can't remember which makers have a forward flap option, but they are out there and may give you the extra room you need to have your leg where you would like comfortably.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Jul. 16, 2011, 12:24 AM
FWIW, I ride in a County Perfection, and let me say, I LOVE my saddle. LOVE it! I rode in an Albion and liked it as well, but, TO ME, it did not feel as deep as my Perfection. I also have ridden in a Custom Saddlery Wolfgang Solo and loved it, I was torn between that and the County Perfection. County won. :) I have a friend who has the Trilogy Verhan and loves it but it rubbed me, no bueno. I have zero direct experience with Schleese. Before you say County does not "look" deep enough, try it, it may surprise you. Try the Perfection.

alto
Jul. 16, 2011, 12:30 PM
My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.

You may have to go custom in order to get that small seat & extended flap ie moving up pricewise into the category of saddles that have flap options upon ordering: you may find this combination in a used saddle but to get a saddle that meets your requirements will take a bit of searching :lol:
1) has a seat for you
2) has a flap for you
2 1/2) you may also need a stirrup bar that is more or less forward depending on 1) & 2)
3) fits the horse - smaller horse so pushing the odds to get a longer flap that won't interfere with his shoulder; if he's short backed, it's harder to find a bigger than 17" saddle that doesn't extend past the last rib; fairly high wither and back a bit swayed so he'll likely need adjustable panels

I'd start by contacting the previous owner & see how she ended up with the Albion - no need to retry all the saddles that didn't fit him before.

After all the searching for saddles that fit FP & the kid, my advice, concentrate on Albion as you know it fit the horse & that is a h.u.g.e step in the right direction :yes:

You may also find that the saddle you choose now, may not be the saddle you still want to ride in a couple years (assuming that you're wanting to move up the levels); it's also possible that your horse may change enough that this saddle will not fit him indefinitely.
In other words, focus on getting a great saddle but don't sweat the Perfect Saddle dream ;)

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 16, 2011, 05:57 PM
Well, I had some breakthrough moments today ...

Went to go sit in quite a few saddles at the saddle fitter/tack store and see what style fit myself and my horse. I sat in an Albion SLK 18". It was okay ... not as great as I remembered. The knee rolls really interfered with my knees which is what happens on most every saddle. It also seemed like there was a TON of space behind and not very supportive in the cantle. I do not like my knees to constantly me jammed into place by a knee roll. I sat in a Prestige (can't remember the name but it wasn't a Trilogy). The seat was awful and tilted my pelvis forward but the knee rolls were PERFECT. The first time I've ever sat in a saddle where the flap and knee rolls were just what I wanted. They start higher, closer to the jockey, and are shorter so they don't keep hitting my knees. With that clearance at the knee, yet still having the support available for my thigh ... it was amazing! However, the seat = horrible. The saddle fitter said that the knee roll on the Albion Platinum would be more like the Prestige in that it was on the outside of the flap and not as long as the SLK. I was debating between a 17.5" or a 18" but still wasn't convinced with the Albion like I thought I was. I have a very bad, herniated lower back and after sitting in the Albion for some time, my back was killing me. I had to get up, walk around, stretch, etc. I then sat in anything any everything (Stubben, Passier, etc.) just to mix things up, then went back to switching between the "like" of the leg flap and knee roll of the Prestige and the "mostly like" of the seat of the Albion. However, the seat on the Albion just didn't seem broad enough for my seat bones but I did like the twist. Kind of strange.

Then, the saddle fitter asked if I had tried the Lovatt & Ricketts Berkley Dressage saddle 18" MW. I didn't think I had. So, I got out of the Albion SLK and sat in the Lovatt & Ricketts and it was HEAVEN!! The saddle seems like it was meant for me. Since it was "cutback", it put the seat further back which allowed for my long upper leg to properly fall. The knee rolls were far enough forward that they didn't jam up against my leg yet were there to keep me in proper position if I needed them. The seat was out of this world comfortable. I liked the closeness of the saddle, EVERYTHING!

We tried all kind of saddles on the horse and the Albion and the Lovatt & Ricketts fit the best because they were gusseted. The Prestige was not a good fit on the horse. I guess I'm overly critical of my horse's withers and "sway" because the saddle fitter said my horse had a lovely back and that while he has withers, they're not all that prominent. He also said that I've been placing my saddle too far forward. He noted that the Lovatt & Ricketts allowed for shoulder movement because of the way it was cut and also explained the billets which seemed that they really assisted in distributing weight evenly. He did note that with the gusseted panels, it's easier to make adjustments to the flocking.

Amazing, I went into this thinking the Albion was the direction I would end up and here I am with a saddle by a maker I've NEVER heard of!!

Does anyone know anything about the Lovatt & Ricketts brand? Know anything about the Berkley dressage saddle? I know they're English saddle makers but I don't know much else. Any info anyone can provide (or other saddles to try) is still greatly appreciated!! This is a great board with wonderful people who have equally wonderful suggestions and ideas!!

Thanks again!!

alto
Jul. 16, 2011, 10:39 PM
It's great that you had such a successful shop!

Pelham Saddlery has a used one (http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/dressageused/Used13631.html)

Video is here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcnT0ow8VvQ)

As these saddles may be semi-custom, this saddle may not fit the same as the one you tried in your local shop - expect to need to reflock the panels at the least.

I do think that as it's a lesser known brand, resale is more difficult, but they are lovely saddles - a couple of local tack shops stock the odd L & R.

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 16, 2011, 11:08 PM
That's funny you say that, I found that one at Pelham as well! Thank you SO much for letting me know about it!! I actually called to get some further information and the lady that answered the phone made it seem like I was completely bothering her for asking for more information on the saddle. Maybe she was just having a rough day. She said she doesn't know anything about the saddle they have ... not the age, flocking history, etc. ... nothing. I'm very skeptical if they don't know anything about it at all. I am confused though because it doesn't look like the same saddle that I sat in today ... the knee rolls look totally different.

Here's the one I sat in today: http://www.lovattandrickettsusa.com/Saddles/Berkeley.htm

The knee rolls are on the exterior of the flap, seem built differently, and the flap looks more forward. I've been looking online and it seems like there are a few versions of the Berkeley. I know there are two options on the L&R website - one with knee rolls on the exterior of the flap, the other when them under the flap/"Internal Knee Blocks".

I sure hate to buy a brand new saddle because it's not like I'm a professional dressage rider so spending that kind of money on a saddle is tough to justify! Wish I could find it used!! :)

exvet
Jul. 17, 2011, 01:07 AM
Here you go, the US counterpart for L&R is the Arabian Saddle Company http://www.arabiansaddle.com/saddles.htm

I've seen a few used ones listed with Trumball Mountain and Middleburg Tack as well as Pelham.

I have a few friends who have L&R's. They are of decent quality and definitely a better fit for some of the more difficult shapes.

Funny, though, I own a herd of beer kegs. I love Albions and had a couple of Styles & an Ultra in the distant past but eventually my wide beasts became too broad for them. I now have a slew of Niedersuss saddles (I prefer those that do not hold one in) but I also own a Cardanel Profile a dressage model made by the actual manufacturer (English saddle maker) of the Trilogy. While I wouldn't typically have purchased a saddle with so much knee roll, it was the only saddle I have found to fit my widest of beer kegs (aka Welsh Cob) :winkgrin: I really like the saddle as does my daughter who is much taller than I. The ability to adjust the stirrup bar we both found helpful.

alto
Jul. 17, 2011, 04:23 AM
I actually called to get some further information and the lady that answered the phone made it seem like I was completely bothering her for asking for more information on the saddle. Maybe she was just having a rough day. She said she doesn't know anything about the saddle they have ... not the age, flocking history, etc. ... nothing.

The trick is to just request the serial # & then contact L&R - they should have a record of the saddle based upon the serial # & should be able to provide details on construction/customization.
Also have the serial # from the shop saddle available so that you can have L&R compare the 2 saddles for you.

I have no experience with Pelham but generally you need to find the person that handles consignment saddles & loves old saddles & then direct all your inquiries to that individual :lol:
- some shops have none of these wonderful employees, others seem to only employ these extraordinary people.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Jul. 17, 2011, 11:35 AM
congrats on finding the right saddle. It really does make a difference. My first dressage saddle was a L&R and I loved it.

Raison d'etre
Jul. 17, 2011, 04:29 PM
I have the Trilogy Verago. I love it, and my horse loves it. It has a very deep seat. In my personal opinion, the knee rolls are substantial. They're a little larger than I probably want, but I couldn't argue with the complete change in my riding/position and the way my horse moved when we put one on him. I did not like the other Trilogy models because the twist was not narrow enough for me. For me, the twist became more important than the seat or blocks/rolls.

Before the Trilogy, I was riding in an albion original comfort and did not care for it at all. Again, the twist was too wide for me. But I know plenty of people who swear by and love them. It made for an easy resell.

quietann
Jul. 17, 2011, 06:02 PM
I am a repeat customer at Pelham Saddlery and know the staff... There are a couple who are great (Janie and Chris), and a couple who more just fill in the gaps and do not know as much about saddles. Janie's only there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

L&R saddles are lovely, as are many of the other brands manufactured in and around Walsall, UK. The outside knee rolls and the adjustable stirrup bars are attractions for me. I sat in the one at Pelham but the seat is too big for me.

FoxChaser
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:06 AM
I'm saddle searching as well and have a Schleese Link on trial. I'm not sure about it just yet and was checking out some others online today when I came across a L&R Berkeley and remembered your post. Here you go!! :)
http://www.divatack.com/catalog/i356.html

meupatdoes
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:24 AM
Amazing, I went into this thinking the Albion was the direction I would end up and here I am with a saddle by a maker I've NEVER heard of!!


While I am pretty well established as a die hard Albion fan on this board, I think it is AWESOME that you displayed the horsemanship and critical thinking to go with a saddle that was best for you and your horse, instead of getting swayed by brandname/perceived prestige/fancy stitching/ability to impress the other boarders like so many people do.

More people need to do this instead of blindly dropping thousands of dollars on super expensive tack that isn't actually right for them or their horse.

paintlady
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:41 AM
One thing I would be very cautious about with a 18 1/2" or 19" saddle would be whether it would be too long for your 15.1 hand quarter horse. 60lbs ago I used to have a 18" (measured more like 18 1/2) that was right on the border of being too long for my 16.3 Dutch cross. I can't remember which makers have a forward flap option, but they are out there and may give you the extra room you need to have your leg where you would like comfortably.

Agreed! I'd be really careful about getting any saddle over 18" for that reason. I have a 15.1 hh Paint mare. I'm 5'8", 130 lbs., 18" leg and ride in an 18" Albion SLK that I bought used. I went with Albion because it's the brand that fit my mare the best. Plus, we have a local Albion dealer who was able to check the fit for me. Any larger seat than that would have been too long for my mare's back... and she has a long back to begin with.

ETA... just saw your post about finding L&R saddle. Congrats! I bet you're relieved to find something comfortable that works for both of you.

LarkspurCO
Jul. 18, 2011, 07:10 PM
If you are looking for a used Berkeley, you should know the style has changed quite a bit in the past few years.

This is the previous version:

http://www.flyingstarstables.com/saddles-and-accessories/lovatt-and-ricketts/landr-berkeley.html

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:57 PM
If you are looking for a used Berkeley, you should know the style has changed quite a bit in the past few years.

This is the previous version:

http://www.flyingstarstables.com/saddles-and-accessories/lovatt-and-ricketts/landr-berkeley.html

I have been noticing this! Just as FoxChaser noted a L&R Berkeley for sale:


I'm saddle searching as well and have a Schleese Link on trial. I'm not sure about it just yet and was checking out some others online today when I came across a L&R Berkeley and remembered your post. Here you go!! :)
http://www.divatack.com/catalog/i356.html

It looks TOTALLY different than what I sat in! I have seen only a handful of used L&R Berkeley for sale online but they all look different than the one I sat in and liked ... the knee rolls look much longer and a lot thicker. Thank you for pointing this out because I was beginning to get confused as to what exactly was a L&R Berkeley!

To FURTHER complicate my life, I decided to look around some more online and came across the Custom brand. They have a saddle called the Wolfgang. The Icon also looked great but that's even further out of my price range!! Anyhow, they offer a short knee rolls which sounds exactly what I'm looking for to allow for the movement of my knee. It looks as though the flap on these saddles are more "forward" (if I can say that about a dressage saddle!) and looks like more what I like. I'm finding that a really straight flap is not on my list of "likes".

Custom has a section for the Wolfgang under "Off The Shelf" and has the "Solo" priced at $2495 or fitted at $2845. Here's the link: http://www.mysaddle.com/MYSADD~3/WolfgangSolo.html

Under their Wolfgang section, it has the "Solo" priced at $3750 for fitted ONLY. No other options besides the "Vienna Option" which is for buffalo skirt, seat, flaps for an additional $345. I believe I'd want that Vienna Option because I like a SUPER grippy saddle. Here's the link: http://www.mysaddle.com/MYSADD~3/wolfsolobuffalo.html

I don't understand or know why the "Solo" that notates fitted in the "Wolfgang" section is more expensive than the "Solo" in the "Off The Shelf" section that is also fitted. Anyone have any ideas?

Does anyone know how the L&R Berkeley would compare to the Custom Wolfgang Solo (with short knee rolls)? Custom notes that the Wolfgang Solo has a "narrow twist with extended stirrup bars, excellent for a warmblood or a horse with a broad flat back." The Wolfgang Solo looks like it has gusseted panels which is what the saddle fitter said would be the best style for my horse. The "broad flat back" part, I don't know about for my horse. I do like how high the thigh rolls start on the Wolfgang Solo ... almost right underneath the jockey! The L&R Berkeley does not say what kind of a twist it has. I just know the seat was outta this world! Wish I could find a Custom Wolfgang Solo to sit in but the store I'm working with said they see very few Custom's and wasn't sure about the comparison between the L&R Berkeley and the Custom Wolfgang Solo.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Thanks again!!

Spud&Saf
Jul. 19, 2011, 04:05 PM
I just bought a veryyyyy well used Legend Lux.

If you can find one of these, TRY IT!

I am just starting into some more serious dressage work (after mannnnnnyyyy years off) and the moment I sat in this saddle, it was heaven in terms of balance.

Legend was a predecssor to Albion.

I also used to own a Lovatt & Ricketts dressage saddle that I absolutely loved, so it's probably a similar feel.

It is a bizarre looking thing with oddly stipled leather, but it has a beautifully wide channel and is quite adjustable according to my saddle fitter.

Anyways, if anyone is looking on a budget and you come across this saddle don't be afraid to try it.

DressageHorses4Me
Jul. 19, 2011, 08:17 PM
I am a repeat customer at Pelham Saddlery and know the staff... There are a couple who are great (Janie and Chris), and a couple who more just fill in the gaps and do not know as much about saddles. Janie's only there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

L&R saddles are lovely, as are many of the other brands manufactured in and around Walsall, UK. The outside knee rolls and the adjustable stirrup bars are attractions for me. I sat in the one at Pelham but the seat is too big for me.

I actually called L&R today. I was TOTALLY impressed that they called me back so promptly and spent a good amount of time with me explaining the different styles, leathers, fit, etc. They informed me that they did make changes the Berkeley so that explains the differences in the Berkeley's I've seen online. The older model has the thicker thigh block so they redesigned it so it's more ergonomic ... one of the features I really like about the new one. They even knew the saddle fitter by name that I went to and could reference the sales that he had (in detail) on the Berkeley! Thanked me for considering an L&R. :)

I called Pelham today and inquired, they were busy and said they would call back. Never did. I've got some questions because they have it noted as a 18" MW but it's stamped 18.5 M. While I'd like to try the saddle they have and see if it works, I'm not too impressed with the customer service so far, especially since we're talking about a used saddle that's over $2,000! Oh well, kinda disappointed. You said you sat in the older model L&R Berkeley Pelham has and it was too big for you ... can I ask how tall you are/leg length? It'll at least give me an idea.

I also spoke to Custom about the Wolfgang Solo and I'm going to see if I can trial the saddle on my horse since no one around me has one for me to sit in. The short knee roll looks really enticing but I don't know how the twist and the seat width compares to the L&R Berkeley. I'm kind of hoping it doesn't work because it's even MORE expensive! Haha! :lol:

alto
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:14 PM
We looked at a CS CC saddle last year - the company has a terrific trial policy but it just wasn't that great a fit for the horse or the rider.

FWIW there are a few Solo's kicking around locally for sale & they don't seem to move very fast or retain their value (at least in my area).
Dover has a 17 1/2 test ride.