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mvp
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:00 AM
What do these feel like?

For man? For beast?

If y'all can name any more modern/more common "comps," I'd believe it.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 23, 2011, 11:08 AM
They feel like nothing else. Very open seat, M twist, generally fit well on a horse flatter from front to back. Even though they have foam panels, they are a very forgiving fit. Horses seem to really like them unless the fit is all wrong.

The Xenophon has the hanging stirrup bars similar to many treeless saddles, so even better for horses who can't handle a narrow twist. The seat is soft. My current one has a suede seat which is very grippy.

mvp
Oct. 24, 2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks! Any other opinions?

What do the regular/medium trees measure, "dot-to-dot"

Is the slope up to the pommel gradual or steep?

Again, any comparisons to other saddles would be helpful.

jcotton
Oct. 24, 2011, 05:45 PM
Lauriches are custom saddles for their specific horse and the horse's specific rider.
My Lauriches were made for a horse I no longer ride and won't work on any on the horses I currently ride.

Why are you asking about Lauriche saddles?
They are not made anymore, plenty of used ones on the market. With the special foam underneath, a nightmare to refit, unless you have a saddler that you are willing to pay to make a wool flocked saddle.

mvp
Oct. 24, 2011, 07:13 PM
Thanks for that bit of info, too!

Lauriches are so custom that it's a true nightmare to put on other horses? I get that you can't redo foam the way you can wool, but it's worse than that for these particular saddles? If so, can you connect the serial number on the saddle with the maker (A. J. Foster?) and see what kind of funky back a particular saddle was made to fit?

I ask because these saddles were cool when I was cool. In high school/college and only among a select set of people who Knew What They Were Doing. And they were very pretty and well-made given what else was around then. So, you see, I'd finally be cool if I had one.

Plus, I have had the Shocking Mid-Life Revelation that I don't want a bucket of dressage saddle, as I thought my unfit, old-lady butt would need. Rather, I have enjoyed the very open seats and minimalist saddles I have ridden in lately. Which makes me cool X2.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 24, 2011, 08:36 PM
Not at all true that they are a nightmare to fit to a horse other than what they were made for. I have bought 2 of them used. One fit my mare perfectly, and several other horses I rode at various times as well. It fit a normal back, very very slightly curved. NOT super-flat in profile. Young horses are both super-flat in profile. New Lauriche fits the young horses, one it fits naked, the other with a half pad. Of course it doesn't fit the first mare perfectly, as she does better with a saddle with a bit of curve to the tree. It still works for her OK though with a half pad for a quick ride.

Even wool is not terribly adjustable. Think about it. You have panels of a set shape. You stuff flocking into them. Sure you can start out with them being more full in one area than another, but over time that flocking is going to shift to where it's even throughout. It doesn't all stay clumped where you put it to start with.

Regardless of the saddle, if they tree and panels don't fit, the saddle won't fit the horse. I've found with Lauriche that if you get pretty close, the horses are very comfortable in them. They are more likely to forgive a bit of imperfection in the fit than they are with other saddles IME.

The rise to pommel I would say is medium. I have a pretty tipped pelvis and do best in something like a Kieffer or my old Jeffries, but I can ride in Lauriche pretty darned well. A friend who likes a w-i-d-e twist likes them too though. They are a pretty universal and forgiving fit. I find they ride bigger than they measure too. I usually need a 17.5 or 18, and my 17.5 is a bit big for me. That said, my first one was an 18.5" with a deeper seat, and I rode in it just fine. The stirrup bars are placed to put your leg in a pretty effortless position underneath you.

IME they wear like iron. Mine have both been older, like 20 or so years old, and the new one is in fabulous condition. The old one had some wear, but it had been used hard and not cared for well.

You *can* find Lauriches with wool if you look hard enough and are patient. If you find one with FLAIR though in a 17 or 17.5, W tree, please let me know! They do exist, but are not common at all. I keep looking for one, but no luck yet when I've had the $$$

easyrider
Oct. 25, 2011, 01:10 AM
Don't care for them. Too much saddle, too little feel of horse.

twelvegates
Oct. 25, 2011, 02:47 AM
I have two AJ Foster saddles and absolutely love them. One is a Xanthus and the other is a Lauriche. Both are medium twists.Both are quite roomy.

Super comfortable for me and my mare (big shouldered 7 year old Holsteiner with flattish back).

I bought both of them on Ebay with good measurements and "fit" opinions from the sellers.

One of them was puchased on Ebay UK and overnighted to me for 80 GBP. It was in "like new" condition.

If I recall correctly, they are 9.5"-9.75" from D ring to D ring.

buck22
Oct. 25, 2011, 07:23 AM
I have had 4 Andy Foster made saddles, as already said, they're custom made each time so there is no general description for fit or feel. Though I could say this, Andy does tend to (almost) always be rather minimalist, have wide flat panels, a wide channel for the spine, wide seat for rider's seat bones, recessed "e" stirrup bars hung further back than typical, and he hangs his billets properly, rough side out. Often has square Ds too on the front.

If there is a lot of padding or large thigh blocks, etc, then its because a customer requested it I'd reckon, its not his usual style.

IIRC, Andy studied under Barry Swain, so there are a LOT of similarities in design. If you wanted a "Lauriche Light" look for a Swain, which unfairly, can be found for pennies if you look hard. I sold two lovely lovely Swains for under $400.

The horses of mine whom they have fit, they have fit like a kid-skin glove, like no other saddle has ever fit before or since. I cried when my horse outgrew the widest one in my collection, and then cried some more when I retired him from riding and had to sell mine off to buy a carriage. I LOVED those saddles.

Ditto everything Hampton has said. Most are latex panels, wool does exist but its rare.

I love riding Lauriche saddles, ever single one has fit me like it was made for me. Support and curves in all the right places, exquisite balance, nothing more than the minimum needed in terms of "fluff".

They can be found used for a song lately, I've recently seen two on Ebay USA under $1500 with no bids. Which is a little sad, but otoh a great opportunity for others to experience riding them. They do come with a $6K +/- price tag new.

Here, some eye candy:
http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/catalog.htm?Vl=31&Tp=2

quietann
Oct. 25, 2011, 08:28 AM
I got one on trial from Fine Used Saddles. Neither my horse nor I liked it, but as people have said, each one is different. The leather quality was lovely.

(meanwhile, my oldish-lady butt is also happier in a more open saddle. I have an older Roosli on trial right now and mmmm, yummy.)

Maude
Oct. 25, 2011, 09:06 AM
My horses are short backed and would never be comfortable in a Lauriche due to the wide long panels. I too have an "older" butt and am a minimalist. Tried all the "in vogue" saddles out there and they were not for me or my horses. If I want an armchair, I'll sit in one in my nice cozy house. That said, I ride in a Roosli and have ordered a new custom Stubben Genesis with the biomex seat for my young horse. Minimal kneeroll, open seat and close contact. As far as being "cool", cool is being yourself and doing your own thing with what works rather than following the trend.

mvp
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:39 AM
Questions about my booty. A little embarrassing. Hope you can help while I'm under the cover of anonymity.



The rise to pommel I would say is medium. I have a pretty tipped pelvis and do best in something like a Kieffer or my old Jeffries, but I can ride in Lauriche pretty darned well. A friend who likes a w-i-d-e twist likes them too though. They are a pretty universal and forgiving fit. I find they ride bigger than they measure too. I usually need a 17.5 or 18, and my 17.5 is a bit big for me. That said, my first one was an 18.5" with a deeper seat, and I rode in it just fine. The stirrup bars are placed to put your leg in a pretty effortless position underneath you.

...

You *can* find Lauriches with wool if you look hard enough and are patient. If you find one with FLAIR though in a 17 or 17.5, W tree, please let me know! They do exist, but are not common at all. I keep looking for one, but no luck yet when I've had the $$$

What does a "tipped pelvis" mean? You mean that when you are "all good" on a horse your pubis is much higher than your sitting bones? So you like a rise to the pommel that's gentle?

I wish I knew what those "comps"--a Keiffer and Jeffries-- felt like. I'm a tad ignorant when it comes to saddles in Dressage World.... where the shape of the seat is very, very important.

Easing in to the embarrassing part.

I ride in a 16.5" CC saddle. But "baby got back." So I like those 16.5"s for the short femur length they have designed in. The ol' butt isn't hanging off the back, but a horse would probably like me to ride in a 17 so that he had my weight distributed over a larger surface area.

Anywho... could it be that I'd like a 17.5 or 18 in a dressage saddle? Even an open seat one? Or would it be very wrong? That's the opposite of "vanity sizing," girls.

Second, my favorite saddle early in my borrowing and riding in other people's saddles is....wait for it... a Wintec 500. Ouch! What a confession!

But I feel like a Grand Prix rider in that saddle. I'm tall and pretty and centaur-style joined to the horse's back. I have also liked the younger Wintecs, maybe the one made before the Isabell with the less extreme thigh rolls. I think the twist is different in these-- narrower in the older, Wintec 500 but I'm cool with both. They are minimalist in the leg and put me as "straight up and down" as a short chick with a booty can be.

How, then, does the slope of the pommel in a Lauriche compare to some kind of Wintec? Will the balance point (deepest part of the seat) in a Lauriche be so far back that my 16.5" femurs will put my knee behind the pocket?

Thanks for reading.

Are Wintecs

alibi_18
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:04 AM
The balance point should be at the same place on each saddle. Right in the middle. If not, that means the saddle is not balanced on the horse's back.

And the size of the seat depend on the size of your butt not your femur.
That is what the different panel shapes and lenghts are for.

alto
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:32 AM
And the size of the seat depend on the size of your butt not your femur.


Only in part - the length of the femur has significant impact on the seat size that will place you in the designated balance point of the saddle - some dressage saddles have a more forward balance point, some farther back; then also figure in more & less forward flaps & stirrup bar placements.

If you contact Patricia at Fine Used Saddles, she can likely direct you to the saddles she has that would be best suited for you (helps if you know what sort of twist you like in a saddle, have some photos of yourself in a current saddle on your horse, have ridden in some saddles & are able to list the likes/dislikes); photos & detailed wither tracing of your horse should further narrow the saddle field.

Maybe some of the information in this old topic (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=177198) will help in your search :)

alto
Oct. 25, 2011, 11:48 AM
An interview (http://www.murdochmethod.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=38) with Andy Foster that should provide some insight into his saddles.

ETA Larry Large seems to be be the only Lauriche rep in the US, so perhaps contact him.

eventer_mi
Oct. 25, 2011, 01:07 PM
The way to find out (this is from Lynnda at Classic saddlery, fwiw) if you have a tipped pelvic floor or not is to sit on a stool or a flat chair, with your legs at at 90 degree angle, in jeans, and see how many fingers you can fit between where all the seams meet and the seat. if you can fit less than 2, you have a flat pelvic floor and would probably like a saddle that has a slow, gentle rise. if you are like me, and can fit 4-5, you have a very tipped pelvic floor, and prefer saddles with a sharper, steeper rise.

I find that to be true, for the most part. If a saddle has a fairly low head and flat pommel, with a gradual rise, i find myself actually sitting ON the pommel of the saddle. Saddles with a quicker, steeper rise keep me back where I belong. This is regardless of the size of the seat - I rode in a Classic Anya with a very shallow seat and flatter pommel, in an 18" (my standard size), and I was fighting to stay off the pommel since my body wanted to slide there. Put me in an Amerigo or Black Country with a quicker rise, and I stay put. FWIW.

mbamissaz
Oct. 25, 2011, 03:05 PM
I have a Lauriche that I bought used and had successfully refit to my horse. Larry Large did the refitting for me. According to Larry, if the saddles are refit with wool, they are pretty much worthless, as the saddles are built to be padded with foam. I don't know exactly why he feels this way, but this is what he told me.

I love my saddle, but yes, refitting can be a nightmare....and with Larry being the only one who does refitting for the saddles, it can take a long time and is quite expensive each time they need to be refit.

They ARE still making these saddles new custom....but they only make like 10-12/yr, and the cost is approximately $6k.

mvp
Oct. 25, 2011, 03:17 PM
The way to find out (this is from Lynnda at Classic saddlery, fwiw) if you have a tipped pelvic floor or not is to sit on a stool or a flat chair, with your legs at at 90 degree angle, in jeans, and see how many fingers you can fit between where all the seams meet and the seat. if you can fit less than 2, you have a flat pelvic floor and would probably like a saddle that has a slow, gentle rise. if you are like me, and can fit 4-5, you have a very tipped pelvic floor, and prefer saddles with a sharper, steeper rise.

I find that to be true, for the most part. If a saddle has a fairly low head and flat pommel, with a gradual rise, i find myself actually sitting ON the pommel of the saddle. Saddles with a quicker, steeper rise keep me back where I belong. This is regardless of the size of the seat - I rode in a Classic Anya with a very shallow seat and flatter pommel, in an 18" (my standard size), and I was fighting to stay off the pommel since my body wanted to slide there. Put me in an Amerigo or Black Country with a quicker rise, and I stay put. FWIW.

In the privacy of my own office, I discovered that I was a "two-finger" kind of gal. Of course it could be the jeans. But who on Earth can fit 4-5 fingers in there? Are we the same species? OK, we can't talk about this metric anymore or ever again.

Thanks for the technique. It does explain the shapes of saddles I prefer. I like to sit way up near the pommel in most saddles-- probably because I'm short (5'2") and have those kiddie-length femurs. My pet peeve is having my knee behind the pocket. Same for staying up over the horse's center of gravity.

I hate to bicker with folks giving me advice, but the "balance point" of a saddle is a complicated thing as far as I'm concerned.

Yeah, it's where the deepest part of the seat is. That's not necessarily smack in the middle of pommel and cantle. The "valley floor" and both sides (rise up to pommel or to cantle) can create what saddle folks call "long or short balance points."

For me, what creates functional balance is the relationship between the planned pocket for your knee, the stirrup bars and the balance point of the seat.

Maybe I'll just have to pony up for the shipping on one of the Lauriches at High End Used Saddles and sit in it.

Or another tactic: For those of you who have CC versions or CC saddles in a J P Giacomi, do those seats relate to the shape of the dressage seat? I can find a JP CC saddle to ride in.

eventer_mi
Oct. 25, 2011, 09:13 PM
@mvp - yes, I have an extremely tipped pelvis. It's why I don't have any problems with bike saddles, whereas most women experience rubbing. It doesn't really have anything to do with the make of jeans - it's pretty consistent regardless of what jean yiu are wearing. Glad it helped!

alto
Oct. 25, 2011, 10:06 PM
Look at all the short flap saddles on Patricia's site - chances are most were originally owned by people with shorter femurs/legs so if custom-made are likely overall designed for the smaller rider.


Or another tactic: For those of you who have CC versions or CC saddles in a J P Giacomi, do those seats relate to the shape of the dressage seat? I can find a JP CC saddle to ride in.

The correlation may exist or not - even within dressage saddles from a given company, the fit/feel can be completely different: unless you can obtain serial numbers & then have the saddle maker correlate those numbers to the specifics of the built saddles, you would have no way of knowing if hating one saddle would translate to the other saddle of consideration.