Amerigo Dressage Saddles
I posted something like this in the Eventing section a couple weeks ago, but i'm back again trying to find out some more on dressage saddles...
OK. First off, I know literally nothing of dressage saddles because I've had the same one for 14 years, It's fit a wide range of horses and it's still in excellent shape - but it doesn't fit my current upper-level hopeful and so it's time for a new one for the special boy. I have only had one fitter look at him (County rep. Beth for NC, anyone?)
Anyways! The horse..
Medium-high withers, Big shoulders, short (er) back and quite curvy. The catch? He's quite wide for a Thoroughbred with such curvy forms.
I have a prestige event jumping saddle that fits him insanely well, but It seems that every prestige model is different, and the prestige 2000D I tried was just the wrong shape (too long, flat..ect)
Now, back to amerigo's:
His old owner had an Amerigo Vega that fit him very, very well and he just did well in it. I can't seem to find much on the Amerigos, one, or the Amerigo Vega. Opinions?
I'm looking used, and it's quite hard to find an Amerigo for under $1,600 in good condition, but nevertheless - it's worth a try.
Any opinions on brands or models that would fit a curvy back, like above?
I'm 5'5" with long legs... haha.
Thanks guys! :]
I'm 5'5, 115lbs, and I like my Amerigo Cervia. I have a 16/16.1 hh Hanoverian/Paint cross and it fits him like a glove. It also fit my 15.3 andalusian/paint and my 16hh English TB/cross very well, too. It is a medium tree. I don't remeber the seat size/flap size off the top of my head, though.
The vega is the "lower" line. Its a very nice saddle and I that is why I hesitated to caller it a lower line. I had a vega and it was wool flocked, nice leather and some come with calf leather others do not, and good quality. The Amerigos have more options, but they are basically the same saddle. At least that is what I felt when I was trying dressage saddles.
Did the fitter bring you saddles to try? I would try that route and sit your butt in some more saddles to find the right match.
Check the used sites for Amerigos and Vegas. Quite a few pop up and you may find one in your price range.
A big thumbs down from me.
After 3-4 years of use on 1-2 horses a day with excellent care our expensive Amerigo basically disintegrated. Rivets had blown and due to the resulting movement the tree had been compromised and the leather on seat seperated... the company's anwser? Not our problem :( The retailer struggled hard to get them to help us but it was a complete loss. We have Roosli's, Max Benz's and Passiers in the barn going on 10-15+ years that look amazing and are structurally sound; very disappointed in Amerigo's quality and service.
The Vega is more of an entry-level Amerigo, not necessarily a "lower" saddle. It is far less customizable than the Amerigos and is built on a plastic tree instead of a wood/steel one. Even so, the price has sky-rocketed up to just shy of $4000 so it will be hard to find a nice used one in the $1500 neighborhood.
You might also look into some of the other Amerigo models as possibilities. From your brief description, maybe try an Alto or a CC dressage. If he's not too high behind, you might also look for a Cortina. It's tough to say for sure without seeing the horse as each Amerigo model is made for a different topline.
World Equestrian Brands can ship demo models of both Vegas and Amerigos to you if you go through an authorized dealer/fitter. M & M Tack Shop in Raleigh is one and Equestrian Imports in Florida are both good sources.
There are quite a few on eBay, and here;
My mom recently bought a used one, it's the most comfortable thing I have ever sat in!
Tri-County Feeds in Marshall, VA has an 18" brand new wide tree Amerigo Vega dressage saddle for $1,660. It's been on clearance for ages. There is nothing wrong with it. I sat in it, but didn't find it comfortable for me.
Originally Posted by NCSaddleFitter
You could look at used Jaguar or Cobra saddles; they're also built on a very curvy tree. I also wouldn't write Prestige off entirely. I just bought a used Prestige for under $1k for a curvy-backed TB. I'd check Pelham Saddlery's website if you haven't already. They have new consignment saddles coming in literally every day; you can always contact them to see if they might have something that would work for you but isn't on the website yet. I bought my saddle through them and they were fantastic to work with.
If he was wearing a Vega jump saddle, that bodes very well for him fitting into an Amerigo or Vega dressage saddle. I suggest you consult the Amerigo online saddle catalogue--it describes in detail the sorts of backs that each Amerigo dressage saddle is built for.
You do occasionally see Amerigos or Vegas for $1300-$1600, but it's pretty rare. Keep your eyes open but don't hold your braeth. Your better bet is to look for a Dominus, Cobra, or Jaguar XJS--all either designed by Peter Menet or extremely reminiscent of his work. Dominus is particularly easy to find in the sub-$1000 price range, often from $600-$800, and the trees run generously (Dominus medium = many other brand's MW, Dominus wide is a very generous wide, etc.). Dominus won't work as well as Amerigo for a LONG wither, but it will work well for a typical Thoroughbred high wither as long as that wither doesn't keep going, going, going halfway down the horse's back. If your horse is short backed, you're likely in good shape there. In fact, I ride my own short-backed high-but-not-withered very-curvy-toplined guy in a Dominus dressage saddle and an Amerigo jump saddle.
Other brands to consider that are not Amerigo but tend to fit a similar horse: Roosli, Spirig, Verhan. Thornhill has built a very good knockoff of the Roosli called the Thornhill Zurich, and that can be had for about $1450 shipped. Cordia Pearson reps for Thornhill and is good at fitting wide horses (I think she rides Morgans herself):
I'm sure people will scoff at this, but I'd also recommend looking at the HDR Rivella Dressage Saddle. They borrow a lot of moves from the Amerigo playbook, and although I have nothing nice to say about HDR's cheaper saddles, the Devrel and Rivella lineups are respectable for the price. I only hesitate here to ask what size Vega the horse was wearing before--the HDR "Wide" is not super duper ooper wide, so knowing the Vega size would help you decide this was a reasonable punt to attempt. Although heck, at $1165 retail, you could afford to have it widened to suit this horse and still be at under $1500.
I've also heard nice things about the Smith Worthington Mystic dressage saddle, a steal at $1114 and Smith Worthington will gladly adjust the tree to match your horse's wither tracing. This brand is known to be good at fitting wider horses, and the Mystic has much in common structurally with the Amerigo dressage tack (thick wool panels, similar balance point, similar seat construction).
There are dozens of other possible fish in this sub-$1500 sea too, but I've concentrated here on Amerigo and its reasonably close cousins.
Here's a really nice looking used Vega for $1500 Canadian. I wish the seat was smaller and I would snap it up in a moment!
I've had mine for 7 years now, and have not had any problem, oh, and I not a very religous tack cleaner (I treat my tack well, but I could probably treat it better haha)!
Originally Posted by Emy