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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
    Posts
    915

    Default Saddles that are holding their value

    So, I need a new saddle. Fitting aside - there are plenty of threads about that. My concern is that what will fit him for the next year will not fit him forever. I'm not sold on the adjustable trees. I also don't want air, I want wool flocked. What are you finding is holding it's value if bought used now and well cared for?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2006
    Posts
    249

    Default

    sold my hennig a year and a half after owning it for what I paid.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    512

    Default

    I bought a used Luc Childeric at the end of the year last year, and someone just offered me $800 more than what I paid for it.

    I was aghasted when I looked on-line and discovered how much they actually cost new- I had no idea. And yes, it's a wonderful saddle that I have NO interest in selling.

    I've also been offered $1500 for my 20 y.o. Niedersuss- seen some miles but in good shape. I think it was less than $2000 new. And no, it's not for sale either. The new ones don't seem to be as nice, unfortunately, which is how I ended up with the used Childeric!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2004
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    348

    Default

    I've noticed that Albions seem to hold their value pretty well (though not selling for what they cost new well). I would imagine that if you got a platinum edition (with the Genesis tree) it would keep its value even better, because the saddle is even more adjustable, past flocking, for whatever horse the buyer may have.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,979

    Default

    There are a lot of variables that go into how well a saddle will hold its value, but you can hedge your bets a little bit:

    1. Buy a popular seat size and tree size. 17.5" and 18" are much easier to move, particularly in medium, medium-wide, and wide. A medium-narrow or narrow saddle is VERY hard to move, and good luck trying to move a 16.5" or 17" saddle--it can be done, but it'll take longer and you'll make less $$.

    2. Some brands are hotter than others, and not necessarily because they're better or worse than other brands but just because they are popular. The tack market is so soft right now that anything that's still moving on the used market at ALL, even at depressed prices, is something that I'd call "hot". IMHO, this is what's still selling:

    --Hennig, particularly the Hennig Sofa
    --Passier Grand Gilbert, but not necessarily the other newer Passiers (the older $500 Passiers still move on that lower end of the scale).
    --County, especially the Competitor (and to some degree their other saddles)
    --Albion, particularly the SLK/SLK Ultima
    --Frank Baines, especially the Reflex but the Elegance is doing okay too
    --Schleese, particularly the Wave but other models also do "okay" (you will do worse trying to move a wool-flocked Schleese as compared to the FLAIR system--people who are shopping Schleese are almost always looking for FLAIR.)

    3. Popular features - wool flocked with some kind of tree adjustability (either by the user or by the brand reps) is always popular. Monoflap is also very popular right now, as are big honking thigh blocks (I happen to hate big honking thigh blocks, but you asked what was popular, not what my personal tastes were, right?) As noted above, there are niche markets for other certain gee-whiz features--the Schleese people are very loyal to FLAIR and there is a contingent of Wintec/Bates people who simply adore their CAIR--but why buy in a niche market when you're purposely looking to resell later?

    4. The low-end "oldies but goodies" - Certain brands in the sub-$1000 range can be purchased used and tend to stay at about the same value for the life of the saddle. A used-but-not-abused $500 Kieffer Wein or Neidersuss or Passier is still going to be a $500 saddle if it's taken care of for a few years. I personally think the Stubben dressage saddles are a little more iffy--there's just so damn many of them that when you go to resell, it's hard to find a market.

    ETA: There's one more saddle category that I'd call "hot", but also quite risky, and that's the Wintec dressage saddles, particularly the Wintec 500 and the Wintec Isabell. People either love those saddles or hate them, they either fit the horse like a dream or they don't fit at all, etc. But since you're not looking for an air-flocked adjustable-tree saddle, I figured you wouldn't consider these models anyway. A few years ago when the saddle market was more active, a Wintec 500 or Isabell was probably a safe resale project; these days I wouldn't say so.
    Last edited by jn4jenny; May. 31, 2008 at 09:38 AM.
    ________________________
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    16,684

    Default

    The Fhoenix, a partial tree(mostly treeless) saddle from Enlightened Equitation, is a $2000 saddle new and they are very hard to find used. No one wants to sell them...but I'd say they hold their value very well. You sometimes find the older Flexion models on Ebay but they are rare.

    The best thing about them is you probably won't need another saddle as the saddle fit is adjustable as your horse grows and changes. I use mine comfortably on a wide range of horse types and don't even need special padding or shims.

    If you open my website, the home page will show a horse standing saddled with prairie behind him. That is my stallion and he is wearing a Fhoenix.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Posts
    891

    Default

    Agree with most things jn4jenny said.

    If you buy new, you always lose some. If you buy used, a good, well kept saddle you can sell it for almost the same price you buy.

    I find all Passiers, with that PS tree (is that what it's called?), sell well.

    Stay away from foam flocking. Nobody buys them.

    I am not familiar with Schleese. But personally I stay away from saddle with air. I have a friend with a CAIR that leaked half way during a ride and the horse reared.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2007
    Location
    Beyond the pale.
    Posts
    2,957

    Default

    I have a friend with a CAIR that leaked half way during a ride and the horse reared.
    No you don't.
    CAIR is a gel foam incorporating air. The envelope can be pierced and the system will still support the saddle. Check with Wintec or Bates, the makers of the system ( because I did).

    Schleese's FLAIR air system can leak and collapse suddenly or become uneven. Perhaps your friend had a Schleese or some similar airbag saddle.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Thanks for all your inputs. I think that I have been turned a bit this week to spend the money for an adjustable tree (rather than the changeable gullet type), so I won't need to have something that I won't lose my a$$ on in a year. I just don't know how I am going to swing $2K plus for a different saddle. Of course what I tried that I liked this week was the more expensive stuff. And nothing that I own right now is going to come close to selling for what I'll need for a new saddle. Oh, the fun of saddle shopping...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
    Posts
    1,396

    Default

    I would not recommend an adjustable tree. If the screw heads that hold the adjustment are not absolutely perfectly even with each other, the adjustment screw has a tendency to jam, just like anything that gets threaded crookedly.

    If you are buying that adjustable saddle, thinking that it will be adjustable to any size horse...from narrow to wide..., that only works in theory. You can easily get very small adjustments such as from maybe medium, to slightly less or more than medium, but adjusting a full tree size is problematic.

    Also, because of the constant small movement of the head as you ride, there tends to be some eventual compromise of the leather area around the head...a tendency toward cracking.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2007
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    If you are looking for adjustable, consider a saddle that can be slightly widened or narrowed by a saddle fitter - some of the Albions can, and the DK saddles are also adjustable. Treeless or semi-treeless (such as Reactor Panel) are pretty adjustable too.

    The Isabelle saddles hold their value pretty well, and fit a wide variety of horses and have the adjustable gullets. I keep a used one around to start the babies in because they DO fit a lot of horses and have some adjustablity.

    I'd look at a used saddle. Saddles that fit a lot of horses include the Neidersuiss (medium tree runs a little wide, seems to fit many different horses), the Wintec Isabelle, the Albion SLs, etc. I have bought and sold a few saddles through the years, and those brands have always been easy fits and easy re-sells.

    4jenny makes a lot of good points - popular seat and tree sizes are important!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2004
    Location
    Williamstown, MA USA
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    What about a Euroriding Safir in decent condition? Not asking for a price, just whether it is a saddle anyone ever looks for. 18', wide tree, wool flocked.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2001
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    298

    Default Adjustable saddles

    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post
    I would not recommend an adjustable tree. If the screw heads that hold the adjustment are not absolutely perfectly even with each other, the adjustment screw has a tendency to jam, just like anything that gets threaded crookedly.

    If you are buying that adjustable saddle, thinking that it will be adjustable to any size horse...from narrow to wide..., that only works in theory. You can easily get very small adjustments such as from maybe medium, to slightly less or more than medium, but adjusting a full tree size is problematic.

    Also, because of the constant small movement of the head as you ride, there tends to be some eventual compromise of the leather area around the head...a tendency toward cracking.
    Sorry Angel, but I think you need to do your homework before you make such a definitive, all-encompassing statement. There are several brands out there with fully adjustable trees that will go at least a full tree size - but they need to have the Sprenger gullet system (no screws). Hennig, DK, Regal, Schleese, Passier, to name the most common ones.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2001
    Location
    Hangin' on by a thread...
    Posts
    3,347

    Default

    The ReactorPanel saddle is NOT treeless, nor is it a partial tree. It is a fully tree'd saddle that has panels that are suspended from the wooden tree by foam discs. You still have to get the right tree size for the horse and can then play around with the panels by moving the discs around. I used to have one and it was a HEAVY saddle, and I didn't notice it helping much so I sold it.

    The Prestiges, which don't seem to be in vogue now, are fully adjustable by certified saddlers - Dover is one, and so is VTO Saddlery. For $100-150, you ship the saddle to them and they can heat up the tree and widen or narrow it. For the extremes (more than one size up or down), they will have to do it in two installments - heat it up, adjust it the full size, cool it down, and then re-adjust it), and if you do it a LOT (like more than onced or twice a year, for several consecutive years), you might dry out the leather (at least, that's what VTO told me on the phone), but it can be done.

    Kiefer also has an adjustable tree, but again it has to be sent back to the manufacturer.

    Balance Saddles make their saddles deliberately wider than you need, using the theory that you can always pad up the saddle and the horse will fill out with muscle when it's not being compressed by a narrower tree. They have no twist for my taste, though.

    There's the whole spectrum of treeless. I had an Ansur, and sold it because even though my draft cross's trot was LOFFLY, his canter got worse. I think it was because it pressed down on his withers and he couldn't lift them up, so he compensated by traveling downhill. AFter he starting getting very flinchy around the withers (and this horse barely had withers), I sold the thing. Also, it had no twist.

    If you can find a WOW saddle, buy it. They not only have adjustable gullet plates that are very short, and have flexible tree points, but they have the FLAIR flocking system and different panels as well. They're pricey, and impossible to find used, but you CAN find them used. I sold one a long, long time ago and have regretted it ever since. THey're wonderfully made.

    Regarding saddles with wooden trees (with the steel headplate) - there are some saddlers that can adjust these one size wider - they remove the headplate and open up the tree. Our local saddler in Southern Pines (VERY reputable - everybody uses him) told me this about the wooden trees.

    Hope this helps!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2006
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    5,858

    Default

    I bought a used (20 yr old) Niedersuss for about $900 off TackTrader.. the woman had several other people interested in it, and I've no doubt that I could sell it easily if I ever want to. It's a really nice saddle, and doesn't look anywhere near as old as it is (and it's wool!).



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2008
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    31

    Default

    I bought a used Albion Style a few years ago...I think they were the precursor to the SLK line. I got it for $800 and had it restuffed immediately and an adjustment made to the stirrup bars to better fit my short stubby legs( I'm 5'3"). The restuffing and the alterations to it cost me about $400 so I feel like I got a great saddle for about $1200. I hope it will do me well for quite some time assuming I don't get a horse that is hugely different shaped from my two thoroughbreds and assuming I don't gain a bunch of weight. I buy my saddles ( and I own way too many at my house saddles have become a little bit like shoes at other homes...you just can't ever have too many!) with resale in mind ie I never buy a cheap low end saddle but prefer to buy a resonable quality saddle even second hand which will hold it's value. I always look for qualities like wool flocking and a gussetted panel when I buy a saddle...it makes it so much easier to restuff successfully and you can do alot of adjustment to the fit on a good saddle by restuffing it. I love my Albion....awesome saddle



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2002
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    168

    Default

    The better made saddle will keep their value and saddles that are en vogue.

    County's - especially the Connection, Fusion and Perfection.

    Most Hennigs



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Posts
    891

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CatOnLap View Post
    No you don't.
    CAIR is a gel foam incorporating air. The envelope can be pierced and the system will still support the saddle. Check with Wintec or Bates, the makers of the system ( because I did).

    Schleese's FLAIR air system can leak and collapse suddenly or become uneven. Perhaps your friend had a Schleese or some similar airbag saddle.
    Yes you are right, although I am not sure what it is... it is some air system with a tube? So is it FLAIR?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2001
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    298

    Default

    I think the 'inventor' of the Flair system would object to it being called "Schleese's Flair system". Schleese is just one company that uses Flair - actually back when Danny Kroetch was working for them, he used to sell Flair almost exclusively. It's a system that was very faddish and popular for a well, but good, old-fashioned flocking has won out in the end. Many people I know have since had their Flair changed back to wool, but it is of course easier to adjust air than to restuff properly...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,424

    Default

    When these "air saddles" first came out, I couldn't get the image of a sudden saddle "blow out" out of my head!

    KABOOM! Ka-flap, ka-flap, ka-flap...Whoa, Lightening!

    Back to your regular programming.



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