I am trying to decide between the two and which rep to have out for a fitting. What is your experience with these saddles, customer service, quality of the saddles, balance for position, comfort for the horse, ect.
I have a CWD and it couldn't be better. The customer service was good (at the time I got the saddle, there wasn't a rep in my area, but CWD made it work) and the saddle is amazing. It fits everything I ride, which varies from small ponies to 17+ hand horses. I've found that it puts me in a very nice position, unlike the Devoucoux, which always seemed to put me in a chair seat.
I had a great experience with Devoucoux. The rep was very helpful and knowledgeable and immediately hit upon the problems that had made my saddle search so difficult to start with, and explained clearly how the saddle would be constructed. The saddle arrived in 6 weeks, sooner than expected. When it broke in, it started to fit a little differently than intended, and Devoucoux was great in taking it back and fixing it quickly. It still wasn't quite right (I think my horse's shape had changed somewhat, and he is asymmetrical to begin with,) so one of the Master Saddlers from France came to the farm personally and fitted it to my horse on the spot. None of this cost me any extra and the company was quick to rectify the fitting problem. I love the saddle, my horse's back and shoulders are happy, and will be doing business with them in future.
I had a thread called "The Epic Saddle Search" or something like that in the Horse Care section that will tell you about the whole saga if you're interested.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I had the opposite experience as Renn and will NEVER spend another penny with Devoucoux again.
I had an older Devoucoux Socoa I liked and wante to replace with another one in buffalo leather with padded flaps. SEVEN months and endless aggravation later... I still did not have a saddle that fit and the "customer service" person had taken to ignoring my phone calls based on caller ID... I could call from my cell phone and it would go straight to VM, but calling from a friend's phone - answered immediately. At one point they told me that "everyone is at WEF til March, just ride in the (saddle that doesn't fit at all) til then and we will come out to help when we get back. Um, no.
I did end up flying down to WEF with the saddle and stood in their booth with my complaint which finally got their attention. It didn't get me a saddle that fit, but I finally got a refund and was able to go buy something else that worked beautifully.
On the other hand, I have several friends who have CWDs and rave about how great they are. I've never heard a bad word about them.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
LOVE my devoucoux, HOWEVER I'm sure you've read the numerous thread on HORROR STORIES of buying direct from them. So, while I had a perfect experience, i also did not buy directly from them. I bought mine used, too.
So, if you need to go custom, I highly suggest CWD. If you are okay with buying used, get the dev.
But really, just try a few out and see what fits best before you decide of course.
i have purchased two devoucoux saddles and the customer service and saddle fit was excellent, both times. would definitely highly recommend! love the saddle, i have the socoa
in buffalo leather. two other barn mates also have a devoucoux
and love them, too!
I have a CWD and I love that saddle. The rep came out, watched me ride in a few saddles, had me jump a little to check out what I was most comfortable sitting in, measured me and my horse, and 5 weeks later I got a saddle that fit. I didn't get some of the trimmings that were supposed to come with it (saddle cleaner and stirrup leathers) but CWD rectified the situation as soon as I brought it to their attention and threw in a free hat too (not that it matters haha, but I love that hat - I wear it almost every time I'm out at the barn!). My trainer says it's like they come with a seat belt - the way I sat in the saddle right away, I felt much more secure. Of course, it was the first time I'd had back blocks, so that might have had something to do with it.
Now I'm not the most impartial source, since I've never ridden in a Devocoux and I am at a 'CWD barn,' where a LOT of the customers and both of the trainers ride in CWDs. But I have had several saddles since I started needing my own saddle, and my CWD is definitely a very, very nice saddle. My only complaint would be that it didn't come so broken in I could feel every twitch of my horse underneath me, like my old Antares was (that saddle was so worn you could almost see through the flaps haha but it was a great saddle too, when I bought my CWD my mom stole it from me, gave it some body work and claimed it as her own ).
Last week I tried to set up fittings with both reps in my area without luck. I guess they must stay too busy in Wellington to come up to Orlando I called the Devoucoux rep several times without a returned phone call. It think that is a foreshadowing of what the service is like. I think I will go with CWD. She said she was coming this way soon, but I still don't have an appointment. I wanted a custom saddle to get the right fit, but now it might be easier to just have used saddles shipped to me on trial. I can't believe how difficult it is when I am ready to spend money!
I think it is completely dependent on the rep you get when it comes to a Devoucoux. I have an old Socoa (like 10 years old) and when I am ready to replace it I don't know what I am going to do. I have ridden in both, both are nice saddles, I think you should try both and see what works best for you. And, yes, going direct through Devoucoux (i.e. their website, phone, etc) can be annoying and a bad experience. I have had nothing but good experiences with the reps I have worked with (have purchased stuff from reps in Florida, New Hampshire, and at one horse show here, but it wasn't the local rep - it was one of the US managers).
I have heard great things about the CWD customer service, but, again, at the end of the day, I think it all depends and what you want and the fit. I think both will probably wear at about the same rate - my old Devoucoux is like Teflon, the thing just won't die - haha, I am considering just getting it reflocked, I love it so much. I can't speak for the newer saddles since I don't own one, have only ridden in them. Everyone I know in my area pretty much rides in a CWD.
I have no experience with CWD, but I did buy a custom Devoucoux this summer. The rep was so-so, she was supposed to be at the farm at 10a, finally showed at 430p. She did at least call and say she was going to be late...twice. I told her I would call in two weeks after a paycheck to place the order, it took like five calls and two messages for her to call me back. I waited to see the order clear, and finally called her a week later. She said she had gotten the last four mixed up, but never bothered to call me. Ugh.
However, the guys on the phone at the 800-number were always awesome, and the saddle is beyond great, so all in all I'm going to say it was a good experience.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl