It's looking like I might have to embark on a saddle hunt sometime soon . I love my saddle but my gelding has grown 'real shoulders' and a 'real topline' and it's just not going to cut it anymore.
On my list of things to look at would so far would be Antares and CWD. I am wary of Devoucoux having heard some customer service nightmares but am open to other suggestions.
I want something that will be:
-Fit specifically to my gelding
-Has a rep somewhere in British Columbia
-Isn't going to take months and months to come in
-A range of seat depths to choose from
Is that too much to ask? !
Thanks for your suggestions!
ETA: There is also a nice Luc Childeric that might fit available used in my area. What are these saddles like?
If money is no option, the saddle I like most is the Luc Childrec. It's a very balanced saddle that positions me well. I'm not a fan of thigh blocks though, which come on the newer models, but they are removable. I also really like the Butet (flatter seat), as well as the PJ. If budget is a factor, I'm a big fan of most any Beval saddle. The line has so many different models to suit about every person. My personal favorites are the World Cup, Salem, and the older Natural models.
If money is no option, the saddle I like most is the Luc Childrec.
The budget is semi-flexible because I should be able to get a good price for my old saddle and have some extra to spend on top of that. I want something good quality that will last, and I know that comes with a pricetag!
I second CWDs. I also love Tad Coffins even though I know a lot of people think they're uncomfortable. But the new ones are worth trying they did a great job remodeling them with a deeper seat and they fit a lot of different horses.
"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but dream; not only plan, but also believe."
Saddle fit and preference is very individual, so my advice is to try as many different models as possible.
I've had Hermes, Devoucoux (never again!), Antares and currently ride in a Butet (the newer FB2 tree.) I love it and it works beautifully for my big WB, but he isn't terribly hard to fit. My trainer remarked the other day that our pro rider, who has a lovely CWD, rides my horse in the Butet because she prefers it, the only horse in the barn she doesn't ride in her own saddle.
Try a bunch and see what works for you. Happy shopping!
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I love love love my Antares. It's 5 years old and looks/feels great. It's a half deep seat, all calf leather, extra forward and long flaps. It fits me better than anything I have ever had, and even though it was made with my previous horse in mind, it has fit everything I have sat it on.
It's the only non-wool flocked saddle that our local saddle fitter (who isn't a brand rep for anyone so he isn't biased) actually likes. There have been a few times that he has recommended other boarders in our barn ride in my saddle while they wait on their own saddles to be re-flocked or ordered.
It's also super comfortable and puts me in great position and is very balanced. I am very short waisted and long legged so saddle fit is usually really tough for me.
I just had a devoucoux fitting a couple weeks ago and I loved the saddles(esp. the Biarritz). Practically my whole barn rides in Devoucoux saddles and not one person has a complaint about the service or saddles(and several people have dealt with ordering completely custom saddles); the rep comes out at least once every month or two and she's great to work with. A lady who used to ride at our barn was a Devoucoux rep too so that's probably why. I haven't had the chance to try an Antares(my old barn was full of those) but I've heard great things about them.
I love my Amerigo Farouche. It fits everything I ride, from way fat Welsh cobs to my skinny DWB, and is great for both flatwork and jumping. They seem to run small, though. My is supposed to be a 16.5, but seems smaller than other saddles at that size, which works perfectly for me.