Does anybody ride in a Dominus close contact saddle? I am thinking of bidding on one. How do you like the saddle? Pros? Cons?
What body shaped horse do you use it on? I am looking at a medium tree for a horse with high withers.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
Tried one on consignment at a local tack shop - several years old but leather was very nice though it hadn't had the best care - couldn't seem to get it to sit properly on the horse ... had the saddle fitter out to look & she was convinced that the tree was warped (didn't open it as we knew we weren't going to buy): so maybe ask whether the tree is in good condition etc (assuming this is ebay).
In general they have a decent reputation though they have been made in different factories through the years, & some runs are better than others.
I have a Peter Menet designed one. Fits my TB with huge withers & an equally large shoulder very well. Only needed a slight adjustment/flocking from Smith Worthington and it was the best off-the-shelf fit (had a Butet that wouldn't cut it). Also, it fits my long femur very well. The flap is a bit more forward & longer than normal. I've had a couple BNTs mention its nice balance & fit - curious as to its brand. I had Smith Worthington condition it while they had it, they did a fabulous job with it which did help, looks gorgeous despite its age and with a quick cleaning looks 'new.' The one complaint that I have is that it's heavier than the Butet. I stumbled upon it while in a desperate search to find a non-custom option for my horse (interestingly enough, this saddle has a tree that can be adjusted & customized easily), and it was a good purchase. I've seen some ugly ones, that are lacking in the overall quality & balance that mine has, so I would inspect it carefully. I've read that they have been manufactured at many different places, with various designs, most likely leading to the wide array of reviews.
(FWIW, Smith Worthington does a great job with saddles & fitting. If you want unbiased opinion & a company that stands behind their work, and does it properly, I can't say enough good things. They deserve a mention!)
I have one sitting in my closet. It is heavyyyyyy! The leather was ok, and the dropped panel fit a withery tb well.
Until... one of the stirrup bars broke one day while I was riding, cracked and bent beyond use. I think maybe it had been damaged in shipping, but everything looked normal...until my whole stirrup fell off!
The company is no longer in business, so there is no one to stand behind the product. The saddler I took it to wanted to weld the thing which I was not comfortable with.
IDK how common it is for "budget" saddles to use weaker alloys, but my advice would be to get a used beval for about the same price and look, but more reliable service and repair.
He designed the entire Dominus lineup, so that's not too surprising.
The Dominus CC fits similarly to the Amerigo CC. They're made for horses with high withers, big shoulders, and curvy toplines.
I've seen some ugly ones, that are lacking in the overall quality & balance that mine has, so I would inspect it carefully. I've read that they have been manufactured at many different places, with various designs, most likely leading to the wide array of reviews.
Unfortunately this is very true. The Dominus saddles were manufactured by Harry Dabbs and the quality seemed to vary from year to year and model to model. When I was shopping for my Dominus, I saw no less than three variations on the Dominus dressage saddle (of which there was allegedly only ever one model). I saw two broken trees, a warped tree, a saddle with panels sewn on poorly, several saddles with spider cracking on the seats, etc. It was only a medium-priced saddle to begin with and the brand has been discontinued for years. Not surprisingly, some of them have weathered the years better than others.
I did finally find one that was in excellent shape, which has since been verified by two different saddle fitters. I love my Dominus dressage saddle and find it very reminiscent of my Amerigo CC saddle. But I had to look at a lot of duds before I found this one.
But in short, I would not ever buy a Dominus unless I could physically inspect the exact unit that I was getting.
I've been told by a few people that the later versions were not? That's when he went to go work for Amerigo...
Nope--Menet definitely designed them all. I trust my source; he is a tack wholesaler who knows the genealogy of many saddle brands. He can even tell you what happened to the old Miller saddles.
Your friends may have been mistakenly talking about the Jaguar saddles, which are highly reminiscent of Menet's earlier work for Dabbs (under the Dominus, Porsche, and Cobra lines) but were designed and manufactured by Harry Dabbs after Menet left to found the Amerigo line under his own company Selleria Menetsattel. In that sense, the "later versions" of the Menet-type saddles by Harry Dabbs (aka the Jaguars) were, indeed, not really designed by Peter Menet and postdate Menet's contract with Dabbs.
While we're on this topic, Peter Menet doesn't "work for" Amerigo. Amerigo is a saddle line owned by Selleria Menetsattel, which as the name implies, is owned by Peter Menet. So dude basically works for himself. Incidentally, he designs the saddles, but they're built on contract at the Selleria Equipe manufacturing facility in Italy. Menetsattel is based in Switzerland.