My saddle story -would a squeaky saddle scare you?
I had a saddle fitter come out and bring lots and lots of saddles for me to try... I was told a Medium to M/W would work for mare and a 17.5 for me, long flap. I tried lots from the fitter and boiled it down to the Black Country and Passier that the fitter would leave for me to ride in. Passier didn't fit my mare at all. Black Country was nice and definitely a possibility.
I also tried an Antares from a friend (like it!) and knew from a horse that I tried and loved that devoucoux felt wonderful too. So I ordered 2 used devoucoux from fineusedsaddles.com to try!
The first one is glorious, a biarritz. The most beautiful piece of saddle I've ever sat in. Very deep with a high pommel, and maybe just a tad too small in the seat because of that. It is super long in the flap which fits my leg beautifully. But it may be too deep since it is a smidge small in the seat... My back killed me the day after riding in it but I don't know if that was the saddle or not. I'd like to try again.
The second saddle, an Oldara, is not as long in the flap and not as new, but a really nice saddle. I rode in it today and it felt great but there are two concerns. First is the flap length - it isn't as long as the other saddle (still considered long) but there is plenty of saddle in front of my leg.. my trainer will hopefully look at it tomorrow. Where should the bottom of the saddle fall on my leg? The second concern is a squeak. I noticed today that there was a slight squeak... is this a sign of something bad? Would you buy a saddle with a slight squeak? It felt fantastic to ride in - I felt like it was deep enough to give me security but not too hard to get out of when I jumped. I really loved it! What do you think about a squeak though? oh - this saddle is used with some wear, but the leather feels pristine and it looks great. I think it is 2007.
PS - I have so far REALLY liked working with fineusedsaddles.com. Patricia offered me a few extra days to try the saddles (thank God because it stormed for days) and the quality of these saddles are outstanding. I have confirmed for me that a used devoucoux is better for me and my mare than a new Black Country. Anybody looking for a saddle should call Patricia!
My trainer likes to see the flap be within the top 1/3 of your lower leg. So only a third of the way down from your bent knee, if that makes sense. I personally like the look of a shorter flap, and seeing more leg against the horse (also the fact that its a closer contact)
As for the squeak, on a used saddle I may be concerned.
My first Crosby PDN developed a squeek. Oiling did not solve it. I never tried baby powder because the squeek seemed to be within the panel. I was flying with it (in the late 70's) and got to have it xrayed at security. I asked them to stop it so I could take a good look, and nothing showed as a crack. So my advice is that if you like the 2d saddle maybe ask a vet (large or small) to do an xray.
As for my PDN it squeeked until I sold it. And probably after too!
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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Yup, a squeak would scare the bejesus out of me. My Antares had a squeak coming from the pommel area of the saddle. It was a broken tree. Had to be sent to France to fix and was gone for nearly 5 months. At least I didn't have to pay for the repairs, as it was a new saddle.
Yes, my County developed a definite squeak and it was a broken tree. Got it replaced under the warranty but was without a saddle that fit my horse for a couple of months as it happened right when the factory closed for vacation and I had to wait to get a new tree shipped to the US.
There is a distinct difference between a saddle with squeaky leather and a broken tree squeak. If it sounds the same way an older hardwood floor does, I would recommend not buying the saddle. If you can wiggle your leg around and make the squeak stop, it might be the leather and you can give it a deep oiling to stop the squeak. Your local tack shop or the saddle fitter you've already used should be able to give you a second opinion
I suspect a loose or missing rivet is a more common source of squeak in saddles than a broken tree but definitely contact Patricia & discuss this with her (it maybe that the saddle tree has been checked & the source of the squeak identified)
I learned the hard way that squeaking can be a really bad sign..either a popped/sheared rivet, or a broken tree. When does the squeaking happen? Posting trot? Can you recreate the sound by pushing down on the saddle on a flat surface? What about when you flex the saddle backwards by holding the cantle against your body and pulling the pommel towards you?
A sheared rivet, if not fixed promptly, will often cause the tree to crack at that point. Fixing a sheared rivet is an easy (and inexpensive) fix, but a cracked tree is another story, depending on where the crack has occurred. Cracks near the pommel are usually fixable, unlike cracks along the cantle area. Definitely try to get the saddle looked at by a saddle fitter before purchasing!
My saddle developed a squeak (it definately wasn't a leather on leather squeak) and it was a broken rivet in the tree. Cost about $150 to fix and it's been great ever since. If you love the saddle, you should be able to get a quote on it first before you commit from a reputable saddle repair person. If the seller won't allow that, then walk away!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
If the saddle fitter liked the way the Passier and Black Country fit your horse I'm surprised the Devoucoux fit. They have completely different types of panels and tree shapes. Devoucoux's are usually made with foam panels...you may be able to get one with wool made.
Yeah, funny thing about that... The fitter took tracings, tried a bunch of saddles on mare, then let me sit in ALL of them (I couldn't ride at the time because of a terrible wind storm), then left the two that felt comfortable. No real discussion about them fitting necessarily. The Passier absolutely did NOT fit once I rode it in it. The sides stuck out like a flying nun. The BC had WAY too much padding in the shoulder area so we would go with the lighter padded BC. The Devoucouxs seemed to lay on her pretty evently. Maybe that's the difference in a broken in saddle and a new saddle?
I spoke with the devoucoux seller. It had a squeak when the saddle arrived and a saddler opened it up. Apparently it is squeaking where 2 metal bars meet in the saddle, but all wood, rivets, and bars are in good shape. So they put some lubrication in the spot that rubbed a bit (apparently it needs to flex and move, it just squeaks a little). Hope this sounds normal and okay...