I am looking at buying a new saddle and have narrowed down to the Trilogy Debbie Mcdonald Special (short flap) or the Andy Sankey Barracuda. The Sankey seems a little more customiseable than the Debbie McDonald, but don't know much about Sankey saddles reputation. Both saddles cost the same. I am 5'1" and have a very limited choice finding a saddle that fits my leg lenght. I'd appreciate any input or experience anyone has with either saddle.
I have two Trilogy Veragos and love them, hence the second purchase. I have a friend with the Debbie Special and she loves it. I tried many other saddles and the Trilogy was equal in quality to any of them and the customer service far surpassed the others.
The Sankey saddles are nice saddles and they are a bit more customizable than the Trilogy models. The Trilogy models are very well made and are a quality product that are well balanced. The Sankey saddle line is not a well known brand here in the states and may not have the resale value that a Trilogy saddle would have due to brand recognition. Have you tried Custom Saddlery? These are very good fitting saddles that can be fully customized to you and your horse. I looked at both Trilogy and Sankey as these saddles were the closest saddles that I could find to fit my long femur and still allow my heel to stay under my hip instead of out in front of my knee due to the knee rolls being too far forward. I ended up getting a Custom Saddlery model that the company modified for me by bringing the flap straighter to allow my knee to be deeper instead of out in front of my due to my long femur. It works perfectly. They are very open to working with riders to accomodate special needs.
Have you tried the saddles? What fits you better? Who has the better saddle fitter in your area? If you are going custom, I think the quality of your regions saddle fitter is important - they vary by area.
I agree, a known name is better for resale down the road - but no matter what, if you buy new, it is like a car, it depreciates at least 30% the day you take it home... So the goal is to buy something that you won't have to re-sell anytime soon.
I have a Custom, and part of what I like about it is that it can be re-fit as the horse changes - not just restuffed, but they can heat and widen or narrow the tree gullet (assuming the shape still works for the horse).
Agree that the fitter is really important; which is why I have 2 Trilogy saddles. I wasted 9 months trying to get something that fit my horse from Custom. The fit got progressively worse after 3 tries, and they were quite snotty about it. YMMV