As many of you kind of know, I'm always one to push a certain brand of Canadian custom saddle. While it is pretty too look at (and the leather is really nice), as of last week, it has come to our attention that this saddle will cost us AT LEAST $900.00 a year. Yes, you heard that right, 900 bucks a year for somebody to fill the saddle's bladders with AIR! So if I was to keep the saddle for a good long time (which should be the case), i'd be spending a grand a year on taking care of this saddle. Now, we bought the saddle 10 months ago and it was never brought up to us at any time how much this saddle was going to cost us per year. If it was, we never would have bought said saddle. Second, we only get the saddle maker to come out 4 times a year (which is 250 per time) and each time saddle needs to get "adjusted." Now in between those four times a year the saddle needs to get adjusted, one of the saddle maker's reps comes out to add/adjust AIR. Now each of those times I believe it is $30.00 and that is done 4-6 times a year also. Now it wouldn't be so bad if this person was actually nice to work with. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I've been talked down to and left rude messages (one of which i'm letting saddle maker HEAR FOR HIMSELF next weekend when I go to Indio) because (I think) i am one of rep's ex student's friends. I think because of this, Rep thinks Rep can talk this way to me and get away with it. It is to the point where I want to get rid of saddle, but nobody in their right mind would buy said saddle. I'm going to have the dad look into a few things to see if we can get a refund and return the saddle (from what i've heard, the saddle maker can have some bad episodes and get rude and nasty, so that I'm kind of scared of). How would you guys handle this? I am just so pissed off about being taken on this (and the saddle wasn't cheap...over 4 grand). Okay, vent over.
Last edited by Little Indian; May. 15, 2006 at 03:19 PM.
The saddle needs to be adjusted because the horse's backs are changing. Though moreso than not, the bladders (especially the left front one) seem to lose air. I am going to see about it getting stuffed with wool, because the saddle is really beautiful and the leather is wonderful.
Pretty sure it can be stuffed with wool at a one-time cost of less than the current yearly upkeep. Once it's stuffed with wool, updates are less than the original replacement.
Was quoted ca $500 by Broken Horn to replace foam with wool on my saddle and adjust to horse but am planning to talk to (and show horse to) the saddle rep at Indio before doing anything. While @ Broken Horn picking up some stuff for my trainer, the saddle guy showed me an air dressage saddle that they were reflocking with wool.
hmm I think you should get a new saddle rather than keep that one and restuff it. The stupid saddle will have cost you so much more when you could get a different saddle custon fit without all this hassle.
So, there are several different bladders and one of them is losing air? Not good. I'd get rid of it if they can't fix that ASAP.
Also, I thought the main sales pitches of the air/CAIR saddles is that the air is supposed to distribute itself to relieve pressure points , thus automatically providing a comfy fit for the horse. Why should constant adjustment be needed to air panels? Sounds like you're getting fleeced. Especially at $900 a year - outrageous!
Sarabeth- That is what we were told when we first bought the saddle, that the air would be evenly distributed and not cause any sore spots (which my old saddle did). I've been told from a very good source that the saddle should really only need two major adjustments a year (and since almost the whole barn is fitted with either DK or Schleese saddles, it SHOULD NOT be 250.00 a pop). It apparently takes at the very least three months for a horse's back muscles to change, but they shouldn't be changing so rapidly if the saddle actually fit the horse the way it was supposed to. It just makes me sick to think about it. I am so over this saddle and the maker, I will never buy another.
Is there any way you could either get a refund or "give back" the saddle? Unless you're riding in a leather equivalent to...I don't know...GOLD, then $900/year seems way over the top.
You mentioned possibly getting it reflocked, do you know how much that would cost? It sounds like you have a nice saddle--apart from the air issue--. I'd also recommend contacting the company...because what they're asking seems ridiculous.
"Life ain't always beautiful but it's a beautiful ride."
Proud Member of the "OMFG I've been Banned" clique.
Short enough to ride ponies but old enough to be in law school. What a life.
Originally posted by Bumpkin:
Holey Moley, did you check these and other BB's for any feedback about these saddles first?
No, I did not, but I should have. My trainer had hired the rep to teach some of the school horse kids (she was also bringing in her own clients aswell) and basically everybody got talked into either the DK or the old Schleese saddle when the saddle maker was apart of Schleese. This all started when Indy started stopping at poles because the old saddle was pinching his spine. I tried the demo saddle they brought over and Indy jumped his first fence in over 5 months and I actually felt him bring up his back and really work. So i was hooked. At that moment when we signed the deal (which dad read over VERY VERY VERY carefully multiple times) there was never a mention of this upkeep, EVER. Like I said before, if there was, I most definitely would not have ended up with this saddle.
I should say that the rep is no longer on my trainer's payroll
SummerStarlett --> I don't think reflocking the saddle would do much good. It'd cost more to have the whole saddle torn apart and then stuffed and re-done than it was really worth. It sucks because this saddle is not really sellable and anybody who has read this, is obviously not going to fork over 2 grand (which should be the re-sale value it it was actually sellable) when they realize that it will cost them an additional grand a year to keep it up. No person in their right mind would do that.
Little Indian- Sorry to hear about your drama with this saddle! My mom has been saving her pennies for a saddle and had her mind set on getting a DK Malibu. I showed her your post and she has now changed her mind, THANK YOU!!!!!
It appears that DK uses the Flair panel system. Other manufacturers use this system so Google "flair panels" and find out who else uses it and perhaps you can find someone else to either service you or tell you about replacing the system. Also, go to the Dressage board here and search "flair" and email people who have them. I looked out of curiosity and people seem to really like the owner of the company so you need to be dealing with him. Find out what they charge to replace the system with wool. He has already lost one sale based on this thread - he may not want to encourage any more bad publicity. I noticed on the website that they say you will need to reflock or adjust the wool panels every 6-8 months - I don't know anyone who does this so the company is obviously a little overboard with regard to adjustments.
Cartera- the saddle isn't flocked with wool (if that was the case, it probably wouldn't be an issue). It is done with the Flair pannels, from what I have been told there is four of them. We seem to have most of our issues with the front left and I've been told countless times that it is impossible for it to deflate, but if that is so, why does this keep on happening?
Sport- we have been in touch with the owner of the company twice in the past week and a half. I don't believe he knows how rude the rep has been to me and I personally think he needs to know what is going on. This is why I am planning on letting his listen to one of the messages she has left for me.
Starlight- I need to say that I am the only one in a barn of 30 horses with these saddles deflating on me.