M. Toulouse models corresponding to high-end models?
In the fear that my current ride is going to outgrow my precious Amerigo Vega, and the lack of funds to buy ANOTHER saddle due to being a bit of a professional student (and recently just bought a dressage saddle), I started to look into the M. Toulouse saddles after seeing them at Dover and being very impressed with the leather quality for the price point. I was told by the rep at Dover that all of the Toulouse saddles are modeled after higher end saddles, so I went on a search to find what would be the most similar rider fit to the Vega.
In my searches, I compiled this list of which model corresponds to which, but have a few missing, if anyone knows to fill them in. Thought this would help those considering a Toulouse!
The Denisse is modeled after the Devoucoux, the Marcello is comparable to the Rodrigo Pessoa Pony. The Florina is a discontinued model, so I wasn't able to find out what it compares to - but the "comparable to"s are listed on the intecperformance website, in the info on each model.
Realize that Modeled after does NOT equal Fits like!
Fine Used Saddle has had a Wide Vega for while - it's currently listed as "On Trial" but email Patricia to find out its availability (remember seller may also accept offers).
Rick's Heritage still has clearance Pessoa Legacy XP, Blyth Tait, Rodrigo Stadium for under $1400.
ETA don't forget to look at Equipe saddles - they are out of the same factory as Amerigo & a very nice saddle - trialed a new version of the Expression, sadly did not fit FP gorgeous saddle for the money!
Just a heads up. Had a friend take a Toulouse on trial. The first time she girthed it, the billet snapped off in the middle. I also personally bought one of their bridles and the leather fell apart in a week. I am not at all impressed with the quality myself. However I know someone else who has one with out incident.
so I went on a search to find what would be the most similar rider fit to the Vega.
Then be prepared to be disappointed, because IMO the Marielle is a very poor knockoff of the Vega in pretty much every regard. The only thing they got right is the independent panel system and the placement of the knee and thigh block on the flap. The Marielle's balance point, flap angle, and pretty much everything else is WAY off the mark from the Vega.
As alto said, "modeled after" can mean a lot of things in Toulouse land. Sometimes it even means nice things--the Toulouse Premia, for example, is a shockingly good structural knockoff of the Prestige Jumper R. I don't like the leather quality on the Premia, but it rides almost exactly like its more expensive cousin.
If you want something that rides like a Vega on a beer budget, find yourself a Dominus, Jaguar, Cobra, or Porsche saddle. Dominus and Cobra were designed by Peter Menet but built by Harry Dabbs and is a great budget alternative to Vega. Jaguar was built by Harry Dabbs after Menet's tenure, but it has a LOT in common with the earlier Menet-built saddles (although the twist is quite a bit narrower than the Amerigo/Vega stuff).
Last edited by jn4jenny; Jul. 25, 2011 at 03:45 PM.
From what I've read about Toulouse saddles thus far, there seems to be quite a range of opinions regarding quality and fit. I would of course have my saddle fitter check out any and all options I come up!
In regards to the Dominus, I have a Dominus dressage that so far I quite like, but the jump saddles have a similar balance to my old HDR Showjumper, which was awful for my body type, as soon as I got my Vega, a large number of my equitation flaws disappeared once I didn't have to fight the saddle for my position.