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  1. #1
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    Default Vega/Amerigo saddle question

    I am looking into the Amerigo Vega jump saddle as well as the Amerigo CC saddle. Do these saddles come with a forward flap option? I am very long hip-knee and need a longer forward flap to accommodate my leg (currently riding in an 18.25 Butet with a long forward flap).

    Or, if anyone can tell me who to contact to ask about the flaps, that would be great.

    Thanks!
    friend of bar.ka



  2. #2
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    The Amerigo CC's off-the-rack flap is pretty forward. The Vega's flap is not particularly forward IMO, more comparable to the Amerigo DJ in that regard. It's not that it's STRAIGHT but it's not going to suit a really long-legged rider.

    You can order any of the Amerigo saddles with a forward flap, but you'd have to buy new or find the luckiest demo on the planet. They're not commonly ordered with the forward flap because, again, most folks who need a forward flap just buy the off-the-rack Amerigo CC.

    The Amerigo CC is made up to size 18.5", so you might try chasing down one of those with an off-the-rack flap and see if it "does it" for you.

    PS, watch the LENGTH with these flaps too. Amerigos were made for little 5'6" Italian men who ride showjumpers. The flaps are typically pretty short, like 14" or so. They do make long and extra-long flap options.
    ________________________
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  3. #3
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    Wow, thank you so much for the info! I just discovered these saddles via Google yesterday and I am hoping to go look at a few this weekend--there are 2 tack stores in my area that carry the brand.

    I have a high/long withered TB, dips above the scapula, assymetrical shoulders, narrow, etc. Everyone I've talked to has said I need to go custom, which at $5,000+ (County) is just not realistic. My budget is around $3,000ish so I am hoping Amerigo/Vega might work.

    I wanted to look into Black Country, but have not been able to track down a demo in a narrow tree anywhere, and I really don't want to buy custom without being sure the tree fits first.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info, it's a huge help!
    friend of bar.ka



  4. #4
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    Jan. 28, 2004
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    I think for the horse fit you described, the Vega might work better than the CC. This is what I was told when I bought my Amerigo Vega, the trees of the Vega are much more curvy than those of the CC, which are made to fit a flatter backed horse.

    I lucked out and found a demo in a 17" long flap, I would try contacting your nearest Amerigo dealer to see if they have any demo saddles.



  5. #5
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    Sep. 27, 2010
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    I just bought a used Amerigo DJ forward/long flap. It was originally ordered as a custom, and I lucked out as it belongs to someone I know. It didn't fit their new horse, but I tried it on my guy and the difference was absolutely amazing. He went from jumping flat and uneven in the front end to actually bringing his knees up and starting to use his back in the very first ride. I do have a long femur and my leg fit beautifully into the flap.

    I had also previously ridden in a friend's Amerigo CC on this horse, but I found the panels to be curvier than this horse needed. The flaps on the CC were quite short but did seem to be a bit more forward (the one I rode in was a regular flap).

    My guy is an OTTB with large shoulders, a moderate wither, and flat back. He does have a bit of a dip below the withers too. My Amerigo is a medium tree although he may be a bit wider than your typical TB.

    I agree that the flaps seem to be on the short side. My friend with long calves most definitely needs a long flap (although not forward - she has a DJ) and another has short legs and finds the regular flap to be perfect.
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.



  6. #6
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    Default

    All the vegas I have ridden in are quite flat/wide over the withers (even the medium tree). They are also "big" saddles (ie the 17 feels more like 17.5). Comfortable,but a little less roomy inthe wither area compared to something like a devoucoux.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyTB View Post
    I have a high/long withered TB, dips above the scapula, assymetrical shoulders, narrow, etc. Everyone I've talked to has said I need to go custom, which at $5,000+ (County) is just not realistic. My budget is around $3,000ish
    Keep checking this site for used County saddles - if a saddle is on trial, send in a request anyway as the saddle may be sent directly to you which may mean lower shipping costs ... (you can also send in conformation photos & wither tracing etc, for a list of likely to fit saddles).

    If you have a local County rep, it's worthwhile to book a demo & then know which saddles will suit you & your horse (& then you can look for a suitable used that can be adjusted for your horse); County also has a list of demo saddles for sale & your rep (or you) can request saddles be shipped in.


    The Equipes are also lovely saddles (I prefer the leather on the base model Equipe over the Vega).

    Re the assymetry, make sure you can compensate for this with a shimmable saddle fit pad before you invest in a foam saddle - I've not seen any stock Amerigo, Vega or Equipe that are wool flocked (though I believe all can be ordered as such).

    Or perhaps enquire about the feasibility/cost of changing the panels over to wool ...



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denzel View Post
    I think for the horse fit you described, the Vega might work better than the CC. This is what I was told when I bought my Amerigo Vega, the trees of the Vega are much more curvy than those of the CC, which are made to fit a flatter backed horse.
    Actually, it works the exact opposite way: the Amerigo CC is the most curvy of the bunch, although the Vega CC is not far behind. The DJ is advertised as being for a flatter backed horse, but that's a relative term--the DJ still a bit curvy, certainly not straight as a table.

    LuvMyTB, I love my Amerigo and have been very happy with it for my TB with a curvy topline, dips above the scapula, wears a medium narrow tree, etc. If you're talking to the folks at Barrington, their Amerigo reps both seem to have their sh-t together. Lucky you; it seems the Amerigo reps are of inconsistent quality.

    If your horse has HIGH withers, any of the Amerigos may suit. But if your horse has LONG withers, as in you're having trouble finding a saddle that doesn't hit the back of the wither as it descends from the high part of the pommel to the saddle's balance point, I strongly suggest you try to get your hands on the Amerigo CC or the Amerigo Vesuvio. They are both problem solvers for that issue. The Black Country Quantum also works well on such horses, but it's a VERY different feel from the Amerigo tack. The Amerigo tack's balance point is slightly forward of center; the Black Country's balance point, like much of the British tack, is a little behind the saddle's center. I used to own a BC Quantum and loved it almost as much as I love my Amerigo CC, but again, they're day and night.

    And don't let yourself feel stuck. At $3000, you've got a multitude of TB-friendly options besides Black Country and Amerigo. In your shoes, I would at least add these to your list:

    Albion, especially the Kontact lineup--they've recently added the "Kontact Jewell" if you prefer a more huntery aesthetic, but the Kontact is a longtime hit with eventing riders who tend to ride the sort of horse you're describing

    Frank Baines (Reflex for a curvier back, Elan for a straighter back, both very good saddles for long-legged riders and wither clearance)

    Barnsby (particularly the Diablo if you have very very long legs)

    The new wool-flocked Prestige Eventing. The Prestige Eventing retails at $2900 and is practically famous among eventers for suiting high/long withered TBs with long-legged riders; it also has a dealer-adjustable tree, and most vendors will adjust it to match your horse's tracings if you purchase it new at $2900 (or find a used one and get it adjusted for $150, which includes the cost of return shipping). I think Barrington reps for Prestige and can discuss that saddle with you, but if not, I highly recommend the Paul the owner at VTO Saddlery in Virginia; he really knows the Prestige brand, does tree adjustments for them, and is happy to look at pictures/wither tracings to advise. ETA that technically the wool version is $3775, but you could perhaps chase down a demo or buy the foam version and pay $350 to have it reflocked to wool.
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Sep. 27, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by jn4jenny View Post
    Actually, it works the exact opposite way: the Amerigo CC is the most curvy of the bunch, although the Vega CC is not far behind. The DJ is advertised as being for a flatter backed horse, but that's a relative term--the DJ still a bit curvy, certainly not straight as a table.
    OP - see my post above too. I used both the CC and now my DJ on the same TB. The CC is definitely curvier than the DJ. I used it with a half pad as a temporary fix - we needed a wider tree and more shoulder clearance than what I had with my old saddle. However, with the DJ I get everything I need - flatter panels and, even with the forward flap, much more shoulder clearance than I had before. I also found I am very comfortable with the balance point in this saddle - I feel much more centred than I used to. My old saddle I think put me a bit behind centre.

    jn4jenny - I don't post much but I always enjoy reading your saddle posts. Thank you so much for all of the information and comparisons you give!
    I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.



  10. #10
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    Nov. 29, 2007
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    IL
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    Default

    jn4jenny--I think I love you! Thank you SO much for your posts. I am going to Barrington on Friday and am hoping to come away with a couple of saddles to try.

    alto--I have had my local County rep out 3 times to help me with my horse. She has not been able to come up with a demo yet that has the specs I need. I am on the wait list for an 18" XN Innovation, but it's been 2-3 weeks so far and we have another 2-3 weeks to go before I can try it. If I ordered a County, I would need an 18" XN Innovation, forward flap, SR panels, wither gussets......at a cost of about $5,000 and a wait time of 8-12 weeks. I don't want to spend that kind of money, nor am I able to wait that long for a cusom order. I would absolutely order an Amerigo in wool, but I do have a shimmable Mattes pad in the meantime.

    A question for you all with high-withered horses--what do you consider "adequate" wither clearance?
    friend of bar.ka



  11. #11
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    Oct. 27, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    Keep checking this site for used County saddles - if a saddle is on trial, send in a request anyway as the saddle may be sent directly to you which may mean lower shipping costs ... (you can also send in conformation photos & wither tracing etc, for a list of likely to fit saddles).

    If you have a local County rep, it's worthwhile to book a demo & then know which saddles will suit you & your horse (& then you can look for a suitable used that can be adjusted for your horse); County also has a list of demo saddles for sale & your rep (or you) can request saddles be shipped in.


    The Equipes are also lovely saddles (I prefer the leather on the base model Equipe over the Vega).

    Re the assymetry, make sure you can compensate for this with a shimmable saddle fit pad before you invest in a foam saddle - I've not seen any stock Amerigo, Vega or Equipe that are wool flocked (though I believe all can be ordered as such).

    Or perhaps enquire about the feasibility/cost of changing the panels over to wool ...
    Actually the Amerigos and Vega all have wool flocked panels. The difference between the Amerigo and Vega is that the Vega has a synthetic tree and the Amerigo has a wooden one.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Swiss-style wool flocked panels

    ie 'wool flocking encased in felt' which can be adjusted but not to the same degree as traditional wool flocked panels - "local" rep describes them as more akin to foam than traditional wool ... tack shop that stocks Amerigo/Vega (& always has several consignment saddles) discourages any reflocking (they obviously work with said rep so perhaps that is the problem)
    Local saddle fitter (SMS trained) also does not offer to re-flock these panels ...
    That said, I have seen some with traditional wool flocking, mostly dressage, the odd jump.

    The online catalgue is quite good.


    I am on the wait list for an 18" XN Innovation, but it's been 2-3 weeks so far and we have another 2-3 weeks to go before I can try it.
    Definitely frustrating.

    re the 5K, that's pretty much the going rate for Amerigo in my area, custom order is 12 - 14 weeks ...

    Prestige makes some very nice saddles



  13. #13
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    Oct. 22, 2009
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    My vega cc does not really fit my long femur, neither did the amerigo DJ. My knees were either awkwardly on top of the knee block, or my stirrups are several holes too long. The amerigo cc was better but still didn't fit me very well. The vega monoflap fit more similarly to the amerigo cc. My balance feels slightly off in all amerigo/vega models, some worse than others.

    Both black country saddles I've tried (quantum and ricochet) are *amazing*. My leg fit perfectly and the balance was excellent. As far as horse fit, the black country quantum fit the horse that I fit the amerigo cc and vega monoflap on. The vega cc and amerigo DJ both fit my other horse.
    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
    My vega cc does not really fit my long femur, neither did the amerigo DJ. My knees were either awkwardly on top of the knee block, or my stirrups are several holes too long. The amerigo cc was better but still didn't fit me very well. The vega monoflap fit more similarly to the amerigo cc. My balance feels slightly off in all amerigo/vega models, some worse than others.

    Both black country saddles I've tried (quantum and ricochet) are *amazing*. My leg fit perfectly and the balance was excellent. As far as horse fit, the black country quantum fit the horse that I fit the amerigo cc and vega monoflap on. The vega cc and amerigo DJ both fit my other horse.
    Well, that's discouraging. There is one Quantum around here that I could try, but it's a 17.5 MW--not my seat size nor my horse's tree size. I would like to try a Ricochet, but the only demo I've found so far is in Virginia I think, and it's a MW as well.

    I really, really hate saddle shopping!
    friend of bar.ka



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    Swiss-style wool flocked panels

    ie 'wool flocking encased in felt' which can be adjusted but not to the same degree as traditional wool flocked panels - "local" rep describes them as more akin to foam than traditional wool ... tack shop that stocks Amerigo/Vega (& always has several consignment saddles) discourages any reflocking (they obviously work with said rep so perhaps that is the problem)
    I agree with most of this, but I call BS on the "more akin to foam than wool." I have had the flocking in my Amerigo adjusted twice, and both times the adjustments were pretty significant in scope.

    That said, the Amerigos do come flocked really "tight" when they're new--so I can see how a rep who hadn't been with the brand for long might think the panels are not very adjustable. They aren't very adjustable "right out of the box" because there's simply not much room in there. Once the flocking settles, which admittedly takes quite awhile (I went three years before my first Amerigo flocking adjustment due to settling!), the saddles are quite adjustable indeed.

    I still bought an Amerigo for my horse with dips behind the scapula because the Amerigo panel shape is naturally well suited to such horses, and the tight (but not hard) flocking helped keep the saddle up and off the horse's withers. I could have had a little extra flocking shoved in there right from the get-go, but the Amerigo national brand manager and I agreed that it was a waste of my money and I'd get along fine without the extra flocking.

    That said, I have seen some with traditional wool flocking, mostly dressage, the odd jump.
    And I've never seen an Amerigo/Vega *without* wool flocking. Equipe, which is a cousin brand by another designer, seems to be mostly foam panels. I am still waiting to see a Devoucoux with wool flocking! Being the saddle nerd I am, I'd just about pay an admission fee to put my hands on a Devoucoux that's been successfully converted to wool and isn't soring the horse.

    re the 5K, that's pretty much the going rate for Amerigo in my area, custom order is 12 - 14 weeks ...
    True, but Amerigo seems to have a chronic problem with having demo stock to get rid of. Discontinued colors and leather options, reps who bought a saddle as a demo and found it was not popular with customers (like an 18.5" Amerigo CC, which would be an ideal demo for the OP to try), etc. They wholesale at $1800, so it's not beyond the pale to find a demo-condition Amerigo at that price. To the OP: if Barrington doesn't have what you want and you identify what would work for you (example: 18.5" Amerigo with a forward flap), call the other Amerigo reps. They all buy their own stock, and if you look under the right rocks you can find some gems. For example, Paddock Saddlery in Cleveland has closed its brick and mortar store and is now a mobile outfit that doesn't even technically rep for Amerigo anymore--but when I called them a few months ago, sure enough the chick had a few Amerigo demos lying around.

    Prestige makes some very nice saddles
    Agreed! alto, I always appreciate seeing you on these saddle fitting threads. You seem to have a very different circle of saddle knowledge from mine--between you, me, and mvp, I wonder if there's a brand we DON'T know anything about?
    ________________________
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvMyTB View Post
    I wanted to look into Black Country, but have not been able to track down a demo in a narrow tree anywhere, and I really don't want to buy custom without being sure the tree fits first.!
    Have you contacted Trumbull Mtn? From reading many posts about them, they appear to do outstanding work by wither tracings, photos, etc. and they carry Black Country. For $2,500, well within your budget, you could have a totally custom saddle built to your exact specifications.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    Have you contacted Trumbull Mtn? From reading many posts about them, they appear to do outstanding work by wither tracings, photos, etc. and they carry Black Country. For $2,500, well within your budget, you could have a totally custom saddle built to your exact specifications.
    I have spoken with them on the phone, yes. I do have a local BC rep who will come out and do tracings etc. and order me a custom if that's the route I choose. I am nervous about ordering a custom saddle based on tracings without ever having sat in something that actually fits first.....does that make sense? He can bring me a 17.5 Quantum, but no Ricochet. Trumbull could probably send me an 18" Ricochet but they only stock them in mediums or wider, so no chance of trying a narrow on my horse before purchasing. What if it arrives and doesn't fit? Or, what if I decide to order a Maelstrom and hate the leather?

    Maybe those are stupid things to worry about.....but I have never spent this much money on a saddle and it's scary to me to think of buying something I haven't ridden in first.

    If I'm way off here, then someone please set me straight!
    friend of bar.ka



  18. #18
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    Ultimately, it's your money and you have to do what makes you feel comfortable. No question it's scary to gamble $3000 on whether the factory will get the flap, seat, fit, etc. right and whether any of that will change the relationship between the balance point, stirrup bar, etc. compared to the demo you tried. So I get it. I really do.

    But the economics of demo saddles work against you. Most reps and tack stores buy demos that will suit the largest number of possible buyers, which (in jump saddles at least) usually means a 17" or 17.5" in a medium or medium-wide tree. Certainly reps buy other sizes, but it would be unusual to find a rep toting around an 18" or larger seat + a forward flap. Not impossible, but unusual.

    Certainly you should call around, and frankly many people's saddle searches come down to what they were able to get their hands on via demo. And as we've discussed above, there are lots of good fish in the saddle sea.

    I know I've recommended many brands already and I still recommend them, but I'll add another to the list given your demo concerns: Smith Worthington of Connecticut. They're not a sexy/glamorous brand on the market, but they're longtime saddle makers who make very solid tack and their on-staff saddle fitters are very good. Their resale value is poor because of low brand recognition, but the tack is rock solid and you'll get 30 years of use out of it. They keep their demos at the national office and send them out to you, so they tend to have a wide range of stock available. Their saddles are also available with "safeguard" features like adjustable stirrup bars, and "the stirrup bar placement is wrong and puts me in a chair seat" is the number one complaint I hear about bench-made saddles (after the top complaint, which is "the flap angle is wrong.) www.smithworthington.com for more on that.

    I don't know where you are in Illinois, but another possibility is Classic brand. They're a British bench-made brand, not unlike Black Country in that regard, and their tack can be ordered with adjustable stirrup bars and/or adjustable gullets (all for well under $3000). Their adjustable gullet system is fantastic--you can use an Allen wrench to adjust it almost infinitesimally. www.classicsaddlery.com for more.
    ________________________
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  19. #19
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    I was able to get an 18.5 Amerigo CC from my local rep in a MW tree to fit my QH for $2200.00. I LOVE this saddle! It was brand new, never ridden in and she had it in her demo stock. She had also brought out a Vega for me to try, which was my original choice, but the CC fit me way better.

    Previously to trying the Amerigo, I had Trumbull Mt. send me a Quantum to try. I felt like I was "hovering" over the top of my horse, rather than sitting down on top of his back. It IS very nice quality but for me it felt like too much saddle between me and my horse.

    I have a ridiculously long femur compared to my height of 5'4" and the 18.5 CC fits me like a glove.
    Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls



  20. #20
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    Jul. 15, 2005
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    I have a used Amerigo Pinerolo CC on the way from Beval right now, for my tall withered big shouldered beast! I'm super excited and hope it works.

    I tried a BC Quantum for this particular horse last year and it just didn't work for me. It stuck my leg out in front of me, and I really wasn't impressed with the leather quality either. I realize they aren't 5k saddles, but I have a BDH that is much nicer quality and those sold new for $1200.



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