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  1. #21
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    Apr. 5, 2007
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    Tampa FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
    Another Voltaire fan here, and I've owned or ridden in pretty much every high end saddle out there. The saddles and the customer service are top notch.
    Oh yeah, definitely the service, go with Voltaire for the service

    (saddles are great too!)

    Amandine


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by MILOUTE55 View Post
    Oh yeah, definitely the service, go with Voltaire for the service

    (saddles are great too!)

    Amandine
    Can't say enough good things about Brice/Claude, they were fantastic to work with!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2007
    Location
    Vancouver BC
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    664

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    If I'm being honest, I don't find too much variation in saddles in the 4000+ range. I've ridden in just about every kind, and although my Antares is my personal fave, in a saddle of any brand with the options I like ( like a forward enough flap, and flatish seat) I'm quite comfortable. I've ridden in Delgrange, Antares, CWD, Devoucoux, Childeric, and Butet and been quite happy in all of them. The only saddle I've disliked in the price range is a County (although many people rave about them). So usually my advise to people is to go with which ever french saddle has the best local rep in their area. In my experience that seems to correlate significantly more to satisfaction with saddles then any minute differences between the various brands.


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  4. #24
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    Apr. 5, 2007
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    Tampa FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
    Can't say enough good things about Brice/Claude, they were fantastic to work with!
    I know! And hopefully customers are going to say the same about me soon... since I recently joined the V Team. Love, love my new job!! These guys are so great to work with. Genuinely nice people... what a breathe of fresh air, seriously


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2011
    Location
    DFW
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    272

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    I am 5'7" and ALL leg. I needed something with a very very forward flap and I had the budget to buy a used custom but not a new one. My horse (an Appendix with "normal" withers and back) is super easy to fit and doesn't require anything special. I searched and searched - horse show tack vendors and multiple reps, many many tack consignment sites, FB groups, you name it. I finally ended up getting a 17.5" Antares with a 3AA flap on eBay! I worked out a deal with the seller and ended up being able to get the saddle for 2 weeks on trial. I love love love this saddle! I have ridden mostly in Antares saddles (my trainer has two - a full buffalo with a forward flap like mine and a monoflap one, and most of my barnmates have them as well) so I am a little biased, but I have also ridden in CWDs and find them just as comfortable, although unable to accommodate my super long legs!
    Professional hunter princess



  6. #26
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    Oct. 4, 2011
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    579

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    Another County fan here - I didn't have reps from other companies out for official fittings but was thoroughly unimpressed with the service I was given the few times I did call into Antares - and at a "booth" trying to ask questions. Which ultimately made me steer clear. That said everyone has different experiences - I imagine that if I had had a rep out and liked the saddles as much as my current saddle I probably would have gotten over it...

    I chose County because I wanted to have the option to adjust the wool flocking for my gelding as he changed (he is fairly young). My rep has been awesome as well as County's HQ's. I have a Sensation and love that I was able to get a very close feel that is comfortable - so different from the Innovation which is their other close contact model. The leather is also very nice - Not quite the same as some of the french brands but just as nice IMO.

    Good luck! I hope you have fun with the experience!
    Last edited by hequestrian; Jan. 7, 2013 at 09:06 PM. Reason: typo
    Equestrian At Hart - My Blog - adventures of a big opinionated BWP


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  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
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    The Land of Oz
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    700

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    I have not bought any of my saddles new, but I have owned a few that I have really liked. None of them were perfect, but there were things I liked about each.

    Nearly all of the horses I have ridden in the past 10 years have been the Thoroughbred type with high withers, which I know doesn't help you. But some of the rider fit issues might.


    Now it's quite possible my leg position is just that bad, but I've had 3 saddles that really made it difficult for me to have my leg in the right place. I'm not tall, but am very long from hip to knee. I'm 5'6". First was a Pessoa Gen X, which I really didn't care for. Plus my knee went over the flap.

    Next was a Beval Natural that was probably the best for my leg position. It had a 1.5 flap, regular length, forward degree. Possibly a little short, but the degree of forward ness worked really well.

    Next was an Amerigo Vega. Really nice saddle that I would highly recommend to anyone, but that flap just wasn't forward enough. It too pushed my leg forward.

    Most recently my flat seat CWD. Love, love, loved it, except for that I had to fight it to keep my leg back. It could have had something to do with the fact that it was so broken in and had a perfect leg cradle, but I don't think the flap was quite right for me. It was a 3L. I feel like 3C woulda have been better, but at the time I was looking, I couldn't find one.

    Now I am saddle less (as well as horseless), so I just saving my money to buy something that works best for me, as I won't have my own horse in the foreseeable future.


    I would definitely look into CWD, Voltaire and County. I've also heard great things about Schleese and Frank Baines. Tad Coffin A5 saddles tend to work well for horses with wide backs and low withers, but not all riders like them.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
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    3,011

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    Voltaire is very good, and ADT makes a wonderful saddle at a bit lower price point. Both companies are very easy to work with. I believe anyone at my barn who has purchased a new saddle in the past couple of years has gotten one or the other. I have an ADT and love it.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
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    The Land of Oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MILOUTE55 View Post
    I know! And hopefully customers are going to say the same about me soon... since I recently joined the V Team. Love, love my new job!! These guys are so great to work with. Genuinely nice people... what a breathe of fresh air, seriously
    Does Voltaire often have used saddles of their own brand?



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Dawsonville, GA
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    9

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    Thanks to everyone for the information. Here is my summary so far:

    --There are fans of all the high-end saddles. It is largely personal preference.
    --Other than CWD having a high pommel, no real distinguishing features between brands.
    --Some people prefer the foam, while others prefer wool panels.
    --"Custom" doesn't guarantee the saddle will fit when it arrives.
    --The saddle company rep is the key to success
    --If you find a demo saddle that fits--buy it!
    --wide variety of experiences with customer service


    Did I miss anything?
    Last edited by FoxHillStacey; Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM.


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  11. #31
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    Aug. 27, 2004
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    The Land of Oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxHillStacey View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the information. Here is my summary so far:

    --There are fans of all the high-end saddles. It is largely personal preference.
    --Other than CWD having a high pommel, no real distinguishing features between brands.
    --Some people prefer the foam, while others prefer wool panels.
    --"Custom" doesn't guarantee the saddle will fit when it arrives.
    --The saddle company rep is the key to success
    --If you find a demo saddle that fits--buy it!
    --wide variety of experiences with customer service


    Did I miss anything?
    Sounds like you've got it! I will add that CWD can do lower pommel options, so if you're interested in CWD at all, you may want to try more than one saddle. That is not an issue I had with mine.



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    470

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    I really like my new Delgrange Virtuouse. Very secure and comfortable, but allows me to freedom for jumping. Also keeps my leg in position. I have had Butet, Antares, Devoucoux and Amerigo, and found they differ. The Virtuouse seems to suit thoroughbreds and horses with higher withers the best of these saddles. Might work for your horse with a bit of a dip in his back. But, as others have said, look at a variety of saddles and see what suits you and your horse.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2005
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    close to the Big Apple
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    3,181

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    Some years ago I had a hard horse to fit. I had templates made of his back and while at Rolex I sat in everything from $500 - $5,000... I sat in a brand I had never heard of and put the templates to it and Voila! not custom as I was told by County, Antares and Devoucoux... Since that horse it has managed to fit 3 other horses all built very differently and with a little shim here or there no problem. It is a L'Apogee.. I have the jump saddle not the forward flap but the regular one. The twist is not to narrow either. The service was wonderful. They will ship it to you also for a trial. I have had the saddle probably 6 years now and still love it... Thinking about getting the dressage saddle too.... take a look...
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"



  14. #34
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    Apr. 5, 2007
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    Tampa FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by akhunterrider View Post
    Does Voltaire often have used saddles of their own brand?
    yes, we have some used saddles and also some demo saddles that may be sold to riders who are on a budget. Granted we don't have an inventory as huge as brands that have been around for decades, but it's worth looking into. And just like other saddlers, we also have trade in saddles of other brands available for sale. We haven't set up an ebay store yet so the best way to find out what we have it to contact me!
    Don't hesitate to email me at amandine@voltaire-design.com for more info, or call 845-875-4438

    Have a great day everyone!
    Amandine

    http://www.facebook.com/VoltaireDesign



  15. #35
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by MILOUTE55 View Post
    I know! And hopefully customers are going to say the same about me soon... since I recently joined the V Team. Love, love my new job!! These guys are so great to work with. Genuinely nice people... what a breathe of fresh air, seriously
    Congrats on the new job, glad you are enjoying it!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2007
    Location
    Tampa FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderlust View Post
    Congrats on the new job, glad you are enjoying it!
    Thank you!



  17. #37

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    I'm a County girl myself, but you can't go wrong with any of those saddles. My trainer has always said, "The Frencher, the better." I love Prestige dressage saddles, I have yet to ride in a CWD I don't like, Antarés are good enough for Jesus, and Voltaires are just FABULOUS. Just look for a used one in your price range! But if you're willing to, go custom for Voltaire. They reflock for life, not to mention they are durable and have that gorgeous gullet!



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Dawsonville, GA
    Posts
    9

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    What exactly did your horse do to "tell" you that he did or didn't like the saddles?



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    I'll add some advice. If trendiness (the Frencher the better, REALLY?) isn't a necessity, you can have a saddle custom built to your horse's measurements for less than 1/2 the price of the trendy brands mentioned. I have a Black Country that was made completely to spec, fit perfectly right out of the box, was exactly what I ordered, no customer service nightmare, wool flocked and adjustable-- with none of the headache. Sold through a rep for BC and various other brands (Albion, Warsall, etc.) who had no skin in the game to push me to buy a particular brand. Entirely different experience. And the irony is that my other "independent saddle fitter no hype no pressure" saddle by Ideal (a brand no one in the US has heard of) gets me stopped by people at shows who think I have a new CWD that hasn't hit the stores yet. So they can even LOOK trendy if that floats your boat.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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