Schleese Link II vs. Triumph? Other makers that are similar?
So now that my horse has buffed up a bit, his Hennig (which was always about 1/2-1 inch too long for his short back) is not working for him. Off to sale it's gone. I just had a fitting with Jochen Schleese, who recommends a Link II for him. I think that I rode in that at the fitting, but my horse was extremely naughty and I was too busy trying to keep from being launched (and keeping him from jumping out of the round pen to get at the bucking horse next door) to really feel for sure. He did lift his back up really well (in preparation for launching me, or from freedom from the saddle, it's hard to say).
Can anyone tell me if the Triumph feels similar to the Link II ? Has anyone had experience with both of those saddles, as well as another manufacturer that feels very similar? They would like to sell me the saddle I rode in, but the price is above what I can pay. Thanks!
I have a Triumph and haven't ridden in a Link II, however from the descriptions, they seem to be very similar. I don't like the monoflap design on the Link II, plus it costs more than the Triumph. I do like my Triumph, though, and it fits my horse nicely. I don't like the large thigh blocks on the Schleese saddles, so I tend to order saddles without them and then get some really thin Wintec blocks which also use velcro and put them on instead.
JanDin. I have a Link II. The thigh blocks are completely customizable. Schleese has different models of thigh blocks to choose from and they are easily switched out.
Spartacus - I tried every model in the Custom line, as well as Albions, and the only saddle that worked for both me and my horse was the Schleese. Plus the Schleese has an adjustable tree, so I plan on this being my saddle forever. I would LOVE the opportunity to have a fitting with Jochen.
I rode and loved the new Triumph and Link II with schleese fitter but couldnt afford them new and couldnt find them reasonable used either. I really Disliked the Infinity II but found a used older Infinity model 2006 (its not the new II model) and it rides very similar to the Triumph so bought it off ebay for good deal. So take a look at some of the older models in Schleese too as even with same names they can differ.
I used to have a Link & now have a Triumph (with a lot of customization). The shape of the seat & twist on the Triumph fits me perfectly- exactly the balance I want & my leg hangs naturally in the right position. I thought the link was okay, but I didn't end up liking the monoflap as much as I thought I would. It's the same thickness & layers of leather but you can't get between them to condition the leather. If you're concerned about knee rolls, you can Velcro whichever ones you want onto the Triumph & change the angle etc. With a monoflap the knee rolls aren't as easy to change out & you can't tweak the exact location & angle. My horse prefers the Triumph too & he's like the princess & the pea when it comes to saddle fitting.
I rode in a lot of used Schleese saddles and didn't have too much problem, although my position was never perfect or easy. I got convinced that I had to buy a new Triumph to fit my horses, and it was an absolute disaster, it fit neither me nor my horses, and the service quickly went from good to blame the victim. I would never advise anyone to buy from them, and I have heard story after story along the same line, although there are many people that like them. I now have an Albion SLK and a custom saddlery Wolfgang solo, which I bought used for $1200 and fits my shortbacked round horses very well, and I LOVE riding in it! I much prefer these other saddles to any Schleese I have ever ridden in.