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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2010
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    239

    Default Heritage Bespoke, Berney Bros, etc...UK made XC saddles, anyone have one?

    I am going to be possibly saddle shopping for a new XC/monoflap forward flap jumping saddle and wanted to get feedback from anyone that has a UK made saddle such as Heritage, Berney, Kent&Masters etc. My budget does not allow for a fancy "popular" brand like Amerigo/Antares/Dev etc but I want a quality, well fitting saddle.

    I did own a Berney Dublin Jumper maybe 15 years ago, it was a great saddle, although I remember it not fitting too many horses as the tree was quite banana-shaped. I'm looking for something that has a good basic fit on a variety of horses. What are the newer Berneys like?

    Im also quite interested in the looks of the Heritage Bespoke monoflaps... anyone have one and want to comment? Have photos of what it looks like after a little use?

    Any other input appreciated, thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2003
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    4,918

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    Quote Originally Posted by butiwantedapony View Post
    I am going to be possibly saddle shopping for a new XC/monoflap forward flap jumping saddle and wanted to get feedback from anyone that has a UK made saddle such as Heritage, Berney, Kent&Masters etc. My budget does not allow for a fancy "popular" brand like Amerigo/Antares/Dev etc but I want a quality, well fitting saddle.

    I did own a Berney Dublin Jumper maybe 15 years ago, it was a great saddle, although I remember it not fitting too many horses as the tree was quite banana-shaped. I'm looking for something that has a good basic fit on a variety of horses. What are the newer Berneys like?

    Im also quite interested in the looks of the Heritage Bespoke monoflaps... anyone have one and want to comment? Have photos of what it looks like after a little use?

    Any other input appreciated, thanks!
    I have 2 saddles coming from Matt (Heritage) that should be here in the next 2 weeks-- so I'll be happy to update you!

    Neither are a monoflap, though. Deltawave has a monoflap dressage from him that she's had for a month or two now.

    I specifically asked Matt to make me these 2 saddles to fit on a variety of horses-- we are doing a generic MW with a little bit of a wither gusset. He was very open to doing that and knew exactly what I wanted.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004
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    2,661

    Default

    I have 2 BB DJs. I really like them, but they do have the curved panels you mention.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,239

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    Up until very recently, I rode in BBs and loved all of them except the one I just came out of (their monoflap). The DJ and the TW are great xc saddles, but, yeah, they have curved panels. I never really found that an issue (I used mine on everything I rode unless they were really wide or very, very narrow).

    Countys are UK made, too, though at a higher price point. I just got mine and I am so in love with it. It is everything I love about UK made saddles and then some. May be out of your price range if you are considering BB and Heritage.

    I know DW has a new Heritage dressage saddle. I'm sure she'll pipe in about her experience.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

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    I had a Berney Bros. DJ and ADORED it but it wouldn't fit any but my one horse, so when she retired I tearfully sold it.

    I got a Heritage custom monoflap dressage saddle about 3-4 weeks ago and I really like it. It fits the horse very, very well and after some breaking in (it was stiff and squeaky at first) it is very nice for me as well. Even my trainer likes it! I would recommend them without reservation and could see myself buying another saddle from them. But I do not need any more saddles.

    For the price, the Heritage saddles are the steal of a lifetime, if you ask me.

    If I can remember I will get some more pictures this weekend "after breaking in" but I had a thread a few weeks ago where I posted pics of the saddle in its "out of the box" state if you search under my screen name. I will say that the monoflap is not a single layer of leather like many of them are--it's two layers with a reinforcing layer over the billets, so more like 3 thicknesses. This made the flap stiffer than my Antares monoflap (one layer) but looks to be a LOT more durable and with some working and rolling and oiling is softening up just fine. Worth noting, however, if one is used to a monoflap with one thin layer of leather between calf and horse. I actually think it's an asset in terms of durability, but it is less of a "close contact" feel than the Antares monoflap, which is my other dressage saddle.
    Click here before you buy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Posts
    728

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    My daughter has a K&M and it is lovely. It has an excellent balance point, really nice leather for the price, broke in well. Just can't say enough nice things about it. I do have a County stabilizer which I like quite a bit, and an Albion legend. I will probably not ever buy a saddle which is not English made. I love the quality, the style, the wool flocking, and the price for what you get.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by butiwantedapony View Post

    Im also quite interested in the looks of the Heritage Bespoke monoflaps... anyone have one and want to comment? Have photos of what it looks like after a little use?

    Any other input appreciated, thanks!
    I'm just about to order a forward flap jumping saddle from Heritage. (I'm not "allowed" to until I hand in my first draft of my thesis, as an incentive to get the darn thing done! ).

    Here are some links to some used Heritage saddles on ebay. I think they look in great shape.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/17-English...item53f5d88e16

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Heritage-j...item35c54db34f

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Heritage-S...item19d9ca58f6

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HERITAGE-1...item1e7816e3c0


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
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    1,462

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    I'll try to get a pic of mine in the next day or two. I got a black monoflap XC saddle from Heritage around early 2007 (I think?) and still have and love it. Like DW said, mine is 2-3 layers: top of flap in soft (doubled?) leather, then there appears to be a very thin layer of foam, and then the underside is faux leather (which I like as I live in hot, humid Florida, and the vinyl protects the actual leather topside from sweat, doesn't mold, etc.). The underside of the panels is real leather.

    Mine's still in really good shape. It does have a scuff mark or two from my mare spooking while I was trying to find my girth, and sending the saddle flying in the concrete aisle (my bad), but cleans up really well.

    I just bought a used Hastilow (for a different horse), and while the leather quality is perhaps a bit nicer than the Heritage, I think the new price is higher also.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2004
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    2,661

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    I've always wondered--how well did the custom saddles fit your horses out of the box? Were they able to build something that fit based on your measurements? I've always been a little spooked by that process, that I would measure wrong or something.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2003
    Posts
    340

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    It's not British, but I just got a Pessoa Monoflap (retails for $2k). The leather is wonderfully grippy right out of the box, it has wool flocking, so far both me and the horse love it!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    603

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    To add to your list of british made saddles, there is the Ideal as well. Rare in the states but very nice saddles. I recently got a brand new Ideal Impala for almost half price and it is lovely. Very nice soft leather, a good forward flap (I usually ride in a 17.5" but I fit nicely in the 17" since there is actually room for my leg)



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    To fit my saddle I sent a wither tracing, a spine (parallel to the backbone) tracing and another tracing over where the cantle sits, along with about a dozen photos of the horse's back, shoulders, and withers. The directions for measuring are on Heritage's website. He has also used those "3D" drape-on back shape products, although shipping one of those overseas would be much more of a challenge!

    Having never done it before, I sent "test photos" to Matt showing where I was making the tracings--he actually corrected my first measurements and made me do it again, correctly. So I was pretty confident in the process by the time I got it done.

    The fit right out of the box was damn near perfect.
    Click here before you buy.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Picture of my saddle after about 12 rides.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Click here before you buy.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Thanks, DW!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
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    the evergreen state!
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    Just wanted to add to this slightly older thread... I have 2 kent & masters dressage saddles. 1 original cob, and 1 s-series low profile dressage.

    Neither fit my wide/flat gelding quite right. Actually, the cob comes the closest and looks quite good on him...but he doesn't like it and grinds his teeth like mad after about 15 min. I personally don't prefer it myself- the seat is very open and the twist quite wide. I got used to the twist but really couldn't deal with the flatness of the seat- constantly felt like I was going to go out the back door!

    My arab x, however, has a hope of fitting the KM s-series, which is awesome because I love that saddle and would really love to be riding in it again.

    So, after DW's post, doing a ton of research on the web, scouring for bad reviews and only finding good ones...I ordered him a heritage bespoke...the same one DW got. Should be here the first week of May...and of course I'll be posting pictures!

    This is the beast
    getting the new Heritage. In some of these photos he's wearing the KM s-series to highlight the problem areas.

    Good luck to all! If this works out I can see myself getting all my saddles from Matty.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    4,696

    Default

    soloudinhere -- did you get your saddles, and would you share your feedback? If I sell enough soap, my Princess Mare may be able to get a new saddle, and I'm thinking of ordering one of the dressage ones . . .

    I'm being a bit optimistic, but people do seem to like the soap!

    Thanks!

    Libby
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Two months in, mine has broken in very nicely and still fits great. Love it!
    Click here before you buy.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    the evergreen state!
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    DW- more pictures please!! dying to get my saddle...must live vicariously through you...



  19. #19
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bensmom View Post
    soloudinhere -- did you get your saddles, and would you share your feedback? If I sell enough soap, my Princess Mare may be able to get a new saddle, and I'm thinking of ordering one of the dressage ones . . .

    I'm being a bit optimistic, but people do seem to like the soap!

    Thanks!

    Libby
    Still waiting-- Matt told me on Monday they would ship in a week so I am hoping they'll be in my hands April 22/23.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
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    6,998

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    Quote Originally Posted by myhorsefaith View Post

    This is the beast
    getting the new Heritage. In some of these photos he's wearing the KM s-series to highlight the problem areas.
    An what a lovely Beast he is!

    (I'm also admiring your clip job )



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