Hello posting in here due to my unique situation but also posting in dressage. I am a thirty year old dressage rider and have competed through Prix st Georges previously. However three years ago I suffered a stroke that led to residual left leg weakness. I ride a 17 hand big moving tbx stallion. Before you judge I bred this premium horse and have ridden him all his life and he is a fairly easy ride. However my problem lies in finding a suitable saddle. I have decreased awareness of exactly where my left leg is on the horse allowing it to drift forward. He is a warmblood built horse with tb withers so a tough fit. I have been looking and trying saddles for three years almost with frustration. This is going to be an upper level horse and he is young but I am not opposed to a custom. I had an old county competitor I used on his mother and loved. Fit him first few years but comes nowhere close to fitting now thus the recent sale. I miss it every day, loved that saddle. We tried restuffing adjusting every way we could. He needs an x wide and that one just wasn't cutting it. I have tried new counties in different styles and they all seem to tip me forward. Tried schleese and it fit my horse great but I was miserable. The seat could not be less comfortable sat like a 2 x 4 under you. I hurt when I got off. I am currently trying a Toulouse seems to fit both horse and I quite acceptably for a non custom but have heard nightmare stories of their service and workmanship sucks. If I wanted a cheap saddle I would buy a wintec. Heck those things at least are easy to clean and hold up okay. I am curious of the black country monoflap as it would allow more contact with the horse. There is one near here as well as dealer so makes me curious. Any comments/suggestions ? I do NOT want massive external knee/thigh blocks. Small is OK but nothing huge and fixed.
I am totally unhappy with the Toulouse. I didn't even bother to ride in it. All the statements about it being cheaply made are completely true. I went to tighten my girth and it scratched the billets. If it scratches on a well made roller buckle girth it will never survive a year in my barn. Expensive piece of junk.
I specifically want a non cheaply made saddle plus in general I don't like how the wintecs sit. I don't get on multiple horses a day that I don't know their fits. I have an upper level horse and want something that is going to last the majority of my horse's career as my county did his mother and I purchased the jump saddle I'm currently riding in when I owned her used, competed her in it, and now him. The saddle is probably close to 25 yes old and I was offered $800 in trade on it and also my ancient county sold for more than I paid for it. Plus I feel like I can't get my leg under me right and it has a chairish seat in a wintec. Its worth the money to get something that will last in great shape and able to be adjusted.
Where are you located? I can't say enough about Colleen Meyer of Advanced Saddle Fit. She represents a few different saddlers in England and is a genius at figuring out which model will best suit both rider and horse. These are all bench-made saddles and as such are significantly less expensive than custom while still being highly configurable.