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County and Stubben?

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    County and Stubben?

    Likes, dislikes? Good, bad and ugly? Looking for something that let's me sit without forcing me in position.

    These are both good quality brands that were extremely popular jumping models until the current popularity of expensive fragile foam saddles. A third excellent quality brand is Passier, and they made their name in dressage saddles though their jump saddles are also excellent.

    As far as not forcing you into a postition, look for a relatively open, flatter and larger seat, and more modest knee rolls. Make sure the stirrup bars are positioned correctly for you.

    If you are looking at new models of any of these saddles you can get options about knee rolls and roll placement. Even a big roll won't force you into position if it is far enough forward.

    If you are looking second hand I have to say I love gently used Passier dressage saddles that are about 20 years old. They are clearly modern black dressage saddles but they are much lower profile than current saddles and they have a nice balance.

    But the big thing is the saddle has to fit you and the horse or your position will be off.

    I find the Passiers all have a family resemblance and the different models feel familiar to me.

    I haven't ridden in a County or Stubben dressage saddle so can't speak to that. They may have fewer dressage models than Passier?


      I discovered the Stubben Genesis Special last December. It has an optional, small, velcroed on thigh block. Since I don't want my thighs, blocked, I don't use it. My knees lie right at the edge of the saddle, and now there is nothing under them, forcing them more open. And there is no exposed block, forcing them back on the flap. For my conformation, it is perfect! My hip pain of 20 years has gotten amazingly better, and so has my seat! I love the freedom of it, but you can't relay on the saddle for any "help". There's nothing there. The seat is pretty flat, too. Its not for everyone, but if it suits you, you'll never ride in anything else. You can find them used for about $1500


        I ride in stubben for jumping and dressage. They have a variety of dressage models to suit all riders and the unique U-shaped headplate in their tree that allows the gullet width to remain unchanged as the tree narrows or widens. I've ridden in all of their models and never felt forced, personally the serenity suits me the best. I'll try and give a breakdown of each model.

        Serenity: deeper seat with more of a block, suits the shorter legged riders a bit better, gives a secure feeling without forcing you into a position. Seat sizing runs on the small side.

        Genesis: The most versatile. More open seat, seat sizing runs large. TONS of flap options (external block, velcro block, you name it they can pretty much do it). Does not give much support while giving a very good balance.

        Aramis: More forward flap, similar seat to the genesis. The balance is a bit different, it is aimed more towards event riders who want the more forward balance for switching between jumping and dressage.

        Euphoria: For long legged amazons. Also has a unique panel to be more accommodating to big shouldered horses. The blocks are set a touch lower than most, not restricting but if you have short legs you aren't going to be able to find the blocks at all. Seat is of average depth.

        Centurion: Their new monoflap. Not worth it yet, very nice balance but until they tweak the billet attachments and adjust the bottom of the flap it isn't ideal. Block is also a bit big/tall but that is adjustable.

        Aramis II: Their newest model. Super comfortable, great balance, with a touch more of a forward flap than your average dressage saddle. It is their cushiest model by far.

        1894: Semi-custom option, although I think they are now doing full custom with it too. Similar to the serenity without the special olive tanned leather and a slightly more open seat. Their most affordable new saddle.

        Keep in mind if you went new, stubben can do velcro blocks on just about every model (except for external blocks), you can choose from a ton of block options. Their tree is unique in its design and I've seen it work on a huge variety of horses. They are no longer the banana tree that only fits one type, thats for sure!
        "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


          Because I needed a narrow twist on a medium wide horse, I went with the 1894 model Stubben. The best one for me to get my leg on the horse and not be so wide in the twist that I feel like I'm on a Thelwell pony. And the price for brand new is about 1/2 of a new County. After a year, it still looks brand new (5 - 6 days/week riding and I'm not the best at keeping a saddle clean)


            Just be aware, when looking at Stubbens, that the Genesis and the Genesis Special are completely different saddles.


              I love my County Epiphany. Mine has big thigh blocks, but a relatively shallow seat so it gives a very close contact feel.


                dressagegirl123 Could you share the differences? Thank you!


                  The best place to learn about Stubben saddles is on their website. They have videos explaining the difference between their saddles. I'm not an expert, but I can tell you that the Genesis Special has a relatively flat seat, no thigh block (or velcroed on small ones), and comes standard with short billet straps for a long girth. And the Genesis (non special) is a much more conventional modern saddle.


                    I have three County saddles, two jumping and one dressage. Love them all. Would have to check exact model of my dressage, is super comfortable and really like that it can be reflocked (sp. ?) periodically by saddle fitter for my horses back.


                      I have 2 County’s; a Perfection & an Ephiphany.
                      The Perfection is older, very straight flap. It does want to force my thigh back and straight, I don’t feel confident in this saddle on a young horse.
                      The Ephiphany I just got. I LOVE it. Mono flap, not forced into a position, I’m just “there”. Short block, slightly forward flap. I can get up in 2-point when I need to or sit dead quiet and actually get my legs on my horse without a struggle. And they stay there!! I’m not fighting the saddle.
                      I like them both, but what works for one horse might not work for another.


                        I have a young friend who has a County Warmblood and Stubben Roxanne dressage saddle. The County is in very nice condition for an older saddle, and she got a terrific bargain on it. She rode my TB-style Paint gelding for several years and it fit him nicely with prominent withers and some curve to his back. I have always thought that riding a more open saddle with modest rolls helped her develop her balance and seat. She now has a nice young Mustang mare built for dressage who is moving up the levels. She hated the County. It had too much curve for her flatter back without much in the way of withers. The Stubben fit her well, but she is in the process of finding a new saddle now that her body is muscling up. The Stubben is also open, but it helped her with sitting trot because she wasn't locked in place. Fortunately she is working with a fitter who pays attention to the horse and rider.
                        "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019


                          A couple years ago I went to the Landrover KY event and sat in every dressage saddle there. While
                          I have friends that have and like County saddles, I felt like they put my leg to far in front of me, and while
                          I know that might change sitting on a horse instead of a saddle stand, I have a hard time justifying the fee the County rep charges to come try saddles 🤷🏻‍♀️.