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Thinking about a saddle change Schleese vs Butet

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    Thinking about a saddle change Schleese vs Butet

    I bought a new Schleese HK about 10 years ago because it was the only saddle I could find to fit 2 horses after saddle shopping hell. I tried childeric (I loved the saddle but would not fit either horse), antares, passier + others. I liked the Schleese well enough but I find the saddle very heavy to get up on my taller horse and load into my tack locker and trailer. I am having back problems and feeling like I'm a little locked into position in the saddle, the back problems seemed to get worse after the saddle was adjusted recently to fit the horse better, I only have to fit one horse now. Before buying the Shleese, I had always ridden in flatter, closer contact dressage saddles ie Passier PS Baum (flat as a pancake) and liked the closer contact feel. I don't want to go back to a totally flat, hard saddle but have been considering Butet. When I was still doing hunter/jumper's I rode in a Butet and felt that it was the nicest most balanced saddle I have ever ridden in. I don't see many bad reviews about Butet.

    Any experiences with Butet dressage saddles? Am I crazy to want a new saddle because the one I have is too heavy and I have a sore back?

    #2
    If riding in the saddle is causing you to have a sore back, it doesn't fit you and you need to get rid of it ASAP. Yes, altering the balance of the saddle in the horse can change the fit for the rider.
    rider.

    Ive ended up riding only in Passier for the last several years. If the saddle was made after 2000 it won't be the old flat 1979 pancake style.

    My seat size in Passier is 18. Last summer I was riding my coach's dressage horse regularly and the best fit saddle was a 17. I felt I could manage riding but I started getting lower back pain. I realized that my lower body was too locked into the seat so I was taking all the movement in my back at the canter. I switched up to a 17.5 and was fine.

    So I agree that being locked into the saddle can create back problems because your pelvis can't follow the movement.

    That horse was hard to fit, and because I wasn't using a saddle fitted to her, I ended up getting a shim pad. I found that small changes to the shim pad absolutely affected my balance in the saddle.

    Comment


      #3
      You might prefer a Schleese ProLight. The seat is more open and it's significantly lighter to carry. The best part is how freeeeeely the horse move them!

      Comment


        #4
        Changing your stirrups iron to aluminum ones with a single strap leathers could help with weight.

        Of course most the French brands are lighter because they’re filled with synthetic wool/felt/memory foam - but fit is a tad harder to fix.
        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

        Comment


          #5
          The balance point in a schleese vs any french saddle are miles apart. The closest wool flocked saddle to a french balance point, for me, is a Stubben.

          That said I’ve owned and ridden in a few schleese they just do not work for my body. I’ve also owned a few french saddles and they are just not adjustable enough to keep for very long as a horses training progresses and changes occur in the topline.

          All that said make sure whatever you buy fits both you and your horse... otherwise you will have issues. Best of luck.
          http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

          Comment


            #6
            If it fits your horse and is comfortable for you, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality, better balanced saddle than the Butet. Aside from fit and comfort, the main question to ask yourself is how you feel about a foam saddle, and how likely your horse is to significantly change shape - ie age and level of training.

            Comment


              #7
              I too had a Butet jumping saddle and looooooooooved it - super close contact, beautifully made and balanced, held up nicely (admittedly with good care.) My new horse came with a fairly similar dressage saddle (Devoucoux Mendia) and it has the same nice close contact feel that the Butet had.

              I know there are a lot of folks here who look down at the foam flocked French saddles but I have had really good luck with them; my other two horses go in Antares Tempos which are slightly "cushier" but have a similar feel and they work well for me. Also, the FEI qualified (PET) body work professional who has looked after my horses for more than a decade says their backs are in great shape.
              **********
              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
              -PaulaEdwina

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Guyot View Post
                The balance point in a schleese vs any french saddle are miles apart. The closest wool flocked saddle to a french balance point, for me, is a Stubben.
                Thanks for confirming what I felt in my Stubbens. I have a bunch of Tristan Specials (including some bridle leather ones) that I hang on to because I love the balance and openness for me. The half panels make them fit a lot of horses well. But I don't think I can get this one to fit my current Ay-rab cross, no matter what. Such a bummer because both of us would like me to ride at a more forward spot as the French think you should.

                For everyone else, I would be afraid to buy a foam-flocked dressage saddle. I say this as an old hunter princess who rode plenty in foam saddles and still have a couple. But I think the balance of a dressage saddle on a horse has to be even more perfect than does a close contact saddle, and I think the sitting for the rider makes that saddle have to do a whole lot more work in terms of comfortably fitting the horse and distributing the rider's weight, that I think you need the adjustability of wool.

                But them's just my relatively uneducated two cents on the matter. If you find a well-balanced foam flock thing that your horse likes, and which you like, go for it!
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  I believe that Butet now makes wool flocked saddles. I'm not sure if that will change the close contact feel that there is with foam panels. I had a newish passier (not the PS Baum) before I bought the Schleese but didn't care for it. I tried a used Butet on my horse today, lovely saddle but it didn't give him any wither clearance, I'm sure that can be adjusted but my experience with the childeric saddle fitting made me realize that sometimes you can't make a brand of saddle fit a horse no matter how much you love it ! I'm hoping the Butet rep will be able to help.

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Goforward View Post
                    You might prefer a Schleese ProLight. The seat is more open and it's significantly lighter to carry. The best part is how freeeeeely the horse move them!
                    Tell me more about the ProLight! I have never heard of it. Is the seat deep?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I rode in one for a few years and it was my fav dressege saddle. That being said I love a flatter seat. If you like deep it might not be for you.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by java View Post

                        Tell me more about the ProLight! I have never heard of it. Is the seat deep?
                        https://schleese.com/product/prolight-dressage-saddle/

                        T
                        he weight listed for the Prolight is 17lbs, whereas the HK is listed as 18.5lbs. Not sure is 1.5lbs is going to make a significant difference!

                        I've had a few HKs, and quite liked them. I've been shopping recently for my new guy, and since I'm both shopping used and need a miniscule panel length, my choice has been limited. I've ended up sitting in some of their "centre balance" saddles - which I thought I wouldn't like after the forward balance of the HK, and turns out I was wrong! The Triumph and Link 2 models have the centre balance - maybe something to try, if you like Schleeses for your horse and want to find some other options to try for yourself

                        Comment


                          #13
                          mvp have you tried the Stubben Euphoria? Not sure why the Tristan isn’t fitting your horse but the euphoria seems to have a curvier tree.

                          My one horse didn’t fit a Tristan or genesis or any other Stubben tree but I found a used euphoria which worked for him with his curvy back, big shoulders and high wither... it came with Velcro blocks which I ended up taking out all together and we both are now super happy!
                          http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Guyot View Post
                            mvp have you tried the Stubben Euphoria? Not sure why the Tristan isn’t fitting your horse but the euphoria seems to have a curvier tree.

                            My one horse didn’t fit a Tristan or genesis or any other Stubben tree but I found a used euphoria which worked for him with his curvy back, big shoulders and high wither... it came with Velcro blocks which I ended up taking out all together and we both are now super happy!
                            Thank you for the suggestion! I'm actually trying to go in the opposite direction of Stubben's curvy tree. I have an Ay-rab/WB with a pretty flat back, some withers, and a ridiculously well-sprung rib cage. If I can maybe get the head of a very wide Stubben tree to fit her (not that they made Tristan Specials in anything wider than a 32 cm), but the rails of the tree behind the stirrup bars will almost assuredly be too angled. The mare is an engineering conundrum.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hunter princess here who loves a good Butet and Childeric (still own a Childrec jump saddle). Wither clearance and gullet width is for sure an issue with those. I've been buying Equipe dressage saddles (just ordered my second, different model for a different horse than the first). I don't like all of them, but in general, I can get a forward balance point for me with a less locked in seat feeling, customization on the blocks/flap that I need for my build, and while they are still foam, they are much more friendly in the construction to the modern WB type horse.

                              I also found the older CWD model to have a nice close contact feel, but it was hard to get the right balance for the rider because their tree was so wide. They have redesigned it, and it's supposed to fit the horses a bit better, and while I haven't sat in it, it looks like it would appeal to someone who likes a Butet but it should still have better clearance through the gullet. I think the price isn't quite as ridiculous as a comparable Devoucoux. But between those two brands, I would lean towards whichever one has the better rep in your area.

                              That is, if you don't like Equipe. I also think that unlike some French brands who have had a real decline in quality of materials in recent years despite skyrocketing prices, the leather and craftsmanship on the Equipes is great. Amerigo is a wool flocked brand made in the same factory, but I don't find those as balanced and comfortable for me.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I've had 2 HKs and I've got 4 ProLights. If you pick them up side, the ProLights are definitely lighter. They're a totally different saddle than the HK. The best way I can describe it is that you feel like you're riding bareback comfortably and securely. The horse feels everything. It can actually take some getting used to for the horse and rider when you're feeling each other so much.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                  I too had a Butet jumping saddle and looooooooooved it - super close contact, beautifully made and balanced, held up nicely (admittedly with good care.) My new horse came with a fairly similar dressage saddle (Devoucoux Mendia) and it has the same nice close contact feel that the Butet had.

                                  I know there are a lot of folks here who look down at the foam flocked French saddles but I have had really good luck with them; my other two horses go in Antares Tempos which are slightly "cushier" but have a similar feel and they work well for me. Also, the FEI qualified (PET) body work professional who has looked after my horses for more than a decade says their backs are in great shape.
                                  To be clear, I don’t look down on foam at at. But I would only buy one now for a mature horse that was established in their level of training and wasn’t going to morph into a different body shape. Buying one for a slow/maturing 5yo is not a mistake I would repeat.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    Thank you for the suggestion! I'm actually trying to go in the opposite direction of Stubben's curvy tree. I have an Ay-rab/WB with a pretty flat back, some withers, and a ridiculously well-sprung rib cage. If I can maybe get the head of a very wide Stubben tree to fit her (not that they made Tristan Specials in anything wider than a 32 cm), but the rails of the tree behind the stirrup bars will almost assuredly be too angled. The mare is an engineering conundrum.
                                    If you can find one nearby, try the Prestige D1 or similar

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by BigMama1 View Post

                                      If you can find one nearby, try the Prestige D1 or similar
                                      Thank you for the suggestion!
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                        Thank you for the suggestion!
                                        I had two rather flat-backed horses who were otherwise not very similar shapes, and the Prestige D1 fit them both beautifully. It’s got a pretty unique tree and gives a significant amount of shoulder freedom.

                                        Comment

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