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Passier GG vs BCS Eden- How do BC Saddles wear compared to Passier?

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  • Passier GG vs BCS Eden- How do BC Saddles wear compared to Passier?

    I'm currently looking at two saddles- the Passier GG Extra and the Black Country Eden. Both fit my horse well and both fit me well. If you had to pick, which one would you pick and why...? Assume that the price of both saddles is the same.

    ETA: How do BC saddles wear compared to Passier? I've ridden in 30+ year old Passiers that looked and felt new. Anyone have an older BC saddle with thoughts?
    Last edited by countrygal; Dec. 14, 2010, 04:31 PM.

  • #2
    I've had an older passier GG, and two BC's (one gp and one eloquence). I would have a tough time choosing between the two all things being equal.

    I love passier trees passionately, they fit a lot of horses well. I loved my GG's balance and the simplicity. The passier is also adjustable, a major point scored. The resale on the passier might possibly be better than the BC because of brand recognition (but not for lack of quality on BC's end!).

    Having said that, I *love* brit saddles specifically over all others. I love english leather above anything else, it just develops the nicest patina and gets better over time. I love the wool BC uses in their panels, I love the shape of their panels, and how customized they can be. I've not ridden in an eden, but they too look simple and easy and fun. I also prefer the more medium twists of BC saddles (or monstrous wide like the ones I had). And I love how small and personal and steeped in tradition english saddlerys are.

    If I thought my horse might change over time, or I might be riding more than the one horse, I'd probably choose the GG, I think it would stand a greater chance fitting different horses and being flexible for my own if he changed.

    If I had no other horses on the horizon, I'd probably pick the BC just because I adore BC saddles. I adore what I've heard of them as a company (trumbull has nothing but praise for what a wonderful, accessible, friendly company they are) so if I ever did need modifications, though they might be more expensive I could have them done possibly more professionally through trumbull who has a direct relationship with BC... whereas having a passier adjusted is likely not as personal. And I just love the small subtle details of english saddles.

    that probably was no help whatsoever! lol!
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


    • #3
      The twist on the GG is more comfortable for me, plus they are relatively easy to find used and will be less expensive used than the BC. The leather is more slippery and the block more out in front of you. Sadly, the passiers just don't seem to fit my wide, flat backed pair.

      I like the BC and the hoop tree seems to fit my wide boy better, but I do find the blocks rather LARGE and the leather almost too sticky and the balance wanting to push my leg forward a bit and then I'm blocked by the blocks...I don't have a chair seat in other saddles, but this one is the closest I've had to feeling that way, however, that may be more a product of how it fits my horse...he may need a size wider or something. My trainer hates it b/c she can feel something under the seat where her seat bones are.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you both for the wonderful input! It's a tough decision to say the least... Not sure I can make the "wrong" choice since both are lovely saddles though.

        I have both saddles on trial right now so I'm getting plenty of riding time in both on my horse. There are things I like better about the BC and things I like better about the GG.

        Hands down, Trumbull Mountain is the best. They've been awesome in helping find possible fits and have been great analyzing pictures and offering advice. Plus the fact that I have 2 lovely saddles to use for the next week + while I decide...

        Does anyone know how BC's wear compared to the Passier? I've ridden in some Passiers that are over 30 years old and the leather, stitching and tree look new.


        • #5
          I have a Passier Optimum and a BC Eden. I love both saddles, and they are perfect for their respective ponies. But I could not say one would be better than the other because of that. I would expect the Passier to wear longer than the Eden because the leather on the latter is a bit softer (which probably is why it's so comfortable). They are both lovely saddles. Good luck, you are "spoilt for choice!"


          • #6
            I always thought a Passier would outlast anything. But I just bought a used one and it had cracking on the seat, and the seams in the seat were pulling apart. It's a GG by the way, and shows no abuse.

            I think the most important thing is care. If you take care of a good saddle, the leather should last for years. Recently I've had a few 20 year old saddles come thru my hands, and the most impressive were a Hopfner, a Stubben, a Rembrandt Integra, all still had beautiful leather, maybe some fading. The Rembrandt had nice soft wonderful leather, as soft as it was it was still black and perfect. The Hopfner and Stubben-I imagine they would survive being run over by a truck, LOL.

            Good leather is good leather. Don't over oil and you know the rest.......


            • #7
              The Passier will wear better...

              The passier's leather will wear like iron, in my opinion. All my passiers have. But again, they're more slippery feeling.

              The BC Eden in our barn isn't that old or ridden in that much and it is already splitting/cracking in the seat. The resale value right now on the Eden is higher....there are a TON of GGs on the market, ebay, etc.


              • #8
                But I just bought a used one and it had cracking on the seat, and the seams in the seat were pulling apart. It's a GG by the way, and shows no abuse.
                No way to know of course, but I suspect that someone had the habit of laying the girth across the saddle after rides - residual sweat/dirt from the girth s l o w l y impacts the relatively fine, soft seat leather.


                • Original Poster

                  Great input! Thank you everyone

                  I realize that a lot of the longevity of the saddle will relate to care. Anything that is abused can't be expected to last terribly long.

                  Just wanted to see if anyone had positive (or negative) experiences with either saddle maker in terms of leather quality, stitching quality, etc.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by countrygal View Post
                    Does anyone know how BC's wear compared to the Passier? I've ridden in some Passiers that are over 30 years old and the leather, stitching and tree look new.
                    The reason that Passier tends to last so long is they use a really heavy grain leather throughout the saddle, including on the seat. Many of the Black Country's that I've seen are built with a softer grain leather or a calf leather on the seat and knee rolls. So to make it a fair fight, you'd have to find an Eden that was constructed out of thick grain leather and/or buffalo leather throughout.. But even then, I suspect the Passier's extremely heavy leather would win out. I'd expect to get 20 years out of a well-cared-for Eden and 30+ years out of a well-cared-for Passier.

                    In terms of ride and design, they're practically the same saddle. They're built on very similar trees with very similar panels and thigh blocks and flaps. The Eden is basically a Passier Grand Gilbert for people with modern tendencies, like an appreciation of a softer seat and a more supple leather. It's the difference between an English tea with cream and sugar and a German lager beer.
                    For me, it would probably come down to price and the input of my trainer. Since you said "assume price is equal," I'm concerned that perhaps you are comparing a $2200 BC Eden demo to the "sale" $2500 Grand Gilberts at Trumbull Mountain. I am making a huge assumption there, but let's just say that I'd think anyone who paid $2500 for a Grand Gilbert in this market is flat-out nuts. There are dozens upon dozens of them on the used market for $800-$1800, and many of them are in like-new condition. The Eden is much harder to find on the used market, so buying a $2200 demo would be very forgiveable if it were THE saddle for your horse and your behind. But it sounds like you like the Grand Gilbert just as much.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                    • Original Poster

                      I don't want to say price is not object, because it is... I wanted to take cost out of the equation in trying to decide which saddle was better. I can get the GG for much less than the Eden (I have new saddles in both on trial right now) but I wanted to understand some things about both manufacturers without the cost coming into play.

                      I think what it will come down to is riding in both saddles as much as possible and see if my horse gives me a clue to which one he likes better. My butt doesn't seem to care much either way at this point so his fit is my top priority- even if it means getting the much more expensive saddle.