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Verhan

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  • Verhan

    Hello...I am currently shopping for a new dressage saddle...not a fun experience at all.

    Does anyone have any experiences they could share with me about Verhans? If I am not used to having huge thigh blocks, will I get used to them? I rode in one and liked the way my leg felt at the walk and canter, but it felt like there wasn't enough room for my thigh at the trot, and my leg was irritated (the saddle I tried was probably a size too small, so maybe this will go away with the right seat size) I have a big moving horse, who can be spooky, so I felt more secure in this saddle than I have in others that were flatter.

    Also, the saddle felt abnormally heavy to me? Does anyone else think this?

    Any help or suggestions would be really appreciated!

  • #2
    Verhans are really popular here in FL, perhaps because of the Verhan dealer outside of Ocala (http://www.verhan.com/). I rode in one for six months on a big-moving warmblood, and I found it to be quite nice. I too had never ridden in a saddle with larger thigh blocks, but I did get used to them pretty quickly. Now, I miss them and am looking for a saddle that has them! Some say that depending on how large the blocks are, they can get in the way at the upper levels. The only negative thing to the Verhans is that they can be a bit $$, but you can usually find a used one for a good price. My recommendation would be to ride in as many saddle as you possibly can before you make a decision.
    Equine nutrition substantiated by science http://www.vineyardnutrition.net

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    • #3
      At first I really disliked the big thigh blocks on my Verhan - but now I don't notice them, took me about 1 month to become accustomed to them. They do force you to keep your legs long, and the saddle places the rider into the proper position. Nice wide gullet for larger boned horses. Mine is about 5 years old - billets are stretched (older style had "soft" billets), some of the "black" is wearing on the seat (I ride 4-6 days/week about 1 hour per day) but the leather is in decent condition (it's gotten rained on several times, once soaked).

      Very comfortable saddle... 3/4 of my trainers own one. My one trainer has an explosive horse and LOVES how the saddle keeps her with the horse when he unexpectedly bolts. Saddle does not feel heavier than my old AVG. Saddle can also be modified as horse changes shape.
      Now in Kentucky

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you for the replies so far. Please keep them coming!

        Comment


        • #5
          I love my Verhan - I had formerly been riding in a close contact saddle, and the blocks took a bit to get used to, but they now feel secure rather than restricting. Leather on mine is perfect (about 5 years old - I got it used) and it has held up well to frequent riding.

          Proper sizing (for both you and the horse) is the key - I rode in my trainer's model which is smaller, and felt like I didn't have enough room to post, but in mine which is a size bigger, I post properly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unfortunately I had a bad experience with Verhan , the company and would never do business with them again. Don't buy one new as they loose their value alot. As far as the knee rolls I do love them and I do love the sticky buffalo leather. I have used the saddle on a few horses and even with restuffing , it tended to bounce because of the banana type panel.
            Friesians Rule !!

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            • #7
              two thumbs up

              I have 2 verhans. A jump saddle and a dressage saddle that I'm currently trying to sell as it does not fit my younger horse. I have not had an issue at all with the thigh blocks nor with Bernardo, the owner. I have the Hanover model (semi-custom) for the dressage saddle as it's not my primary riding discipline so could not justify 3600 for the Odessey. Unfortunately the Hanover models' tree is not adjustable. It's the only downside to this saddle. It's very comfy and is very good quality.

              My saddle is not heavy either. I've ridden in quite a few dressage saddles before I went with the Verhan.
              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

              Comment


              • #8
                I also have a Verhan that I love it for myself. I did not have a problem with the tight rolls, I did not really feel them. I found though that the banana shape of the panels made it bouncy after a while. So I had gussets added to the panels which made it to be a much straighter fit for warmbloods and it never rocked again. A lot of saddles now have gussets.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tip - I may look into having gussets added. It's the right width for the horse I'm riding now, but the banana shape isn't the best for his back shape. I'm riding him in a Legacy Zara saddle that is much straighter for now, but I'd love to be able to have my Verhan fit to his back.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hate saddle shopping

                    I understand wanting to be in a flatter saddle on a spooky horse--I ride the OTTBs I school in an old old old dressage passier for that reason. Even passier's today tend to give you a little more adjustablity in the saddle--means you need to hold your core muscles yourself but I hate being tossed around in a super deep seet or onto a thigh block.

                    Yes, you do get used to thigh blocks, but I find on a horse that's green or even working training level, I prefer to be in my one of my non-thigh block saddles. (I also have a crosby prix st george sofride--has the deeper seat without the thigh blocks, very affordable, fits narrow horses best)

                    I have 2 "upper level" thigh block saddles to consider that I love: Luc Childeric and Lauriche...great, balanced saddles...those are heavy also, but since they fit my horses to a tee, I don't worry about the weight!

                    Make sure the flap length fits your leg and that your leg when you ride hangs where you want it to without your struggling to "force/hold" it there--that's the best advice I can give. I have pendulous legs (really long), so many dressage saddles don't work if they are too forward in the flap. My friend always has issues feeling pressure right under her groin area...so make sure that doesn't bother you.

                    Try riding in other people's saddles on your own horse...people will generally let you try their's out and it's much more affordable than buying, realizing this ain't working...trying to make it work cuz you spent all that money...giving up and starting over...

                    Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      adjust tree in Verhan

                      Do you know anyone in Maryland who can adjust Verhan tree from mw to med. I emailed the guy at Verhan but it would cost $300 to send it to him in FLA. Suzie Coffey added some flocking but the tree really needs to be adjusted. I like the saddle and would hate to sell it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's going to be quite an experience, LOL.

                        I've only ridden in mine 3 times (it just arrived). The first couple days were awkward, but I'm getting used to it.

                        The effect on the horse is pretty amazing - the horse is much better in the back and much more swinging and flowing in gait.

                        When you ride incorrectly, the leg blocks are uncomfortable, I have trouble doing a posting trot in the saddle, because of posting incorrectly to compensate for the previous saddle. Sitting at the walk, sitting trot and canter is pretty effortless and very comfortable.

                        I am going to have to start working out and using the treadmill again, because I am no longer putting forth the effort I used to.

                        The weirdest thing of all, is that my SO gave me the usual massage - he usually massages my legs, lower back, shoulders and glutes.

                        He stopped and said, 'Your muscles, ALL of them, feel totally different'

                        I asked how and he said, just very loose and relaxed.

                        "There are more important things in the world than riding a horse, but not when you're riding the horse"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When you ride incorrectly, the leg blocks are uncomfortable,
                          There's a reason why so very few succesful top riders use those big block saddles. It isn't because they "ride incorrectly". What twaddle.

                          A saddle is like a pair of shoes. Some styles will fit some people, and some won't, no matter how "correctly" they walk.

                          If you are comfortable with your verhan, great. Post some pictures of how wonderfully you ride in it, why don't you?

                          Juliet, most saddlers will not do a tree adjustment without proper fittings and tracings, and most will want to restuff the saddle after adjusting the tree, plus shipping each way is going to be $35-50, so I think the $300 charge is probably reasonable. I had my Passier adjusted a couple of years ago and it was about $200 then, without shipping. (done locally). Check with your local saddler- Verhans are built on spring trees and these often have a metal arch in the pommel that is adjustable by almost any competent saddler- possibly you can have yours done by someone who can actually look at your horse and fit it properly. Good luck!
                          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            anyone recommend saddler in MD

                            names would be helpful. Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                              It's going to be quite an experience, LOL.

                              I've only ridden in mine 3 times (it just arrived). The first couple days were awkward, but I'm getting used to it.

                              The effect on the horse is pretty amazing - the horse is much better in the back and much more swinging and flowing in gait.

                              When you ride incorrectly, the leg blocks are uncomfortable, I have trouble doing a posting trot in the saddle, because of posting incorrectly to compensate for the previous saddle. Sitting at the walk, sitting trot and canter is pretty effortless and very comfortable.

                              I am going to have to start working out and using the treadmill again, because I am no longer putting forth the effort I used to.

                              The weirdest thing of all, is that my SO gave me the usual massage - he usually massages my legs, lower back, shoulders and glutes.

                              He stopped and said, 'Your muscles, ALL of them, feel totally different'

                              I asked how and he said, just very loose and relaxed.

                              "There are more important things in the world than riding a horse, but not when you're riding the horse"
                              Do you own a riding horse now?
                              --o0o--

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm going to get one of these magical saddles that will make my glutes all squishy after 3 rides.

                                Um, no, on second thought.

                                I get a kick out of people who claim their tack makes magical transformations of their physiques after a few rides. If only it were that simple.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I have one that I bought new about 3 years ago. I've had great success with it being readusted by Bernado for a couple of different horses. I also like that the buffalo leather is never slippery and still looks to be new. For me, however, the only compalint isn't the thigh blocks but the twist. I'm very small and narrow in my pelvis and the twist is just too wide for me. I purchased a new saddle with my mare, it was her saddle and fit us both very well, so my Verhan is now for sale. I would consider another in the future for sure, especially if I could get it with a narrower twist. The horses also seem to really like these saddles and they move with a very free shoulder.

                                  Comment

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