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Albion v. Trilogy v. Scheelse

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  • Albion v. Trilogy v. Scheelse

    Hi,
    I'm a dressage rider trying to find a new saddle that has a very deep seat, a "sticky" seat/leather, and pretty substantial knee rolls. Basically, I want a saddle that I feel VERY secure in.

    Currently I ride in an 17.5" Wintec Isabell (it's the synthetic kind with the "suede" seat). I love this saddle's deep seat and super grippy texture BUT my upper leg is too long and comes to the edge of the front flap. I can't put any of the blocks under the flap at the front or else my toes would be turned straight out ... the saddle turns my knees out a little as is. It seems like my leg should be further back on the flap however, when I do, then I have to move my seat back and then my seat is up on the pommel. I measure 18" long from center of hip to center of knee and I'm 5'7" tall. I'm about 130 lbs., mostly all legs. Finding a saddle is proving to be very hard. I ride a 15.1hh QH cross with a fairly high wither and his back in a bit swayed ... I would like to get a saddle that encourages him to collect more and come up through his back and through his topline. He fit an Albion Platinum Ultima MW very well with his last owner.

    I've been reading reviews online and it looks like the Trilogy Verago has a very deep seat and pretty substantial knee rolls. I have never known anyone that rides in this saddle and was wondering how people who were familiar with all the saddles thought of the Trilogy in comparison.

    I also saw the Scheelse Wave that looked really deep seated. Again, I don't know anyone who rides in a Scheelse so I really don't know how this saddle compares.

    The County saddles I've seen online don't appear to have as deep a seat as the ones I've listed above so I really haven't pursued that brand.

    I saw a picture of a Frank Baines dressage saddle ... never heard of this maker before but that seat sure looked deep! Know absolutely nothing about this brand at all.

    Finally, I've known 3 high level dressage riders that have ridden in Albion Platinum Ultima's. They all said that when they got the saddle, their riding improved by leaps and bounds. I've ridden in one once but since I haven't even sat in the others, I have no idea.

    There aren't many dressage riders in my area and it looks like I'll have to start paying to ship saddles to trial them but I wanted to see what comments were before I started down that path. Obviously, what works for one person/horse might not work for me but it hopefully will give me a good idea.

    Thanks so much for any help anyone can provide!!

  • #2
    I loooooove my Albions.

    For dressage I ride in the SLK Ultima and it has a deep seat and molded cups. It is great.

    However I have other Albions in the non-ultima leather which are also great. These are hunt saddles and I am riding a hunter with a honkin' bascule; a little Stubben Hamanol rubbed into the leather and I stick like glue. They are significantly less expensive than their Ultima versions would have been and I am not sure, having ridden in both, that the Ultima really makes all that much difference.

    The saddles are all beautifully balanced which I think does more for security than any kind of leather.
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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    • #3
      Frank Baines are nice saddles and a bit less expensive than the other brands you mention. The FB Reflex has a deep seat and velcro knee blocks so you can get the huge ones w/velcro.
      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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      • #4
        I have a Trilogy Amadeo, preferred the twist for me to the Verago.

        All of these are very nice saddles. What makes the difference between them is the quality of service and fitting you can get for them in your area. Evaluate the quality of the local rep and/or the cost/frequency of a visit from the travelling fitter for each of these--in your area.

        Comment


        • #5
          Equestrian Imports offer saddle rentals so may be a good place to start

          Comment


          • #6
            I have two Veragos and love them!! I would not characterize the knee rolls as "substantial" however. I prefer the Verago to the Custom saddles I've tried. I have no experience with the others you mention.

            Comment


            • #7
              Make sure whoever you buy from has a fitter in your area that can come when needed. Albion & Trilogy do not come to my area. I know alot of people with those saddles who can't get them worked on.
              Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks so much for all the great feedback so far ... keep it coming!!

                I know there is a store that is about an hour away that is listed on Albion's website. Should I contact each of the companies to find out if they have a "rep" in my area? Do you take it to a store, saddle fitter, or does a company rep specifically have to come out to make adjustments on the saddles I listed in my original post?

                Thanks again everyone!

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                • #9
                  Most saddle fitters make barn calls. Even if you have to haul to them, an hour isn't a big deal (to me). I would call each company and find that out.
                  Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I love my Schleese. I especially appreciate that during the saddle-fitting session, the fitters take time to explain the process and educate the owner/purchaser/rider on the proper fit of the saddle. I agree with thatsnotme that it's important to get a brand that is popular locally (or at least has locally available fitters).

                    My sister has the Wave and loves it. Very comfortable.

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                    • #11
                      I know some people that swear by Trilogies for various reasons, but all the ones I've seen have point billets, which is where the front billet comes directly down from the tree point. This works well for some horses, others either don't like them or it can make them sore if the tree is pulled too tightly into the shoulder.
                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                      • #12
                        If you're buying a new saddle & want to retain the warranty, you may need to only have company certified fitters doing the adjustments, so also enquire about this.

                        If there is a local saddle fitter, maybe start there
                        (tack shops, local trainers, vets may be able to supply names)


                        I measure 18" long from center of hip to center of knee and I'm 5'7" tall, mostly all legs. Finding a saddle is proving to be very hard. I ride a 15.1hh QH cross with a fairly high wither and his back in a bit swayed ... I would like to get a saddle that encourages him to collect more and come up through his back and through his topline. He fit an Albion Platinum Ultima MW very well with his last owner.
                        The deeper the saddle the more you need to go up in seat size (within reason) so don't be shy of trying 18 1/2" & even 19" saddles; as an Albion fit him well in the past & given the reasonable price point of that saddle & the relatively local dealer, I'd start there you can easily spend several hundred $$ in trials & fittings

                        Watch the Schleese 9 Step saddle fit videos if you haven't already - for him to freely lift his back, the saddle must sit behind the extended shoulder.

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                        • #13
                          Albion is the way to go.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I borrowed a Trilogy Amadeo for several months while saddle shopping. I liked the saddle. Good quality, nice deep seat, good thigh blocks, very secure feeling. The down side - everyone who has ridden in this saddle at the barn says it rubs them (the rider) during sitting trot/canter. Rubbed me too. That saddle had earned itself a not very polite nickname which I won't repeat here. Suffice it to say, it worked fine for me as I have a youngster that I wasn't doing much/any sitting trot on at the time, so the rubbing wasn't a big issue.

                            I ended up purchasing an Albion SLK Ultima. LOVE it!! All the same qualities of the Trilogy Amadeo only better - and no rubbing. Very happy with the choice I made for a saddle.

                            ~Shelly~
                            http://community.webshots.com/user/smithereens_86
                            http://www.youtube.com/user/smithereens86

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by alto View Post
                              The deeper the saddle the more you need to go up in seat size (within reason) so don't be shy of trying 18 1/2" & even 19" saddles;

                              It was a huge shock when I transferred from hunter/jumper to dressage and they told me what size saddle I needed!! I thought surely they were out of their mind for me to need THAT huge of a saddle and only weigh 130lbs.!! Now, I realize seat size doesn't really reflect of the weight of the rider! Haha! I don't care what size saddle it is, as long as it fits the horse and myself.

                              My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.

                              Any ideas?

                              Thanks again for all the comments, suggestions, etc.!!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                                I know some people that swear by Trilogies for various reasons, but all the ones I've seen have point billets, which is where the front billet comes directly down from the tree point. This works well for some horses, others either don't like them or it can make them sore if the tree is pulled too tightly into the shoulder.

                                Thanks for making this point ... I hadn't thought of this. I'll look into it!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by DressageHorses4Me View Post
                                  My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.

                                  Any ideas?
                                  I know if you order a new saddle from Schleese that is one of the things they take into account and can change the flap to accommodate your leg better. If you buy a used Schleese, I think they may be able to tell you if the flap would fit you by the serial number of the saddle.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    FWIW - I ride in a Albion SLK Ultima and absolutely love it. They come in both Low and High Heads, with the high head giving a bit more wither clearance.

                                    I really like the way Scheese sits for me on the plastic horse, but I don't know anyone who's had good luck getting it to sit right on a horse's back.

                                    Never seriously tried a Trilogy. Sat in on at a trade fair but that was it.

                                    One thing I would be very cautious about with a 18 1/2" or 19" saddle would be whether it would be too long for your 15.1 hand quarter horse. 60lbs ago I used to have a 18" (measured more like 18 1/2) that was right on the border of being too long for my 16.3 Dutch cross. I can't remember which makers have a forward flap option, but they are out there and may give you the extra room you need to have your leg where you would like comfortably.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      FWIW, I ride in a County Perfection, and let me say, I LOVE my saddle. LOVE it! I rode in an Albion and liked it as well, but, TO ME, it did not feel as deep as my Perfection. I also have ridden in a Custom Saddlery Wolfgang Solo and loved it, I was torn between that and the County Perfection. County won. I have a friend who has the Trilogy Verhan and loves it but it rubbed me, no bueno. I have zero direct experience with Schleese. Before you say County does not "look" deep enough, try it, it may surprise you. Try the Perfection.
                                      ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
                                      *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
                                      *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
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                                      • #20
                                        My issue is, with my long upper leg, is there a way to get a "tight" seat while still keeping my leg in the correct place on the flap (not as far forward as it usually gets)? With my Isabell, I love how tight and secure the seat is but then there's the leg/flap issue. It seems like I have to give up a tighter seat in order to get a large enough seat to keep my leg from extending over the majority of the flap.
                                        You may have to go custom in order to get that small seat & extended flap ie moving up pricewise into the category of saddles that have flap options upon ordering: you may find this combination in a used saddle but to get a saddle that meets your requirements will take a bit of searching
                                        1) has a seat for you
                                        2) has a flap for you
                                        2 1/2) you may also need a stirrup bar that is more or less forward depending on 1) & 2)
                                        3) fits the horse - smaller horse so pushing the odds to get a longer flap that won't interfere with his shoulder; if he's short backed, it's harder to find a bigger than 17" saddle that doesn't extend past the last rib; fairly high wither and back a bit swayed so he'll likely need adjustable panels

                                        I'd start by contacting the previous owner & see how she ended up with the Albion - no need to retry all the saddles that didn't fit him before.

                                        After all the searching for saddles that fit FP & the kid, my advice, concentrate on Albion as you know it fit the horse & that is a h.u.g.e step in the right direction

                                        You may also find that the saddle you choose now, may not be the saddle you still want to ride in a couple years (assuming that you're wanting to move up the levels); it's also possible that your horse may change enough that this saddle will not fit him indefinitely.
                                        In other words, focus on getting a great saddle but don't sweat the Perfect Saddle dream

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