• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Albion custom saddle process

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Albion custom saddle process

    Hi All,

    looking for feedback from those who have gone through the custom saddle process with Albion.

    Friend ordered custom top of the line albion. it arrives, beautiful saddle, and rep fits it to horse AND charges 'barn fee' for flocking the custom saddle to horse.

    A few days later, saddle seems to be pinching horse's whithers. Horse keeps throwing his head up when he's normally very compliant.

    Friend calls rep who says she'll be in the area but will need to charge her a barn fee to come check the saddle.

    These barn fees run $150-200+, including the initial flocking of the $4k custom ordered saddle.

    Is this normal?

    Friend is very nice - but i think all these fees sound excessive.

    Albions buyers - your experience?

    'What's in your trunk?'
    Free tools for Trainers and Riders

  • #2
    Once upon a time, I was an Albion saddle fitter, hence the screen name!

    At the time, Performance Saddlery was the only importer of Albions and all reps worked though them. Sometime around 2000 or 2001, Performance Saddlery was sold to a new owner, and eventually the new owner quit carrying Albion saddles and now has a new line being made, Trilogy saddles, which do seem quite popular. All that is simply background that says my knowledge is very dated and everything has changed!

    I'm not sure if there is a single importer for Albions in the US now, I think there are dealers who import, but you'd have to check the websites to attempt to verify that.

    When I was a rep, the expectation was that we would do the first follow up fitting as included in the purchase, and people usually expected the fitting fee to be waived when they ordered a saddle.

    That pricing model was not really sustainable as when you counted in time, wear and tear on vehicle, and all that, the amount of money that could be counted as profit diminished.

    My solution was to realize that selling saddles was not for me, and to gradually get out of it altogether, except my own saddles.

    As for the saddle not fitting, there are a few possibilities.

    1) The timeline for a customized saddle to be delivered is often 8-16 weeks. That is adequate time for a horse to change shape.

    2) The saddle is more flocked than expected, thus too tight.

    3) The saddle is not the tree width marked

    4) Horses can change shape remarkably fast, I've had a horse go up a tree size in as little as two weeks.

    I have no idea how far this rep has to travel to get to the barn, but that might be a reasonable charge. Have you looked at the price of gas, hotels, meals out?

    Travel is not free, and the commission (or profit margin) on a single saddle is not high enough to cover the level of personalized service that many riders seem to expect.


    • #3
      My Albion rep charged a $100 travel fee to deliver and flock-to-fit my latest new Albion.

      Then again, she has to drive 6 hours to get to me so it is more than reasonable.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


      • Original Poster

        thanks for the feedback - haven't see this with other saddles.

        i would have thought the commission on the saddle, girth and fittings would have covered the first couple saddle checks.

        i think the County policy is to fit free for some time on custom saddles, so thought i'd check...
        'What's in your trunk?'
        Free tools for Trainers and Riders


        • #5
          If I order a custom saddle to fit my horse, I expect the saddle to fit out of the box - reasonably well; it's expected that wool flocking will settle over 20 hours or so, at which time, most saddle reps will do the necessary minor adjustments.
          If there will be any surcharges to either of these services, I expect that will be disclosed at the initial stages of the saddle discussion - because really that's the difference between me ordering a custom saddle vs an off the rack saddle that may be adjusted to fit ....


          • #6
            I have an albion and just ordered a 2nd albion. I had the rep come out, check the fit on my geldings albion and measure my mare. I was charged for that visit, when the saddle comes, I will not be charged for the final fitting.

            3 (or 4?) years ago I bought a schlesse. The fitting was free and there was a free follow-up fitting included in purchase price (although the fittings WERE on the fitters travel schedule)


            • #7
              Maybe it just depends on who you are working with and how far away you are or something like that. I had a fitter from a local tack shop come out to my barn (30 min drive) last month and look at an Albion on both my horses. She said the horses are close enough in size/shape that they can share (which is what I wanted) and she traced the older horse (figure he's less likely to change and has more muscle on him so a touch wider). It was $200 for that. She didn't have the seat/tree size I wanted in stock so she had to order me the saddle from England and said I would get it in 5-6 weeks, and when it comes in she will flock it per the tracings she did and then come to the barn and check it on my horse at no charge (so it's basically included in the initial $200 I spent, or the purchase of the saddle). She will also make adjustments as needed for the first 3 months as the flocking settles at no additional charge, but after 3 months there will be a charge for her to check the fit or make adjustments to the saddle. I thought that sounded pretty fair, but I don't know how it's done elsewhere.
              Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
              Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
              My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


              • #8
                Originally posted by GallantGesture View Post
                I thought that sounded pretty fair, but I don't know how it's done elsewhere.
                More than fair
                I'd insist on paying some travel expenses if she has to come out more than once after the initial saddle delivery.


                • #9
                  I bought a used, Albion K2 from a fitter who is an Albion rep, but also sells other brands. We tried three different brands on my short coupled but very wide backed Arabian. (I'd tried two others before having the fitter out.) I had one heck of a time finding a WIDE saddle. I learned that what is Medium Wide to one brand is a Wide to another. The fact that there is no standardization is frustrating.
                  My fitter charged me a travel fee, the fitting process fee and a reflocking fee. However, she gave me a discount of $100! because the saddle's owner (I discovered later) refused to pay her a commission. I thought this odd, but I was appreciative that my fitter gave me the discount. I think, in retrospect, that she gave me the discount because the saddle was already just beyond my budgeted amount for a used saddle, she knew it, and she really wanted me to have the Albion.

                  She did not push the Albion on me, but it really does fit my boy well, and that is what I was most concerned with.

                  Also, buy your girth from the Albion rep. I haven't seen Albion girths in the stores or catalogs, and (correct me if I am wrong, please!) the billets are a bit different than other saddles.

                  If you take good care of them, the Albions will last. They hold their value.

                  I like my Albion. WOuld I buy another? I dunno. You must fit the saddle to the horse.
                  The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!


                  • #10
                    I have a FABULOUS Albion rep who now has her "licensing" from the Master Saddle Fitters. I have purchased 7 saddles from her for various horses over the last 8 years and she has done an upstanding job with each one! I have recommended her to clients and have given her a ton of business because she is so good. She will measure a horse's back and tell her what size tree, etc it needs as well as checking other saddles and measuring for custom Albions. She has solved a ton of mystery problems with various horses as far as saddle fitting for me. She has come to shows to watch ME ride in saddles and given me suggestions on the phone when I am having difficulties which we do determine has to do with saddle fitting (horse changes in size or muscle, etc). She charges $150 for a fitting and it is well worth it. When I purchase a saddle from her, the fitting is free and once the saddle arrives she fits it to the horse and will come back in 4 weeks to check it again at no cost. The most recent saddle I had made for a 6 year old fit him PERFECTLY in the shoulder but needed some more flocking in the back to make it level. NO complaints from me - I LOVE my Albions and my rep!
                    Enough with the drama!


                    • #11
                      My saddle did not fit when it arrived. I called the rep and she said she did nothing to the saddle (of course I sent tracings and pics), and it was just as it had come from the factory. I trailered (well, PAID my trainer to trailer me) three hours to the rep, who informed me my horse was "that sort" who "fooled you when you did measurements" and really needed a wider tree. She "split the fee" for widening the tree with me, AND charged me a consult fee, THEN told me she would be close to my barn in two weeks, should she stop by?

                      I love the saddle. When it needs refitting, I will find someone else to do it, despite the fact that it fits fine now, and she did a good job. I just don't like the business practices.



                      • Original Poster

                        so the consensus seems to be that the initial measurements and flocking fit are generally free. in my friend's case, the initial measurements were free but the fitting of the saddle was not and i'm not sure if that was disclosed.

                        the rep was not making a special trip to the area for any of it. which i support as they live a few hours away and it makes sense to organize several days of visits.

                        the saddle is gorgeous and fits her well - but it needs some work to fit the horse better.

                        if there's a charge, it makes sense to compare the prices of all the saddle fitters in close proximity unless there's something proprietary about Albion?

                        'What's in your trunk?'
                        Free tools for Trainers and Riders


                        • #13
                          Your friend should check the fine print on her saddle sale - most companies require a certified rep to do the adjustments in order to retain the custom saddle-fit warranty ....

                          eg, I can buy a County from the rep (who is an oustanding horse & rider fitter), if I ordered custom, County will guarantee the tree fit for 1 year (& any adjustments must be done by their rep during that 1st year); if I have the rep fit one of their demo saddles, there is no tree fit warranty & it doesn't matter who I have in for adjustments.

                          The general County tree warranty for breakage etc holds in either scenario.

                          If the saddle sale contract is not clear, she needs to contact the company & discuss & have written confirmation.