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Custom Saddlery Process?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Dune View Post
    Not impressed with these at ALL. Even though they're supposed to be totally custom saddles, they also sell you on the Mattes shim pad when you get your new saddle, "so it can be just perfect". Uh, isn't that what tree size and flocking is for??? One came to a sponsored rider with a couple parts on backward. She was so knowledgeable she just kept riding in it, but told me how horribly MY CS fit (obviously trying to sell her product). Hint to sellers: Bashing someone else's product isn't the way to sell, especially when the fit isn't the issue it's the customer service, but whatever. ...
    My .02 as a good amateur saddle fitter:

    There is something to be said for buying a saddle with a "non-offensive," middle-of-the-road flocking job. That being said, the tree *must* follow the lines of the horse's back.

    And it's hard! These equine suckers are 3-D. The rat ba$stards change shape with seemingly no regard for our pocket book or love of a particular saddle. They have relatively little flesh-- thin layers of muscle between their skeleton and that of the saddle. We want "close contact." Who thought this was a good design for riding animals? And then we English riders don't go in for the large surface-area of the western saddle which distributes the weight of the rider much better... and increases the margin of error for fitting a horse comfortably. We buy horses for things other than an "orthodox" back... or a back that goes well with our anatomy. Yet we want a saddle to resolve the fit between these two bodies.

    But fitting an English saddle to those "non-offensive" specs is a good way to go for man, beast and wallet. It does give you the freedom to do some cheap and flexible messing around with half pads. That being said, I have yet to see a pad that can do the extremely difficult job of exactly fitting the "wither hollows" section or the section from the stirrup-bars to the middle of the seat... where all of our weight is most of the time. It can be hard to evaluate fit in this all-important section of the saddle.

    Also, all of this goes better if the rider/buyer gets really educated herself about both saddle fitting and equine management. IME, horses tell you that a problem with saddle fit is brewing long before you have something that another profe$$ional needs to fix. Mine will tell me what's going on in about 3 rides, and they'll be pretty clear about where it hurts and why (it helps that I know some equine anatomy).

    If you do some old-fashioned leg work-- commit to paying close attention to your animal and to your ride, you can get along nicely the way people did before the era of custom saddles and saddle fitters.

    Best of luck to you all with your saddle searches! Each time you do one, you learn a little more about how to find the next saddle with less muss and fuss.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • #22
      Just wanted to clarify: I have NO problem with padding a saddle a bit, with a shim here or there. HOWever, if I spend $4000+ on a brand new custom saddle, it better darn well fit w/o all those shenanigans!

      Comment


      • #23
        Well all I can say is Andy Sankey MSF who hand makes these saddles has a stellar reputation. I had a wonderful experience with the fitter I used, and BTW I didn't need a full custom saddle because the "off the rack" so to speak , fit me and my horse like a glove. My horse is not the easiest back to fit, so I was fully prepared to go with a totally custom saddle, but the fitter was very honest and did not feel I need spend the extra $1,000 for something that wasn't needed. That being said, the saddle I'm buying is still made to order, not out of the back of the fitters truck...
        Not to worry, when the saddle arrives in a couple more weeks, I'll be sure to inspect the sucker along with my regular saddle fitter 6 ways from Sunday.

        I really can't speak to your experience with Borne', but the fitter I used narrowed my choices down to 2 out of 10 models available because of the Tree shape for my horse, and the fact that I wanted a deeper seat. There was absolutely NO compromising, or suggestion that the saddle should or could be fitted with a pad of any sort.

        I'm not here to dis any other saddle brand. I just found Borne' Sankey's to have lots of tree shape and seat options.
        *** Also, Borne' offers a 7 day trail after delivery which allows return of the saddle if for any reason it does not fit horse or rider. This info can be found on their Warranty page on their website. I don't see why someone wouldn't return it or ask for correct adjustments since the saddle is guaranteed ?
        Last edited by Snoball 1; Mar. 29, 2012, 10:05 AM. Reason: additional information added

        Comment


        • #24
          I have Custom Saddlery ( Victory model - '01 model) that I got last summer. I bought it at 10 years old, and it looks like it was only used about twice, if ever. It was a real custom, not off the rack, and I had an independent (does mostly Customs but not just customs) saddle fitter come look at it at an event a few months later, and she said it fit him perfectly, and didn't need to be adjusted. I bought it sight unseen (online from pictures) for under $900. I LOVE it. It is beautiful, in basically perfect condition, and it is very very well made.

          I could not be any happier with it. The saddle fitter was also so so kind and would not charge me for looking at it. I would have been happy to compensate her for her time.

          Comment


          • #25
            fwiw, the Stubben guy came out to see me and my shedding pony and let me ride in any saddle i wanted FOR FREE - he didnt charge me ANYTHING.

            I even got to ride in the really really nice CH revamped Tristan (a brand new one even still hadn't had the tags off!) - a 4k saddle (on the self same shaggy pony) ...

            once i decided to buy a used saddle from them they were going to send me FOR FREE a different saddle to try so i could have more options. all i would of paid is for the shipping (as they dont carry that one in their sales vans)

            any saddle Co that wanted me to PAY to try their saddle could kiss my you know what.

            Last edited by mbm; Mar. 29, 2012, 11:40 AM.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by mbm View Post
              fwiw, the Stubben guy came out to see me and my shedding pony and let me ride in any saddle i wanted FOR FREE - he didnt charge me ANYTHING.

              I even got to ride in the really really nice CH revamped Tristan (a brand new one even still hadn't had the tags off!) - a 4k saddle (on the self same shaggy pony) ...

              once i decided to buy a used saddle from them they were going to send me FOR FREE a different saddle to try so i could have more options. all i would of paid is for the shipping (as they dont carry that one in their sales vans)

              any saddle Co that wanted to to PAY to try their saddle could kiss my you know what.

              Our own Kate Wooten has offered to let me try her personal saddle which happens to be the exact model I'm interested in, for the shipping charge. So I'll be taking her up on that, hopefully, but in the meantime, I am seriously debating calling Stubben EXCEPT I have a tough time paying their asking prices for a saddle whose seat can only be described as concrete. I am hoping that their fancier and more expensive models have addressed this because if not, it's not workable for me-- I'm currently riding in a stubben maestoso that i like the flap and block on but literally leaves me bruised. I really do need to call though.

              Comment


              • #27
                i would NOT describe the seats of the saddles i sat in as concrete at all. they were biomax seats..... very very comfy.

                besides, it doesn't cost anything to try them

                ps - post a thread on how folks like the new Stubbens and see what you get

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                  fwiw, the Stubben guy came out to see me and my shedding pony and let me ride in any saddle i wanted FOR FREE - he didnt charge me ANYTHING.

                  I even got to ride in the really really nice CH revamped Tristan (a brand new one even still hadn't had the tags off!) - a 4k saddle (on the self same shaggy pony) ...

                  once i decided to buy a used saddle from them they were going to send me FOR FREE a different saddle to try so i could have more options. all i would of paid is for the shipping (as they dont carry that one in their sales vans)

                  any saddle Co that wanted to to PAY to try their saddle could kiss my you know what.

                  You obviously live in the "zone" - my Stubben rep won't even send me a "free" email nevermind show up with saddles to try on my nicely clipped pony ...

                  If you lived in my area you'd never try a saddle - even the ones you borrow from the tack shops cost you travel & time - & every saddle is a medium.
                  And shipping, my quotes run from $100 - $150 each way.

                  So I'm thrilled when any saddle rep will show up with a bunch of saddles - only a $100!!! what a DEAL!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    if it is an independent saddle seller with a wide variety of saddles to try from different brands etc - ok. (we used to have one around here and it was AWESOME)

                    But a saddle company should NOT charge for trying their saddles -especially a 4 k custom saddle! that is ridiculous.

                    would you pay to try out other merchandise before buying?

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      But a saddle company should NOT charge for trying their saddles -especially a 4 k custom saddle! that is ridiculous.

                      would you pay to try out other merchandise before buying?
                      You obviously missed the reality part - way back when I began this journey, I believed much as you.

                      Now I realize how fortunate I am, there are many areas that no saddle fitter/rep will ever travel into & you may imagine the shipping in fees have increased as well. (& that is IF you can find a shop that will even send a saddle out)

                      & yes, Stubben has resisted all my efforts to convince them to mail me that CH revamped Tristan
                      - they will not even send one out to the "local" Stubben dealer that is 450 km close to me

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        you are in canada? maybe that is the reason....

                        I can see not sending a saddle out without a deposit/payment, but it should be fully refundable if you choose not to buy it.

                        the revamped Tristan is divine! wish i could afford one ! will have to wait a few years for them to start coming on the used market.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          The new Biomex seat is definitely fabulous!
                          Anne
                          -------
                          "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by mbm View Post
                            you are in canada? maybe that is the reason....

                            I can see not sending a saddle out without a deposit/payment, but it should be fully refundable if you choose not to buy it.

                            the revamped Tristan is divine! wish i could afford one ! will have to wait a few years for them to start coming on the used market.
                            Yabbut mbm you do live in the Zone. Sonoma County, CA, right? Saddle manufacturers can afford to send reps to you, or have plenty of those folks and saddles around to accommodate you.... because you saddle-buyers are packed in like sardines.

                            It's not just Canada that you can put at the edge of the universe. Other parts of the US are, too!
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              i wonder what other product makes the person PAY to try it?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Well... I'll bet that your DVM charges you a fee just to step out of the truck on your property.

                                The horse could die. The horse could recover without Vetley's intervention. You could have been an maroon and called the Dr. for a problem that didn't require his attention in the end. But you still pay the dude to get your particular dirt on his shoes.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  ? that is a VERY different thing. You are engaging the vet for his services. he charges you for his time.

                                  to try a saddle should be free. for a saddle manufacturer rep to come to you should be free.

                                  do you pay to try new shoes? or clothes? or a car?

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                    You could have been an maroon ...
                                    the Jamaican sect

                                    you are in canada? maybe that is the reason
                                    Yes, Canada is why almost none of the US shops will ship (imagine Free Trade Jokes bandied about for the next 10 ) but there are many areas of the world which share my experience.

                                    do you pay to try new shoes? or clothes? or a car?
                                    Well I drive to the shop for all those - no rep comes to my home; I suspect if I trailered FP out to the saddle makers, I could try the saddles for free too ... except not too many shops have convenient riding areas

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      OK, I stand corrected, the Trilogy elite leather is NOT buffalo. I had my Verago adjusted this am and asked the rep. It is cow hide, from "cold cows" or cows that live in cold weather, bottom line THICK skinned cows. My rep explained that most buffalo leather now available comes from Asian "buffalo" and is not the long wearing buffalo of old. She says the cow hide used by Triology is tanned with a new and improved process.

                                      Boy you learn something new every day if you're not careful.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                        i wonder what other product makes the person PAY to try it?
                                        Anything custom... Many products are not available to try - if you want custom drapes, you don't get to try them out, you pay up front. If you want a custom suit, you pay for it - whether you like it or not. If you want a fence built, there is no trying it out - buy it or no fence.

                                        With custom saddles - if you go to THEM, there is no charge to try, but if they come to you - at that point, you are paying for a service, just like you would for your vet or your housekeeper, or whoever else you pay for services.

                                        You are in wine country - how many wineries still allow free tasting?

                                        My only beef - once you BUY the saddle, I do think the fitting cost should be included in the cost of the saddle.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I guess it really varies depending on where you live.

                                          I'm in Los Angeles and the Custom Saddlery rep came to our barn with no call fee. I tried all the different saddles and settled on an Advantage. They gave me a loaner to use while mine was made, which I gave back to the rep when she hand-delivered my saddle. And the first adjustment a couple of months later was free, too.

                                          A couple of years ago, I switched to a Trilogy. Same exact experience, except that being a smaller company, they couldn't give me a loaner.

                                          Comment

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