• 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.

Announcement

Collapse
1 of 2 < >

Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

We just reconfigured the Event Announcements forum to be available as a free service for all registered forum users. See the thread stuck at the top of that forum for more information.
2 of 2 < >

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

Custom Saddlery Process?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Custom Saddlery Process?

    I'm interested in buying a Wolfgang Solo or Icon saddle from Custom, but I'm a bit perplexed as to the process.

    I looked into local fitters and I am right in between 2 of them. The better one is about 150 miles away. However, it appears that she charges a farm call plus mileage simply to even show up for me to try the saddles and possibly spend $4000, then ANOTHER farm call plus mileage to tweak the saddle after it's delivered.

    That means I would be spending almost $5000 for a bench made saddle without even that many options when all the service fees are included.

    I really like the looks of these saddles and would like to try one, but the nonrefundable $250 just to try them out is astonishing to me. The same deal even if I fit by mail as they expect the customer to pay to ship one demo back and forth at a time.

    Am I misunderstanding something about this process or is this the way it is? I will probably be considering other makes that will at least do the initial consult for free if so. It's too much money to spend to not like the saddle and be back to square one.

  • #2
    I'm afraid that is the process. You are paying them to come to you - if you can find them at a tradeshow (horse show or event), then there is no fee. You can do your own tracings, or again, take your horse to her.

    I was a little surprised when I went through it too - honestly, I have no problem paying them to come to me to try saddles, but figured the cost of fitting should be included in the saddle IF I bought the saddle (and that was how it was when they first started out, but as they grew and added fitters, they had to find a way to pay the fitters).

    If it is any comfort, this is how the Albion fitter in our region works, and a few of the other custom fitters as well.

    I will say, last time I had the Custom fitter out, I got to try all their models, AND she had some used models available, so I could have picked one up for less then new. And they have a fabulous trade-in policy, so if you don't like that model in a few years, you can trade toward another model - their trade allowance is quite generous. So it was actually cheaper then trying a bunch of saddles through the mail and having to ship them back.

    ETA - I'm not defending the charges, I agree, I think when you but a custom saddle (of any brand), the fitting should be included, but in our area, some of the other fitters charge even more, and also charge that on top of the cost of a saddle. I really do love my Custom Advantage saddle - I've tried a ton of saddles, and nothing fits me OR my horses as well.
    Last edited by MysticOakRanch; Mar. 24, 2012, 07:47 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      We had a local fitter that didn't charge me anything to bring out saddles to try. I ended up buying a nice used one in great shape. I did pay to have the used one fitted to my horse. I guess it was just because she didn't have to travel?

      Anyway, I do love the saddle and I was able to have the same saddle fitted to use on my 15.1 Appaloosa and then on my 16.1 draft cross. To me that's the biggest benefit of the more expensive saddles--no need to buy a new one if you change horses.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
        I'm afraid that is the process. You are paying them to come to you - if you can find them at a tradeshow (horse show or event), then there is no fee. You can do your own tracings, or again, take your horse to her.

        I was a little surprised when I went through it too - honestly, I have no problem paying them to come to me to try saddles, but figured the cost of fitting should be included in the saddle IF I bought the saddle (and that was how it was when they first started out, but as they grew and added fitters, they had to find a way to pay the fitters).

        If it is any comfort, this is how the Albion fitter in our region works, and a few of the other custom fitters as well.

        I will say, last time I had the Custom fitter out, I got to try all their models, AND she had some used models available, so I could have picked one up for less then new. And they have a fabulous trade-in policy, so if you don't like that model in a few years, you can trade toward another model - their trade allowance is quite generous. So it was actually cheaper then trying a bunch of saddles through the mail and having to ship them back.
        I would be fine with it if the cost included any or all of the following:

        1. A loaner saddle of the model I'm buying to use while I wait 12 weeks for them to make one.
        2. The final adjustment and delivery of the saddle was free.
        3. the cost of the initial appointment was included in the saddle cost.

        Just paying for it seems ridiculous when at least the Albion fitter will come back out and fine tune the flocking for free.

        She charges a $75 per person farm call and a $75 fee for an initial appointment. Then .55/mile which could be split among others if there were more people, but I don't think there are as there's only 6 boarders at my barn. The appointment cost would be roughly $320 just to try the saddles.

        Comment


        • #5
          I, too was interested in a Wolfgang Solo about two years ago. I was having a heck of a time getting a Custom rep to even return a phone call or email. It was literally a month before anyone contacted me. In the meantime, I found one for sale online that was 2 years old and, if it fit, a fantastic deal. I decided to take a chance on it and it turned out to be a gorgeous saddle. Last week, a local saddle fitter (independent - not a rep for any particular brand) came out to check out the fit on my guy and she LOVED my saddle. Went on and on about the quality of the leather, the condition, the softness of the wool flocking, etc. She told me if it did not fit my guy (it does!) she could sell it for me in a heartbeat. I have heard mixed reviews about the customer service of Custom, but they do make some excellent quality saddles! Good Luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Contact independent fitters in your area to find out if any also carry the CS saddles - some of them may allocate fees differently (but likely will also not have as many of the CS saddles to try), do always ask for a model size & width list to make sure there will be suitable saddles for you & your horse.

            You might also contact County as they do apply some of the fees to any new saddle purchase & fitting on the new saddle is included in the purchase price.

            AFAIK any saddle fitter that travels more than an hour or so, will charge a call fee (sometimes it may be just the gas costs) - obviously if there are enough clients enroute, this fee may be worked into the fitting/assessment fee.

            When I calculated shipping costs to have assorted saddles brought in & even just my gas costs driving out to collect & return various saddles (none of which even came close to fitting), I'm way ahead paying a saddle fiitter.

            Comment


            • #7
              OP - please PM me for any info about your two adjacent fitters - they're most likely people I know pretty well.

              From my perspective, as a Custom Saddlery fitter ... I only do TN and Kentucky. I have started charging a farm call for trying out the saddles - just my usual $55 local or $65 if I've driven 4 hours (Of course, the 'away' trips are always groups of appointments - clearly I can't drive a whole day for a single $65 appointment !)

              All the fitters are independent, so we charge according to our area. My area, and my clients, do not support charges as you described, that's for sure, but obviously in very high cost of living places, I can imagine the whole process getting pricey.

              What I do, is I charge the trip fee for the initial trying of the saddles - which might take hours, because we have gazillions of them, or it might take the regular 90 minute visit time if we're fairly sure which tree is going to work for you. If you go ahead and order the saddle, then if at all possible I leave you one to ride in. Then when your saddle is due to be sent out, we liaise and either have it sent to me and I deliver and fit it FOR FREE, or we have it sent to you and we both make sure that I've seen it and fitted it before your 10 days trial is up. I don't charge for this. It's included with the saddle.

              So far I have never had to leave someone without something to ride in. This is tough though, and getting tougher. I generally only have one example of each saddle. I mean each saddle, not each different saddle option and seat size ! So if you have my Solo ... I can't demo or sell another solo for three months ! That's the problem. Until custom's production has pumped up to match its demand we're all kind of 3-months-short of what we need. It's just that demand suddenly peaked for us in early Spring this year and we're running like crazy to catch up with it !

              I LOVE our product, in terms of dressage saddles, I have seen nothing close. I love the company too - little things like always being able to call in and get an extension on the trial period if the client hasn't been able to ride, knowing that the company will never charge your credit card until I personally have seen you in your saddle - for me, that makes everything so much nicer. They really are a super-nice family company to work for and with. I don't love some of the fitters' pricing policies in other areas, I must say.

              If it helps, feel free to call me and I will try to fix things for you. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time getting to try them :|

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, that's the way they work and I think it's total bunk. I have an older CS and like it, but I have to say that some of their policies a recent bad experience with the owner (again!!) have left me with a BAD taste in my mouth. If I can find a different company/style that I like better, I will buy from them, won't go "Custom" again if I don't have to.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Dune View Post
                  Yes, that's the way they work and I think it's total bunk. I have an older CS and like it, but I have to say that some of their policies a recent bad experience with the owner (again!!) have left me with a BAD taste in my mouth. If I can find a different company/style that I like better, I will buy from them, won't go "Custom" again if I don't have to.
                  That is what I am beginning to hear but I don't see any other manufacturers with buffalo saddles that look nearly as nice as their vienna models I really want one, but I just can't seem to find another maker besides county who does a good external block buffalo monoflap.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    if my local CS rep were anything like Kate, I'd be looking at CS too

                    Instead my "Kate" is a County rep

                    I hope that saddle companies treat the "Kates" as the treasures they are!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      KateWooten, I did send you a PM when you have a moment.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My local Custom fitter is fantastic.

                        My first 'trial' appointment was $125 plus mileage. She stayed with me for almost 3 hours. First she looked at the horse and watched him jog. Then I sat in every saddle on the wooden horse to analyze fit for me. Then I tacked up and rode in 6-7 of the saddles while she watched. This included adjusting the trees on her demos so they would fit the horse. I was fine paying what I did for this.

                        I couldn't decide between two, and she had no appointments scheduled over the weekend, so she let me keep both for two extra rides for no charge. I dropped them off to her when I was done with them.

                        We placed my order for an Everest, and then she came back out (free) to set me up with a demo saddle while we waited for mine. The deal was that the demo was free if I ended up buying the saddle I ordered, but I would be charged a monthly fee if I ended up not buying a saddle from them.

                        My Everest came in a bit ahead of schedule, and she came back to fit it. I paid mileage for this visit, but no other fees.

                        I then rode in my saddle for the alotted 7 days, and loved it- so I kept it and didn't have to pay anything for the demo rental.

                        I now pay mileage plus fitting fee every 6 months for her to check it. Totally worth it in my book.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wntrwhte View Post
                          That is what I am beginning to hear but I don't see any other manufacturers with buffalo saddles that look nearly as nice as their vienna models I really want one, but I just can't seem to find another maker besides county who does a good external block buffalo monoflap.
                          Trilogy's elite leather option is buffalo leather. I gave up after dealing with Custom for 9 months of progressively worse fitting saddles and went with Trilogy. Great saddle and it actually fit my horse the first time. No charge to come out the first time or deliver the saddle and fit it. To be fair the only money I was out with Custom was the cost of returning 3 saddles (and these were the loaners) after the local rep was out twice to do the tracings!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not trying to solicit business for Borne' "Sankey" Saddles, but they make totally custom drop dead gorgeous saddles with tons of tree options for the horse, and seat options for the rider. I worked with Candy Frazer, she was terrific, the total price of the saddle included her fitting, travel time, etc....
                            You might check Borne' out as another option for hand made saddles.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snoball 1 View Post
                              Not trying to solicit business for Borne' "Sankey" Saddles, but they make totally custom drop dead gorgeous saddles with tons of tree options for the horse, and seat options for the rider. I worked with Candy Frazer, she was terrific, the total price of the saddle included her fitting, travel time, etc....
                              You might check Borne' out as another option for hand made saddles.
                              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. ...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                atlatl, where did you learn that Trilogy's elite leather is buffalo? I have had 3 of them and never been told it was buffalo, the leather was bad on one of them, and on another it was nice but not equal to the buffalo saddle I have ridden in. The website doesn't claim it is buffalo either (at least that I could find)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think the key takeaway is one should like and trust their rep regardless of what company they work for. No doubt all the saddles are decent. I had a heck of a time with 3 "custom" saddle fitters, and now have a Custom Saddlery Wolfgang Solo and a Kieffer that I love. I got great customer service from both people, but after the 3 previous wingnuts, I had very high standards! I didn't pay an extra $1000 for fitting my Wolfgang Solo. I took the tracings myself-then got the saddle and had it tweaked by my rep. It was perfect for my very hard to fit guy! Some of these saddle fitters just take a weekend course which is fine if you have an easy fitting horse, but not fine if you own a hard one like mine. Good luck-saddle shopping can really take its' toll on your sanity!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Saddle Fitter

                                    My saddle fitter reps for Albion and she is great. It's $250 to have her come out but that includes having the flocking adjusted to fit my horse. If I buy a saddle from her, I do not have to pay $250 + the cost of the saddle. The farm visit fee and the adjustment to fit my horse are included in the cost of the saddle. The Albion SLK/SLK Ultima run around $3800. She does not charge any extra fitting or farm visit fees. If you purchase a new saddle from her, she comes out to do tracings and lets you ride in different models. When your saddle comes in, she comes back out to do a final fitting. All for the cost of the saddle.

                                    I just got her out to refit my SLK and it cost me $320 for her to come to Southern NJ from Quakertown, PA, adjust the flocking to fit my new horse, and replace billet straps.
                                    Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by out west View Post
                                      atlatl, where did you learn that Trilogy's elite leather is buffalo? I have had 3 of them and never been told it was buffalo, the leather was bad on one of them, and on another it was nice but not equal to the buffalo saddle I have ridden in. The website doesn't claim it is buffalo either (at least that I could find)
                                      Sorry for the delay in responding. The Trilogy rep told me it was buffalo. I thought it was on the website but just looked and couldn't find it. There are two grades of leather available. It sure looks and feels like buffalo to me. I'm having mine adjusted this week, I'll verify and get back to you.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by wntrwhte View Post
                                        That is what I am beginning to hear but I don't see any other manufacturers with buffalo saddles that look nearly as nice as their vienna models I really want one, but I just can't seem to find another maker besides county who does a good external block buffalo monoflap.
                                        Verhan does a Buffalo leather dressage saddle that is very nice and wears well but is not a monoflap nor have external blocks.
                                        Now in Kentucky

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X