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Your Favorite Saddle Brand/Maker

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  • #21
    We used to be an almost entirely Schleese barn. Because the service has been dreadful, and the fitting, even by Jochen himself, ridiculously bad, there is now only one Schleese left in our tack room. Except for two or three, almost all the others are from Custom Saddlery. The service is great, the horses love them, and our rep is outstanding.

    I had my Schleese custom for 12 years, and thought it would be my saddle for a lifetime. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time, a ridiculous amount of money and aggravation trying to get it adjusted (by Schleese) to fit my new horse and ended up with a saddle that now not only does not fit the horse, but that I can no longer ride in.

    I wish I had given up on it sooner. I love my Custom Saddlery Icon Flight.

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    • #22
      What I like and what horsie likes are two different creatures. I had a Hennig that I loved. Rode in an Albion for several years. Currently in Hulsebos, which made me realize how little the Albion was doing for me.

      Agree with all that say that the rep (for any brand) in your area makes all the difference. The Albion rep in my area is responsive, but not all that competent. The Custom rep cannot be bothered to return a call. The County rep keeps changing. I love the way a Schleese sits for me, but absolutely does not work for my horse.

      I would be terrified to order custom from some of the fitting/service nightmares I have heard on this board. Particularly as my horse goes much better in a saddle that is a little too big based on how he traces/measures. I agree I want to be able to ride in the *exact* saddle that I am spending $2k+ on before signing the check.

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      • #23
        I love my custom from Superior Saddlery. That said, they are expensive and don't hold up that great... L'Apogees are also wonderful. My biggest issue is needing a moderate to wide twist and minimal blocks.

        Comment


        • #24
          Love my Albion SLK. Had a Schleese (bought used) and as much as I liked it, I didn't love it so I started the hunt again. It'll be hard to top the Albion. I sat in some new Schleeses on the weekend and none of them felt as "right" as my Albion does

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          • #25
            I hated my county from 1980's. It was extremely painful to sit in but I didn't know any better. Loved the Albion I sat in so have been riding in one for over 11 yrs. But sat in a sellers Custom Wolfgang Solo and really liked it. So it seems like the more I see the more I like, lol. Except the Stubbens, ridden in 2 dressage and a few diff jump and I've never liked the stubbens.

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            • #26
              Passier and Niedersuss are the two I love (and have multiple).
              Ranch of Last Resort

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              • #27
                Originally posted by emo View Post
                We used to be an almost entirely Schleese barn. Because the service has been dreadful, and the fitting, even by Jochen himself, ridiculously bad, there is now only one Schleese left in our tack room. Except for two or three, almost all the others are from Custom Saddlery. The service is great, the horses love them, and our rep is outstanding.

                I had my Schleese custom for 12 years, and thought it would be my saddle for a lifetime. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time, a ridiculous amount of money and aggravation trying to get it adjusted (by Schleese) to fit my new horse and ended up with a saddle that now not only does not fit the horse, but that I can no longer ride in.

                I wish I had given up on it sooner. I love my Custom Saddlery Icon Flight.
                Similar experience. I loved my Schleese Wave, but unfortunately they went out of favor here in AZ a long time ago so getting a rep to come out for fittings was next to impossible. I sold my saddle and got a Custom Icon Star. The rep is fabulous, the saddle fits me and my horse and I know that if it needs tweaking they visit my area 3-4 times a year.

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                • #28
                  well I said Stubben, but mine was 1200 new and was not custom - just a standard off teh rack old school tristan. i LOVE it - horses love it - whats not to love?

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    fwiw, i think saddle makers have done an amazing job of taking folks into custom high end saddles - to me it is really amazing how many high end saddles sell... most of the trainers i know who really know how to ride ride in old, beat up, falling apart saddles

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                    • #30
                      Smith Worthington! I have a semi-custom Danzig, and we were able to do the initial fitting, and subsequent adjustments long distance from wither tracings.

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                      • #31
                        I love my Schleese and I will buy another. The saddle fitter comes out twice a year to Missouri. There are two Schleese at our barn - she comes are fits other saddles. She is definitely not pushy.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by mbm View Post
                          fwiw, i think saddle makers have done an amazing job of taking folks into custom high end saddles - to me it is really amazing how many high end saddles sell... most of the trainers i know who really know how to ride ride in old, beat up, falling apart saddles
                          Me too. I've ridden in many of the newer high end saddles and find almost all of them to be very restrictive to work in. Granted, never ridden in one custom fitted for ME, but still. My favorite saddles in the tack room are an ancient (really, really, really ancient) stubben AP and my 50+ year old kieffer. Both fit a magnificent variety of horses & riders and are comfortable all the day long.
                          bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                          free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

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                          • #33
                            I've been in Schleeses for ~12 years now. I love them! I started in a "Schleese barn" but after several moves I'm out in the boonies and on my own. Schleese sends a rep out this way every six months or so, and she has been fantastic. I've been out of the hot spots for Schleese so I haven't had any experience with Jochen himself, but the two reps I've dealt with (Natalia and Kristen) have been great.

                            I'd recommend them to anyone.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I really like the old style saddles that are pretty minimalist. I do not like saddles with huge blocks (though they are coming out with more and more of those to appeal to today's trends) for any style of saddle. Stubbens are incredibly well made and last forever. I got all of mine (4 now!) well used. I think the newest one I got was a little under 10 years old. The others are all in the 15-25yo range. Every one of them has been used and abused and yet every one of them is still supple and cleans up nicely enough to show in.

                              I also like that they're not terribly popular so they're relatively inexpensive - especially if you go the used route. I found each of mine for $300-600.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                fwiw, i think saddle makers have done an amazing job of taking folks into custom high end saddles - to me it is really amazing how many high end saddles sell... most of the trainers i know who really know how to ride ride in old, beat up, falling apart saddles
                                mbm, if the older saddles work for you and your horse - I'm envious! Saves you a lot of money. I started with older, less expensive saddles, and didn't realize how much they didn't work for me or my horse until I tried something else. I will say, my old Neidersuiss fit ANY horse well, but it was a crotch buster for me And I just assumed that was "normal" until I started trying newer saddles. And the wider, channels and softer panels have helped my wider horses go much better. I'm not saying these saddles are for everyone, but for this poll, I'm focused on that specific market.

                                BTW, I know several (FEI) trainers who are riding in new, custom saddles. I do know a few who stick with their old "tried and true" models, but more that are in newer model, higher-end saddles. One of my trainers gave me some great advice - you spend too much time in the saddle to be uncomfortable - get the right saddle!

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by emo View Post
                                  We used to be an almost entirely Schleese barn. Because the service has been dreadful, and the fitting, even by Jochen himself, ridiculously bad, there is now only one Schleese left in our tack room.

                                  I had my Schleese custom for 12 years, and thought it would be my saddle for a lifetime. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time, a ridiculous amount of money and aggravation trying to get it adjusted (by Schleese) to fit my new horse and ended up with a saddle that now not only does not fit the horse, but that I can no longer ride in.
                                  That is weird - we had a great seminar and fitting clinic with Jochen a few months ago. And the regional rep that works our area is very good, too - she went straight to a very good model for my horse with a sensitive back, and the difference in him has been really amazing.

                                  Will also add for those that are trying to make their Schleese work with a "new" horse - not every model (of any brand) will work with every horse. Each model brings something "special" to the table, and some horses will do better with one model versus another. My two horses require very different models, but they are both going so much better in the Schleese's than any other brand we have used over the years.

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                                  • #37
                                    I am in love with my trainers Albion but it will never be in my budget . I have a hard to fit 4 yr old tb so I bought a collegiate diploma cc with a changable gullet and I love it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I love my Roosli - I've owned it for almost 11 years now, and (besides fading to a decidedly NOT black color) it has stood up to the test of time beautifully and is a sensible, basic design that has been easy to adjust to a wide number of horses.

                                      It even survived a 2 year stint in a university dressage lesson program when I was enamored with a Devoucoux. The Devoucoux eventually drove me crazy (difficult to fit, almost impossible to adjust without a massive to do and $$$, and my horses seemed to hate it), so I sold it and got my Roosli back, looking totally unchanged despite 2 years of heavy daily use.
                                      http://greybrookeventing.blogspot.com/
                                      http://kerickso.tumblr.com

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                        mbm, if the older saddles work for you and your horse - I'm envious! Saves you a lot of money.
                                        i am riding in a brand spanking NEW Stubben Tristan.... it cost 1200 from the Stubben website as a demo model and when i got it i don't think it had ever been sat in.

                                        it literally is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in (and having ridden oh... 40 years + that = lots of saddles!)

                                        I also have a bunch of other older saddles that work well enough but the Stubben is - in my mind - the best of all worlds - modern construction with an old school style - ie no knee block/roll, it has an open seat , minimal flocking etc. it is *very* close contact - so much so it almost feels like you are riding bareback - so very close contact and well balanced...

                                        obviously saddle makers have found a way to make saddles trendy and up sell to a huge degree.... that is fine.... i just think i would rather spend 5k on training but i am the uber anti marketing girl......

                                        oh and fwiw, the saddle didn't need to be adjusted at all after it broke in and so far has remained an excellent fit over the last 8 (?) months of rapid development of the little guy.

                                        i'll see how it goes as he gets wider and wider as he bulks up but so far so good!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Well I will chime in with a definitely NOT trendy or popular brand. I just got an HDR Austal (their top of the line here in America) and I am quite in love with it. It is the first saddle I have been in in years where it actually fits me (a major part of why I love it ). It is a monoflap with blocks on top (of course) but they aren't huge, however because they hit my leg in the right place they are very effective at reminding me if my leg creeps into the wrong place. It is calfskin covered, very sticky, nice amount of cush in the seat, and while the cantle is fairly high compared to say a passier, it is not a bear trap seat at all. This saddle was 1600 new and I would put it up quality wise against most 3000 saddles that I have seen. And my very picky tb has had no complaints so far and it has been about 3 months now.

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