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DK saddles (Bond or Freedom)

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  • DK saddles (Bond or Freedom)

    Talk to me about DK saddles. I have heard good and bad stories about customer service. I don't want this to get too opinionated, I just want to hear what you liked and didn't like about the saddle. For those that use FLAIR panels, does the change to cold temps change the saddle fit? Thanks.

  • #2
    I sent you a PM
    In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. 1300 pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs - it's something you just can't get from a pet hamster.

    Comment


    • #3
      I too am considering this saddle...would love more feedback...

      Comment


      • #4
        DK saddles are made by Regal saddlery based out of Victoria BC. (Kevin Lote is the saddler) I've PM'd you too.

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        • #5
          I personally do not care for DK's customer service and I know many other people who feel the same way. If you like these saddles, I would go directly to Kevin Lote of Regal Saddlery, who also makes the DK saddles. The saddles are very similar, but Regal ones are a bit cheaper, and I find that Kevin is a much more pleasant and knowledgable individual to deal with than Danny from DK is. I have had my Regal saddle for almost 6 years and am very happy with the quality and fit.
          www.saraalberni.com

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the PM's everybody!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Forte View Post
              I personally do not care for DK's customer service and I know many other people who feel the same way. If you like these saddles, I would go directly to Kevin Lote of Regal Saddlery, who also makes the DK saddles. The saddles are very similar, but Regal ones are a bit cheaper, and I find that Kevin is a much more pleasant and knowledgable individual to deal with than Danny from DK is. I have had my Regal saddle for almost 6 years and am very happy with the quality and fit.
              What she said!

              I have a Regal that I bought used, and absolutely love!
              "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a Freedom and love the saddle!
                I have dealt with Danny at EA and he fitted the saddle to my cob right there in the parking lot

                Everyone who has sat in my saddle loves it. Unfortunately I am doing full time rescue work with drafts, so it doesn't see much use

                Beth

                Comment


                • #9
                  Though everyone in my family is an eventer, we all at one point had DK dressage saddles (in addition to jump saddles). I will avoid talking about customer service, but I would like to comment on the air pannels. While they are purported to make the horse more comfortable, we had one horse in particular who became incredibly back sore due to the saddle. We were told by various other saddle fitters and vets that the air pannels move around too much and distribute the riders weight unevenly, causing the horse discomfort. I additionally found that the saddles have too resticted of a seat, with huge thigh blocks, that may initially make a beginner rider feel more "seatbelted-in", but eventually hinder a rider from having a free and moving seat. My bigger moving ISH didn't want to use his body with this saddle. I sold the DK and bought a passier relevant, which I love for its simplicity.
                  ETA: I forgot to mention that we also had issues with the air bladders losing air or outright deflating.

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                  • #10
                    Ok.... having spoken to someone with a new DK over the weekend, ABSOLUTELY call Kevin at Regal. I choked when I heard how much more they charge for the DK than the Regal!
                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      DK's used to be the popular saddles in my old barn....they are comfy but kind of hard to fit properly. If you have a horse who is wide, or has small withers, good luck trying to fit them!

                      Because they are light, air saddles, they tend to bounce around a bit and it can be tough trying to find a girth that anchors them down, and to find saddle pads that don't fly out from under them.

                      we ended up all selling ours within 2 years.
                      Nothing worth having comes easily.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have two DK saddles, one is over 7 years old, the other is 5 years old. I love them. I found Danny to be outstanding in both customer service and his ability to fit horses. And when I did not work with Danny I have had great luck with his reps.

                        For me, the two things I took into consideration when trying saddles were, does it fit me and will it fit my horse. To be blunt here, I had major crotch issues with saddles. Quite simply I do not have this problem in the DK saddles, enough said about that....... As for the fit for my horse, I always questioned how you could buy a saddle one day and it would continue to work as your horse progressed through the levels. I mean hopefully, as you continue to train, your horse will change and become more developed. So how could the saddle you buy in one year, continue to work 6 months or one year later? What saddle could change as my horse changed? Again, with annual or semi annual fittings your saddle will always fit your horse. While that may initailly sound extravagant, at the end of the year with all the money I spend on taking care of my horse (feed, vitamins, vet etc) a saddle fitting is very small piece of the expensive pie.

                        As for the expense of his saddle, I recently retired my one horse (he ws 18) and purchased another one. Danny was able to refit the older saddle to the new horse. The expense was minimal (cost of a saddle fittling) and it fits my new boy beautifully; of course I knew it would fit me since I had owned it for several years. As for the air panels, I love them, and neither of my horses have had any back muscles soreness. In fact the area behind the saddle on both of my horses is always round and well developed. While I think my training is primary to creating that muscle development, it is clear that the DK saddles never inhibited his movement.

                        While I know this can be a very heated topic in my experience the DK saddles have been a great investment. In all of the things I worry about with my hores, saddles are no longer on the list and that means a great deal to me. Good luck finding one that works for you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a DK saddle that was fitted, and then refitted by Danny and the saddle never did stop sliding to the one side so I spent my whole ride trying to keep my saddle sitting straight. My horse was blamed for the problem, however it did this on every horse it was put on (It was not refitted to the other horses that I tried it on. The other problem I had was that the saddle slid forward unless you had the girth as tight as physically possible, and I was riding horses with decent sized withers and these horses were NOT built downhill. I found the sliding forward problem odd as the only other time I have had a saddle slide forward while I was riding was on a rather round pony without much wither, never on a high withered thoroughbred...

                          The positives I will say about the saddles: The leather is lovely, and the seat is very comfortable to sit in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DK saddles

                            I have a DK Freedom saddle and it worked very well for me and my horse (we were at the same barn once as Gucci Cowgirl) . Leather is lovely and fit for the horse was good, comfortable for us both. Mine has the Flair panels. Now that I have moved away from that area of Southern Calif, I would have to travel to get it "serviced". I am now in the boondocks. My question is, has anybody had theirs retrofitted/stuffed with wool flocked panels? I have also looked at purchasing the Flair air pump system through the Flair website which is based in the UK and doing my own maintenence. Does DK now make the saddles with wool flocking?
                            www.forwardfarms.com.
                            Follow us on Facebook:
                            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Forwar...s/192796641203

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Indy-lou View Post
                              I have a DK Freedom saddle and it worked very well for me and my horse (we were at the same barn once as Gucci Cowgirl) . Leather is lovely and fit for the horse was good, comfortable for us both. Mine has the Flair panels. Now that I have moved away from that area of Southern Calif, I would have to travel to get it "serviced". I am now in the boondocks. My question is, has anybody had theirs retrofitted/stuffed with wool flocked panels? I have also looked at purchasing the Flair air pump system through the Flair website which is based in the UK and doing my own maintenence. Does DK now make the saddles with wool flocking?
                              I know someone who very successfully had her Regal restuffed with wool because they couldn't get the air right with the bladders.
                              "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I know several people who have had problems with the air bladders in both the Regal and the DK. For that reason, when I got my Regal many years ago, I requested wool flocking. I have the saddle fit checked, the wool reflocked, and saddle tree adjusted if necessary, once a year by Kevin. This runs me about $250-$300 Canadian. The people I know with DK air panels have to have the air checked every three months, and it cost about the same every time!! I think it's insane to pay $1000 a year for saddle maintenance.
                                www.saraalberni.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Forte: Do you live near Kevin and take your horse and saddle both for adjustments with the wool flock, or do you just send him the saddle?
                                  www.forwardfarms.com.
                                  Follow us on Facebook:
                                  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Forwar...s/192796641203

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                                  • #18
                                    I think Forte is in the Vancouver area, as am I. Kevin is at the barn every few weeks, but I beleive they're doing more fittings in other parts of NA as well now.
                                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My horse is in Delta, just outside of Vancouver. Kevin comes to this part of the world about once a month, so he will come to my barn and fit the saddle to the horse in person. In only one case did he have to take the saddle back to Victoria with him, because the saddle needed a major overhaul to be adjusted to a very different shaped horse. In that case, he put the saddle on the Greyhound bus and got it back to me within a week.
                                      www.saraalberni.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have three DK saddles. One for each of my horses as they all have significantly different backs. I must say that I love his saddles and I have always found him easy to deal with. I recently bought a mare who's back had been almost ruined by a girl riding her in a horrible saddle. After Danny fitted my saddle to her back the horse has improved drastically.

                                        I have a question though. One of my horses is starting hunter/jumper training. I would love to buy a DK jumping saddle but its just too much money.

                                        Has anyone ever ridden in DK jumping saddles? If so do you like them? There is a used Antares at my barn which is very comfortable and seems to fit my horse ok. It is only 4 fingers wide at the gullet though where DK's are six fingers wide. The saddle easily clears his spine but may sit on his dorsal ligaments a bit because its only 4 fingers wide.

                                        I really like Danny's saddles but I know there are thousands of horses ridden every day in other saddles which are just fine.

                                        Do you feel the Antares are ok and does anyone have an opinion on the DK jumping saddle?

                                        Thanks for any help.

                                        BTW, my horse is a 5 year old Paint who is pretty wide but still has withers.

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