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Equation Saddlery

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  • Equation Saddlery

    Has anyone purchased a dressage saddle from George Gullickson? Please share your experience if you have. Thanks

  • #2
    yes- Run as fast as you can.

    I have responded to other posts regarding George but I guess it bears repeating.

    I do know people that work with him and continue to do so, but I know more people that have felt "taken" by him.

    George talks a good game, will have you thinking you are doing the right thing by your horse and yourself. It may even work out for a few months. If your horse changes, you start having problems, your horse starts getting cranky, sore, unwilling to go forward, ears pin when you go to saddle him up, George will be nowhere to be found.

    When I found a real saddle fitter and bought a saddle that did fit me and my horse, 2 years ago, my horse began to progress again. I bought an Albion and could not be happier. The person I ended up working with (Ann) is in Florida, however she is always available to help. George lives about 90 miles from me and would not be able to fit me in for 6 weeks.

    I don't know where you live, but I work with Ann in Florida, and Kate in IL. Between the two, I get my saddle adjusting annually and have stopped funding the chiro and the massage therapists kids college funds. PM me if you would like more information.
    Last edited by Moderator 1; May. 27, 2009, 12:40 PM.

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    • #3
      I am quite interested in this post - there are several people in the Memphis area that have his saddles... and my guy needs a saddle fitting (saddle is not one of George's).

      We've been trying since late Feb to get a date for him to come. Finally looks like a "soft" date has been reached - next month, hopefully (maybe?).

      Lots of the ladies like their saddles and in another thread there were 4 posts about him, two were negative.

      I did come across a man in Dallas who would come to MS, but the cost just for him to come for only my horse is pretty tough on the wallet. Especially if I have to replace my saddle with a "new" used one.

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      • #4
        beware

        I was one of those who thought at first these saddles and the way George fits was great. He talks a great game and seems to really know his stuff. However, after multiple horses became backsore (vet and chiropracter suspected saddle fit) and he would not return my calls/was very evasive about scheduling a date to come, I started to doubt. , I spent time educating myself and spoke to several other saddlers who were quite horrified to hear how he purposely 'bridges' the saddle and flocks asymmetrically to compensate for rider leaning.

        I've got to say the saddles are very nice. Still have em but use another fitter.
        My Grand Prix trainer wouldn't touch them/him with a ten foot pole.

        My conclusion: he makes a nice saddle. maybe he is right with his theories about bridging, asymmetrical reflocking, etc. but it made my horses sore. and don't count on him returning your calls or coming when you need him.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by happyhorsegirl View Post
          I spent time educating myself and spoke to several other saddlers who were quite horrified to hear how he purposely 'bridges' the saddle and flocks asymmetrically to compensate for rider leaning.

          My conclusion: he makes a nice saddle. .......and don't count on him returning your calls or coming when you need him.
          That is scary to me that he intentionally "bridges and flocks asymetrically". I've been doing a lot reading and I've yet to see that as a recommended practice.

          I can believe it about the phone calls. It's taken the barn 2.5 months to get a date. And the owner of the barn has several of his saddles.

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          • #6
            we have three of his saddles here and the vet/chiro loved the fit when she checked them on a routine visit. We have had them adjusted a couple of times since buying them over a year ago but no major issues.
            Humans dont mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Sebastian Junger

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            • #7
              I did some (more) checking around and there are several upper level trainers/riders in the area that really like him.

              I'm going to give him a try. On the other post there were people that liked him as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by happyhorsegirl View Post
                I was one of those who thought at first these saddles and the way George fits was great. He talks a great game and seems to really know his stuff. However, after multiple horses became backsore (vet and chiropracter suspected saddle fit) and he would not return my calls/was very evasive about scheduling a date to come, I started to doubt. , I spent time educating myself and spoke to several other saddlers who were quite horrified to hear how he purposely 'bridges' the saddle and flocks asymmetrically to compensate for rider leaning.

                I've got to say the saddles are very nice. Still have em but use another fitter.
                My Grand Prix trainer wouldn't touch them/him with a ten foot pole.

                My conclusion: he makes a nice saddle. maybe he is right with his theories about bridging, asymmetrical reflocking, etc. but it made my horses sore. and don't count on him returning your calls or coming when you need him.
                That is it exactly! I just asked him to sell my saddle for me if he could no longer come out to fit him, and he stopped returning my calls. I finally went to BBB and there is a complaint under Canterbury farms. He never even responded to the BBB or to the State of Wisconsin. They advised me to go to small claims court. I thought it too much negative energy and gave up. I love my current saddle, no more pain [edit].
                Last edited by Moderator 1; Sep. 17, 2009, 10:46 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boomer View Post
                  I did some (more) checking around and there are several upper level trainers/riders in the area that really like him.

                  I'm going to give him a try. On the other post there were people that liked him as well.
                  Good luck. I hope you have a better experience. It was my $2800 mistake plus $2000 in chiro, massage and vet bills.

                  If I were you, I would have a chiropractor and/or a vet present.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought a $4000 saddle from him, and when it did not fit my horse he did not answer my calls nor e-mails. It is a nice saddle, with nice leather, but does not fit the horse.

                    He does talk a good bit, but if you really listen, and know some biomechanics ( i am a bone doctor) it is not accurate.
                    Last edited by Moderator 1; May. 27, 2009, 12:36 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bogey2 View Post
                      we have three of his saddles here and the vet/chiro loved the fit when she checked them on a routine visit. We have had them adjusted a couple of times since buying them over a year ago but no major issues.
                      This is the real question and issue. You stated saddles were bought a year ago, and adjusted "a few times". That is great to keep adjusting the saddle, if in fact you really need to, or is this overkill and a good sales pitch? (of course the first few times are free). When you really need to get him to come because you are in real trouble, hope you can get him. The above posts mentioned scheduling dates 2 1/2 months, even with current boarders owning his saddles. Can you truly wait to have a proper readjustment, especially in the middle of show season? If the saddle is fit to your horse, your horse should develop into, and the muscle should develop as the saddle is not interfering. George's philosophy of fitting to overcompensate for horse flaws and/or rider flaws does nothing to fix the problem, and makes it worse.

                      When I gave up on George, I bought a saddle, it was adjusted once after its break in period, and I have had it checked regularly. Nothing has been needed. Horse looks great and has been going perfectly since. My horse was miserable when I was trying to fall George's program.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I said a couple of times. 2. My horse was 3 when I bought my saddle. It is very comfortable.
                        I have no reason to argue with you about the fact that I have been satisfied as have the others here who bought the saddle.
                        Humans dont mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. Sebastian Junger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          George broke the gullet plates on many of our horses at our barn. Everyone used to use him, but now nobody wants to even hear his name mentioned. RUN....

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                          • #14
                            I had my doubts

                            Glad to find this forum. George came to our barn Friday, May 1 and sold at least 2 saddles $3,400 each and adjusted others. I have an Albion SL, that I love. It has been a year since any adjustment, so I wanted it looked at and adjusted if needed.

                            Put my horse on the cross ties and he immediately started pushing on his back and poking around and making my horse mad. We are talking a lot of pressure, and no horse is going to put up with that. This is all part of the pitch to sell you a saddle. Then I had to ride my horse, and he just went on, and on, blah,blah,blah.

                            Finally, when he realized that I wasn't going to buy a saddle, he dropped me like a hot potato and went to the next victim. I had to wait to the very end to get my saddle adjusted, and personally I think he screwed it up. He also was going on about how he sold 40 saddles at Rolex. I think he is just alot of Bull.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He came to Rolex in Lexington and would not come to our barn in lexington to adjust saddles that he made. Will not return calls, etc.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just an update from MS...

                                George looked at my saddle (Spaulding) and adjusted it. It seems to be fitting my guy fine now. He didn't really like my saddle or the one I was borrowing for my gelding. But he did suggest some used brands to try that might be a better fit on my high-withered boy.

                                He didn't give me a hard sell - but then he knew up front that I didn't have lots of $$. But he sure gave the pitch to another gal and spent lots of time with her - and got a sale.

                                As an aside - what I have noticed since riding in another saddle vs mine is that the stirrup bars are a bit far forward. I hadn't really noticed it until I'd been riding in my trainer's saddle a few months in lessons. My saddle is wayyy comfy tho... just wish the bars were back a little. Both the trainers I work woth said the same thing.

                                George did suggest he had a saddle at the shop he could send me to try....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Warmbloodmom View Post
                                  George broke the gullet plates on many of our horses at our barn. Everyone used to use him, but now nobody wants to even hear his name mentioned. RUN....
                                  He is banned from our facility- large show barn

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    He "fitted" my old saddle...commented on how evenly developed my youngster was...and then overstuffed one side. The whole underside was a lumpy mess, and my horse was miserable. Called, then emailed, and got a response saying to give the flocking time to settle. I did, and my horse got worse and worse. Emailed again, and heard that I just wasn't giving it enough time, and that he had to flock it that way to compensate for my very uneven horse (same horse he called very even when he fitted it)...and said, just like on the bill, that the saddle was putting pressure on one of the *cervical* vertebrae. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that one doesn't put saddles on horse's necks, where the cervical vertebrae are....and he made the same mistake twice, in writing.
                                    I contacted him again, and got a very curt reply, saying to ship the saddle to his son, who would take out the extra flocking, and that he would refund my fitting charge. Sent the saddle, it came back minus the overflocking on the right, but was still a lumpy mess....and never saw a dime of the supposed refund.
                                    Ended up selling that saddle and buying a Schleese, fitted by Schleese...my horse immediately went back to his relaxed and normal self.
                                    "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                                    -Richard S. Bach

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thank you for all of the feedback. I ended up buying a Sommer from Horse of Course. Very nice folks and kept in contact.

                                      True to form, I couldn't get anyone to call me back when I needed a mailing address to return the saddle I had on loan. I can only surmise response times would have been slower or non-existent after the sale was completed. I found this funny because one of the selling points George mentioned to me was that "I wasn't just buying a saddle, I was getting a service" (e.g. saddle fittings).

                                      He also flocked the saddle unevenly to account for my position.

                                      All the stories have a familiar ring to them.....poor customer service and strange saddle theories.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Good for you! I would hate to see someone else to get screwed by them. I have two of his saddles one that fits my horse fits me ok and the other doesn't fit my other horse at all. My horse needs Wide tree and George got him a Medium, it sits in such a way that it puts me in a chair seat.
                                        Last edited by Dressage_Rider; May. 27, 2009, 05:13 PM.

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