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Custom Saddlery (Do They Do A Good Job)

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  • Custom Saddlery (Do They Do A Good Job)

    I liked the Custom Saddlery Stephen Peters model saddle. When I found out you could have one custom fit, I was thrilled.

    So, for all of you who have worked with Custom Saddlery, can you please tell me: "are they worth working with"? I guess what I mean is do they usually get the saddle right on the first try as far as fit is concerned, and do their saddles hold up well (flocking, leather, etc...)? And great customer service is a good thing as well :-)

    I just wanted to hear it from you guys who have worked with them so I dont "possibly" get myself stuck in a situation I dont want to be in.

    I told you: "inside leg to outside rein, not inside leg to outside rail!"

  • #2
    i dont think they make custom saddles. they will fit a saddle to your horse - but that is no different than any other saddle.

    i think it is really sad that they have the name "custom saddle" but they sell off the rack saddles - they do not sell custom saddles.


    • #3
      Unless they have changed, my custom saddlery
      saddle was custom made. (I needed short flaps
      and had a tough to fit horse)
      I think they do have a semi-custom line also.
      (Just a note, though. It seems lately they have a
      distribution problem. I have a student who has been
      waiting quite a while for her saddle. Make sure you get
      a definite time quote)
      I have always had good service in the past from them.



      • #4
        interesting. i was told by a saddle maker that custom saddle does not make custom saddles. they have "off the rack" saddles that they fit to the horse.

        i guess i stand corrected.


        • #5
          Yes, Custom Saddlery DEFINITELY makes custom saddles.

          Actually, I've purchased more than a few saddles from them over the past 10(?) years. All custom.

          What happened was that they were originally custom-only, and then when their saddles became more popular, they developed an "off the rack" line with a standardized model of each customize-able original model. These standard models are made with less expensive materials, can't be adjusted as much, and are available through catalogs like Dressage Extensions. They are therefore cheaper and quicker to get.

          If you go the custom-Custom route, the leather is higher quality (buffalo) and the saddle can be made to your exact specifications for the rider and the horse.

          I can fully support their company and Fred (the saddler in NJ) is a great guy, very easy to work with, and gets the job done right. They have a generous trial policy and will work with you to get the saddle to exactly what you want it to be.


          • #6

            Easy to work with.

            Fred in NJ is determined that you are satisfied.


            • #7
              Fred in NJ made me a fully custom jumping saddle a few years ago for my hard to fit horse. It came out amazing and Fred is a pleasure to work with. I hand picked each and every option I wanted.

              Too bad I switched from jumping to dressage a few years ago


              • #8
                Not really "full custom" - they have specific models that are "modular" - you can pick a longer or shorter flap, seat size, and have tree widened or narrowed and panels stuffed according to horse's back. This is considered semi-custom, since the saddles are not customized "from scratch".

                Generally, comfortable saddles, decent quality, although not the works of art you might see from some custom saddle makers. Generally good fit - although it all depends on the rep in your area - they've had their ups and downs with area reps. Several of my friends ride in the saddles, and the rep out here NOW is quite good. Prior rep, not so much.

                Delivery time seems to be three months or more - which is normal for any custom or semi-custom saddle. Don't expect a saddle right away.

                Nice thing - if there is a rep in your area, for a fee, they will come out and let you try all their saddle models - well worth the fee. They can also measure your horse then and there. They also have a wonderful trade-in policy - so if you want a different saddle later on, they are very generous in trade in value on your current saddle. And the tree size can be adjusted as needed, so if you change horses, yay!, no need to change saddles! The tree adjustments can be done on site, so no three month wait.

                The off the shelf saddles are not as good quality, but still decent saddles for the price. They are not semi-custom - trees are fixed - but you can have the flocking down to better fit your horse (same as ANY other flocked saddle).

                My Custom (also the Advantage) is 2 years old and still in lovely shape. The oldest one I know of is about 5 years old, has had the tree adjusted three times for three different horses, and it is still in good shape.


                • #9
                  I worked with them for 9 months on the West Coast. Each saddle sent, and there were 3 of them, was a progressively worse fit. I was so disgusted with the last I didn't even bother to put it on the horse. Their thought the first two times was that the horse's physique had changed (it hadn't) and they did come out a second time and redo the tracing. The third excuse was that the fitter used the tracing for another horse before sending the saddle out. Either way, I was done. When I sent a certified letter, and email, to cancel my order, I got a snotty response with something to the effect that they were sorry they weren't able to achieve perfection. On the up side, I was only out the shipping to return the saddles to them. That and 9 months!

                  Bought a custom made Trilogy which fit great the first time. There are 7 more Trilogy saddles at our barn and not a single Custom saddle. Word of mouth; perhaps ...



                  • #10
                    While at my barn, there are 5 Custom Saddlery
                    saddles and we are happy with them.



                    • #11
                      btw: by "custom saddle" i mean a saddle built for a specific horse from the ground up. most custom saddle makers have huge number of different tree styles/sizes so they saddle is a unique made to order saddle.

                      all flocked saddles can be fitted to the horse, and some can have their tree widened. they also can have the flaps made longer/shorter etc. this is not "custom" in my book.

                      i just think the name Custom Saddles is misleading and a marketing ploy - plus real custom saddle makers are now changing what they call their saddles in response - now they are made to order, etc - not custom.


                      • #12
                        I have a completely custom Custom saddle, and I love it. There are many at my barn, some full custom, and some off-the-rack. The fitter measured me and my horse to get a perfect fit.


                        • #13
                          I worked with Cary when he was on the West Coast, and now Sarah Boothe takes care of the Central Coast area.

                          I have purchased two saddles from them, and love them both. Very customer oriented, generous trial policy and I think the quality of the saddles are quite good.

                          I have worked with another well known saddle maker from Canada, and was so disgusted with their customer service that I was very hesitant to try again. I am really glad that I gave it another try with CS though. They have been really super.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SBrentnall View Post
                            I have a completely custom Custom saddle, and I love it. There are many at my barn, some full custom, and some off-the-rack. The fitter measured me and my horse to get a perfect fit.

                            I also have a completely custom Custom saddle. Love it. Several others at my barn and in the area. Cary and his sister manage the business and are very customer oriented.


                            • #15
                              My last trainer rode in their custom saddles, and was always very happy. He liked them better than his previous saddle, a devoncoux. I always enjoyed riding in them, they were comfortable, fit the horses well, and the buffalo leather was so soft and supple, but gave you just enough sticking power on a green, spooky horse. Cary was who we worked with, and we always got top notch customer service. This was back about 6 years ago, I don't know how their saddles or service are now.


                              • #16
                                I got a custom Custom about 7 years ago....VLX model.....Fred was wonderful to deal with and my saddle looks the same after seven years of use.....the buffalo leather has held up well and not a stich loose!!!! Highly recommend them...


                                • #17
                                  I bought a Custom Saddlery VLX and loved it!! Fred was fabulous to work with. Did not matter what I wanted he was willing to make me happy.

                                  I am now ordering another one I think the Wolfgang Expression but have not made the final choice yet.

                                  Fred is simply amazing to work with and the saddles are first rate. I don't know about the saddles that are the off the rack ones as I have never even sat in one.


                                  • #18
                                    I have 2. Loff them both. The service and support I received has been perfect. One of the cool things about Custom Saddlery is they let you ride (really ride, you don't have to wrap the leather or anything) in the saddle for a couple of weeks to try it out. If it is not right, they will fix it or refund your $$, your choice.

                                    They definitely make fully custom saddles.
                                    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                                    • #19
                                      I've had my semi custom Custom for 5 years. Love it and it's in great shape. They were good to work with. It did take a little longer to get than originally promised, but it was worth the wait.


                                      • #20
                                        I bought an Everest in October and love it. I worked with Fred long distance.

                                        I love the buffalo and the saddle is very comfy for me and Mr. Hard-to-fit-high-withered-gelding!