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Need XC/SJ saddle recs: $1k-$2k

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  • Need XC/SJ saddle recs: $1k-$2k

    Current saddle: Courbette Aristokrat forward flap - just not doing it for me.

    Just got a Devoucoux Biarritz on trial, but it was pretty beat up, and my knee hung over the flap even though I'm only 5'4" (of normal leg proportions... saddle was a 17").

    Thought about a Toulouse Legano, but it seems from reading past threads that their leather quality doesn't hold up so well past 3-4 years

    What's my best bet in the $1,000-$2,000 range? I need to be able to use it for both XC and SJ. Have a TB with fairly small withers (current saddle is a 32cm/wide).

    Is it better to get a really used Devoucoux/Antares/Stackhouse, or a slightly used Stubben, or a brand new Ovation? Please let me know what you have ridden in or own that's in this price range that will contain my knee and be suitable for Novice/Training... thanks!

  • #2
    It's really so very personal, finding a saddle you love.

    That said, I just had another rare (for me) "OMG, I love this saddle" moment a couple of weeks ago when in desperation to find a narrow-treed jumping saddle for my trainer I went and sat in a bunch of saddles at the local tack store. I sat in a saddle made by a Stubben spin-off/subsidiary called "Phillippe Fontaine" and WOW, I really liked it. And at $995 it was much nicer than I would have thought in terms of good quality leather, etc.

    So I ordered one, and if it doesn't fit my trainer's horse, it fits Bonnie. They run on the narrow side--their "medium" is actually narrow and their "wide" is more like a medium. But it suited me really well. For the record, I'm 5'8" and my trainer is 5'11", so I got an 18" model.

    I have a used/rebuilt Antares that I really, really love, and it fits Bonnie OK, but is a tad bit wide for her. I won't sell it, though--it fits Keebler well and I'm hoping beyond hope that he gets to wear it again next year! Have you checked out the sites that specialize in these saddles?

    Moral of the story--go sit in as many saddles as you can, and find one your butt loves.
    Click here before you buy.


    • Original Poster

      Definitely good advice... I haven't actually gotten to SIT in very many to see what I like. Local tack shop only buys Wintecs new, and has so many on consignment that they're stacked to the ceiling (yet only one 17" jumping saddle, from a brand I've never heard of). Could try out a variety at my barn though.

      Searched some old threads and have been keeping tabs on all the websites that consign used saddles with a trial period... basically I'm feeling impatient waiting for the inventory to turn over! But I don't really NEED to switch saddles until the spring season begins.

      Oh yeah, I also love the look of Vegas, but used ones seem to be few and far between.

      I'll keep an eye out for the Phillipe Fontaines!


      • #4
        look for a used Black Country - that's my vote!


        • #5
          I recently got the Pessoa Legacy Event with XCH. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I tried out/sat in a bunch of saddles and wasn't happy with many. The Pessoa is lovely. I know a lot of people don't like the newer Pessoas, but I think the Legacy Event is very nice. The leather is soft and good quality and it's wool flocked as well.
          "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


          • #6
            I have a Henri De Rivel pro show jumping (I think...not at home to double check) that I love and was not expensive (about $800 when I bought it). It is a little beat up 4 years later, but was left out in a downpour once or twice. with that, the leather is still soft (though a bit discolored in some spots where the water sat) and no problems.


            • #7
              Love my (used) Stubben Roxane. And yes, if you can find a used saddle of better quality, I would definitely do that rather than buying a cheaper one just because it's new. But I think for $2k you may be able to find decent quality ones new, or at least un-beat up used ones.

              FWIW, I'm 5'3 and 140 lbs, and I usually need at least a 17 1/2 and often an 18, so I wouldn't be shocked if you don't fit in some 17s.


              • #8
                I agree with just sitting in LOTS of saddles...don't be particular about names, especially if are looking at used. That's how I found my dressage saddle (which took forever, but, man!, when I found my saddle, I KNEW it...and it is totally nothing I would have thought I'd pick because of the name!).

                However, I'll also add that you can get brand new Berney Bros. saddles for that price range, and they can be built for you AND your horse. Tom Berney usually asks for height, weight, and inseam for the rider (and the saddle works out perfectly that way), and you can send him wither tracings of the horse (which I've never done, but I know people who have and have been very happy). They are great saddles. Well balanced, well made and really, really great for jumping in. I will admit they aren't for everyone...we joke that they will wear out long after you grow tired of it. They aren't squishy soft like some of the more popular saddles, which some people hate...but I say they aren't meant for galloping and jumping in...so your butt shouldn't be in them long enough to really know they're kinda hard!


                • #9
                  I have to vote for the Berney's also. I have the International Jumping saddle and the dressage saddle. My guy has to have wide everything as he is a huge 16.2hh QH (and about 16.2hh wide at this moment but we are working on that). However, my Berney has fit my TB that I had that was very narrow and slim built with just a half pad under. I wouldn't trade my Berney's for anything. Matter of fact, I am going to start looking in the spring for their close contact verison so I can show QH more with it.

                  Loff them and the prices are great!

                  ~ Jus Passed My Zipper aka Spanky, 11yo QH gelding.
                  ~ Muskogee, 2yo Oldenburg Colt.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone... I am checking into every saddle you recommend! I knew I could count on COTH

                    Originally posted by mg View Post
                    I recently got the Pessoa Legacy Event with XCH. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I tried out/sat in a bunch of saddles and wasn't happy with many. The Pessoa is lovely. I know a lot of people don't like the newer Pessoas, but I think the Legacy Event is very nice. The leather is soft and good quality and it's wool flocked as well.
                    I stumbled upon this one last night after checking to see what the Toulouse Legano was modeled after - I was shocked that it was only $2,000 new! Good to hear from someone finicky who has ridden in it and likes it. It's a big plus IMO that they are making them now with the adjustable gullet...


                    • #11
                      Black Country Tex Eventer...


                      • #12
                        Black Country Quantum works for my 5'3 person. you can find them used for under $2K. One day when feeling flush (before the great real estate crash), I decided to sit in as many saddles as I could at Trumbull MT and not look at the price or name. I liked about 12 out of the twenty something I sat in. I brought the 12 downstairs to my pony and Edie figured that about 6 fit him. I rode in the 6 and walked away with a Black Country Quantum. I tried used County saddles thru fancy french saddles and everything in between. you can do wonders with lots of choices and a good saddle fitter!!

                        Good luck!


                        • #13
                          Question about Black Countrys: are they all as heavy as the one we have in our barn, or is it just because this particular one is like an 18"???


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                            Question about Black Countrys: are they all as heavy as the one we have in our barn, or is it just because this particular one is like an 18"???

                            I think my BC Quantum is fairly light - especially compared to my dressage saddle.

                            Get one with serge panels and use those really pricey lightweight stirrups if you want to shave off some weight.


                            • #15
                              I would say the BC is a medium weight. heavier than a Butet, lighter than a Passier.


                              • Original Poster

                                Anyone heard anything about this Thornhill Protrainer Platinum LeMonde?

                                It looks just like a yummy Devoucoux Chiberta, but only $1,356!!! (But too-good-to-be-true often is, sigh...)

                                (ETA - apparently only comes in 17.5", and I'm already slightly floating in a 17", but a 16.5" is a tad tight, so I'd say my 'true' seat size is about 16.75 so this probably wouldn't work)


                                • #17
                                  Ride in as many saddles as you can with an open mind. I had a $2k-3k budget and bought a used old Ainsley Chester for $500. I was sold after riding it in for less than 5 minutes. Still love it.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    The problem I'm running into is paying $40 (or so) shipping on every trial ride... this may seem like a silly question, but what's the closest mega tack shop to Lexington KY that would carry a lot of models in my price range?

                                    I'd be willing to take a road trip to VA or PA if that's what was necessary!
                                    Last edited by Zephyr; Sep. 12, 2010, 01:26 AM.