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Devoucoux doesn't fit... Any hope?

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  • Devoucoux doesn't fit... Any hope?

    I'm sure there are a lot of people rolling their eyes and thinking "DUH!" at that statement, but hear me out.

    My young Anglo-Trak (3yo) has been going into more regular work now and has slowly been getting tenser and tenser under saddle, losing his natural cadence that I loved when he was first started. While I knew the Chiberta didn't fit, but I loved it and was hoping he would fill out in time. Well, I don't think that will happen. I had the worst ride on him the other day with him just giving up.

    My trainer and I checked his back and he is good in his trapezius and along the spine, but he is sensitive in the lumber region of his longissimus dorsi and VERY sensitive in his gluteals. This might be because the saddle is swimming on this horse in back... (I know, badbadbad).

    I got this saddle 5 years ago and it was "made" for horse A, didn't fit AT ALL, but fit my other horse B brilliantly, so I kept it. Plus, I LOVED how I fit in it with my ridiculously long femurs. She suggested that I just get the saddle repanelled to fit this guy.

    Has anyone had any luck with this? Can independent saddle fitters repanel a Devoucoux? I had a friend get hers repanelled by Devoucoux and it came back worse than before... so I'm quite tentative going through them.

  • #2
    Shocking that a Devoucoux made for one horse didn't fit it (heavy sarcasm). I am not a fan of Devoucoux because this seems to be a constant issue. They are "custom" made for a horse, but come no where near actually fitting said horse, but the rider loves it (they ARE very nice to sit in), spent a small fortune on it, so keep it anyway. And, usually Devoucoux climbs all over themselves to get you to buy a saddle, but as soon as you complain about it not fitting, they are impossible to get out and to resolve. I watched a client go through the whole painful ordeal. She had the guy out, he "fit" her horse (who wasn't THAT hard to fit), she shelled out a HUGE chunk of change for a swanky saddle. Waited the 6 weeks or so, got the saddle, and it didn't even look like it was made for her horse. It fit HORRIBLY. Not even close. Not going to get corrected with some minor adjusting. It was just WRONG. Took WEEKS to get anyone back out, and even more weeks to get them to resolve the issue...and I still thought the saddle fit poorly.

    On top of that, it seems more often than not, a lot of horses are uncomfortable in them. It's a shame that Devoucoux seems to be one of a very few companies that gets that event riders like very forward saddles (but they don't seem to comprehend horses would also like COMFORTABLE saddles).

    Honestly, I would sell the saddle, find something inexpensive that your young horse will be comfortable in for now, and buy a new fancy saddle in a couple of years after this kiddo is done growing and is closer to fully developed. I don't know about an independent saddle fitter changing the panels, but I would NOT trust Devoucoux to do anything reliable to help you out.
    Amanda

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    • #3
      I agree with yellowbritches.

      Originally posted by SarahS View Post
      Has anyone had any luck with this? Can independent saddle fitters repanel a Devoucoux? I had a friend get hers repanelled by Devoucoux and it came back worse than before... so I'm quite tentative going through them.
      The short answer is yes, independent saddle fitters CAN repanel them (I had one repanelled and taken from foam to wool flocking). But the cost can be exorbitant- I was WAY undercharged for the service, it ended up being much more work than the saddler was prepared for and he basically had to rebuild the whole saddle. For the time and effort your money is better spent on a new saddle.
      Balanced Care Equine

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      • #4
        I don't have any personal experience, but I have also heard that they tend to make horses back-sore.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had one repaneled several times. It never fit any horse well at all.

          I sold mine on ebay for more than I paid for it, so there is an upside to a Devoucoux.

          Comment


          • #6
            For a horse at that age, get an inexpensive used saddle and plan to sell it again when he outgrows it and get another - repeat until horse is about 6.

            I have found the older saddles tend to fit a lot of horses 'just fine' - maybe not custom to each back, but well enough that the horse is comfortable. What I found when I had a custom-for-that-horse saddle was that if he changed even a little, suddenly it wasn't comfortable anymore.

            So you could keep your Devoucoux and see if it fits your guy as he grows up, but since they are easily sold, and now of your 3 horses it has only fit 1, I'd sell it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a 2010 one that fits a couple of my horses very well. The new ones were redsigned and I do like the way their panels and gullet now look.

              I had one saddle before re-panelled but in all honestly, it is probably easier to sell it.

              I hear you on finding one to fit your leg...I have the same issue.

              I have a used stackhouse that I'm about to put on ebay. So you can get some nice saddles used that might work for you and your horse but it is a bit of crap shoot. He will likely change a lot in the next 2 years so I wouldn't want to spend too much but you need something that keeps him happy as well.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

              Comment


              • #8
                Generally, I agree with yellowbritches and am very skeptical of the Devoucoux business model and even more skeptical of the newer Devoucoux trees (which are being ordered from Argentina and are not the same as Devoucoux trees of yore). However, since you've already got the Chiberta in your hands, let's discuss possibilities for a moment.

                If I were serious about considering the repanel, I wouldn't be calling Devoucoux or an independent saddler. I'd be calling Voltaire, which is based in Florida and was founded by people who defected from Devoucoux. Voltaire can repanel your Devoucoux for about $350, and they do it in the US so the turnaround is about two weeks. That's a big improvement over the $600+ and multi-month turnaround of having Devoucoux repanel your saddle in France. Voltaire has managed to employ the one former Devoucoux rep that I ever thought was trustworthy (Eric Leysalle), so you'd be working with someone who knows the Chiberta well and could advise about whether it's save-able with a different panel option. I say this with a caveat: I think Eric is a pretty straight shooter, but Voltaire and Devoucoux share the philosophy that they can make their saddle fit almost any horse by altering the panel. I do not share that philosophy, but I also know a lot about saddle fit, so I would trust myself to decide whether the proposed panel re-do would actually work or not. http://en.voltaire-design.com/contact.html

                In terms of practicality, the Chiberta is a hot saddle on the used market and your horse is only 3 years old--so EXTREMELY likely to change shape. The practical thing would be to dump your Chiberta and get something else. But some people are addicted to their Chiberta like they're addicted to crack, and if it'll help you put up that saddle sale ad without guilt, call Voltaire so you can say "at least I explored my options."

                faybe, were you the one who had David Young repanel your Devoucoux to wool?
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  It is funny that you mentioned Voltaire. I love their saddles (have seen them at events) and actually explored repanelling in the past with them. The rep I worked with said that they were instructed to not repanel Devoucouxs anymore and only use the Devoucoux as a possible trade in for a new custom Voltaire. This was about 2 years ago, so maybe their policies changed? If you think it is worth it, I will call them again, perhaps directly this time?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SarahS View Post
                    It is funny that you mentioned Voltaire. I love their saddles (have seen them at events) and actually explored repanelling in the past with them. The rep I worked with said that they were instructed to not repanel Devoucouxs anymore and only use the Devoucoux as a possible trade in for a new custom Voltaire. This was about 2 years ago, so maybe their policies changed? If you think it is worth it, I will call them again, perhaps directly this time?
                    Had this conversation less than two weeks ago with Eric at a clinic. Even asked him to call headquarters right there on the spot and confirm the price because I know someone who's seriously interested. He specifically mentioned on the phone that we were talking about a '99 Devoucoux Biarritz. So I'd say try again and see what they say.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                      Shocking that a Devoucoux made for one horse didn't fit it (heavy sarcasm). I am not a fan of Devoucoux because this seems to be a constant issue. They are "custom" made for a horse, but come no where near actually fitting said horse, but the rider loves it (they ARE very nice to sit in), spent a small fortune on it, so keep it anyway.
                      *KOF* I have heard tales *KOF KOF* from people who were told, *KOF* while touring the Devoucoux factory *KOF* "Oh, we make the saddles to fit the rider."*KOF KOF*

                      Man is my throat ever sticky today.
                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                      Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                      • #12
                        I would sell the saddle because they are popular and you'll get your money out. Your horse is so young that you don't know how his back will end up.

                        I have very long femurs and I have found several very nice high end saddles on the used market that have worked very well for me (Stackhouse, County, Schleese) all for under 1K all with the extra forward flap, all eventing saddles. I've seen nice ones for slightly more, too -- still way under retail.

                        I'd buy something that fits now that you can resell as his back changes. Horses do change over time -- I sold my Stackhouse this spring because it no longer fit my horse (fit like a glove when I got it) and my saddle fitter said it was more practical to sell it then to get it repaneled or converted to wool.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, I drank the kool-aid, but if you sell the Devoucoux, you might look at Wise Equestrian. Phillip Dutton designed the angles, so for the rider, it is reasonably similar to Devoucoux. It does come with a forward flap option, which I do not have. As far as horse fit, Annette from Hastilow was basically happy with how it fit my guy, adding only a shim pad under the right side as there is more dip behind the wither on the right than on the left. The gullet can be changed and my vet is impressed by the degree to which my guy does *not* flinch at all in his back
                          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                            I'd buy something that fits now that you can resell as his back changes. Horses do change over time -- I sold my Stackhouse this spring because it no longer fit my horse (fit like a glove when I got it) and my saddle fitter said it was more practical to sell it then to get it repaneled or converted to wool.

                            I did have David change the tree in one of my stackhouse saddles--went from a narrow to M I think (not different tree shape). He also re-did the panel a bit to make the gullet wider. Was less than $500 and I got a great saddle that fits a wide assortment of my horses (that saddle is not for sale).

                            So some times it is worth exploring.

                            I too saw the Voltaire saddles at an HT and thought they looked very nice. I also like the Wise saddles. Nice balance on them.
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I adore my Devoucouxs. They fit the horses well, and no one has a sore back. The first one (Chiberta) was fitted to my wide chested TB mare. Years later, I had Devoucoux refit it for a standard fit that would a fine (though not custom) fit for other horses with a similar tree size. I now use the saddle on my 3yo with a 1/2 for padding as his shape is constantly changing.

                              It is expensive to have the saddle refitted, and I only trusted Devoucoux to do it. Given his age and how often his shape will change, I agree with Hilary - keep the Devoucoux, but find a cheap alternative in the meantime. Something that will work for now that you can sell later. With a previous youngster, I got a deal on a Courbette and sold it a few years later for nearly what I paid. I then rode him in the Devoucoux (one I bought used).

                              I have very long legs, with long thighs. These saddles fit me beautifully. They offer a VERY forward jump saddle called the Ioldy, and the Chibertas can be ordered with very forward flaps as well.
                              www.MurphyEventing.com

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                                faybe, were you the one who had David Young repanel your Devoucoux to wool?
                                No, not me. Michael Stokes did mine in 2007.
                                Balanced Care Equine

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                  Was less than $500 and I got a great saddle that fits a wide assortment of my horses
                                  When did you have this done? David quoted me $1K to change the tree in my saddle, and that was 3 years ago...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    YB is totally right. Sell the Devoucoux now, while you can.

                                    I loved riding in their saddles when I was shopping, but thoroughly unimpressed by the rep, who never measured my horse and instead kept asking me if I knew who P Dutty and Boyd were, as if that were qualification enough to drop $4K+ on a saddle. I ended up buying a Stackhouse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Am I the only one who has yet to sit in a Devocoux that - um - my seat agrees with

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Fergs View Post
                                        When did you have this done? David quoted me $1K to change the tree in my saddle, and that was 3 years ago...
                                        Was a bit longer than 3 years..plus I bought another saddle...
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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