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Lucky(?) Me. I have a budget and get to saddle shop- help!

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  • Original Poster

    #61
    Out of your price range is one thing...but they fit nothing like the Devocoux. They have a similar look but that is about it. My trainer rides in them now....they fit my very difficult to fit big horse that she rides. He has HUGE shoulders, high withers and a significant curve in his back...the hardest thing about fitting him is his big shoulders. The saddle is really nice on him and flexible giving him the freedom in his shoulders. My point is that they do NOT fit like a Devocoux.
    Good to know! Glad someone has done "side by side" comparison.
    Amanda

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #62
      Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
      When you say custom, do you mean fully custom or customizable? Because if you mean fully custom, Tad Coffin and Stackhouse are out there.
      Customizable, probably...because there is no way I am going to be able afford Tad Coffin or Stackhouse kind of prices!
      Amanda

      Comment


      • #63
        I am a county fan and I had one custom made to fit my old horse. It had the stabilizer seat (flat seat very open) with a high forward flap that is on conquest. So basically a stabilizer seat and conquest flap. LOVE it. However, my new horse is a narrow so I ride him in a county stabilizer xtr and I like it as well. I don't like to feel locked into a saddle so both work well for me. I'm not that tall but I ride with a short stirrup so I need a forward flap. Once I knew which models I liked and what size tree my horses needed than I shopped used and ebay.
        http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #64
          The first (of many) demos has arrived.

          Wise Dutton RZ, show jumping version

          No. It's not forward enough, but the rep and I already talked about that and it can be made more forward.

          Haven't ridden in it yet. It arrived late this afternoon, my day off....hence the dirty Toby (And shaggy! The vet dropped enough enough drugs to take down a rhino tonight, so he's getting clipped this week, too!).

          I shall update tomorrow!



          Amanda

          Comment


          • #65
            If the rep you spoke to is Brooke, she's a great girl. We used to work together up here at the farm.

            Emily
            "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
              The first (of many) demos has arrived.

              Wise Dutton RZ, show jumping version

              No. It's not forward enough, but the rep and I already talked about that and it can be made more forward.

              Haven't ridden in it yet. It arrived late this afternoon, my day off....hence the dirty Toby (And shaggy! The vet dropped enough enough drugs to take down a rhino tonight, so he's getting clipped this week, too!).

              I shall update tomorrow!



              That is a nice looking saddle. I want to try one soooo bad!
              Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

              The Grove at Five Points

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #67
                OK. Two rides in the Wise and the reviews are in....meh.

                The first ride I was pretty happy with it. But yesterday I had a real jump school in it, and really RIDING in it, versus just playing and goofing off (like the first ride), I wasn't nearly as happy with it. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, as I do think it is a NICE saddle....it's just not for me.

                Toby's opinion of it was favorable, but I was concerned about some minor fit issues with it. It DID slip back (everything slips, so this isn't a huge surprise, but I do hope whatever we end up with DOESN'T), and a few times it wanted to twist a little bit. They ARE adjustable (they come standard with a changeable gullet, but also have a "Rotate to Fit" tree option), so I may have been able to work those fit issues out. But, if I'm going to pay 3k plus for a saddle, I kinda want to know for sure.

                Onward!
                Amanda

                Comment


                • #68
                  Great info, Amanda! I am right behind you in trying out demos. I can't wait to hear what you think of Voltaire. I need something that will fit more than one horse and am hoping that one of these two will do the trick.

                  Now I just need to sell a horse so I can buy a saddle!


                  Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                  OK. Two rides in the Wise and the reviews are in....meh.

                  The first ride I was pretty happy with it. But yesterday I had a real jump school in it, and really RIDING in it, versus just playing and goofing off (like the first ride), I wasn't nearly as happy with it. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, as I do think it is a NICE saddle....it's just not for me.

                  Toby's opinion of it was favorable, but I was concerned about some minor fit issues with it. It DID slip back (everything slips, so this isn't a huge surprise, but I do hope whatever we end up with DOESN'T), and a few times it wanted to twist a little bit. They ARE adjustable (they come standard with a changeable gullet, but also have a "Rotate to Fit" tree option), so I may have been able to work those fit issues out. But, if I'm going to pay 3k plus for a saddle, I kinda want to know for sure.

                  Onward!
                  -Ann

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #69
                    Ann, I would still recommend it for you to try. It is a BEAUTIFUL saddle. Seems well made, with nice details. It has good balance and was comfortable. It just wasn't for me. The frustrating thing is that I wonder if I would have felt differently if it had been forward enough.

                    Voltaires are low on the list due to price....so, don't hold your breath waiting for my opinion!
                    Amanda

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                      Voltaires are low on the list due to price....so, don't hold your breath waiting for my opinion!
                      If you can arrange a demo for limited $, do so anyway - if it's amazing, then you can always keep a look out for the right used (there's the odd "like new" that run ~$3K); if you dislike it, it's off the list

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #71
                        Originally posted by alto View Post
                        If you can arrange a demo for limited $, do so anyway - if it's amazing, then you can always keep a look out for the right used (there's the odd "like new" that run ~$3K); if you dislike it, it's off the list
                        The thing is, the chances of me finding something that works for ME used is slim to none. I have been sitting in and looking at used saddles off and on for two years now, and, other than the blue Ioldy that was PD's, nothing works for me. I am a tricky, tricky fit, since I need small with a short yet very forward flap, and those just don't come around very often. I went through the entire inventory of the Tack Exchange one morning last week, plus the used stuff the Tack Box has, sitting in everything that was remotely forward, no matter how big or small. Nothing worked. So, I'm not that interested in trying a saddle out of my price range then HOPING that something will come along that will work. Especially with a brand that, as jn4jenny has pointed out, is very new with a very limited amount of saddles on the used market.

                        I have a nice budget to work with and I am finding plenty of NEW custom/customizable options, so I am, most likely, sticking with that route.

                        Sorry for the rant. No one really believes me that I really, truly do need FORWARD until they see me in a regular saddle.
                        Amanda

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by alto View Post
                          If you can arrange a demo for limited $, do so anyway - if it's amazing, then you can always keep a look out for the right used (there's the odd "like new" that run ~$3K); if you dislike it, it's off the list
                          yep, and actually you don't have to find just one demo to be shipped to you. Setup an appointment for a test ride, it's free (with most brands, not all, ask them when you call for the appointment). It will give you an idea of what to look for if you want a used saddle. I'd actually set multiple appointments, not only with Voltaire but with other brands... the reps have to be used to people trying and not buying, considering the amount of money involved!
                          OP, if you're like me you might enjoy the multiple test rides and the opportunity to learn more about saddle fitting this way. I think that's what jen4jenny did to know so much about saddles... try, try, try, and speak, speak, speak

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                            So, I'm not that interested in trying a saddle out of my price range then HOPING that something will come along that will work.
                            you're thinking too small - one word - Sponser rider

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #74
                              Toby and I spent 2 hours with the Stubben rep today (who, btw, has been the most communicative and helpful rep I've talked to. The Wise girl was good, too). It was like freaking NASCAR after awhile!

                              We tried: a Zaria (which we've already tried) with an extra forward flap, a Portos with an extra forward flap, a Excalibur (which I liked a surprising amount), and two different versions of the Roxanne. One with a deep seat but very forward flap, and one with the newer flatter seat (that one did not have a forward enough seat). And then we tried the Zaria I had for 3 weeks again.

                              I love that saddle.

                              Where we stand right now, I will most likely settle on the Zaria with the extra forward flap. I LOVE this saddle. It is very close contact, well balanced, minimalist yet still secure. Love it. There's a chance I can try (possibly buy) exactly what we need in a week or two (tree size and everything), before the final decision is made.

                              And, apparently, my horse isn't as easy a fit as I thought. While things LOOK great on him, EVERYTHING wants to slip back. We played with a few ideas, to no avail. The rep was scratching his head on that. It may have something to do with Toby's shoulder conformation.

                              I'll write a more indepth blog post with some pictures of the various models later one.
                              Amanda

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Before you decide on anything, do try the Borne Saddle. I don't remember just where you are, but they do have saddle fitter reps for the East Coast. If you are in Maryland or Virginia, their guy is:
                                Bill Wood
                                Email: Wgateswood@aol.com
                                Phone: 434-227-4395

                                For the East Coast, it's:
                                Candy Frazer
                                Email: candy.f@charter.net
                                Phone: 978-456-3740
                                Truck-ins welcome for demo rides. Indoor arena available.

                                They have both custom and semi-custom very forward jumping saddles.
                                http://www.bornesaddlery.com/Saddles-s/34.htm

                                I personally find the Journey and Velocity very interesting. It's made by Master Saddler Andrew Sankey in Scotland. He's very closely affiliated with Borne. I found a website for Sankey Saddlery in the UK, but cannot find it now. If you google him, you will find a huge number of references. Borne seems to make fitting the major part of their sales pitch.

                                Do at least give them a try. I'd love to see what you have to say about the saddles, their quality and fit.
                                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                                  I asked my trainer for recommendations at a lesson, on the way home sat in the Stubben Roxane BOB happened to have, decided it felt ok, and found one on Ebay that night for exactly my budget

                                  Probably not ideal but it worked out for me.
                                  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Roxane. I foxhunt my Arab in mine and it will have to be pried out of my cold, dead hands.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                    Where we stand right now, I will most likely settle on the Zaria with the extra forward flap. I LOVE this saddle. It is very close contact, well balanced, minimalist yet still secure. Love it. There's a chance I can try (possibly buy) exactly what we need in a week or two (tree size and everything), before the final decision is made.

                                    And, apparently, my horse isn't as easy a fit as I thought. While things LOOK great on him, EVERYTHING wants to slip back. We played with a few ideas, to no avail. The rep was scratching his head on that. It may have something to do with Toby's shoulder conformation.
                                    I really hope it works out for you. The Zaria is a nice saddle and I can see why someone with minimalist tendencies would really like it.

                                    But I've got to tell you, your most recent post sends up red flags. A rep standing there scratching his head, and many saddles from one brand consistently sliding back on the horse, screams, "This brand's design philosophy/mechanics simply do not work well for this horse's body and nobody is going to admit that until after a check is written, and maybe not even for 6 or 12 months until the rider really experiences this saddle in competition settings and finds that it's only performing at 85 to 90 percent--not hurting the horse, but just 'off' enough to keep the magic from happening." Every brand, including high-quality brands like Stubben, makes choices about how they'll design trees, panels, flaps, etc. And guess where I think Stubben's potential Achilles heel is: the shoulder area. I was underwhelmed with the photo of Toby in that Zaria when you posted it weeks ago, but let's also keep it real: I'm not a pro, and I haven't seen the horse nekkid so I could properly evaluate. I genuinely HOPE for your sake that I'm full of it and you live happily ever after with that Zaria. I actually enjoy eating my hat. It means there was one less saddle fitting crisis in the world and my PM box is that much more quiet.

                                    I'll simply say that if I knew you personally, I'd urge you to get a second opinion. Take the Zaria on trial again--that's a really smart move--but consider getting another fitter to look at the Zaria while you have it again. I understand your frustration at finding such a fitter; IMO December is the second-most-busy saddle fitting season behind March/April, and anyone who's not repping exclusively for one brand in one state is probably super busy. Bill Wood is booked for nearly a month solid. Just keep calling. If you need more reccs of fitters local to Middleburg that I'd trust to have the integrity to say "Actually this Zaria is pretty darn good, that jn4jenny is full of crap, you should buy it," shoot me a PM.
                                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #78
                                      EVERYTHING slides back on Toby. Everything. Berney Bro, Neidersus, Albion, Wise, Stubben....trying to think what else I've had on him. I have yet to put a saddle on him that doesn't slip back. This has been a source of consternation for me since day 1 with him.

                                      Soooo, there is that.

                                      I'll ponder this some more.
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        jn4jenny, if I could give you five green thumbs, I would. Amanda has time to try other saddles and get other opinions, and fitting her horse is what this is all about.
                                        -Ann

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          Can you all tell I hate shopping? I just want to be done with this.

                                          I'll look into some other things.
                                          Amanda

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