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

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  • #81
    I think you'll be happy with the Zaria. I really liked it but was scared of the foam panels. I went with the Excalibur, since I know I like it because I use my trainer's quite often. Were you working with Keith? I find he's very helpful.

    Comment


    • #82
      Amanda, I promise I'm not trying to be a pain in your butt. I noted with irony that as soon as I left your thread, I got an email from another saddle shopper saying "Hey I'm really glad you pushed back when I said I couldn't stand Stubben saddles because I went to the Stubben factory and you're right, I really enjoyed sitting in several of their newer saddles." But I'd also seen that horse nekkid and the Stubben tree/panel philosophies will suit him well. Every saddle has its horse and rider.

      It's not my first time hearing that "everything slides back on this horse," and I find shoppers with that problem are very quick to settle because they're just used to it happening. Most of them are frustrated by saddle shopping, which even in the best of situations is a long process. For someone who doesn't know the market well, it can also be very overwhelming. Most people in your position have not yet met That Special Saddle Fitter who will finally explain to them WHY it is happening by pointing to very particular combinations of anatomy features on their unique horse, then explaining which combination of tree and panel designs might work on THAT horse. And it's even harder to find That Extra Special Saddle Fitter who will explain how several very different brands can solve the problem through very different structural means. This is one reason I like Bill Wood. He's very good at that, even for brands that he doesn't represent. This is one reason he's so darn hard to get: people know that about him, and like it, and are ready to pay for it and wait for it.

      I could name a potential problem solver for slideback in most high-end saddle brands. But without having seen Toby's back, I'd be wasting your time. You'd likely end up in the situation you described with the Albion Kontact Lite; that is Albion's problem solver for several of the shoulder/wither related issues that can cause slideback, but like any saddle the Kontact Lite makes certain engineering choices that will cause it to be "too narrow here, too wide there" on certain horses. You could take that information and use it to identify a competitor that's making other design choices that might suit better.

      I still believe there's a saddle out there that could perfectly accommodate Toby AND your riding preferences, but without seeing Toby, I would be hard-pressed to point you right to the finalists. It's hard for me to watch you suffer because *for me*, these problem are usually pretty straightforward. I look at a horse, I look at a rider, and voila, there or four very obvious finalists emerge. You are experiencing a problem of abundance: lots of great brands in your newfound big budget, and you're probably just feeling overwhelmed and ready to settle for the devil you know. I'm saying you should keep the faith. You know where my PM box is if you want my amateur non-professional opinion about where to look next, but you are absolutely NOT obligated to get me involved when you've already got professional help that you seem to trust, so I'm going to shut up and let you do your thing.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

      Comment


      • #83
        TW liked me in my saddle today and asked why you hadn't tried one of them!!! It has very forward flap, indeed! He noted you and I have same freakish leg issue!

        "I could name a potential problem solver for slideback in most high-end saddle brands." JN4J, Oh please do tell, please?!
        One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

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        • Original Poster

          #84
          Kate, what do you have? I know I've dug around in your tack room a time or two, but which one did he mean?
          Amanda

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          • Original Poster

            #85
            OK. So, after sleeping on things for a night or two, and mulling over some of the stuff jn4j talked about, and some feedback and thoughts from a few other trusted advisers (especially those who know Toby and I up close and personal), I DID decide to keep looking, at least to compare. When I thought about the Stubbens some more, there was some feedback from Toby that I hadn't read right, and once I thought about it, I decided he wasn't as wild about the saddle as I thought.

            So, County came out today. This time, we really DO have a winner. We settled on a County Conquest with a "high forward" and short flap. It meets all my criteria: English made, wool flocked, forward enough, not terribly deep, adjustable blocks, etc, etc, etc. It also fit Toby well and with no major slipping! He was VERY happy in it (and the contrast between him in the Conquest vs the other two I tried was easy to see...he wasn't pissy in the others, but he was much softer in the Conquest). I loved the way it felt, even though it wasn't quite forward enough. There was no fighting it, no knee pinching, and I cantered around a moderate sized course and felt pretty good and happy with it.

            The biggest bummer is the wait! But it'll be worth it.

            jn4jenny, thanks for being a voice of reason and making me think for a second! I am very happy with my decision.
            Amanda

            Comment


            • #86
              Yay! They are seriously one of my favorite saddles for Tb's built like Toby. Almost a must have for those of us who retrain ottb's because they fit them so well and I do feel like I can stay out of the way while still maintaining vertical order during wild baby antics

              Jn4j gives some really good advice and I love reading these threads for educational purposes.
              http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post

                So, County came out today. This time, we really DO have a winner. We settled on a County Conquest with a "high forward" and short flap. It meets all my criteria: English made, wool flocked, forward enough, not terribly deep, adjustable blocks, etc, etc, etc. It also fit Toby well and with no major slipping! He was VERY happy in it (and the contrast between him in the Conquest vs the other two I tried was easy to see...he wasn't pissy in the others, but he was much softer in the Conquest). I loved the way it felt, even though it wasn't quite forward enough. There was no fighting it, no knee pinching, and I cantered around a moderate sized course and felt pretty good and happy with it.

                The biggest bummer is the wait! But it'll be worth it.

                jn4jenny, thanks for being a voice of reason and making me think for a second! I am very happy with my decision.
                HUrrah!!! I've been wanting to tell you not to decide without having County out
                Just to make you wonder ... you can get the Conquest flaps with the Stabilizer Seat if you prefer the more open, closer contact seat

                (oddly FP much preferred the Stabilizer seat over the Conquest so we went with the hybrid in whatever they're calling the dark reddish leather - it's stunning rep found a leather sample but no actual saddle so it was a bit of a leap in the dark, also went down a 1/2 seat size & customized panels & gullet channel (vs the demo kit saddles) ...

                pm sent

                Comment


                • #88
                  Alto- that is what I have and it is the best ever. High forward conquest flap with stabilizer seat. I prefer a flat seat. I do have a plain stabilizer Xtr as well which I also like bc I got a good deal on ebay
                  http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Hooray hooray hooray! I'm thrilled for you. Kudos to you for not letting frustration get the best of you + not settling for something that was less than perfect. Having been a saddle shopper myself, I know that is much easier said than done. May you live happily ever after with the Conquest!
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      woo hoo! You just can't go wrong with a County for fitting well, imo. Love them! I am so glad that you kept looking and I be you will be very very happy with the Conquest. I will PM you to find out about cost, etc. as I really do need to find something once I sell a horse. If I could get a Conquest with long billets, I might be ever so happy!

                      How long is the wait?

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                      • Original Poster

                        #91
                        The wait is long. I was quoted 10-12 weeks, but she did say, without promising anything, they have been coming in a little quicker than that. I thought I wasn't going to be able to get the ball rolling until closer to the first, but I'll be able to put the deposit down on it HOPEFULLY by the end of the week, so at least it'll get started a wee bit sooner!
                        Amanda

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Yay! At least it'll be ready in time for the spring season. Are you using Ann Mary?
                          Road to the T3D
                          Translation
                          fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                          skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #93
                            My saddle shipped from England yesterday. It should be in the MD office by Wednesday, and, barring any unforeseen issue, in my tack room by the end of next week.

                            Yay!

                            Now I HAVE to get healthy so I can break it in!!!
                            Amanda

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                              My saddle shipped from England yesterday. It should be in the MD office by Wednesday, and, barring any unforeseen issue, in my tack room by the end of next week.

                              Yay!

                              Now I HAVE to get healthy so I can break it in!!!
                              I hope you'll share pictures when it gets in! I absolutely love my Countys. I don't know what leather you went for but my Sensation (bull) and Perfection (bull) are soft as can be. I admittedly bought the perfection used but of the 10 County's in my barn no ones ever complained about break in. Only one of those saddles is the XTR leather and we all have Innovations or Sensations not Conquests but I bet your saddle will be comfy from the get go

                              I have found that County's delivery estimates are worst case usually. All of our saddles have arrived early or at the beginning of the 2 week window. So we've all been pleasantly surprised with how "fast" they got here

                              I hope Toby loves it!!!
                              Equestrian At Hart - A blog about adventures in bringing along a young TB mare and a 2016 Big Star filly

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                I've been following this thread and all the great advice. Glad your County is on its way to you!

                                My last two saddles have been County Innovations (both XTR) Love love love them and the XW fits my very wide Morgan beautifully. Plus love how I ride in the saddle, too. Once you go County, you can't go back to anything else

                                Hope you love your new saddle and do post pics!
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                www.elainehickman.com
                                **Morgans Do It All**

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #96
                                  It's HERE!

                                  Thursday usually are weird days for me, and when I found it was getting delivered today, I got a little bummed. I mean, yay, it's coming, but I was certain it would get delivered while I was at the sports psychologist and I wouldn't get to ride in it. But, while I had Toby in the cross ties, preparing to tack up and ride this morning, what should appear in the drive but the UPS man!!! As obnoxious as I usually find him, I could have kissed him today.

                                  Toby and I gave it a quick spin. I would have liked to have ridden longer, but the massage therapist showed up, and, like I said, Thursday are weird and I had a lot to get done. It feels, well, like a new saddle. Stiff and slippery and in need of some oil and LOTS more rides. But it seems to be exactly what we need. Toby was hard to read on his thoughts on it, as he was WILD this morning and everything was bugging him. Once he settled (read: we galloped around for a few minutes), he seemed very happy with it.

                                  I gave it a quick spin on another horse, just because I could. The rep will be out at some point to give it a good once over. Tomorrow I'll give it a more serious ride, and maybe see if I can get a jump lesson over the weekend. It LOOKS beautiful. I am very happy in that department.

                                  Here it is, all ready (almost) for its first test drive.
                                  And here's Toby and I discussing the finer points of it...
                                  Amanda

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    WANT!
                                    ------------------------------
                                    Life Goes On

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #98
                                      Loving it! Had a little jump school in it this afternoon. Nothing terribly exciting or big, just popping around what was set up. Felt great. I have to think about correcting the bad habits created by my old saddle, but as long as I remind myself, there is no fighting to keep my position correct! It just happens. Also, went quite a bit shorter, and there's still plenty of room in the flap! May not even need it!!!
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Wow! Congrats!
                                        Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                                        You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

                                        Comment


                                        • I want one!! My first saddle was an English one (not a county, a no name brand). Great saddles! Enjoy it.
                                          "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                          "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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