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In need of SERIOUS saddle help!!

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  • In need of SERIOUS saddle help!!

    Last year I purchased a brand new Marcel Toulouse Premia saddle for my 16.1 hh Thoroughbred. I have been using it all year and I LOVE it!! Unfortunately my gelding does not love it and I recently noticed that he has rubs on his back and he is back sore. The saddle fitter came out today and told me there is nothing that I can do and that I have to buy a new saddle for him. She said she has never seen a Toulouse fit a TB and that even pads won't make it fit better.
    Does anyone happily ride their TB in a Toulouse? And if it is infact impossible to fit a Toulouse to a TB what saddles are similar in feel for the rider but will fit my narrow TB?
    (Saddle fitters feel free to chime in!! lol)
    Thanks!!

  • #2
    I have had a few students buy Toulouse saddles over the last few years and not one of them has stayed in it. They seem to lose their shape pretty quickly. They are great saddles for someone on a budget but they just don't last in my humble opinion. That said, I'm not sure what area you are in but if anyone can fix it then it would be Patty Merli. Www.pattymerlisaddles.com She is the best saddle fitter ive ever had the pleasure of working with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Need more information.

      What is the budget?

      What about it doesn't fit? If he has rubs and is backsore, it could be anything.
      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

      Comment


      • #4
        Was it me ? It sounds like he needs a trapezius panel, which Toulouse either doesn't make or not a good one ! The panels on a lot of those Toulouse saddles are thin foam, and even on a wide TB, with withers, those thin panels don't get well supported.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had one and got rid of it because it turned my saint of a horse into a bucking witch. They have foam panels so they cannot be altered by a saddle fitter, short of removing and replacing with wool panels, which would cost more than the saddle is actually worth.

          The trouble with Toulouse saddles is that they are designed as knock offs of higher end saddles. They have the look from the riders perspective but are not built to the same quality.

          Check out http://www.heritagesaddlery.co.uk/
          They will make a reasonably priced saddle to your specifications that will fit your horse.
          The rebel in the grey shirt

          Comment


          • #6
            I had one (the dressage monoflap model) briefly and liked it well enough, but as others have said it seemed to change shape fairly quickly and within a couple of months did NOT fit my horse. Granted, he is a total "princess and the pea" about saddles, but it fit him a lot better initially than it did later, which I can't say I've seen with other saddles. I was able to sell it pretty readily on Ebay, however.

            I eventually ordered a custom dressage saddle for this horse from Heritage, and it fits the horse GREAT. The prices are incredible for what you get.
            Click here before you buy.

            Comment


            • #7
              the fitter can't do anything with it if it's not wool flocked - this is true. By something that is. Some St. Lourdes models are wool flocked and fit TBs nicely, or go for a used something in a good wool flocked brand (County, Schleese, Stuuben, Jeffries, and the list goes on...)
              www.felixfjord.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Some Toulouse saddles are wool-flocked. It looks like the Premia has wool and foam. There are other Toulouse models that just have wool.

                If I was going to get a Toulouse I would get a wool one with the adjustable tree.

                I had a very good experience with usedsaddles.com a few years ago. Might want to check them out. They'll buy your current saddle from you as well (if you are buying one from them.)

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  What you all are saying sounds exactly right... I feel like my Toulouse fit him initially when I bought it last year and then this winter started to rub him right underneath the foam panels. The fitter said the same thing about it not being able to be changed because of the foam and about it being a knock off of a nicer saddle but didn't mention the whole changing shape thing.
                  My budget now is around 2500 (I'm hoping to get 1300-1500 for my Toulouse as it is still in great condition) and I have been looking at Black Country, Amerigo (a little out of my price range!) and Barnsby (anyone have any experience good or bad with Barnsbys??).
                  My TB is built like the typical TB... high withers, slightly long back...
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/92478190@N05/ here are a few conformation pictures, if anyone has any reccomdations I would GREATLY appreciate it!! Thanks for your help guys!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a Stubben Genesis Dressage saddle that I am in love with (the balance, the quality and super durability are awesome!) The rep was just out recently to check fit and they have some very nice jump saddles these days! They also have a good selection of used on their website. Also have in the barn a CWD monoflap (good for me, won't buy one again..poor customer service, wish I hadn't let myself be convinced to go with foam, and im not completely satisfied with the 'custom' fit). We also have a County and Black Country jump saddles, both are nice, durable and seem to last and hold their value. I have ridden in all of them (and granted the CWD was made to my size and the others werent) but I found the balance on the other two to be a bit farther back than the CWD, not terrible but just different.. but both are super nice saddles.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If your budget is $2500 go for a stubben or prestige saddle... I'be had my stubben xc saddle for over 7 years and it hasn't been touched by a saddler. I have a very high withered tb mare with a sensitive back and we have no issues.

                      I have a schleese jes ride with flaire panels that my horse likes too.
                      "My ideal horse is the horse that I fall in love with again every morning when I see his face hanging over the stable door, looking for breakfast. " - Jim Wofford

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For the horse in the photos, I'd recommend something with a steep rise or high head, and a deeper front panel (K/skidrow or possibly trapezius). Thinner and/or upswept rear panels to accommodate the upslope to the croup. Wither or full front gussets would be a help as well, and I agree with Kate that wool is going to be better than foam.

                        Some saddles worth trying would be the Albion K2 jump or Kontact Dual, the Black Country Ricochet or Wexford, or the Loxley jump on the Classic tree. Can't tell about width w/o seeing a template, but if you're working with a fitter, they should be able to advise you.
                        Kitt Hazelton
                        Saddle Fitter
                        www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                        www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jken710 View Post
                          My budget now is around 2500 (I'm hoping to get 1300-1500 for my Toulouse as it is still in great condition) and I have been looking at Black Country, Amerigo (a little out of my price range!) and Barnsby (anyone have any experience good or bad with Barnsbys??).
                          Not sure how much you paid originally for your saddle but they don't hold their value (in general) Toulouse Premia (& others)
                          Unfortunately, you get stuck in the can't ride as saddle don't fit, can't buy new saddle until old saddle sells, so work out your priority (can you borrow a saddle that does fit, are you & your horse happy with bareback, etc).

                          Also consider if horse is underweight/undermuscled, then take this into consideration when saddle shopping.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good luck with that price. I sold mine, less than two years old and in great shape for $700.

                            With a budget of $2000, I'd look at a K-series Albion. They have a fairly long production time (like 6 weeks) but the saddle is made to your specifications, for your horse. It's a wool flocked saddle and if you buy from an authorized dealer, they should also adjust it free of charge after about 20-40 hours of ride time to make sure it's perfect for your horse.

                            They also seem to hold their value much more than the French sounding saddles from Argentina...
                            The rebel in the grey shirt

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My TB is shaped similar to yours. He goes in an Albion with the TB tree/high head. It is a very nice saddle, very secure, used by a lot of field hunters. I ride in it flat and jumping, and it is wool flocked for adjustments. I would definitely consider it.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by JWB View Post
                                Good luck with that price. I sold mine, less than two years old and in great shape for $700.

                                With a budget of $2000, I'd look at a K-series Albion. They have a fairly long production time (like 6 weeks) but the saddle is made to your specifications, for your horse. It's a wool flocked saddle and if you buy from an authorized dealer, they should also adjust it free of charge after about 20-40 hours of ride time to make sure it's perfect for your horse.

                                They also seem to hold their value much more than the French sounding saddles from Argentina...
                                Does your saddle have the adjustable tree?? Just curious and hoping it'll sell faster for that reason... I don't need to sell my saddle to buy the new one but I definitely want to get as much as I can for mine seeing as how I JUST bought it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  JWB, I'm not 100% sure what can and can't be done (sorry, I just started selling Albion a short while ago), but with a price point of about $2100, they have a limit to the amount of modifications that can be made. That said, they offer amazing fit and quality for the price point. Also, the flocking used in the K2s is synthetic. A very good synthetic ... but synthetic.
                                  Kitt Hazelton
                                  Saddle Fitter
                                  www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                                  www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If I were you, I'd find a saddle fitter who can bring out a selection of different saddles for you to try. Otherwise, you are going to be blindly trying to figure out what to buy. Telling you that your saddle isn't working and will never work is helpful, but that's only half the battle.

                                    Also, I think his shape will continue to change a bit as he gains more strength so spending all that money on a custom saddle now may not be worth it. Custom saddles are kind of a waste of money IMO because horses change so much...after six months when the horse has changed shape, the "custom" saddle still needs to be adjusted. Unless he has some totally wild issue that needs a custom shaped saddle, I'd go with a used wool flocked saddle with wide panels.

                                    I hope you can get that much for your saddle but realistically you're probably looking at between $700 and $800 for it. They do not hold their value well at all.
                                    http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                                    Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I only have one custom saddle, but in the years I've owned horses I haven't seen many of them "change shape" that much, other than babies growing up.
                                      Click here before you buy.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The OP's horse is an OTTB, off the track about a year, and will continue to build his topline. I have an OTTB also and bought an M. Toulouse that was confirmed as a good fit by my saddle fitter when she was just off the track. As she grew and gained condition, though, her topline changed shape and what once was a good fit no longer worked for her at all. Due to it having foam panels, there was no way to make the saddle fit. I replaced it with a Stubben Edelweiss with wool panels that I have adjusted every six months and I will never buy another saddle with foam panels.

                                        I am not against custom saddles...if I had a spare few thousand dollars to spend and a horse that wasn't going to grow much more, I would probably look into them. I don't understand the appeal of a custom saddle with foam panels, though.
                                        http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                                        Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

                                        Comment

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