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Opinions on Saddles?

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  • Opinions on Saddles?

    Hello all I am new - so sorry if this is an over-done topic!

    I have had lots of saddle fitting problems with my Quarter Horse gelding. We have just started eventing and we LOVE it! But he is a little cranky under-saddle, especially for dressage. I've had saddle fitters and evaluators out galore, most recently a County saddle rep. She was great, and it was so comforting to see that they are indeed saddles out there that can fit my big guy, of course the price tag is a big issue. I'm currently using a Stubben Imperator, but its quite old and it feels like I am sitting in concrete and it does not fit him properly even after custom re-flocking twice. I've ridden in Dover Circuit Elites, Stubben Sigfrieds, nothing fits him right - he just has a funny shaped back. I LOVED the County demos, and am considering ordering a new one from County to fit me and my guy. Opinions on County saddles both good and bad? I'd likely order the conquest model. It's about $3,000 - does anyone have any other suggestions on other brands or other saddles?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    I don't know what's available on the left coast, but in PA we have this FABULOUS used and new saddle retailer called Rick's Heritage Saddlery. They have tons of inventory and all price points. I ended up buying a new saddle that was a model form 1-2 year before that had been discontinued. The best part is that I could take like 4 at a time (they just hold your credit card number) and try them. It was a bit of a pain to drive back and forth to get more and you have to be patient because the used saddle are on consignment so they only have what gets sent to them.

    So... ask the county guy what to look for (wide panels, wide gullet, high wither space, etc.) and then go to a place like Rick's and see what they have.

    I ended up with a discontinued new $3,000 dressage saddle for $1,500!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

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    • #3
      I just had a county rep come out about a month ago and fell in love with the stabilizer (and so did my horse). but when she said the price i thought "noooo way." I'm 15 and decided i would pay for it with my own money. so we looked online for used countys, which are very hard to find, im guessing bc everyone likes theirs haha. sooo we had the county rep come back out and decided to order it it was after my bday, so i felt a liiiitle better about making the purchase.
      it should be here in about 6 weeks and i CANNOT WAIT! I've heard many many good things about county and it seems to be one of the favorites in our barn.

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      • #4
        I just fitted my 15.3h mutton back QH for a saddle. I also do low level eventing. I'm from PA and have gone to Rick's, but now that I live in VA, I go to the Middleburg Tack Exchange and it's the same deal - they have a huge basement of consigned saddles that you can take on trial. I bought an AP Ashley & Clarke (it's the stoneleigh) for $900, originally retails for $1495. I just love it and the fact that it was used is better, no breaking in period. It's a wide tree.

        I also tried the duett saddles, which are primarily for wide backed horses. I thought the cantel in the back was a bit high.

        You need to find a great consignment shop. The tack exchange sells approx 60-70 saddles per month.

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