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Fit of Stubben Zaria Optimum

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  • Fit of Stubben Zaria Optimum

    I have an 1800 credit with Stubben from a problem saddle several years ago. I am looking at a used Zaria Optimum on the website, and would like to try it. Don’t want a new. However, not sure what kind of backs they fit. This is a TB, with average withers and slightly croup high, short coupled. So I would say curvy, but not as curvy as the very old Roxanne that I own. Would take it just on trial, but Stubben wants a 150$ restocking fee, as well as the shipping . So trying not to spend more than I have to. Also, any clue about width? Current is a 31, way too wide.
    Thanks!
    http://www.cngsporthorses.com

  • #2
    I would suggest getting in touch with your local stubben rep. We have two in the barn, both are 28cm trees. The two horses are ISH, not super wide but with prominent withers and a relatively flat backs. In general the new stubbens are not so curvy, with the roxanne being the exception. A rep can help you through the fitting process, not only finding the right tree size but also finding the saddle best suited for your horse and yourself.
    "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Unfortunately, the Stubben rep is the one who did a horrible job with the last saddle, so much so that I was credited for much of the purchase and given a demo as well as a credit Not sure I trust the rep...
      http://www.cngsporthorses.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I recently had a Stubben rep out who suggested the Zaria Optimum for my curvy-backed horse. And when I say curvy, some professionals refer this horse as sway. In this case, the rep did suggest gusseted panels.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I can tell you about my Stubben Zaria saga if you want. The end result is that my TB is very happy with it, which is all that matters... but my wallet is not.

          It was a very annoying and long journey but my gelding is very wide in the barrel, tall and narrow in the withers, and despite having a longer back than ideal, has a shorter "supporting area" for the saddle than is apparently normal. He is neither flat nor curvy, but he does have a wide back. He is the biggest blooded horse in terms of width I have ever had.. people don't believe he's a TB.

          I bought a brand new medium Stubben Zaria for my TB from a major tack seller at the end of 2016. I had several fitters tell me my TB needs either needs something with front/rear upswept panels to accommodate his portly-but-ridgey self, or that I needed to go custom with Black Country and/or Stubben. Custom was not in the budget especially for a horse with a dubious future WRT soundness..

          I tried so many saddles on him, from Passier to Kieffers to Ainsleys... I ended up buying a "medium" Zaria, had it professionally checked by a recommended-to-me fitter, and it worked until I went to have it reflocked about 8 months later, only to find it was not the tree size it was sold to me as (it was a 31cm), and that it was actually not the appropriate tree size for him. I never thought my giant gelding would need a "narrow" (28cm!) tree, but apparently he does.. something that would have been nice to know when I asked three different fitters on three different occasions what size he needed ("he needs a medium", was the chorus). According to the Stubben rep, the trees are a little bit different than standard trees and most horses need a narrower tree size in Stubbens than they do in other saddles.

          In other words, I had to sell my 31cm Zaria.. and no, I couldn't exchange it for credit with Stubben.

          Couple things to consider: while I think this saddle is positively amazing for my gelding, I had absolutely no legitimate bites when I tried to resell the 31cm so I could get a 28cm. Zarias are flooding the market right now and I was looking at having to sell mine for $1000+ less than the MSRP just to get a nibble. I had people offer me their 10 year old Stubben Portos in a trade (??? a $600 saddle for a $4800 saddle? WTF are they smoking?), I even had some people PM me asking if I would accept $1800 on a saddle that had an MSRP of $4700.. The Stubben rep was very helpful in trying to get me to buy a brand new custom Zaria since the one I PAID for didn't fit, but when it came to me trying to sell my 31cm Zaria that I already paid for, she was of no help. Stubben does not seem interested in helping customers that have already invested in one of their saddles recoup the losses.. whatever.. it's a business model but I wasn't happy about that.

          Anyway I ended up being obscenely lucky and there just so happened to be someone in the exact same situation as me, except inverted - she had a custom 28cm Zaria and she needed a 31cm... The odds of that are so low I still can't believe I have my dream saddle, in my dream color (black), in the exact custom configuration my horse needs..

          The Zaria does seem to be very flexible and varied in the type of body it can fit... it does have a reputation for being especially good for hard-to-fit TBs.

          Little bit of advice would be to have more than just the rep look at it to make sure it fits. I'm still stung by the fact I spent over $1,000 in saddle fitting fees alone the last few years, only to have not one, but two saddles (that were reflocked to my horse several times) that don't fit him (the other is a Kieffer, which is it's own long story). Make sure to vet your fitters well.. I used 3 fitters, one that was highly praised on COTH that was the biggest shill I ever met (and charged me $250, and didn't even reflock a single saddle!), and 2 that were local to the area that had a good reputation.
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

          Comment


          • #6
            My Zaria Optimum is a 27 tree. Goes on a Hano/TB mare that has a little hollow behind decent withers. She's built fairly uphill, definitely not croup high, with a straight, flat back. Saddle has the gusseted panels. I think if I cut her in half and could see a cross section of her body, it would be a rectangle. She is very happy with this saddle, and she is definitely one to let you know if something about what she's wearing doesn't suit her. She's been in this saddle since March of 2016 when her former owner had it made for her. I couldn't find anything to fit her well after I got her, so I ended up buying "her" saddle from her former owner. Hope this helps.
            "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

            Comment


            • #7
              OP, your profile thing says you live in Maryland, is that true? Because the current Maryland Stubben rep has been with company for about a year. So it has to be a different person.

              Comment


              • #8
                No real comment on the fit besides the one I had was a great fit for my gelding at the time, he was in a 30cm and he was a wide little thing, with a pretty flat back. I loved the saddle too.

                When I sold him, I took a MASSIVE bath on the saddle. I got one with biomex and piping and paid over $5k for it. I was finally able to sell it for $2500 after MONTHS of effort and only got bites after I dropped the price to basically my bottom line and just accepted the loss. Every Stubben rep I talked to not only said they wouldn't sell it for me, but also said that they basically tell all their customers to not even bother to look for used because for only $1000 more (or whatever) you can get one "exactly fit for you!"

                I was not impressed with the service after the sale or some things the rep said about me to other people when my saddle arrived with what I would consider to be a defect in a saddle this price. Stubben told me it was normal, and told other people who saw my saddle and asked about it that it was damage I had caused by my riding.

                I'm glad to have washed my hands of it and I know of other people in the same area using the same rep who are NOT happy with either the service they've gotten OR the terrible resale value on their $$$ custom saddle.
                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

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  My experience with 2 different Stubben reps in MD several years ago was with a very wide, very mutton withered horse. I tried some saddles, and like the Portos, but the rep had to put a towel under while riding to make it level. She then ordered a medium with gussets. WTH? But ok, I’m not a fitter, so ok....Slow forward 12 weeks to my new saddle. Way doesn t fit. Told to ride in it for 3 weeks. Saddle rubs holes in horse’s back. Saddle rubs holes in all 3 horses backs. And I mean raw holes with hair missing and oozing. Fitter calls in another fitter. They tell me that horse is very unusual and now cant be fitted. I ask to try the widest tree I can. They have one - and gosh, the saddle now sits level. I raise holy hell with Stubben because my brand new saddle doesn’t fit ANY of the horses I own, and I dont think it will fit any horse , ever. I grudgingly get a used demo saddle that sort of fits the horse and a 1800 credit, which I havent used because I frankly was appalled at the service I got. But, I still have a huge credit, so am willingly to try to get something, rather than go to my grave with Stubben owing me 1800.....
                  http://www.cngsporthorses.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I haven’t had a Zaria but my 31 cm Genesis Special with short points (the NT) fits substantially wider than my much older 31 cm Stubben Scandica. I stopped riding everything in the GS even though it fits me better...it is a lovely saddle but simply too wide. It crawls up their necks when they are naughty, and I have found nothing makes a bucking horse buck more than sitting on its neck. YMMV! Fwiw, I have a TB who is wide for a TB. He is wide enough my tad Coffin jumping saddle, known to be wide, is fine. It would probably fit something that is wide for a WB-type or a draft cross with withers. It kind of perches on my round QH with no withers. She is never naughty so I don’t know how stable it is, but hate the way t makes me feel 6 inches too high on her.

                    still, I was disappointed the tree sizes are so different in the NTs. It isn’t just shape, it is much wider. The Biomex is so nice but the horses’ comfort comes first.

                    i also think many Stubben reps fit the trees tighter than I prefer. The Scandica is such a useful size, so many horses are happy in it. No one is happy in the Genesis Special. I need to just sell it but I keep hoping it might fit the WB baby next year.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I worked for someone who used them a lot for a while-- pretty much everything she had was TB and most went in either a 28 or 29. I do think they fit TBs well. I have a 10 year old Roxane and a 30-some year old Scandica (both 31s) and the Roxane is substantially wider although with creative padding it works for my curvy but chunky TB.

                      I'm too poor to be able to afford custom anything or tons of refittings, but I have been a groom for a couple of different UL riders and their clients and can honestly say that while they all seem awesome at the beginning I have yet to see great followthrough from ANY of the brand reps/ saddle fitters regardless of brand-- including but definitely not limited to Stubben.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My trainer has a 27 cm Zaria for her mostly tb ISH and she finds it fits most of her TBs as well.

                        I also would question which fitters you used. I had the MD one out a few years ago to fit my draft x and she said he needed a 29 (don't remember which model). Yeah right. I later bought him an XW Genesis dressage saddle on Ebay and it fit him well. A couple of weeks ago Erica (whose last name I forget) fitted him for one of the new Stubben Ascend jump saddle (which I won in the contest Stubben had on Facebook to name their new saddle!). She agreed he would need an extra wide. I think she has a pretty good reputation, and Keith Brooks is sometimes in your area who is also very good.

                        Perhaps you could arrange to have an independent fitter out along with the Stubben fitter? What happened to you really sucks, and I'm sorry Stubben didn't do a better job taking care of you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your fitter! The Stubben tree and design is quite different than other manufacturers so a good fitter is key as I don't think fitters trained for other saddles would do as good a job.
                          My Holst/ TB fits the 27cm tree in Stubben. I was really shocked when I heard this as my County and Black Country fitters had always placed my horse in a medium/ medium wide tree by comparison. However, the 27cm fits my guy like a glove.
                          Have you talked with Stubben about your concerns with the fitter you had in the past? Maybe there's a different rep in that area now or you could meet with one at a show?

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