• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.


1 of 2 < >

Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

When it came to overt criminal allegations, however, those discussions have in the past needed to stem from a report by a reputable news source or action by law enforcement or the legal system.

We are now expanding our policies to allow posters to share their own first-hand experiences involving overt criminal allegations, such as animal abuse or neglect, theft, etc., but only if they publicly provide their full first and last name along with the post. We still will not allow anonymous postings alleging criminal activity.

So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

We are not providing a free-for-all of anonymous rumor-mongering. As enduring advocates for the welfare of the horse, we want to provide a forum for those willing to sign their name and shine a light on issues of concern to them in the industry.

The full revised rules are posted at the top of each forum for reference.
2 of 2 < >

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums’ policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Fit of Stubben Zaria Optimum

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.

  • #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


    • Original Poster

      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...


      • #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.


        • #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


          • #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


            • #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.


              • #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.


                • Original Poster

                  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.....


                  • #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.


                    • #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.


                      • #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.


                        • #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?