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Voltaire is Garbage

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  • Voltaire is Garbage

    Addendum to make this clear for everyone: this is a colloquial statement about my personal experiences with a brand's merchandise.

    My saddle does not fit and is wearing down. My students are having similar problems.

    The accessories, the girth and stirrup leathers in particular are the only ones I have used, are very low quality stiff leather that does not break in well and rubbed the hell out of every horse I used them on and my poor legs. They have been sitting in a box for months.

    Many of my kids saved their money to buy second hand voltaire saddles that are not holding up and there is no voltaire guarantee for these kids.

    Because of these reasons, I won't vouch for the brand.

    In February, Voltaire Design came out to my barn to fit several my students for saddles. I had expressed interest in the Tad Coffin tree and sat in the blue wing. The twist was wider than my taste so ended up getting a sponsorship for the barn with a Palm Beach along with the trade in of my Tad Coffin.

    In May the Palm Beach arrives and it put to use on my 6 horse plus a day ride list. After one month the stitching starts to show wear and the underside of the saddle looks worn through. Worst yet, my competition mare starts getting saddle rubs and isn't performing well.

    The chiropractor comes out, work loads are changed, yadda yadda. I haven't had problems with saddle fit before so I look for multiple reasons for the back sore in my mare. Then, another horse gets saddle rubs and I won't use the palm beach all together. It sits in the tack room untouched. I call our local saddle rep and she gets back to me within the week, at that point its too late, I meet with another saddle rep and Devoucoux fits perfectly and the leather quality looks fabulous. I sign with Devoucoux and trade in the Palm Beach.


    Voltaire will not accept my trade in saddle and are threatening to sue for the sponsorship discount (2500) and accessories (~500).

    Garbage saddles and garbage treatment of trainers- instead of creating a saddle that is supposed to last they want to trade in trainer saddles every two years. I can't get behind my clients spending their hard earned money on something that is meant to fall apart.

    Just the 2 cents from someone who rides anywhere from 6 to 15 horses a day. I would rather pay full price for a saddle that fits and lasts then be given some garbage I can't in full conscience tell people to buy. Yep, I broke my contract; in good conscience I can't promote a brand I don't believe in.

    Last edited by HELLC; Feb. 8, 2018, 02:04 PM.

  • #2
    Devoucoux has the same trainer discount program, and are known to destroy horses backs. May have traded in one bad egg for another. Sorry this happened.

    Comment


    • #3
      From your timeline, I don't see where you told Voltaire there was an issue and gave them time to fix it? Did you? It sounds like you just bought a Devocoux and traded in the Voltaire.

      If that is the case, it is likely in the trainer discount contract that you have to use the saddle for a certain amount of time or pay it back. You probably want to review those documents. They almost certainly do that because they don't want trainers to make a profit buying their saddles on discount and selling them "used" for more $$. That makes sense as a slightly used French saddle is rarely $2500 less than it was new.

      Maybe you should go back to Tad Coffin, I think they are by far the most versatile tree for people riding a lot of different horses.

      Comment


      • #4
        Shouldn’t your competition mare have her own saddle? Even with different padding configurations, a pro panel saddle can’t be made to fit that many horses, especially if you are riding those horses every day.

        A helmet saved my life.

        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Jeloushe, unfortunately saddles aren't made like they used too. They are either extremely padded and the entire idea of close contact is lost, they don't fit the horse, the ultimate heartbreaker (they fit the ponies perfectly and kill my back after a few rides) or they just fall apart on top off everything.

          One barn I ride for, the head trainer has a 15 plus year old childric that she happily rides in. She hops off and nothing is frayed, no leather has holes. George sat on my horse in a clinic and couldn't get the bite of the stirrup leather in the saddle keeper. He told us to beware of tack made from non-horseman, that it doesn't last that it isn't functional.

          Apparently this is the way of most tack.

          Le sigh. I literally have paid full price on saddles because I stood behind them. 5000 +, this is a massive investment on a piece of equipment that should last more than a year or two.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Bristol Bay, the Voltaire was fitted for the competition mare. She was the only horse that used barely any padding (thin-line and square pad) as the balance, wither clearance and shoulder fit was ideal. Every other horse was padded according to their needs or, in the case of a few totally non-off the self (think massive, shark fin wither TBs) I used the owners custom saddle or the wool beval pad.

            Chiropractor didn't like the fit of the saddle, didn't think it was wide enough for mare. I'm sure voltaire would have come out and fix it but in combination of it falling apart (the second skin option is a no-bueno) I was over it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did you sign a sponsorship contract? Might check with your lawyer.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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              • #8
                I doesn't really sound like you gave Voltaire enough time to fix the issue? Most saddle reps will fix an issue like that instead of losing a sponsorship and you as a customer + your clients.
                Also, if you traded it in for more than you paid then I could understand Voltaire not being happy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HELLC View Post
                  Bristol Bay, the Voltaire was fitted for the competition mare. She was the only horse that used barely any padding (thin-line and square pad) as the balance, wither clearance and shoulder fit was ideal. Every other horse was padded according to their needs or, in the case of a few totally non-off the self (think massive, shark fin wither TBs) I used the owners custom saddle or the wool beval pad.

                  Chiropractor didn't like the fit of the saddle, didn't think it was wide enough for mare. I'm sure voltaire would have come out and fix it but in combination of it falling apart (the second skin option is a no-bueno) I was over it.
                  You literally say they would have come out and fixed it but you are still bad mouthing a company on a public forum. Seriously? What is this thread even about?

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                    From your timeline, I don't see where you told Voltaire there was an issue and gave them time to fix it? Did you? It sounds like you just bought a Devocoux and traded in the Voltaire.

                    If that is the case, it is likely in the trainer discount contract that you have to use the saddle for a certain amount of time or pay it back. You probably want to review those documents. They almost certainly do that because they don't want trainers to make a profit buying their saddles on discount and selling them "used" for more $$. That makes sense as a slightly used French saddle is rarely $2500 less than it was new.

                    Maybe you should go back to Tad Coffin, I think they are by far the most versatile tree for people riding a lot of different horses.
                    Yes. Thumbs up for Tad Coffin a super old model upgraded to the tc2 tree is actually my second saddle. It hurts my back after a super extended day of riding. Made beautifully for the ponies. Not so much for not really that old but hardworking cripples like me.

                    As for Voltaire, a week to call me back to schedule for me and a student; That is WAYYY too much time in my book when I am at a horse show and I can't compete my horse.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by StormyDay View Post

                      You literally say they would have come out and fixed it but you are still bad mouthing a company on a public forum. Seriously? What is this thread even about?
                      "Garbage saddles and garbage treatment of trainers- instead of creating a saddle that is supposed to last they want to trade in trainer saddles every two years. I can't get behind my clients spending their hard earned money on something that is meant to fall apart.

                      Just the 2 cents from someone who rides anywhere from 6 to 15 horses a day. I would rather pay full price for a saddle that fits and lasts then be given some garbage I can't in full conscience tell people to buy."

                      I think the end pretty much sums it up. Fit is important but so is quality. Unless you know, clients enjoy needing new saddles every year.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        And, I am only bringing this to a public forum because industry reviews are important ways of holding companies accountable for the products they create.

                        Now that I complain about Voltaire I hear countless stories about their trees breaking.

                        A 5000 plus saddle is a massive investment, I don't care if you have a six figure horse or a rehab thoroughbred off the track. I have bridles from my junior days and I can't buy a saddle that doesn't fall apart after a few months?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have some Butets that are over 15 years old...still look good as new. Some good saddles are still out there!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HELLC View Post
                            And, I am only bringing this to a public forum because industry reviews are important ways of holding companies accountable for the products they create.

                            Now that I complain about Voltaire I hear countless stories about their trees breaking.

                            A 5000 plus saddle is a massive investment, I don't care if you have a six figure horse or a rehab thoroughbred off the track. I have bridles from my junior days and I can't buy a saddle that doesn't fall apart after a few months?
                            Except you didn't give them time to fix the problem. Sh*t happens and sometimes the fit of a saddle or leather quality isn't as high as it usually is. A custom saddle takes weeks to months, its likely your horse gained or lost muscle. Leather is a natural product, sometimes there are imperfections in the cow. On top of this they tell you not to get second skin if you ride more than a few horses a week. It doesn't matter whose saddle you buy, if you buy the fancy thin, soft leather you are going to wear through it if you ride that many horses a week. I would highly recommend getting buffalo leather so it at least has a chance.
                            But instead you come on here and call a whole brand garbage even though you didn't even allow them to fix the issue. How is that fair to the company or your rep?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              *Disclaimer. I do not work for Voltaire.

                              When you got a sponsorship from Voltaire, you signed a 2 year contract, that you have no broken. They have every right to sue you.

                              Voltaire saddles come with a 10 year tree warranty. All those "stories" you hear need only contact Voltaire. It is in black and white in the contract.

                              Also in black and white is a 2 year leather warranty (assuming you got the grain option, which is what they give most sponsorships). All you need to do is contact them.

                              Voltaire also allows 3 full months of trying out the fit of the saddle. At any point you can have it checked out if you are unhappy and potentially sent back for corrections, or have a new saddle made for you if needed, at NO COST TO YOU.

                              A blonde & her hunter:
                              www.hunkyhanoverian.com

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                I have some Butets that are over 15 years old...still look good as new. Some good saddles are still out there!
                                It is good to hear there are some good ones out there. Everyone has a different palalate and will prefer a different twist, flap, seat style, etc. When going custom or even the off the rack expensive ones (hermes for example) they just shouldn't fall apart.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by HJdaydream View Post
                                  *Disclaimer. I do not work for Voltaire.

                                  When you got a sponsorship from Voltaire, you signed a 2 year contract, that you have no broken. They have every right to sue you.

                                  Voltaire saddles come with a 10 year tree warranty. All those "stories" you hear need only contact Voltaire. It is in black and white in the contract.

                                  Also in black and white is a 2 year leather warranty (assuming you got the grain option, which is what they give most sponsorships). All you need to do is contact them.

                                  Voltaire also allows 3 full months of trying out the fit of the saddle. At any point you can have it checked out if you are unhappy and potentially sent back for corrections, or have a new saddle made for you if needed, at NO COST TO YOU.
                                  This exactly. This whole thread is ridiculous.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This is the silliest thread ever. I have 3 horses and the only saddle that fits all 3 is a Voltaire. My rep is extremely easy to deal with. You broke your contract. No sympathy here.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I find it hard to believe that the OP is a professional and not just someone with an ax to grind
                                      Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                                      Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Not to hijack this thread... but can an amateur barn owner's barn be sponsored by a saddle company?

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