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Saddle Fitting for someone without access to local fitters

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  • Saddle Fitting for someone without access to local fitters

    Hi all! Looking for some advice here.

    I'm currently saddle shopping, and am having some difficulty, mostly related to the fact that I have little to no access to local fitters, reps, etc. who are able to come see my mare in person. At present, my only real options lie with CWD, Equipe, and Schleese (bought a custom Schleese...it's no longer working for us). All of these options have become increasingly difficult as we're now entering northeastern winter and travel becomes an issue until spring.

    I'm wondering if there's any resources for 'long distance' fitters who would be able to offer options through correspondence, photos, etc. My mare isn't a particularly complicated fit (short back, average wither, broad shoulder/wither), but she is really sensitive and a bit of a drama queen about any sort of discomfort, so a good fit is essential.

    I've been able to try a few in our barn and from friends, and so far a CWD SE02 and Amerigo Vega have been the winners for her. However, I wasn't able to get an accurate fit for me in the CWD as the specs were way off (5'1 no thigh rider in 18.5" seat and 3C flaps = no go), and I didn't love how the Vega placed my leg/alignment. My budget is pretty open right now - obviously would like to spend as little as possible, but I'm willing to drop some cash to make sure we have a long-term solution.

    TL;DR - Long distance saddle experts, please help fit us!!

  • #2
    I think those custom saddles are really hard to "satellite fit". Are you able to go to them? Any big shows coming up where you can sit in as any brands for you as possible? Then work with those reps so ship you some saddles to trial?
    www.abacusfurniture.com

    Bit Chair: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNfIUYig...bacusfurniture

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    • #3
      Its hard enough to get a good fit when they do it in person so I don't think I would want to risk it considering the cost of a CWD, I don't know the price points of the other brands you mentioned.

      Trumbull Mountain used to get great reviews for fitting remotely, have you considered them? Although to be honest I have not heard their name mentioned recently so maybe they are no longer in business? So many local shops have closed due to internet shopping.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Against*All*Odds View Post
        I think those custom saddles are really hard to "satellite fit". Are you able to go to them? Any big shows coming up where you can sit in as any brands for you as possible? Then work with those reps so ship you some saddles to trial?

        Unfortunately no, to all accounts. We're in Atlantic Canada so while it's growing, our horse community is pretty small around here, and comes to a standstill from now until April. Shite time to be saddle shopping! Even if I were to travel to a bigger show barn or facility it'd be at least a 4-5 hour drive each way plus bridge fees to get off island etc.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by BAC View Post
          Its hard enough to get a good fit when they do it in person so I don't think I would want to risk it considering the cost of a CWD, I don't know the price points of the other brands you mentioned.

          Trumbull Mountain used to get great reviews for fitting remotely, have you considered them? Although to be honest I have not heard their name mentioned recently so maybe they are no longer in business? So many local shops have closed due to internet shopping.
          I'll see if Trumbull Mountain still exists! CWD is SO EXPENSIVE oh my god. The only reason I'm even considering them is because there's a few in the barn I was able to try that seem to be sassy bay mare approved.

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          • #6
            I would 100% presume your schleese could be adjusted and refit to your horse. isn't that their whole thing?
            Let me apologize in advance.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SiobhanB View Post


              Unfortunately no, to all accounts. We're in Atlantic Canada so while it's growing, our horse community is pretty small around here, and comes to a standstill from now until April. Shite time to be saddle shopping! Even if I were to travel to a bigger show barn or facility it'd be at least a 4-5 hour drive each way plus bridge fees to get off island etc.
              Oooo I think Sophie is your CWD rep and shes really good. Maybe reach out and she if she has a demo in your specs? She has a bunch of different brands and ships free with free returns. She nailed my re-do which did end up being done remotely but I ride a “type” and not a picky horse. Her contact info is (514) 217-8842 if you need it.
              www.abacusfurniture.com

              Bit Chair: https://www.instagram.com/p/BNfIUYig...bacusfurniture

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Against*All*Odds View Post

                Oooo I think Sophie is your CWD rep and shes really good. Maybe reach out and she if she has a demo in your specs? She has a bunch of different brands and ships free with free returns. She nailed my re-do which did end up being done remotely but I ride a “type” and not a picky horse. Her contact info is (514) 217-8842 if you need it.
                I've been in contact with her a little bit and if I haven't found anything by the time I've been able to save up some more that's one of my spring/summer options!

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                  I would 100% presume your schleese could be adjusted and refit to your horse. isn't that their whole thing?
                  I don't know whether I ended up with a lemon or whether my horse is just too sensitive to wool hot spots etc, but I'm finding that my saddle seems to be drastically shifting in fit even though my horse isn't. Couple that with some fit & balance issues on my end and it's just not really working for us unfortunately. Their assessment & reflocking fees are also a lot to stomach after dropping $6500 on a custom saddle...call me naive, but after that kind of a money drop, an extra $1000 a year ($500/visit, they come to our area twice annually) is a bit off-putting to me. Great saddles, nothing against them, just for this particular horse I’m not thinking it’s the best match.

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                  • #10
                    For remote fittings - including schleese I believe, try Art2Ride Saddlery. They also have Peter Horobin saddles which are adjustable by reps like the Schleese saddles.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Icequeen91 View Post
                      For remote fittings - including schleese I believe, try Art2Ride Saddlery. They also have Peter Horobin saddles which are adjustable by reps like the Schleese saddles.
                      The PH seems like lovely saddles, but really really similar to Schleese. I’d be a little hesitant to invest in one when ours isn’t working for us currently.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SiobhanB View Post

                        The PH seems like lovely saddles, but really really similar to Schleese. I’d be a little hesitant to invest in one when ours isn’t working for us currently.
                        I know what you mean... What about your Schleese isn't working for you?

                        I have a PH I'm trying to sell - it fit my horse beautifully when pretty much nothing else would. However, the twist was way too wide for me. I made the mistake of thinking it was just a new saddle and I'd get used to it, but no. Karen from Art2Ride Saddlery adjusted it to his measurements remotely and it was great - for him! Supposedly the new models have narrower twists... But that's not in the budget for me.

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                        • #13
                          I haven't paid for her remote fitting services, but The Saddle Geek, who posted as jn4jenny here, has taken this up as her business. Based on her posts here, she's quite knowledgeable and is familiar with a range of saddles across price points.
                          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                            I haven't paid for her remote fitting services, but The Saddle Geek, who posted as jn4jenny here, has taken this up as her business. Based on her posts here, she's quite knowledgeable and is familiar with a range of saddles across price points.
                            I’m glad you posted this because I was trying to remember her screen name. When she was posting, jn4jenny sounded supremely knowledgeable. OP I think you should definitely contact her

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Icequeen91 View Post

                              I know what you mean... What about your Schleese isn't working for you?

                              I have a PH I'm trying to sell - it fit my horse beautifully when pretty much nothing else would. However, the twist was way too wide for me. I made the mistake of thinking it was just a new saddle and I'd get used to it, but no. Karen from Art2Ride Saddlery adjusted it to his measurements remotely and it was great - for him! Supposedly the new models have narrower twists... But that's not in the budget for me.
                              I mentioned it above, but for some reason the wool seems to be shifting and creating some hot spots, and even though it’s only ever used on her with always the same pads, girth, etc. it just seems like it can’t hold a fit, or ‘mould’ to her the way I’d expect wool to do.
                              I’m also having some trouble with the fit on me...realizing that as a petite (5’1) individual with absolutely no thigh and a lot of calf, any kind of forward flap seems to encourage my leg too far forward and seat too far back. She’s really short backed as well, so when looking at photos & fit & comparisons in different saddles, I saw how far back the centre of gravity is.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Renn/aissance View Post
                                I haven't paid for her remote fitting services, but The Saddle Geek, who posted as jn4jenny here, has taken this up as her business. Based on her posts here, she's quite knowledgeable and is familiar with a range of saddles across price points.
                                This sounds AMAZING and exactly what I'm looking for - but just went to the website and see she's on hiatus for the time being. I’ll absolutely keep an eye out to see if she’s back any time soon.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SiobhanB View Post

                                  This sounds AMAZING and exactly what I'm looking for - but just went to the website and see she's on hiatus for the time being. I’ll absolutely keep an eye out to see if she’s back any time soon.
                                  Oh, shoot! Sorry, I should have checked before I recommended. Definitely keep an eye on her site. She's the first name that popped to mind because she gave such great advice here, and a lot of the free info she's posted on her site and on YouTube is really helpful in evaluating the fit of a saddle you already have.
                                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                                  • #18
                                    Check out Saddle Addictions on Facebook, they are based out of New Brunswick. Annett is really great to deal with, and can definitely help you remotely with some suggestions for your horse.
                                    Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

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                                    • #19
                                      SiobhanB Sent you a PM

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