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Who makes the best quality saddles these days?

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  • #61
    I say ride in everything you can. I am a rep for Bruno Delgrange more so because I love the saddle than love selling saddles. From the first time I sat in one its all I have wanted. For those saying the foam will break down, that hasn't been my experience. There are some very old Delgranges around. I am happy to discuss them with anyone.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Doctor'sOrders View Post
      [QUOTE

      County - This is the brand my current trainer is sponsored by, and everyone except me, the assistant coach and one of the juniors ride in them. From an aesthetic point of view, they look huge on horses to me. The leather is thick, and heavy. That, I believe, is my main issue. I want to be able to carry the saddle with ease, and having to haul it up to just get it on the horse's back seems tedious. Not to mention, why add so much weight to their back if it can be helped? I also am not impressed with the leather quality - it seems meh and can be slicker.
      I think it's a personal preference, but the panels also seem blobby and big compared to other brands, which is probably akin to the philosophy of their fitting style.
      I totally used to feel this way about County's until I tried some of their newer models/leather options. The buffalo leather option is not slippery if you care for it correctly. My particular saddle (a monoflap) is no heavier and often lighter than other saddles I lug around. Is it the most gorgeous saddle you can buy? Definitely not. But I think they've done a great job in recent years trying to make their saddles a little more aesthetically pleasing. Pic of my slap sided TB with his County.

      Click image for larger version

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      [/QUOTE]

      This is absolutely my personal preference now, but County's to me just look cartoonish. I prefer a cleaner line and that's just me.
      I know the quality and the fit is there, since all of my barn friends ride in them now, just not my cuppa, even as they're trying to 'catch up' to the French fads.
      If I was still eventing, I would have coveted that saddle!!!
      I am, however, lusting over that perfectly clean stall!
      Savannah College of Art and Design Equestrian

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      • #63
        Originally posted by StormWarriorC View Post

        This is absolutely my personal preference now, but County's to me just look cartoonish. I prefer a cleaner line and that's just me.
        I know the quality and the fit is there, since all of my barn friends ride in them now, just not my cuppa, even as they're trying to 'catch up' to the French fads.
        If I was still eventing, I would have coveted that saddle!!!
        I am, however, lusting over that perfectly clean stall!
        Hah I hear ya. Everyone has their personal taste.
        Yes, I love how stalls look after they are stripped and have all new shavings!

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Doctor'sOrders View Post

          Hah I hear ya. Everyone has their personal taste.
          Yes, I love how stalls look after they are stripped and have all new shavings!
          And my next thought was I sure hope he doesn’t roll with that lovely saddle. Mine would drop the second you turned your back!
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #65
            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

            And my next thought was I sure hope he doesn’t roll with that lovely saddle. Mine would drop the second you turned your back!
            He would never be unsupervised, untied with his tack! He wouldn't roll on it but he sure is good at rubbing tack on walls and doors

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            • #66
              Originally posted by StormWarriorC View Post

              I totally used to feel this way about County's until I tried some of their newer models/leather options. The buffalo leather option is not slippery if you care for it correctly. My particular saddle (a monoflap) is no heavier and often lighter than other saddles I lug around. Is it the most gorgeous saddle you can buy? Definitely not. But I think they've done a great job in recent years trying to make their saddles a little more aesthetically pleasing. Pic of my slap sided TB with his County.

              Click image for larger version

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              This is absolutely my personal preference now, but County's to me just look cartoonish. I prefer a cleaner line and that's just me.
              I know the quality and the fit is there, since all of my barn friends ride in them now, just not my cuppa, even as they're trying to 'catch up' to the French fads.
              If I was still eventing, I would have coveted that saddle!!!
              I am, however, lusting over that perfectly clean stall![/QUOTE]

              The rear gussets on the newer County saddles are quite large. That's one of the first things I noticed.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by LovieBird View Post
                The rear gussets on the newer County saddles are quite large. That's one of the first things I noticed.
                County's out here out squatting us all to get that Kim K booty
                Savannah College of Art and Design Equestrian

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                • #68
                  I have a 2002 A5 Tad Coffin that is in great shape and the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in. The leather has held up remarkably well for how much it has been ridden in. Its time that it needs to be reflocked and I started looking at newer saddle and test rode in alot. I quickly figured out that none were as comfortable for me(I prefer the flat seat and narrower twist). Instead of getting a new saddle I have just decided to send it back to Tad to reflock it and upgrade to one of their newer trees. I know they are not as trendy as the french saddles so not talked about much but definitely worth looking into and the have been very easy to work with while I decided what I wanted to do.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by StormWarriorC View Post

                    County's out here out squatting us all to get that Kim K booty

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      I have a very good Kent & Masters saddle, I actually got it used but it's fantastic and super comfy. The gullet is interchangeable as well. Some of my friends use JRD saddles and they're pretty cool too. Like previous posters said, it depends on what fits you + your horse. Idk what your price is, but Antares saddles are incredible as well.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                        I’m a hard core made in Walsall England saddle lover for the past 20+ years. They are not trendy, they don’t break in as quick but my god they wear like iron. I’m still riding in a saddle that is perfect after 22 years.
                        Seconding this. I have a Frank Baines - have only had it a year, but have been extremely pleased with it. It still looks brand new, my horse likes it, I like it, the other boarders think it's beautiful...no complaints from me! Additionally, they are extremely customizeable (in the sense that they have several options for flap, gussets, leather type, etc.) to accommodate both horse and rider needs as well as the rider's personal style.
                        Last edited by CPL713; Feb. 13, 2020, 03:26 PM.

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                        • #72
                          That’s a tough question to answer as no two saddles are ever made the same way even on an automated production line. You will hear good and bad about every single brand. The important thing is to make sure the saddle is straight, no twist. make sure that the saddle lays flat and when you flip it over the panels are flat and mirror the horses back. the channel needs to be 3 1/4- 3 1/2 in wide from start to finish and that it puts you in the middle of “the canoe” or balanced in the seat. For a lower price point I’ve found quite a few Dover circuits that work, but again no two are the same. I’ve also had butet, Antares, devocoux, Voltaire, and CWD in my barn that I’ve liked. I’m not a fan of county but that may just be because I’ve never found one that has worked yet. Good luck, be patient, Be thorough.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            I have an Erreplus, which was a) not cheap and is b) a newer brand (it was founded by the former head of R&D for Prestige), but I lovvvvveeeeee mine. It is admittedly a monoflap and not a regular close-contact, but it's done an excellent job of surviving the scratches from my belt bucket when I'm dismounting and the scrape from when my horse managed to shake and completely dump my saddle on the ground in the half-second between when I pulled off his girth and went to take the saddle off. All I have to do is clean the leather and any scrapes rub right out.

                            I am probably a bit biased, since it's the first saddle I've ever ridden in which was fit to me as well as my horse, so it's just nice to get on and not be fighting against my tack to keep my position every ride, but I don't regret buying it for a second. I actually bought mine as a demo saddle which was practically new from one of their distributors while I was at LRK3DE (after wandering around the trade fair and sitting in a number of different monoflaps) and consequently managed to save about $2500 off the price of a brand-new saddle, so I'd definitely recommend that route (s/o to the company I bought it from too, since they took pity on me and gave me an even better deal than the one that was listed on the tag).

                            Their saddles aren't too common yet since, like I said, the brand is fairly young and the saddles are expensive, but everyone I've talked to who has one loves theirs and I'm absolutely sold on mine and am planning to buy a dressage saddle from them too when I reach the point where I can actually afford it.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I'll pipe back in with another "newer" saddle brand that I've seen knocking around my barn (there's a rep local to the area) that might bridge the gap between wanting the wool flocking you find in say, a County, with a more "French" design--Ryder saddles. I've seen one jumping saddle (a monoflap) and a few dressage saddles and they're all really very pretty and look on-par, quality wise, with some of the French brands I've seen. I've poked around their website and the Riviera is super gorgeous...looks a lot like a Devoucoux to me. I think you can get them custom-ish for under $3K. https://www.rydersaddles.com/jump-saddles-1

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Natalie View Post
                                I'll pipe back in with another "newer" saddle brand that I've seen knocking around my barn (there's a rep local to the area) that might bridge the gap between wanting the wool flocking you find in say, a County, with a more "French" design--Ryder saddles. I've seen one jumping saddle (a monoflap) and a few dressage saddles and they're all really very pretty and look on-par, quality wise, with some of the French brands I've seen. I've poked around their website and the Riviera is super gorgeous...looks a lot like a Devoucoux to me. I think you can get them custom-ish for under $3K. https://www.rydersaddles.com/jump-saddles-1
                                That Riviera is super pretty!
                                Savannah College of Art and Design Equestrian

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #76
                                  Originally posted by Natalie View Post
                                  I'll pipe back in with another "newer" saddle brand that I've seen knocking around my barn (there's a rep local to the area) that might bridge the gap between wanting the wool flocking you find in say, a County, with a more "French" design--Ryder saddles. I've seen one jumping saddle (a monoflap) and a few dressage saddles and they're all really very pretty and look on-par, quality wise, with some of the French brands I've seen. I've poked around their website and the Riviera is super gorgeous...looks a lot like a Devoucoux to me. I think you can get them custom-ish for under $3K. https://www.rydersaddles.com/jump-saddles-1
                                  Thanks for that input. A custom for under $3K is definitely appealing in theory! I wonder how they hold up? I do like the wool flocking aspect, but we all know they have to be reflocked every 6 months or a year. County has a good policy on this ($125), but I don't know about Ryder. Plus I'm not sure they cover my area (NC).

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by gertie06 View Post

                                    Thanks for that input. A custom for under $3K is definitely appealing in theory! I wonder how they hold up? I do like the wool flocking aspect, but we all know they have to be reflocked every 6 months or a year. County has a good policy on this ($125), but I don't know about Ryder. Plus I'm not sure they cover my area (NC).
                                    I honestly have no idea how they hold up--I don't own one, I've just seen them in person. That said, from my experience and just anecdotal knowledge, English-made saddles wear really well, and are solidly constructed. I also may be off on the price...it may be a bit over $3K for custom, but nothing like the price custom French saddles are. I know I saw one for sale by my local fitter brand new, but clearly not made-to-measure, for around $2,800. As for flocking, I would think any saddle fitter that does reflocking could maintain it for you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      I am a Butet fan I have a 1989, 2003 and 2012. I love them all...

                                      I just saw an ad for CWD and the Madamoiselle starts at $8,200!! Unreal! No way!

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                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by MintHillFarm View Post
                                        I am a Butet fan I have a 1989, 2003 and 2012. I love them all...

                                        I just saw an ad for CWD and the Madamoiselle starts at $8,200!! Unreal! No way!

                                        I have been lusting after a Butet practice saddle for YEARS! Maybe one day...

                                        CWD - Pay us $8000 to make your horse back sore! Chiros love us! (I've never met someone who's horses loved CWDs... just sayin'.)

                                        Have you looked possibly into a consignment saddle, OP? Don't know where your'e located but I know Wellington has an awesome consignment shop where you could sit in a bunch of options. There are also many online stores that let you do trials for part of the saddle's cost, if you narrow down what you like!
                                        Savannah College of Art and Design Equestrian

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          Originally posted by StormWarriorC View Post


                                          I have been lusting after a Butet practice saddle for YEARS! Maybe one day...

                                          CWD - Pay us $8000 to make your horse back sore! Chiros love us! (I've never met someone who's horses loved CWDs... just sayin'.)

                                          Have you looked possibly into a consignment saddle, OP? Don't know where your'e located but I know Wellington has an awesome consignment shop where you could sit in a bunch of options. There are also many online stores that let you do trials for part of the saddle's cost, if you narrow down what you like!
                                          Seriously, $8000 for a new CWD? No way on God's green earth. Neither my trainer nor I like them. Plus I'm not paying more for a saddle than I did for my horse .

                                          I would love to look into a lightly used consignment saddle, but I'm in West BFE, North Carolina. Unlike Wellington, I can't sit in a bunch of options here. I am working with a fitter, though, and she's supposed to bring several to try next weekend. Hopefully that will give me some ideas. I'm glad to hear that people like the Butets. Of all the French saddles, they are the best IMHO. But they do have a bit of a flat seat....which, as an ammy of a certain age, I don't love! They are also super pricey to buy new (although I certainly wouldn't mind a recent model in good shape).

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