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Stubben Portos - "memory foam"?

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  • Stubben Portos - "memory foam"?

    So, I was looking at the Stubben Portos saddle online and the description is "Newly designed memory foam panels." Is memory foam the new thing for foam panels and is it any good for weight distribution? Does anyone have one of these or another saddle with memory foam? How have they held up? Interested to hear folks' experiences.

  • #2
    Originally posted by geog272 View Post
    So, I was looking at the Stubben Portos saddle online and the description is "Newly designed memory foam panels." Is memory foam the new thing for foam panels and is it any good for weight distribution? Does anyone have one of these or another saddle with memory foam? How have they held up? Interested to hear folks' experiences.
    I don't know how much this answers your question, but a have a relatively new Portos and the saddle (and panels) are lovely. My very difficult to fit and picky Connemara pony loved the saddle and went very well in it.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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    • #3
      Call up Stubben NA & talk to some of the saddle specialists ... I'm rather surprised at their turnabout to foam panels - I suspect it's a production-cost related decision or perhaps market driven - ask about the fit guarantee/warranty on the panels & replacement cost on the panels as they can't be adjusted.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by alto View Post
        Call up Stubben NA & talk to some of the saddle specialists ... I'm rather surprised at their turnabout to foam panels - I suspect it's a production-cost related decision or perhaps market driven - ask about the fit guarantee/warranty on the panels & replacement cost on the panels as they can't be adjusted.
        They claim it is market driven. These are not cheaply made saddles. believe it or not, some horses simply work better with foam panels, and they tend to be better when used for multiple horses.

        Fitting my pony was a huge eye opener for me, there is no one answer for all horses, and the "foam vs wool" debate cannot be answered the same for every horse.

        Fwiw, I believe their new "Get Connected" saddle is available with wool. It's similar to the Portos.
        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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        • #5
          My apologies to Stubben - I definitely didn't mean that the Portos was a cheap saddle (I very much liked the ones I saw in the notsolocal Stubben shop ) more that a memory foam panel is more economic to put out than a wool flocked panel.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by alto View Post
            My apologies to Stubben - I definitely didn't mean that the Portos was a cheap saddle (I very much liked the ones I saw in the notsolocal Stubben shop ) more that a memory foam panel is more economic to put out than a wool flocked panel.
            It is, and unlike most of the uber expensive French saddles, Stubben actually passes on the savings to YOU the customer! For that I will be a Stubben customer possibly for life now.

            My Portos with embossed leather was $2400 delivered brand new, and the Stubben service in my area has been great. Every time someone sees it they are impressed with the quality and fit and cannot believe that it's a Stubben and was that inexpensive.
            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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            • #7
              Foam panels are less expensive for the saddle maker. For the owner? They are great until they don't fit.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                Foam panels are less expensive for the saddle maker. For the owner? They are great until they don't fit.
                I guess this is what I was wondering about... the difference between these "memory foam" panels and the foam other saddle makers are using (or perhaps everyone's using about the same foam and the term "memory foam" is a sales tactic). When I think memory foam, I think tempurpedic mattresses, which don't exactly seem an ideal material for a saddle panel in terms of distributing weight, but I'm not a saddle expert.

                Perfect pony, thanks for letting me know it's working so far for you -- I am also trying to fit a wide pony, so we have something in common there.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by geog272 View Post
                  I guess this is what I was wondering about... the difference between these "memory foam" panels and the foam other saddle makers are using (or perhaps everyone's using about the same foam and the term "memory foam" is a sales tactic). When I think memory foam, I think tempurpedic mattresses, which don't exactly seem an ideal material for a saddle panel in terms of distributing weight, but I'm not a saddle expert.

                  Perfect pony, thanks for letting me know it's working so far for you -- I am also trying to fit a wide pony, so we have something in common there.
                  FYI, the foam panels don't appear much different than other foam panels, besides the Stubben Spring tree being a little more forgiving, and the foam possibly being just so slightly softer. But it does not feel like a memory foam pillow or mattress fwiw.

                  I don't know how good of a rep you have in your area, but the rep here came out with loads of saddles for me to try. The pony was obviously very comfortable in the Portos. I later discovered she goes well in most French style saddles, and the British type wool flocked/gusseted saddles don't fit her at all.
                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                  • #10
                    When I brought my Stubben, the fitter brought out a Portos. The rep told me that they were most popular with trainers who ride a variety of horses because, unlike the wool, which after a break-in period molds itself to one particular horse, the foam flocking can easily be switched between horses.

                    It looked very nice but I elected not to try it because I was fitting a 4yo and wanted something I could reflock if his shaped changed down the line.

                    I don't think stubben is going toward foam - they're just offering one to meet market demand, which makes sense. Every other saddle she had was wool.

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