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What kind of saddle do you ride in? *Update post 51*

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  • What kind of saddle do you ride in? *Update post 51*

    Hey all,
    I'm currently on the hunt for a new saddle. I ride in a collegiate parfaire right now. While I like this saddle, I don't love love it. I have a very long thigh and need something with a more forward flap. Right now, I'm leaning towards a used Devoucoux or an Antares. I wanted to know what kind of saddle everyone rides in, as well as it's pros and cons. Also, those of you that have a saddle with thigh blocks, do you find that they get in the way? Or, are they helpful? I was hoping that this would steer me in a good direction thanks in advance!!
    Last edited by aadams89; Nov. 6, 2012, 11:09 AM.

  • #2
    I currently ride in a pessoa and have a trial Luc Childeric on the way. I have ridden in my friends butets, antares, devoucouxs, luc childerics, and tad coffins and like the childeric the best. I like my pessoa, but it doesn't fit me as well as I'd like and doesn't really fit my horse either. I find that I like the thigh blocks, but also don't notice THAT much of a difference. It does seem a little more secure. I definitely like the knee blocks though.


    • #3
      I have a Stubben Roxane. It's not an 'in' brand, but it fits a lot of horses and it fits my long femur. It has small blocks, but not enough that I feel like they're in the way. I don't like blocks that force my leg into any one position.

      I love Stubbens. I have several and they're all well used and abused, but still clean up nicely enough to show in. I foxhunt in my Roxane and its wonderful.

      Cons? They're not an 'in' brand.

      Pros? Durable, last forever. Well built. Comfortable. Comparatively inexpensive to more popular brands. They fit a variety of horses. Mine fits most horses I've put it on.


      • #4
        I have an Amerigo CC Pinerolo (full calfskin) and I LOVE it. Got super lucky finding a used special order for my extremely hard to fit horse.

        My horse is a pretty random jumper - sometimes he goes over new jumps like they are ground poles, and other times he goes over them like they have flames and teeth. I never know until he's in the air, so this saddle has been wonderful.

        I originally tried an Amerigo Vega because I really liked their dressage saddle, but the wide wasn't quite wide enough for my beast. (This Amerigo is an XW - a size they only make on special order.) I have found the Amerigo/Vega lines to be very well balanced - galloping is effortless. The normal flaps are more forward as well.

        I also have a really long hip to thigh measurement especially considering I'm only 5'4". I sat in a ton of saddles, and the majority of off the rack saddles did not have a forward enough flap for me.

        It does have both knee and thigh blocks, but I don't notice really notice the thigh block.

        I've ridden in a OLD Pessoa, which was pretty nice actually, but it was too small for me. I also trialed a Toulouse, which was sooo sticky I could barely post. It was also all sorts of wrong for my horse.


        • #5
          I hate to say it, but you really won't know what the right saddle is for you an your horse until you ride in a few. I was convinced I was going to get a Devoucoux, but had the County rep come out, because I thought it was stupid to spend that much money on a saddle without trying out various brands. Ended up **falling in love** with the County Conquest, and you could tell immediately that my horse moved very well in it. And as an aside - the Innovation was the County I thought I would like the most, based on the research I'd done. So much for all that research!

          The best part about that whole deal was I got a saddle I liked better for a lot less $ than the one I originally planned on. That never happens to me! I usually fall in love with things that exceed my initial budget!

          Also, keep in mind since you are buying used, with the french saddles you mentioned, you can't adjust the foam panels, the way you can adjust the flocking with wool. If the saddle doesn't fit your horse just right, your only option will be corrective pads.
          Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


          • #6
            I ride in a Devacoux Oldara. I love it. I had a 1990 butet before. I feel a lot more secure but it wasn't too much saddle like some of the others I tried. My current saddle has blocks while my butet didn't. I honestly don't notice them.
            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
            inside of a man.

            -Sir Winston Churchill


            • #7
              Antares jump - LOVE IT!! Medium deep seat. Thick panels. I asked for big KNEE blocks for the added security.
              This saddle really improves my riding and position. And my security. The leather is sticky and the saddle is very cushy.
              I've used it on a few horses and they all have gone well in it. I think the shape and thickness of the panels is really good for my back and the horses.

              Another woman at the barn rides my horse a couple days a week. She has a Butet but our trainer has told her she can't use it on my mare. So she instead uses my trainer's Antares. My mare is happier with the 3 different Antares we've put on her.

              Saddle I dislike:
              -Hampton Classic by Antares - not as deep/cushy, not as supportive, bothered my back, bothered the horse's back
              -Butet - very flat, thin panels, not supportive, not a forgiving fit for the horse
              -some older Bevals like the Butet
              -any saddle with hard panels!!

              A lot of people at my barn have Antares - they try my trainer's jump model and love it!! We should get a barn discount but no such luck! Still worth it!!

              Good luck!!
              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


              • #8
                P.s. Advice to get the right fit... I would have a rep or fitter come out. I figure it's too risky to buy a used custom saddle without trying it first. If you buy from Antares, Devoucoux, CWD, etc, they will service/fit the saddle later if needed. Even the foam panels can be swapped out to fix the fit. Maybe not cheap, but it can be done.

                SmartPak and even Antares have good buys on new non-custom Antares jump saddles, or did last time I checked.
                Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TarheelJD View Post
                  I hate to say it, but you really won't know what the right saddle is for you an your horse until you ride in a few.
                  Best thing I did when I started saddle shopping was asked around the barn about trying other barnmates saddles on my horse, because we have a really wide range of horses (and people!). Everyone was incredibly generous in letting me try theirs out--we've got a great barn I'd been riding in a Beval Natural which was just sort of OK for both me and the horse; I started saddle shopping because I wanted something a little different as I'm starting to do more XC/eventing, but I didn't realize how much better something else could work for us until I sat in a few different things, and sat them on my horse. If you're not at one of those barns where everyone has the SameNamebrandSaddle, try asking around about borrowing friends saddles for a quick hack, or even to just sit on the horse and see how the tree fits.

                  My horse was super happy in an old Pessoa, and a new Frank Baines. The Baines were out of our budget new, and almost impossible to find used (probably because no one wants to let them go), so I started looking for an old Pessoa with a nice long flap. I ended up finding a practically new buffalo-leather Harry Dabbs AO (they made the Pessoas when Pessoas were being made in England, so fit is the same), which is just fabulous. I don't like thigh blocks on saddles at all, but I'm really loving the pencil knee rolls! This is the first saddle I've had, dressage saddles included, that's had more than a padded flap
                  A Year In the Saddle


                  • #10
                    Try County

                    I love my County Stabilizer as does my horse. Several people I know have gotten the Innovation and their horses love them.

                    Right now I think there are demos on sale so you might get lucky and find something that fits you and your horse and already broken in!


                    • #11
                      I absolutely LOVE my County Stabilizer XTR. I have had several of the top makers over the years and none fit or rode as balanced as the County. County custom made my flaps for my shorter legs, too.

                      That said -- whatever fits you and your horse the best is the saddle you should get no matter what the brand.
                      Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                      Takaupas Top Gold
                      Gifts Black Gold Knight


                      • #12
                        I have a Saint Lourdes Bull jumping saddle. I REALLY like it, it's incredibly comfy (especially considering my horse is green and is still learning how to sort herself out) and has big knee rolls with a very forward flap (this model is specifically designed for long-legged or very forward jumpers). It fits my mare well, but me on the other hand... I'm a whopping 5'2 and look like a child in it because I have so much room. It makes me want to cry because it really is *so comfy*

                        My other jumping saddle is an older Crosby Equilibrium. It's at least ten years old and to say it's held up well is an understatement. No knee rolls which makes me sad, but again, since I'm short-legged and it's close contact I have a great feel for my horse. Because mine is an older model it doesn't have a spring seat and isn't so great on my back (I have bad joint problems for someone at my age regardless) but it gives me such a nice form that the pain is more than tolerable.


                        • #13
                          County Sensation

                          I have ridden in a pretty wide range of saddles and my favorite by far have been County's. I recently bought a new County Sensation in Bull leather and I absolutely love it. My horse goes amazing in it as well. It is all about your personal preference. I had a really strong opinion on the Sensation over the Conquest and Innovation.

                          The Sensations don't have thigh blocks and I always thought I would want one but I don't need it. I love my knee blocks though and actually ended up with velcro on my flaps so that I can switch between a jumbo block (seat belt...) and more of a pencil block. I have never felt more secure and kept a close contact before. For me the Sensation has a more comfortable twist - I felt like I couldn't get as close in the Innovation and the Conquest was an instant no go for me.

                          All that said I really liked the feel of CWD and Antares - before I rode in the Sensation. I actually bought a used Antares and the flap configuration ultimately wasn't ideal for me. On top of that I was going to have to pay near $900-1000 to have the panels replaced for a custom fit for my gelding. I ended up selling it and buying a County after my initial fitting where I rode in all of the different models.

                          Good luck finding a saddle that works for you. My advice would be similar to what others have said - try to ride in as many different saddles as you can!
                          Last edited by hequestrian; Oct. 31, 2012, 11:43 PM. Reason: title


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ako View Post
                            A lot of people at my barn have Antares - they try my trainer's jump model and love it!! We should get a barn discount but no such luck! Still worth it!!

                            Good luck!!
                            you might not get a discount but you do realize that your trainer is getting money/rewards everytime someone at your barn buys an Antares, right?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PassionForSaddles View Post
                              you might not get a discount but you do realize that your trainer is getting money/rewards everytime someone at your barn buys an Antares, right?
                              Yes. She got a free cap and a tiny bit off a demo she bought. We are a small barn and Antares sells one of us maybe a saddle every 1.5 years so if you think she's making out, you're confusing her with somebody else...
                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #16
                                I have an 11 year old Tad Coffin and I will give it up when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

                                I also loved my Amerigo Vega dearly. I will own another one someday...
                                "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                                -George Morris


                                • #17
                                  sorry Ako but I think Passion is right. Trainers might not like to talk about it, they might not even want to admit it, but yes they do get something when they recommend saddles, feed, tack, trailers or anything else to their customers. And it's more than a hat.
                                  I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just how it works.
                                  It doesn't really matter if only one saddle sells in your barn per year, your trainer goes to show and promotes the brand, it's normal that she gets rewarded for that.
                                  And if your trainer isn't taking advantage of it, then tell her she should


                                  • #18
                                    Hermes... it's old, but I love it.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by fluffy_pony View Post
                                      It doesn't really matter if only one saddle sells in your barn per year, your trainer goes to show and promotes the brand, it's normal that she gets rewarded for that.
                                      And if your trainer isn't taking advantage of it, then tell her she should
                                      Yes. But it's not much... Yet. It's still a small barn and a new business so the benefits of that relationship would still be very minor.
                                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                                      • #20
                                        I LOFF my Arc De Triomphe Gazelle. I went through numerous saddles before finding it. Its super balanced and I've had a lot of luck with it fitting more horses than I thought it would.