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County saddles

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  • County saddles

    Hi all,
    I am currently looking at different used County saddles and would love some input from anyone that is familiar with them. My horse tends to have a flatter back with high withers (TB) hence the saddle fitter suggesting County. I currently have a Tad Coffin A5G and it just isn't fitting the horse well and is causing him some discomfort around the cantle.

    I have found a Stabilizer, Symmetry and Pro fit online used. Can anyone with experience with County saddles please offer me insight?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I love my County saddles (one close contact and one dressage) but I think you really have to ride in them to determine which one is best for you and your horse. When the County rep came out when I was deciding which CC saddle to buy, I was convinced from all the research I'd done and people I talked to that I would be getting an Innovation. I ended up with a Conquest. Who would have thought.

    Good luck!
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      I had and loved a Tad Coffin but it was not a good fit for my horse and I had the County fitter out. Tried all she had, multiple times, and found that I much preferred the Stabilizer, and so did my horse (huge difference in his movement and happiness). If you are looking at County and haven't ridden in them, I'd definitely recommend paying your local County rep to come out and do a fitting so you can ride in them all. I think it is like $125 or so (maybe it depends on the fitter) and you can try all the models and see what you and your horse like, then look for used. I just don't think you can decide on a model without trying them.

      If you do go the used route, it is also a good idea to try before buying as you can't count on the model/tree always fitting the same. When I ordered mine, I had nothing to ride in, so my rep arranged to have a demo sent to me to use in the same tree and seat size as what I was ordering. OMG, I HATED it. It was an older model (like at least 5 years old, but barely used at the time) and fit a little different, and the leather was awful, and I had bruises from the stirrup bars and blocks. So I was really worried, but when mine came, it was GREAT... the older one just fit a bit different. I've bought used County saddles since then for other horses and always done a trial unless it was such a smoking deal I knew I could flip it if it didn't work out!

      Good luck. Saddle search is fun and frustrating.

      Comment


      • #4
        County saddles tend to fit close around the horse's back, particularly the withers. At least that's true for the older designs-- Stabilizer and Conquest. The Sensation and Innovations with their deeper seats and higher pommels might be different.

        The Stabilizer is very flat, but there's a little bit more of an "uphill" to the pommel. You need to give it a ride or two to see how it compares to the balance in your uber-flat TC. The Conquest might be closest in design for you. I like the balance in the Conquest a lot.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a Country Stabilizer XTR (new/custom in 2010). It fits my higher withered TB perfectly, although we did make some slight adjustments when I ordered it. I went with a non-standard (to County) stirrup bar and opted for the upgraded bull leather in a custom color. I love it! The XTR has a bit of a naturally forward flap, which I prefer. Saddle is super comfortable.
          ~*Friend of bar.ka*~

          Comment


          • #6
            I used to ride in my trainer's 1999 Stablizer, and I LOVED it. So I bought my own. I got a 2001 model, and there's a night and day difference between the two saddles. I love mine, but it's so much different. To me, the older the model of Stabilizer, the more "cushion" you have to it. I like my saddles a bit flatter, so this works out well. But we have anywhere from the 1997-2001 and then brand new, custom ones. I have to say, I love my saddle in comparison. But I would definitely recommend a County rep so you can ride and feel the differences between the models. I cannot ride in a Pro-Fit or an Innovation. Lol. Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Agreed that it's essentail to ride in all of them. I, too, thought I was going to get an Innovation, but wound up with a Stabilizer XTR (custom made in 2007). I had an issue with the tree earlier this year, and afer that experience I am not sure if I would get another County. They did replace the tree and, post-fitting, my horse is much better (he had been bucking at the the canter and landing side of jumps). This is a different horse than the one the saddle was originally made for.

              Here's the old thread, which reminds me to email the office and see if they ever found out what was wrong with the original tree.

              http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ghlight=County
              Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for the insight. I placed a call to the Virginia rep for County and left a message for her. Hopefully I will hear back. I'm also looking at Black Country saddles since the price for custom is quite reasonable.

                Thank you for the comparison between the seat depth with the County and TC. Oddly I went from a deep Crosby (ridiculously old) to the uber flat TC so I am fairly flexible that way. I'm at the point where I will do what I can to change my riding in order to make my horse comfortable. He is so high maintenance but I love him anyway!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love my Counties. I have 2 Stabilizers, a medium and a wide. The medium was custom, the wide was a demo. The medium came quickly and was fitted to my horse, including the rep putting more flocking on one side (my horse was uneven) when the factory hadn't built it up quite enough. Both have held up wonderfully, and they're about 9 years old.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by heathermac246 View Post
                    To me, the older the model of Stabilizer, the more "cushion" you have to it.
                    I completely agree! I also want to ditto the others saying to ride in as many demos as possible. I decided to contact my county rep to order a saddle after my butt and I fell in LOVE with my trainer's stabilizer. I rode in a demo stabilizer, and didn't love it as much. I ended up getting (and loving) an innovation. Good luck, they're beautiful saddles!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My dd loves her county and I love how the horse likes the saddle. Can't say enough positive things. In her mind, it beats the French big name saddle that her sister has by far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I LOVE my Stabilizer. It was custom made for me and my fat ponies down to the custom cut flaps for my short legs. It is the most balanced, comfortable ride I have had besides bareback.
                        Try all the saddles that the rep brings. I think they have a new saddle out for high withered horses now.
                        Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                        Takaupas Top Gold
                        Gifts Black Gold Knight

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by anmoro View Post
                          Thanks for the insight. I placed a call to the Virginia rep for County and left a message for her. Hopefully I will hear back. I'm also looking at Black Country saddles since the price for custom is quite reasonable.

                          Thank you for the comparison between the seat depth with the County and TC. Oddly I went from a deep Crosby (ridiculously old) to the uber flat TC so I am fairly flexible that way. I'm at the point where I will do what I can to change my riding in order to make my horse comfortable. He is so high maintenance but I love him anyway!
                          I went from a Butet to the Tad, so that did take some getting used to! And I have never felt as comfortable position-wise as I did in the Tad now that I've had several other saddles. The Stabilizer is good enough as it makes my horse happy, but I just felt so right in the Tad -- I miss that!

                          I also have a Black Country and they are nice saddles, not as nice in terms of leather and construction as the County saddles, but for the price, a better deal. I have only ridden in the one model (Quantum -- I've had two different tree sizes for different horses), but I do think worth comparing to the County. They all ride different and you have to find what you and your horse like.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The trainer I bought my TB from was a big lover of County saddles and I rode in her Innovation on my high wither long back guy. I loved it, and ended up getting my own Stabilizer off eBay some months later. The saddle was awesome, very comfortable but the flaps were a bit too short for my longer legs and I have just put it up on tack trader.com. It ended up being a not great fit for him as he muscled up but I think it would have worked had I gotten a fitter to remove some of the (heavily stuffed) flocking. I tried to contact a local rep a few times and gave up.
                            I have moved on to a better fitting saddle for both of us. I'm not sure what size you need but there is a gorgeous Symmetry on eBay. I think that's their new model, and no -i don't know the seller, just saw and thought the deal was AMAZEBALLS. If you are interested in a stabilizer however contact me!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I bought a custom County this year and have had it for a couple of months, and I am VERY happy with it. You do really need to ride in the different models (maybe think of things you like and don't like to narrow your search a bit when the rep comes out. I didn't ride in all the jump models because I was looking for specific things). Each model has a different feel to both horse and rider. My horse and I both really loved the Conquest (which has a flatter seat), and I have been super pleased with both the fit for me and the fit for him (typical TB). Now, again, I went custom, not used (was having a hell of a time finding anything that fit ME used), but if you don't have any odd issues in fitting you or him (ie, for me, needed a short but very forward flap), then with a little guidance, you can probably find something you'll like.

                              I love English made saddles, which is why I tried County. Black Country was also on my list, but we never got the far (and I wasn't wild about a lot of their designs).
                              Amanda

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                                I'm not sure what size you need but there is a gorgeous Symmetry on eBay. I think that's their new model, and no -i don't know the seller, just saw and thought the deal was AMAZEBALLS.
                                The Symmetry is an older model that is no longer made.

                                Personally, I love County saddles. I also really like Black Country, but they are not quite as "pretty" as County, but as someone else mentioned, probably still a better deal than a new County.
                                If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  How do you not buy a saddle that's AmazeBalls?
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My Innovation is a wonderful fit for me and my horse, but the leather is faulty--it will NOT take up oil and remains "blonde" for lack of a better color descriptor. In fact, it is fading as time goes on. I've had no joy with my rep or County's head office. Your experience will hopefully be different.
                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      How do you not buy a saddle that's AmazeBalls?
                                      When the saddle is listed for $1800+ and the person selling it bought it for $1100
                                      If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                      Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by pattnic View Post
                                        When the saddle is listed for $1800+ and the person selling it bought it for $1100
                                        This is frustrating. When I was offloading most of my tack to pay vet bills, I sold to someone who turned around and listed everything for double the amount she paid.

                                        Comment

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