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Please help - SO frustrated with saddle shopping

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  • #21
    Pessoa alto panel. It's their synthetic wool flocked version that is designed to fit horses with withers and a lower back. The only saddle that fit my trainer's horse well - he has a wither from hell, sway back and massive broad body and shoulder.

    This panel is extra high at the front to fill in the hollows and lift it off the wither, and a thicker panel in the rear to allow it to sit level. He has a medium wide gullet plate in there. Everyone else tried narrow to "accomodate" the withers.

    New they are around $2500. May be able to find one used near your price point.

    Comment


    • #22
      So, y'all...tell us where to find this magical store where Amerigo, Black Country, Frank Baines, Adam Ellis, etc. are all regularly found within the OP's stated $1000 budget. I will pay you good money for this information.

      karen, certainly you should look at all possibilities, lest you happen upon some miracle $900 Frank Baines,...but my point is to be mindful that others are not being mindful of your budget. There's been a lot of good abstract suggestions here, but a lot of them retail at $3200+ and therefore tend to go used for roughly $1800-$2200. That means that a SCREAMING deal on many of these would be in the neighborhood of $1200-$1400, which is nearly triple your budget.

      You do see some of these brands under $1000, sometimes, but rarely indeed do you see them $1000 with the specialty panel options that the world's TB owners often need. When they do happen at that price, they tend to be private sales with no trials/no returns and the saddle is sold within days.

      I'll ask the saddle gods to bless you with such a find and with a return policy to boot, but let's just say that on $1500-$2000, you'd have many more options. If you can squeeze that out of your budget, great. Saddles are an investment. If you can't, well, you'll have to look at less traditional brands, synthetic brands, and/or consider ways to simulate a dropped panel shape with thoughtfully used corrective padding. The good news is that with such a tight budget, once you had accounted for the particulars of the horse's back and any special needs for the rider, only a half dozen saddles on the market are likely to suit (and be reasonably available/findable on the market.) So your overwhelm would quickly turn into a focused scavenger hunt.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

      Comment


      • #23
        I agree with all the above posters that said you need a wider tree than you think. I had a OTTB just like yours who had high withers and mine has a subluxated spine and so much back pain he almost sat down the first time I got on him. I ended up finding a used Balance saddle for $1000. It was a miracle saddle for him. Before I found that saddle, I tried 30 different saddles, every brand anyone has mentioned here, I tried. He would not hardly move in any other saddle. The Balance saddle was quite wide, but it comes with custom pads and they have you put it lots of pads (which is part of their system) at first and then you gradually take them out as your horse's back strengthens. Now, years later he has a stronger back and is a successful dressage horse. I have now traded up to a fancier saddle, a Voltaire, which is on the wider side of the French saddles.

        If you can't find a used Balance saddle, at least read all the research they have done on saddle fitting on their website, it is very informative. http://www.balanceinternational.com/
        ******
        "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
        -H.M.E.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          ....Also true

          Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
          I'm no help, I just had to observe...I read the title as "Significant Other (SO) frustrated with saddle shopping" and thought, oh man, I've been there! But I see that is not the case..whoops!

          haha, that's also true, although I think he's just sick to death of listening to me talk about it.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            ...your chestnut makes my horse's withers look like a Great White Shark. Sigh. He's more on par with your bay, although even a bit more dramatic than him.

            Comment


            • #26
              I have seen BC for $1000 but yes, you've got to be awfully patient, a good searcher, and know what you want. Really patient. But I do see them from time to time.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

              Comment


              • #27
                Thorowgood might be an idea...
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                  So, y'all...tell us where to find this magical store where Amerigo, Black Country, Frank Baines, Adam Ellis, etc. are all regularly found within the OP's stated $1000 budget. I will pay you good money for this information.
                  I regularly find used Schleeses, some BC, and Amerigos near the $1000 mark. I'm rabid about searching online and you have to be quick if you find a deal, but they are out there.

                  I've also found that saddles listed online are often open to offers and I've negotiated some higher priced saddles (i.e. $1500 mark) down for a quick cash sale.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    At your price point, you'll probably get more bang for your buck with a used high-end saddle or a good synthetic designed for the high-withered horse, like the Thorowgood T8. While it's hard to say what saddle would work best without seeing your horse, I can say that the really high-withered horses are often better fit with a flocked panel rather than a foam panel. There are features like K/skidrow/extended/deeper front panels, trapezius panels, full front gussets or wither gussets, and deeper rear gussets that can be a huge help in fitting withery horses. Tree shape comes into play as well; some horses with this conformation have a dippy back and need a more curved tree, while some have a big wither and a fairly flat back, and require a flatter tree. Photos would be helpful in making further recommendations!
                    Kitt Hazelton
                    Saddle Fitter
                    www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                    www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Jo View Post
                      I regularly find used Schleeses, some BC, and Amerigos near the $1000 mark. I'm rabid about searching online and you have to be quick if you find a deal, but they are out there.

                      I've also found that saddles listed online are often open to offers and I've negotiated some higher priced saddles (i.e. $1500 mark) down for a quick cash sale.
                      I, too, have found some very nice saddles for around $700 -- County, Schleese, Stackhouse, Kieffer -- several of which were close to new. The trick is you need to take the gamble and buy them right away when they come up. In my experience if you get them for the right price you can always get your money out.

                      However, you need to know what fits you and what fits your horse. I think you may be too tall for a 16.5 -17" saddle and that you might be more comfortable in a larger seat size. I know almost no one who rides in a 16.5". The one person I know who said she did asked me to help her sell a saddle and it turned out to be a 17.5" when I measured it.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Jo View Post
                        I regularly find used Schleeses, some BC, and Amerigos near the $1000 mark. I'm rabid about searching online and you have to be quick if you find a deal, but they are out there.

                        I've also found that saddles listed online are often open to offers and I've negotiated some higher priced saddles (i.e. $1500 mark) down for a quick cash sale.
                        It's one thing to "regularly find high-end brands under $1000" and quite another to find the one you actually need in the right seat size, tree size, AND--here comes the kicker--with the kind of specialty panel options that Kitt and I are describing. A specialty panel drives up the demand and the price tag on the saddle, unless it's a less-trendy brand or the saddle has some other market-limiting feature (like being made with black leather instead of brown leather).

                        I've been watching the used saddle market like a hawk for over 5 years. I joke about there being a magical "store", but as you know, the magical "store" is called "A working knowledge of Google search algorithms, a search tool that searches all Craigslist postings for all cities, and a used saddle site bookmarks list that's 200 links long and largely made up of sites that don't index into Google." I paid $800 for a Black Country in 2008. I helped someone else buy a $700 Amerigo. I recently helped someone track down a $800 Frank Baines. I resold an $844 Devoucoux to my trainer.

                        But those are rare events, and they are doubly rare when you start talking about a specialty panel shape. And if you're lucky enough to find it, you have to move very fast and take some risks. As you say, it is usually a cash sale with no returns and no trials.

                        And I'm simply trying to communicate to the OP that if she doesn't wish to live that fast and loose, there are other ways to skin this cat that don't involve that kind of luck. Thorowgood, for example (as suggested by vxf111 and Kitt) is easily available for under $1000 and they make perfectly nice tack at a very friendly price point. Their T8 lineup with its leather seats and knee rolls rides very similarly to the Kent and Masters lineup (which retails around $1500), and no wonder since they are sister brands.

                        But of course, all of us are just tilting at windmills until we've seen pictures of the horse.
                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          jn4jenny - thank you for pointing out the problems with some of the suggestions that OP was getting. I was reading through the thread thinking "how have I missed out out on these BCs for $1000 or less? I could've made a fortune buying and re-selling them."

                          OP - no suggestions - just sympathies - I have just fallen in love with a $3800 Custom - if someone has a brilliant suggestion on how to break this to my DH - I'm open to ideas....

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
                            OP - no suggestions - just sympathies - I have just fallen in love with a $3800 Custom - if someone has a brilliant suggestion on how to break this to my DH - I'm open to ideas....
                            Easy get a few of the 7K "custom" saddle quotes & that 3.8K is now a Fabulous Find

                            FWIW Classic Saddlery has had a Frank Baines Event Saddle in their consignment for ages, seems to be in excellent condition, & certainly worth a phone call.
                            Some used saddles are very firm in their pricing, others may discount 5% - 30% depending ...

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
                              jn4jenny - thank you for pointing out the problems with some of the suggestions that OP was getting. I was reading through the thread thinking "how have I missed out out on these BCs for $1000 or less? I could've made a fortune buying and re-selling them."

                              OP - no suggestions - just sympathies - I have just fallen in love with a $3800 Custom - if someone has a brilliant suggestion on how to break this to my DH - I'm open to ideas....

                              for a while there, I was a BC STALKER. I did find them for $1000 and under but I had to turn over stones under stones under stones. And they were "high risk" as j4j points out (for example, if you want to ship from the UK the supply is better there and prices seem much lower [even including shipping] but you're not going to be able to return it and you're going to have to wait). If you know EXACTLY what you're looking for AND you are good at searching AND you can wait... it can be done. But that might not be ideal for the OP who needs something to ride in in the meantime.

                              I've ridden in a friend's Thorowgood a few times. Their newest ones are hybrid leather and synthetic. I really like it more than I thought I would. The leather really makes a difference in overall look, even though it's only on part of the saddle. And the ride was nice. I was surprised how much I liked it. At the time, I also looked at K&M which are $500-600 more new... and frankly I thought the leather on the Thorowgood was much nicer. I've heard that the K&M leather improved a lot since I rode in a demo... that's another consideration. If you need a 17.5 (I also remain dubious about you needing a 16.5/17 but don't know you so I'm guessing) one keeps popping up on eBay for $900 and it's VERY NICE looking and practically calling my name except I need another saddle like a hole in the head...
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                For what it's worth, my very good saddle fitter wants me to try a Thorowgood as a saddle for my husband (I thankfully have saddles that work ) -- horse is a big WB but has VERY prominent withers... He fits a County wide with skid row panels ...

                                I'm going to call Trumbull Mountain - they are terrific to work with, and should be able to tell me if they have anything used that might be the same shape etc as the Thorowgood so we can try several at once.

                                Talk to them!
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  OP, if you really are a 16.5, this might work...

                                  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Countr...item232a588638

                                  I think I see wither gussets and a trap panel in the photos.
                                  ~Veronica
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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