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IF I like this saddle, but can't find one used, what other brands might I like....??

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  • #21
    That is true for non stock saddles but we do have a couple of saddles to mention. I have not seen tracings or a photo so I have no idea if these would work but we do have a BC Wexford in a 16.5W. You probably already know that it is an all purpose with a jump focus. It has generous broad panels but it also has a K type panel so I'm not sure if it would be appropriate. We also have a Killington jump saddle. It is a hoop tree with broad panels and full front gussets. It is stamped a medium but rides much wider with a very wide gullet channel. It is a 16.5. I don't know if 17 is a possibility but I also know we have a Quantum X 17xw that is coming back in a bit.
    Jay McGarry
    sms trained saddle fitter


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
      May I gently suggest that you're asking the wrong question. The question is not "Which saddle?" The question is "Which knowledgeable person to call who might point me to the right saddle in the very tricky saddle fitting situation that I'm describing in my various threads":

      --*very* short-backed pony. VERY. Not all brands play this game well.

      --a rider who probably would benefit from a 17.5" or larger seat, but you're trying to work with the pony's back so you're needing to stuff yourself into something smaller like 17".

      --a rider who claims to want a lock-and-load, secure saddle. To understand why this is a special challenge, consider the three or four ways you can make room for a rider in a saddle seat:
      a. Go to a bigger seat size (not an option for you)
      b. Go for a more shallow seat architecture (you claim not to want this)
      c. Push the flap more forward than usual, which in many brands will necessitate ordering new from the factory--and if you're not careful, the rider's relationship with the stirrup bar can become very wonky, necessitating the advice and forethought of a good saddle fitter who can look at your body (in pictures, at the very least) and brainstorm which saddles are less likely to do this to you. So if you want a prayer of finding this used, and a prayer of making an educated choice among those choices, you'd need good advice from whomever's on the other end.
      d. choose saddles whose overall seat architectures maximize room for the rider for the rider's pelvis. This comes in lots of forms, but as a simple example, saddles with cutback pommels make room for the withers but also rob you of 1/2"-1" of room for the rider's pelvis.

      --wool flocking, which conveniently knocks out about half the brands on the market. Consider this a blessing, not a curse!

      --I assume you prefer something available for a trial ride/a lookover by your local saddle fitter, which eliminates some of the Hail-Mary options like ordering a new saddle sight-unseen from a joint like Heritage Saddlery in the UK or Berney Brothers in Ireland.

      --available in the United States, which makes The Saddle Doctor (in British Columbia) a dicey suggestion.

      --Your budget remains unclear, but if you were prepared to shell out for a used Custom Monte Carlo, I'm going to assume we're talking somewhere between $2500 and $3200.

      So if THAT's the situation, what you're really needing are recommendations for fitters who can work at a distance, fit the sort of pony you're describing, and have a meaningful dialogue with your local fitter. It also sounds like you don't know quite what you want, so in a perfect world, you could find someone who could send you 2-3 good candidates from several different brands.

      And from all of THAT, I would extrapolate that these are good folks for you to consider calling because they're good fitters who rep for multiple brands that might have possibilities and are willing to work form a distance.

      Ann at Equestrian Imports - www.equestrianimports.com - reps for Albion, Amerigo, and Prestige (which makes several wool-flocked products that might interest you)

      Annette Gavin at AllEnglishTack.com - reps for a variety of British wool-flocked brands, including Hastilow, Black Country, Ideal, and Kent and Masters

      Colleen Meyer at advancedsaddlefit.com - reps for Detente and often carries some of the smaller cottage British brands like Adam Ellis and Patrick Saddlery, and someone who liked the Custom Monte Carlo might also be interested in the new $2500 Fairfax Close Contact saddle that Colleen is repping for

      Now let me be clear before I continue this list: it would surprise the HELL out of me if you worked with all three of the ladies I just listed and didn't manage to identify a great candidate among them. But again, this is assuming you have $2500+ to spend, and it doesn't hurt to drop too many names, right? These saddlers are very good too, and the more people you call, the more likely you are to find some excellent deal on a demo-condition or used saddle:

      Patty Merli Saddles, www.pattymerlisaddles.com - specializes in Black Country but also carries some other stuff like Bliss/Loxley

      Kitt Hazelton, www.pantherrunsaddlery.com - reps for Albion and Bliss/Loxley (note: you may also have a local Albion rep, but I don't know what part of the country you're in, so...)

      Pick the Frank Baines stockist of your choice. I like Bill Wood, personally, but he can be tough to get because he's got such a thriving in-person business. I think it's a major pity that Baines isn't better represented in the US; IMHO they are building some of the best tack coming out of Walsall, England, and it's a shame that they're not better known. http://www.frankbaines.com/page.asp?...&Our-Stockists

      At your discretion, call your local County saddle rep. I have three or four reasons for putting this way at the bottom of your list--their products tend to be priced high (like Custom Saddlery in that regard), and your experience will only be as good as your rep and those vary pretty wildly in quality. And nothing comes to mind particularly from their lineup that screams "Yeah, that might work really well for an itty bitty pony and a rider who needs a forward flap." A lot of their saddles do one or the other of those things, but not both. But of course, without knowing a lot more about the pony and you, I am just guessing. So it's an option worth mentioning.
      Thank you for your very informative post, looks like I'll be spending some time on the internet/phone. The only part that I have to take exception to is that "rider needs a 17.5" or larger seat but needs to stuff into 17" in order to fit pony". The 17" jumping saddle that I have now is perfectly fine for both rider (even the flap) and pony, it's just not wide enough right now. And the 17" dressage saddles I tried are still too looooong for the pony, end up on his loins. Just a minor tweaking in details, but wanted to clarify. Thanks again for the help!!! I did take pix yesterday on my phone, anyone with posting privileges want to post them for me? I can text them to you...;-)


      • #23
        Originally posted by Dune View Post
        The 17" jumping saddle that I have now is perfectly fine for both rider (even the flap) and pony, it's just not wide enough right now.
        I'm assuming that you're working with a good local fitter, perhaps Kate Wooten, so I'm guessing this option has been considered...but for the sake of your pocketbook, I'll risk annoying you by asking.

        If what you have is working for rider and pony, why not just pay to have the saddle widened? Or find the exact same saddle with a wider tree? That would be a helluva lot cheaper than a new, pricey saddle.

        For that matter, why not humor us and tell us what it is, exactly. Even if it's a lost cause and you'd never find that precise saddle in a wide enough tree, it might help us recommend some shoulder products that might suit.

        As for posting pictures of the pony, http://tinypic.com/ is your friend. You don't even need an account.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
          I'm assuming that you're working with a good local fitter, perhaps Kate Wooten, so I'm guessing this option has been considered...but for the sake of your pocketbook, I'll risk annoying you by asking.

          If what you have is working for rider and pony, why not just pay to have the saddle widened? Or find the exact same saddle with a wider tree? That would be a helluva lot cheaper than a new, pricey saddle.

          For that matter, why not humor us and tell us what it is, exactly. Even if it's a lost cause and you'd never find that precise saddle in a wide enough tree, it might help us recommend some shoulder products that might suit.

          As for posting pictures of the pony, http://tinypic.com/ is your friend. You don't even need an account.
          You're not annoying, quite helpful, actually. ;-) I'm not working with Kate, just traded a few PMs with her, but I am working with a Custom Saddlery fitter who I think (I hope!) is very good. The tree on current saddle *has* already been widened a bit, but fitter is afraid to tweak it any more because she doesn't know the saddle and is concerned about breaking the tree. I'm not sure what you mean by "...why not humor us and tell us what it is, exactly." Do you mean what saddle I'd like to find? If so, I think I posted from the very beginning that a Custom Monte Carlo would be ideal because fitter can work on that saddle easily....or I did find an extra wide County Stablizer at fineusedsaddles that looks interesting. I've just never seen or sat in that saddle. ??? I'll try the tinypic site, thanks!