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Is this saddle okay for the hunter ring? UPDATE post #34

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  • Is this saddle okay for the hunter ring? UPDATE post #34

    Went to a place with lots of used saddles today. Brought home 3 to try on my mare. This is the one that fits her best. I would have liked the CWD to fit her best because no doubt it is a hunter saddle. I am worried about how big the difference in color is in the 2 types of leather on this saddle. But, my leg does cover a lot of the darker leather. And supposedly the lighter leather will darken some with oil. This is a used saddle but it is in almost new condition, so darkening may happen.

    Last edited by inca; Jul. 3, 2013, 12:09 PM.

  • #2
    First is fit, then function, then fashion. It's totally fine.


    • #3
      Counties are very popular in some areas... I don't adore that leather/color myself but it is fine for the hunter ring.
      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


      • Original Poster

        I don't adore the color either but am hoping I will get used to it! I am waiting on a test ride M Toulose Denisse but so far this saddle is the best option for fitting my mare, who is a bit of a challenge to fit. It is about $700-1,000 more than I wanted to spend but I have heard good things about County saddles and how long they last. Would love to be able to order a new one in different leather but that is not really an option.


        • #5
          You might be able to oil it darker and more even in tone.
          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


          • #6
            It wil probably darken and even if it doesn't the majority of the saddle is covered by your leg.


            • #7
              Looks good to me.


              • #8
                I'd be surprised if it evened out much ...be careful with oil & the wool panels (in case you decide to condition the underside).
                (I'd guess that the original owner requested the dual tone look - you might contact County with the serial number to find out specific info on the saddle)

                County definitely does not recommend over oiling their leather so do multiple very light coats over weeks.
                If you use a semisolid conditioner such as Stubben Hamanol, it's easier to control the process.

                I'd definitely choose this over any MT as I suspect will your mare.
                The wool panels do allow a good deal of adjustability in the fit - if you have a local County rep you can have the fit checked (re tree angles), any fitter can do this but for me, my rep charges a lot less


                • #9
                  it's two tones on purpose, I don't think the kneepads and seat will ever exactly match.
                  Leather looks really solid, I'd say this will last you forever even if you won't have the comfort or stickiness of an added layer (all calf or all buffalo)
                  I don't think it's a problem to use it in the hunter ring.



                  • #10
                    Oh for heaven's sake

                    Of course it's just fine. Unless your saddle is sky-blue-pink, if the judge notices it, it's because you've just hit the dirt and your horse is galloping around flipping him the bird.

                    If you have a hunt seat saddle, made of leather, and your butt is in the tack, No One Will Either Notice, Nor Care. Really.

                    If you think the HP's back at the barn will make fun of you (personally, I think that saddle is tough) then throw a cooler over it. Jeez.

                    You want to know how to make everyone want a two tone saddle made of Buffalo?

                    Win with it.


                    • #11

                      It's a beautiful saddle and there is no comparison between the Tolouse and the County. If you are comfortable in it and it fits your horse, count yourself lucky to have found a great deal. And since it is a county, you can always have the panels reflocked by a licensed County fitter if/when that becomes neccessary or resell it at a good price if you decide you hate it and cannot stand it down the road.

                      Unless you want to ruin it, please do NOT oil or soap the wool panels. Water only, if it gets dirty. Soap and conditioner will cause the wool to harden. Since you're paying a lot of money for those panels, treat them nicely!

                      And you may know this already, but once you buy it, ride in it for at least 20 hours with no pad. The sweat and heat from your horse's back will cause the panels to conform to your horse's back and give you the most custom fit possible. After each ride, wipe the panels down with water (No soap!). After a couple weeks, you can add the pad.


                      • #12
                        Oh it's fine. I show in the hunter ring in a BLACK saddle - a much bigger fashion faux pas- and still manage to get some ribbons when my lug is cooperating
                        Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


                        • #13
                          I just bought a used CWD that I have darkened with hydrophane darkening oil. It really isn't oily, like neatsfoot, and it has gotten rid of the orange hue. I was very hesitant to put oil on my $3500 full calf saddle. I asked around and finally decided to do it. You can darken just the lighter parts to make the contrast less stark.


                          • #14
                            It's fine.
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks everyone! I am going to ride in the saddle tomorrow and decide if it is going to work for us. I do figure this saddle should last forever. My barnmate's Tolouse is only 3 years old and has loose stitching and is starting to get a hole in the flap from the stirrup leathers. And coming from the dressage world, I much prefer wool-flocked saddles that you can adjust to really fit the horse. I'm just new to the hunter world and didn't want to make a huge faux pas. My trainer hasn't seen the saddle in person yet, just a cell phone pic. And in the pic the two toned wasn't quite as glaring. She said it was fine but has not gotten the full effect of the two toned leather.

                              I already have bucked the latest fashion trend by showing in a square raised Vespucci bridle instead of a wide, padded, fancy-stitched bridle. And I do sometimes wear my brown Charles Owen GR8! Guess if this saddle does fit my horse and me that I will further buck the trends by riding in a two toned saddle - LOL


                              • #16
                                Honestly--sitting next to judges as a show announcer I can assure you, they DO NOT CARE what you are sitting on, cannot see the brand names on breeches or coats or shirts, the bridle maker...they just want to see 8 good fences, well-fitted tack and clothing and nothing too blingy or out-of-place, and even then..they really don't take it in to account!

                                That saddle is going to be fine. My County Innovation is turning blonde...which is a whole 'nuther thread and issue, but unless George Morris is judging me (which will NEVER happen), I don't care. It fits me, my horse, and certainly doesn't stand out, except for its obscenely light color. Good thing my horse is light roan!
                                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                • Original Poster

                                  I was kidding about my bridle and my brown helmet! ;-)

                                  Although my first few hunter shows I felt like the biggest duck out of water only because I had shown dressage for so long. Then I watched some rounds at the biggest show in our area and realized that there were plenty of adults that were not perfect!

                                  And I am never going to Wellington, Devon or HITS. So, I am sure I will be fine at the A shows in Texas. And, if I put in my usual rounds, the judges will have other things to worry about other than my saddle, unfortunately. My horse is quite nice and I always imagine the judge wanting to jump out of the judge's box and slap me for screwing up - LOL. But, we have fun so that is what really matters. And every now and then I do manage to put in a round with no major screw ups - just not as often as I would like.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                                    Honestly--sitting next to judges as a show announcer I can assure you, they DO NOT CARE what you are sitting on, cannot see the brand names on breeches or coats or shirts, the bridle maker...they just want to see 8 good fences, well-fitted tack and clothing and nothing too blingy or out-of-place, and even then..they really don't take it in to account!

                                    That saddle is going to be fine. My County Innovation is turning blonde...which is a whole 'nuther thread and issue, but unless George Morris is judging me (which will NEVER happen), I don't care. It fits me, my horse, and certainly doesn't stand out, except for its obscenely light color. Good thing my horse is light roan!
                                    Ditto this--I have been announcer for many judges and have never heard a judge make a comment about anyone's tack or riding clothes. They often comment on the quality of the horses and the riding they see. This is what matters. You're worrying too much.
                                    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                                      You want to know how to make everyone want a two tone saddle made of Buffalo?

                                      Win with it.
                                      Quoted for truth.
                                      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


                                      • #20
                                        My first new saddle was all the same organey color when I got it, oiled it and it got 2toned, then I got a new leather girth gues what - same two toned effect, and the same thing happened when I got a new bridle- the reins were also two-toned -they all mellowed very nicely and somehow the 2-toned-ness matched really well -not glaring... my 2-toned saddle BTW spent years in the Dover Catalog when they used to sell that plastic saddle rack.. You'll be fine in the hunter ring