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Help - Looking for input for last minute CWD saddle and Rep - Saddle has arrived!!!

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  • Help - Looking for input for last minute CWD saddle and Rep - Saddle has arrived!!!

    I am having the CWD rep come out tomorrow pm to help me find a saddle for my horse. He has uneven shoulders (due to muscle development) and is a big guy (17.2 Percheron/TB cross), so I am looking at getting a new CWD with the shoulder cut outs. One that is measured to fit my horse. Anyway, the rep is Turea Wilson and I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with her or CWD customer service?

    I have been battling this saddle issue for over a year now and am about at the end of my rope when it comes to saddle fitters. I am riding in a Devacous and it is a smidge to big for me and doesn't fit the horse which is causing him to be back sore. I was riding in a bates with the adjustable tree but, again, it wasn't a good fit for the horse and causing its share of problems.

    All input is welcome! If you have something really negative to say, please send me a PM. I don't want this to become a flame war.

    Last edited by CrittersMom; Jan. 27, 2014, 09:12 PM.

  • #2
    I have no dog in the fight but will say that an independent saddle fitter is more likely to find you the best fit than a brand rep. The brand rep is motivated to get you to buy a saddle, even if it isn't quite right. An independent fitter usually charges by the hour and is much less concerned if you buy a $1,000 saddle or a $6,000 saddle.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, Boston. I tried the independent rep once already and it was a complete BUST. The guy was just interested in selling me shims and pads that - surprise, surprise, he sold. My horse is a difficult fit and he just couldn't be bothered to put in the time to come up with a solution. Since then, I have had several knowledgable people help me out and I've been doing my research which is why I ended up with a devacoux. Unfortunately, it isn't quite right so I'm taking the plunge and am going to try a new CWD made for my horse.


      • #4
        I have no idea what CWD reps do in measuring a saddle for a horse. But when I was in the UK and bought my saddle, the maker came out and measured the horse. You can take a piece of flexible plastic and form it over the horse's back and then draw that shape on paper and send to the saddle maker along with the measurements. I don't know what CWD does, but if I were looking to fit a saddle that is what I would expect.


        • #5
          Sorry you had such a bad experience with the saddle fitter! It sounds like he was more of a pad salesman

          If you read around on here, many people have gotten custom saddles from a number of different saddle makers and found them to not fit the way they wanted them to. I personally would be reluctant to part with so much money and not have a true guarantee of fit - to my satisfaction, not theirs. Because of this, I am a fan of buying used or demos. Not sure where you are located, but usually the bigger shows will have a few vendors who have a variety of brands on hand.


          • #6
            I don't know how the CWD fitter is, and that makes a big difference but I did have the Antares rep come out to fit for a custom saddle, and what he recommended was basically a medium tree saddle for my very tough to fit pony. I now know we would have NEVER had a good fit if I'd gone through with that plan. We ended up with a narrow Butet and every used medium tree Antares we tried on her was wayyyy too wide. I'm distrustful unless you really have a good rep.


            • #7
              I'll second Boston HJ, and also say that not all independent fitters will try to sell you shim pads - I promise!

              If you don't have a good independent fitter in your area, you can work long-distance with a place like Equestrian Imports or Panther Run Saddlery. Both have fitters who've had years of experience and success in doing long-distance work, both have generous trial policies, and if they don't have something that will work, they can make recommendations on what might suit.
              Kitt Hazelton
              Saddle Fitter


              • #8
                I had a good experience with a CWD rep (ended up going with a Bruno Delgrange though). Both were honest and willing to spend the time to fit both horse and rider properly.

                The Delgrange saddle I ended up with seemed to fit well, but after a few months of riding in it, it just didn't seem right - they are doing a brand new saddle for me with a few adjustments - no extra charge.

                I think if you can find a company you like, and that will back their product, then you shouldn't have issues.

                I would ensure they will stand behind their "fitters" and product.


                • #9
                  I know a couple of people who were very happy with Turea Wilson although I think some people on these forums were less happy with her. I had excellent customer service from my CWD rep and my saddle was perfect in every way, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. When my saddle arrived and I was unsure if I really wanted the flat seat they told me to ride in the saddle as much as I wanted and they would still take it back and give me another brand new saddle if I decided I wanted a deeper seat. Fortunately that was not necessary.


                  • #10
                    I'd be thinking wool if I were in your shoes...
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you to everyone who responded and sent me PM

                      Like anything, it seems like the theme is buyer beware and make sure you cover your butt by getting it in writing (like practically everything).

                      Hopefully, tonight will turn out. I will let you know.


                      • #12
                        Turea is my rep, too! She's AMAZING. I don't think CWD has a better rep - she always does whatever she has to in order to make the saddle be perfect for both you and your horse. I had a saddle from CWD that didn't fit me at all (and the error was on my end, not theirs) and they took it back and made a new one for me quickly - and without any difficulty. It made a huge impression on me.
                        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks, Super, I was hoping to hear from you because I know you ride in a CWD. I was interested in whether you were still happy with their saddles/customer service.



                          • #14
                            I don't want to totally throw off the thread but I will point out that unless I am mistaken, the tree for your saddle will still be symmetrical, for all that the padding *might* manage to be offset enough to balance the saddle, the even tree for an uneven horse still won't be a perfect fit.

                            If you are look to spend the money for a saddle that will fit your uneven horse, DK is (I believe) one of the only ones that will actually press the tree to that shape as well (and it can be repressed as the horse changes). I for one, noticed a huge difference from a well fitting wooden tree to the DK tree pressed a little asymmetrically to really suit my boy's shoulders.
                            "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Hawks Nest View Post
                              I don't want to totally throw off the thread but I will point out that unless I am mistaken, the tree for your saddle will still be symmetrical, for all that the padding *might* manage to be offset enough to balance the saddle, the even tree for an uneven horse still won't be a perfect fit.

                              If you are look to spend the money for a saddle that will fit your uneven horse, DK is (I believe) one of the only ones that will actually press the tree to that shape as well (and it can be repressed as the horse changes). I for one, noticed a huge difference from a well fitting wooden tree to the DK tree pressed a little asymmetrically to really suit my boy's shoulders.
                              The issue I have is my boy is wide and uneven due to over/under muscle development of his shoulders. It's not a structural issue, and the vet/chiro said the unevenness will eventually even out but, the pressure from most saddles on his shoulders, keeps the muscle from building up appropriately on the small side. On top of that, because he is wide, padding, shimming, etc. restricts his movement. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I can post pictures after tonight showing how it turned out.


                              • #16
                                My sister has a CWD. I can't remember the fitter's name at the moment, but it wasn't the person you mentioned. All parties understood that the horse in question was going to change shape dramatically over the course of the next year. The fitter said "The fit of your saddle is guaranteed for the first X months. When he changes shape in four months and the saddle doesn't fit, call me and we'll fix it." He did, it didn't, and they did. To me that's great customer service- they sold the saddle with the understanding that it was going to work now but not later and included guarantee for the "later" at no additional price. I don't know if this is standard, but I mention it because you talk about your horse potentially developing in ways that could alter the fit of your saddle. (For what it's worth, Devoucoux also guarantees the fit for the first 6 months, and in my experience they uphold that. I'm sure other companies have similar guarantees.)
                                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Renn ... another person who has purchased a CWD told me they guaranteed the fit for the first year. That's what I am going to ask for. I would like them to guarantee the fit until the end of next show season (i.e. Oct) at least because I'm thinking that's when I may see the most changes.

                                  Wish me luck. I just want the saddle experience to be OVER. Me and my pocket book are sooooooo done with shopping for a saddle. Between having to make arrangements with work to be at the barn, contacting people (albeit really nice people) long distance, arranging for a cruddy saddle fitter to come out and waste my time, and having to explain it all to my non-horsey husband ... I am done! Please, please, please, I hope this works out. - LOL


                                  • #18
                                    The more you post, the more it sounds like wool reeeeaaaaslllyyy makes sense. You could get one truly custom for half what you're about to spend and have it reflocked as your horse's back fills in.
                                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                                      The more you post, the more it sounds like wool reeeeaaaaslllyyy makes sense. You could get one truly custom for half what you're about to spend and have it reflocked as your horse's back fills in.
                                      Do you know of a good custom saddle maker/fitter that uses wool? If so, can you please send me a PM.


                                      • #20
                                        Just curious---if your horse has uneven muscling that will eventually even out, wouldn't you want a saddle that fits the most developed side (and be even), and use something like a pad with shims just on the under-developed side until it develops? I would think if you get a saddle that -let's just say- miraculously fits both uneven sides correctly, when your horse evens out it will no longer be any good. Where as if you got what I mentioned before, you could just remove the shims of the pad and be good to go? I'm not a saddle fitter, but just a thought. I mean shimmable pads aren't all evil.
                                        Originally posted by rustbreeches
                                        [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis