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saddle quest help!

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  • saddle quest help!

    My daugher is 5'7" and growing and all legs. I can't find her a saddle that fits. I've had the Del Grange rep out (they just started doing custom saddles in January), the Devoucoux rep out and have sent pictures to the Antares rep.

    No saddle fits her at the barn. I've tried just about everything. I have yet to see her in a saddle which fits her now and she's still growing.

    What should I do? The Del Grange rep wants to put her in a 6 A (slightly forward) flap (they really only list 5 flap sizes in their literature but he knows they can do a 6 because Chris Kappler rides in a 6AX flap-6 double forward) He's 6'3"! They did not have a 6 flap to demo but did have a 5 A flap and it was too small.

    The Devoucoux rep who I question wants to put her in a 3A flap. That is what he rides in and even though she lengthened her stirrups 4 holes from his he thinks that they are the same size. He keeps telling me that a very tall man rides in a 4 flap. Whatever, I don't want to ruin his self esteem.

    The Antares rep who didn't see her in person but from pictures thinks that the 3AB (forward) flap will fit her. I think he's a good rep but again, he didn't see her ride.

    I'm so confused at the moment. Anyone have any suggestions of what else to try?

    I don't get what the big deal is, there is only about 1" difference in a 3 to a 4 flap.

    She's still growing and I think probably has another good solid year of growth if not more. I'm guessing she'll end up around 5'9" but she's got looong legs. Her upper body is very short.

    Please help, she needs a saddle. I have money to spend but am leery of ordering a custom saddle in which she hasn't sat in. No one has a demo of what they want to build for her. I'd rather go used if possible but am thinking this is a longshot. It is just hard to shell out all of that money to have her outgrow yet another saddle in six months. We are on saddle number 4 in two years.

  • #2
    Originally posted by whatnow View Post
    My daugher is 5'7" and growing and all legs. I can't find her a saddle that fits. I've had the Del Grange rep out (they just started doing custom saddles in January), the Devoucoux rep out and have sent pictures to the Antares rep.
    Stop working with brand reps, if possible. Some of them are outstanding, but many of them have only minimal experience in saddle fitting and typically have no master saddler credentials. You'd be better off shelling out $100-$200 for a brand-independent saddle fitter with good, solid fitting credentials (and years of experience) to come out and advise you on your daughter's needs. If you give your general geographic location, I'm sure the COTH'ers can help you find one.

    Alternately, if you're determined to try and do this off the rack, try searching the Eventing forum for something like "long legs saddle". This is a VERY common problem in eventing, where short stirrups are a must-have for upper-level XC courses and there are a lot of male/tall female riders. For example, there's this thread (notice all the votes for the BC Tex Eventer, which I partially recommend below):
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=143987

    No saddle fits her at the barn. I've tried just about everything. I have yet to see her in a saddle which fits her now and she's still growing.
    Have you looked into the possibility of getting her a larger seat size in addition to a more forward flap? My (eventing) trainer is 6'4" and built like a beanpole (if you were judging by butt alone, he'd probably sit in a 17" saddle). But he rides very well in his Bates 18" with a forward flap, which gives him the room he needs for his leg. It can also sometimes help to go with the "usual" seat size and a lower or more open cantle design, to go with an extended stirrup bar, to reduce or move the knee blocking on the saddle, etc. If your saddle fitting reps are making the discussion only about flap length and angle, they are simplifying things too much.

    I'm so confused at the moment. Anyone have any suggestions of what else to try?
    If you truly have money to burn and you absolutely definitely want to get the perfect fit, your option is to go with Stackhouse fully custom saddles. They customize from the tree up--David Stackhouse will literally stand there with horse and rider and DRAW a flap that will fit the leg. It is extremely expensive ($4500+), and not something I'd recommend unless you're fairly sure that she's done growing. Which, I gather, you are not.

    I'd also recommend chatting with Trumbull Mountain about the Black Country brand. They are a customized brand built by master saddlers in England, and they customize damn near anything on their saddles. They will also mix and match features from their many saddle models. So, for example, maybe you like the flap on the Tex Eventer:
    http://www.blackcountrysaddles.com/item.asp?id=15

    but you like the seat/cantle on the Quantum:
    http://www.blackcountrysaddles.com/item.asp?id=7

    They can easily build you a saddle with both features and any leather/color/texture/blocking options you like. You are still taking the risk because you'll be mixing/matching features from multiple saddles, but it's still far more likely to get you a match than most anything else (except a Stackhouse).

    If you want to demo a Black Country with a forward flap, check with Trumbull first (www.trumbullmtn.com) and Kim Peterson second. She no longer reps for Black Country but may have some BC demos still lying around, and at least at the time that she built this page, she had several with a very forward flap:
    http://www.oceanheightsfarm.com/usedjumping.htm
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Everything Jenny says!!

      I second Black Country and Trumbull Mountain. I have a Maelstrom (leather as nice as Antares) with a 1" more forward flap. They can go as forward as you want i.e. not tied to a flap size 3 or 4. I'm 5'8" with longish legs and it fits me very well. I also have an 18.5" seat (and I'm not heavy; around 135 pounds) so it's more for the balance point, etc.

      Comment


      • #4
        On and off topic

        I second the basic idea-- Don't drop $4,000 on a saddle that you can't sit in first. Don't take the rep's word for the imagined saddle they will plan unless they will guarantee the fit. Most companies won't do that, so I'd either spend less or gladly pay the company that stood behind it's reps fitting skill.

        You might look into CWD if you have not yet. I have presented my saddling woes to them, plus my unfortunately location in the sticks of New York, and they are seeing about sending a rep to me. They have also fit other unusually-sized people with good results, or so I hear.

        jn4jenny. I have tried to find Kim Peterson-- e-mailing and calling the contact #s on the website (which promises a response within 24 hours). She might have the perfect BC for me. Is she still in the saddle game?
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a butet flap size 1 now that is way to short! my knee goes over it, so we sent pictures and they are sure a 2 will fit. Then we had the devoucoux rep out and he thinks a 3a, i tried the four but it was too much saddle IMO.

          Im 5'10 and very long legs so i would think that a 3a would fit her

          Comment


          • #6
            First, make sure they don't just put her in a long flap or a forward flap. If she is proportionately long between thigh and calf, she will need both in order to be able to accomodate flat/lower fences, and bigger fences.

            Also, I second the idea of looking at off the shelf cross country saddles. The Jeffries Flyover and the Ainsleys immediately come to mind.

            Lastly, try the Bates Elevation J. I have a friend who is in a Devoucoux 4A flap who can comfortably ride in the off the rack Elevation J.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Anyone know any good tack stores who take in trade-ins or someone who is at the shows and carries a lot of upper end used saddles? I'm hoping that I maybe able to find a saddle to try from them.

              Thanks for the suggestions. It is just hard to try some of these saddles when no one in town carries them. I've been to the local tack stores and they haven't had a saddle that fits and is balanced for her. I agree with the not just forward flap. Some of them were ridiculous in terms of balance. Maybe if you were eventing and in a really forward seat with short stirrups cross country but they weren't built to ride a hunter/eq course with long legs and in a nice half seat.

              Comment


              • #8
                whatnow, does your dtr have a horse? Is she leasing one, or riding (mostly) just one that belongs to someone else? The rider is just half the equation - it must fit the horse, even more importantly than the rider.

                Assuming there is just one, or one horse mostly, go to www.trumbullmtn.com and follow their instructions for wither tracings. Send that in, along with the required pictures. They are really, really helpful
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Whatever we get, we are going to get the pro fit as far as the tree goes. (This is what the Antares/Devoucoux/Bruno etc) sell to the pro riders. She hacks and rides all different horses and I'm not going through this everytime we switch horses. She needs something that will work on the majority of horses. Nothing that she is currently on has any special issues.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you want to get pro-help with saddle fitting and want to fit the kid rather than a particular horse, you might as well concentrate on making her happy. You won't please every horse with even the best-designed tree. In your position, I'd buy a saddle that fit me, have it flocked with wool which will create some adjustability that foam will not, buy a slightly wide tree and then a bunch of half pads used to make small adjustments for each horse.

                    Best of luck with your search.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about County?

                      No one has mentioned County saddles. I love mine and have a perfect fit for both me and my horse. Several other people at the barn have them as well and all love them.

                      My trainer has a County that fits her and the saddle fitter worked with her in discussing how to fit through pads to various horses in the barn that do not have their own saddle (some horses are saddle specific like my horse who has a MN saddle).

                      Many of the County reps are master saddle fitters and can discuss various other saddle brands. They usually have a number of saddles available to try as well as have the ability to network with the other County reps to see if anyone has access to a specific configuration once the rep knows what your daughter needs.

                      County saddles are wool flocked so can be adjusted somewhat to fit your daughter's next horse as well.

                      Try County!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Whatnow, where are you located?

                        I know that Bevals seems to have a pretty nice selection of higher end used saddles, and that they travel to shows. Are you in the northeast?
                        The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have no clue if this helps, but here is a link:

                          http://www.allthebestusedsaddles.com...ucoux-348.aspx
                          The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And another:

                            http://www.allthebestusedsaddles.com/17-butet-314.aspx

                            I have the opposite problem, I have super short legs
                            The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Look at the BdH sold through Dover. I've seen a TON of those tall grasshopperlegged types fit in those pretty darned well.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                If you want to get pro-help with saddle fitting and want to fit the kid rather than a particular horse, you might as well concentrate on making her happy. You won't please every horse with even the best-designed tree. In your position, I'd buy a saddle that fit me, have it flocked with wool which will create some adjustability that foam will not, buy a slightly wide tree and then a bunch of half pads used to make small adjustments for each horse.

                                Best of luck with your search.
                                yep - buy nothing less than a Wide tree, have the panels slightly curved but not too curved. You cannot pad to make a flat saddle fit a curvy horse, and can't make a banana-shaped saddle fit a flat back. But a slightly curvy panel, which the County has as a default, can be made to work with curvier and flatter backs as long as neither is to the extreme.

                                If your dtr rides a lot of really wide horses, then the "wide" tree you should consider is along the lines of the County #5 - XW - as opposed to, say, an Amerigo/Vega Wide.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Anyone know what makes a person a master saddler ? DO they even have to know how to ride a horse ?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    http://www.mastersaddlers.co.uk/
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      [QUOTE=whatnow;4089276]Anyone know any good tack stores who take in trade-ins or someone who is at the shows and carries a lot of upper end used saddles?

                                      Don't know where you are, but there is a fabulous tack store in West Chester PA http://www.saddlesource.com/

                                      They have hundreds of used saddles and new saddles. I went there once and spent hours sitting in all different models. I got a great feeling for what I like/need in a saddle.

                                      By the way, I just love the County Innovation and Stabilizer. You should have a County Rep come out to demo saddles for your daughter and her horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                        You might look into CWD if you have not yet. I have presented my saddling woes to them, plus my unfortunately location in the sticks of New York, and they are seeing about sending a rep to me. They have also fit other unusually-sized people with good results, or so I hear.

                                        jn4jenny. I have tried to find Kim Peterson-- e-mailing and calling the contact #s on the website (which promises a response within 24 hours). She might have the perfect BC for me. Is she still in the saddle game?
                                        Kim is no longer selling saddles, but I think she does still fit and alter saddles. I bought my BC Quantum from her in 2007, and it's a great saddle! If you are interested in a BC, call Trumbull Mtn.

                                        I have a BC Quantum that has an extra forward (1" more than the regular forward) flap. I am 5'7" and all leg (34" inseam).

                                        I also have an Antares 3AA that has had the knee block moved 1/2" up to accomidate my longer thigh. I got it from CWD.

                                        Both saddles fit my awkwardly long legs really well! Believe me, I rode for years in ill-fitting saddles and it creates a ton of big position flaws b/c you end up contorting your body to fit the saddle.

                                        I would NEVER buy a saddle that I hadn't ridden in. Both my saddles were purchased used (BC was a custom that didn't fit the buyer b/c it was too forward, Antares was just a normal used saddle), and I rode in and jumped in both saddles before I bought them.

                                        Comment

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