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Black Country Saddles bought from UK, anyone?

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  • Black Country Saddles bought from UK, anyone?

    I am looking into a Black Country saddle. I seem to remember some people ordering them directly from England for a pretty large price difference. I have to order a custom, so I am preety much stuck with what I order anyway.

    I have seen them from Sport Horse Services. I remember one site had free shiping to the US. Customs fees are less than $100...if you get free shipping it's a big savings.

    The price difference is pretty big:
    Maelstrom $3200 vs $2400
    Quantam $2300 vs $1800

    Has anyone done this?
    Where did you order from?
    How did it go?
  • Original Poster



    • #3
      I have bought a ton of tack from the UK & occasionally spain, etc, but I buy used from online classifieds, ebay and the like. I have absolutely no qualms about buying overseas.

      but I have not ordered or dealt directly with a company for a very large ticket item like a custom saddle. My biggest concern would be clear communication and getting the right fit.

      If I were you, I'd contact BC co. directly, and ask them, who in the UK is their most reputable dealer, and then deal with them. Heaven forbid you purchase a custom saddle and it comes in wrong, even if the rep takes the saddle back, you're still out hundreds in shipping.

      I'd also ask questions on a couple of UK forums as well, there's a quite popular one, horse and hound, and loads of others. Ask the locals where they shop.

      mind the exchange rate too, I think its £1 = $1.65, thats not very high, but higher than its been recently. I'm spoiled since I was actively buying when the pound sterling was in the toilet last year.

      When you come down to it though, the $$ savings is temping, but the *cost* of a potential nightmare might be more expensive. If I were you, I would pursue the idea, but proceed with extreme caution.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      • #4
        Call Trumbull Mountain first

        Trumbull Mountain will work with you to get what you want. I was told that if the saddle we put together did not fit my horse, they would stand behind the fitting process and refund most of my money. That amount, however, would vary with just how custom my saddle ultimately became.

        Of course, you must pay retail for this privilege. But losing 10% or 20% of your money is better than losing 100% when you find it tough to sell your unusual saddle for what you paid, even if that's close to wholesale.

        You will have to do put in some effort to work with TM Tack. They'll want wither tracings, photos and you to ship demos back and forth. They also don't stock the widest range of trees and panel options that Black Country will make. You may not be able to make a thoroughly educated guess about what you want before you order if you want something radically different from the Quantum or Wexford. That stopped me.

        I can't think of another BC dealer who will do better, and the TM people are very nice. I'd just make sure to get the terms of your custom order-- everything from leather to return policy in writing-- before asking them to fax it to England.

        You can also e-mail Nikki (in BC sales) whose address is on their website. She can answer many questions, though you will probably need to decide pretty early in your search whether you want to use TM or buy direct. It's not fair to pit retailer and manufacturer against each other.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          I totally agree with the previous poster. There are so many options when ordering a custom saddle and unless you're practiacally a professional saddle fitter and are intimately aware of the product, you're just asking for trouble.

          Save up a little more and get it done right.