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County Saddles?

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  • County Saddles?

    So I started my search for a new saddle and I think I have decided that I would like a County Innovation or a County Stabilzer, anyone have any good suggestions on where to find either of these used? (besides the norms like ebay) Anyone have one and love/hate it? Why? Im thinking either a 17 or a 17.5 inch, medium tree would be best but willing to hear options out there!
    Thanks =)

  • #2
    County is having a sale on their demos right now....or you could try the Bits and Barter Board


    • #3
      I have a Stabilizer and absolutely love, adore, and worship the thing. It seriously gets better every time I ride. My horse loves it, it fits me fabulously, and I feel unbelievably secure (and comfortable!) in it. What's not to love?

      I'd suggest contacting your local County rep. County has a lot of used saddles floating around and if your rep doesn't have exactly what you're looking for, she can ask the national County community if they do. Generally, they find saddles pretty quickly.

      TackTrader, eBay, FineUsedSaddles.com, Allthebestusedsaddles.com, etc all have some good options...

      Of course, you'll want to ensure it fits your horse first. County tends to cater to the flatter backed and less-withered version of the equine, from what I understand (MVP, if she sees this, can weigh in with more details).


      • #4
        Ditto to checking with your County rep. They know the folks who are getting new saddles and want to sell their old ones. I bought my Innovation for my TB because my Stabilizer didn't fit him. My County rep always asks if I'd like to sell my Stabilizer because he has people in line wanting to buy them used.

        As for them being for flatter-backed, less-withered horses, I disagree. Both of my boys have high withers. My horse is a big-bodied TB (ie. not a dainty flower) with high withers. The Innovation fits him great. My Appendix QH has high withers but is much rounder through the barrel than my TB. Even though he's my daughter's horse, I keep the Stabilizer because it fits him well. I will say that the County trees are very generous. My big TB takes a narrow tree. The big-barreled Appendix wears the medium tree. My friend's 16.3 hand warm blood wears a medium tree. So, maybe that's what Across Sicily was referring to. A wide County would be HUGE!

        You might also check out www.heritagesaddlery.com and www.bcsaddlery.com and www.trumbullmtn.com

        They all carry used saddles, but I rarely see Stabilizers there. Anyway, good luck!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Across Sicily View Post
          Of course, you'll want to ensure it fits your horse first. County tends to cater to the flatter backed and less-withered version of the equine, from what I understand (MVP, if she sees this, can weigh in with more details).

          I agree with contacting a County rep to see what would fit your horse best and the rep can help find a used one for you. But I will disagree that County saddles are better for flatter backed/less withered!!! County Stabilizer fits my high withered TB perfectly!!! I tried many other saddles on him but finally knew County would be the best thing for him.

          I have a Stabilizer and LOVE it!!! So comfy, puts me in a great position and best of all...IT FITS MY HORSE!!!!!


          • #6
            I have a stabalizer and love it! I do disagree that is for flat backed horses. I have a big solid Irish Spert horse who has rather high withers. I tried many saddles and the stabalizer fit my guy the best. He accually needed the wide tree! I think the saddle is super comfy and feels like a "real" close contact saddle. I also love that they dont have the super grippy leather. I bought mine used from Beval.


            • #7
              Originally posted by LWit317 View Post
              So I started my search for a new saddle and I think I have decided that I would like a County Innovation or a County Stabilzer, anyone have any good suggestions on where to find either of these used? (besides the norms like ebay) Anyone have one and love/hate it? Why? Im thinking either a 17 or a 17.5 inch, medium tree would be best but willing to hear options out there!
              Thanks =)
              I absolutely ADORE MY COUNTY!!!! I have the Stabilizer w/ the XTR leather. Everyone that has ridden it in also loves it! I have had about 6 people ride in the saddle and they all adore it!

              edit to add that I disagree as far as them catering to the flatter backed horses, my horse is in the narrow tree, he is an OTTB w/ some sharp withers, it fits him GREAT!!! I have never been so amazed as to when I put that saddle on my horse, I will never need a half back pad again!!
              Caught by a Flash -Equine Photography

              East Coast Jumps -Custom Wood Horse Jumps


              • #8
                Keep in mind that the trees for the Innovation and the Stabilizer are different, so a medium in the Innovation is wider than a medium in the Stabilizer. I have both saddles, and find that they are quite different in how they fit you as a rider as well. You really should have a fitting done to be sure what size is right for your horse. I bought my Innovation as a demo from my local County rep, and have started seeing them used for fairly decent prices, so they are out there.


                • #9
                  I also have a Stabilizer, and LOVE it. It is super comfy and very well balanced. I've had a lot of friends and students ride in it as well, and all I hear from them is, "Wow! I love your saddle!".

                  It fits our horses that have decent sized withers well, so no problems there. I love having the option to have it adjusted to a specific horse by our local fitter, too. I'm actually thinking of getting another County for my husband and his horse now. I've had a great experience with these saddles.
                  Blacktree Farm
                  Lessons, Training & Sporthorse Sales.
                  Blacktree Studio
                  Graphic Design, Web Design & Photography.


                  • Original Poster

                    This is great info, think im pretty sold on getting one! Now I just gotta sell my Pessoa haha
                    p.s. Feel free to keep the input coming!


                    • #11
                      I just bought another Stabilizer, used from a COTHer I love it. I also tried an Innovation but I didn't like it as much as the Stabilizer. Check used sites and ebay if you don't mind a used one.


                      • Original Poster

                        Ya I have tried both the innovation and the stabilizer, I think I like the stabilizer better… especially how people are describing the way it fits… I have a super narrow high withered TB mare!


                        • #13
                          These are really different saddles from the perspective of both man and beast.

                          The Stabilizer is an older invention, designed back in the day when knee rolls had been added to your average CC saddle, but before we all accepted the deeper seat that comes from European saddle meant for really big fences.

                          The seat-- fore and aft of your bootay-- will feel different in each. I find myself feeling like I'm posting up hill or wishing I had a bit of cantle to help me out at the sitting trot in the Stablizer. I think I had the saddle fitting Horseling right (not obviously up hill) and tried messing with lift-back faker pads to make it work. I really wanted to want a Stablizer.

                          Those of us used to flat saddles often have a subtle, close-to-the-back style of posting that has us bump into the pommel of the deeper, "French bucket" type of saddle. I saved myself Four Grand by hating this feature plus the ueber forward flaps of the Innovation.

                          To the horse. IMO, the Stabilizer and Innovation trees *of any width* are built to fit horses differently. The Stablizer tree will sit closer to the horse's withers in the sense of surrounding them. Think of the philosophy behind a cut-back tree. My horse said "No!" that the whole idea.

                          Though I didn't investigate the Innovation's fit on this animal as deeply, it seemed to hold the tree farther up and out from his precious withers and the fine muscles (trapezius) that attach to the spinal processes that compose the withers. He says "Yes" to that general design.

                          But this horse says "Yes. Oh yes, baby, yes!" to saddles that leave lots of space around his withers and spine.

                          In other words, this horse taught me to look not only at width, but also the shape of the tree and panels in front. I bring this up only because it's not obvious. A very good County fitter who liked the fit of the Stabilizer I owned agreed that it fit. Neither of us thought to ask if even a good-fitting Stablizer was not going to work.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat


                          • #14
                            Love my Innovation. Hated the Stabilizer. I'm so glad I had a fitting done. My horse and I are both very happy.

                            You definitely need to sit in both and have a fitting done on your horse. Your local rep will do that for a small fee ($75?? IIRC). You'll have the best fit and best saddle choice when you're done.

                            I went with the Bull leather, so my saddle was mucho dinero, but I also needed 1" gussets so it would fit my boy.
                            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                            • #15
                              Never mind on the 'not fitting withered horses' comment then. My County rep made mention of the fact that horses with little wither really seemed to like the Stabilizer. (Please note I was only mentioning the Stabilizer, not any of the other Countys in my comment.) In fiddling with the thing myself, I can't imagine putting it on a horse that has much wither, but maybe that is because of the way it's stuffed... who knows.


                              • #16
                                I have the innovation and I LOVE IT!! It is so comfortable. I bought a used one that was in great condition from my local rep. It was great because she brought a bunch of saddles for me to try, I decided on the Innovation and she helped my find a great used one. She fit it to my horse and he loved it! He did not go well in my Pessoa and moved like a different horse after this saddle was fitted to him. I sold my Pessoa pretty easily on ebay.


                                • #17
                                  FYI - County has just come out with something called a whippy panel or something like that which is helping even more with the super high withered horses... Every horse I ever seen fit in a county correctly has gone better than in any other saddle the were previously going in... And they are dream to ride in on top of it.. I have a Stabilizer (may be getting a Innovation too) and Connection dressage saddle by County.. Good luck but be sure to utilize the County rep for your state they are really helpful!!


                                  • #18
                                    I just purchased a County stabilizer with a medium narrow tree on ebay a few weeks ago. I LOVE it! It makes me feel stupid when I slouch or tip too far forward. It fits my Mt. Everest withers TB mare better than anything else I have ever tried. I can actually fit my hand in the gullet while I'm riding her!!! Her back is still recovering from being out of whack and a not so good saddle fit so I'm using a Thinline correction pad for now, but once she builds more muscle, I will probably call the local rep to come out and make any necessary adjustments.
                                    I might one day be one of those elite riders who can use their saddle and ONE pad Never thought that would happen!


                                    • #19
                                      I have both a Stabilizer and an Innovation and I like them both, though they are slightly different. My biggest lesson about Counties, though, is that it seems like no two are the same. Some people will swear up and down that the Stabilizer is flatter and the Innovation is deeper, but I've had 2 Innovations and multiple Stabilizers over the years and they've all been completely different from each other (as in, the Innovations were NOTHING like each other and same goes for the Stabilizers).

                                      In regards to the withers comment, I bought my first Stabilizer explicitly for my DWB gelding who had massively tall and NARROW withers. The Stabilizer was the only saddle on the market at the time that I could find that he would go well in. It required the skid row panels, but boy did that saddle fit him well....shark fin withers and all. It's also been the saddle I've used on my AO Jumper mare for the last 4 or 5 years and she's a hotdog with sharkfin withers sticking out of her little round body.

                                      As far as actual saddles go, I think that TidyRabbit has a 17" medium tree Stabilizer that she was (or is) trying to sell. I don't know if she still has it or not, but it would probably be worth PMing her.
                                      Flying F Sport Horses
                                      Horses in the NW


                                      • #20
                                        I love my Innovation- I had it built for my horse and me. He has a shark-fin that is also very long, and with custom stuff added here and there the saddle fits him amazingly well.

                                        When we tried out saddles, the demo Stabilizer fit him better, and the Innovation me- but my fabulous saddlefitter (a rep. for County) said she could have them build in what he liked about the Stabilizer and give me the Innovation feel that I liked.

                                        He's a jumper and my County frees his back, allows me to sit to the base, and makes us both happy. Love it!
                                        You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil