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Crosby Sovereign - fit of tree compared to other pancake saddles? And other Crosbys?

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  • Crosby Sovereign - fit of tree compared to other pancake saddles? And other Crosbys?

    Upon learning that a fellow boarder is the owner of a pancake Sovereign, yours truly decided that she wanted to use it. Amazingly enough, the tree was a marvelous fit for my horses - who'da thunk? I still think a MW or W might be better, the shape was perfect.

    The saddle itself, unfortunately, did not fit said rider (me); it was a 17 1/2", and I felt like it was putting me in a bit of a chair seat. I think this problem will be eliminated if I go with a smaller seat size, however.

    Not wanting to limit my search too far, what are some other pancake saddles that have the same sort of tree? Should I also be looking at older PDNs, etc? What about the Hunterdon or Equilibrium?


    ETA - In terms of seat size, how do these compare to other saddles? I'm a pretty solid 17", but I read that these will seem to fit larger, and to go down in size? Thoughts?
    Last edited by pattnic; Jan. 17, 2010, 09:01 PM.
    If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

  • #2
    I think the Sovereigns are pretty much just nicer versions of the PDN (better leather.)


    • #3
      The Crosby Sovereign only comes in a M or W tree - no MW. I had one that I got off eBay a few years ago in perfect condition for only $400. I loved that saddle. Unfortunately, the W tree wasn't wide enough for my flat-backed QH/Paint mare.

      You should be able to find a used Crosby Sovereign pretty easily. In fact, here is a 17" for $325. It says MW tree, so my guess is that it's not marked and the seller is just guessing.


      Here is a 16.5" Crosby PDN with a W tree.



      • #4
        I bought a Sovereign (at least I'm pretty sure it's a Sovereign, the actual model name has rubbed off) because I loved my PDN but it was too narrow; the Sovereign seemed wider, even in the medium tree. It was definitely wider than the PDN medium, and fit my QH for the most part, except that it sat a little too low right above the withers. I've got it on consignment and it's a 16.5, PM me if you'd be interested. (:
        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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        • #5
          I won my Sovereign the first year they came out. LOVED it.

          It lasted 28 years and finally gave up the ghost a few years ago, when two master saddlers decreed that it would need major renovations to safely attach new billets to the webbing that passes through the waist...the webbing itself needed replacing (it was natural fiber, not the stronger synthetic used now).

          It fit nearly EVERY horse I used it on, through all those years.

          They were Crosby saddles but were not simply "nicer" Pre de Nations models.

          I would love to get another, but they are few and far between, and most are very worn out by now. (The 17" saddle above looks to be in good condition; the 16.5 is not a Sovereign).
          Inner Bay Equestrian


          • #6
            I thought the same thing when I bought my Sovereign (that they were PDNs with nicer leather), but I don't know if it was my specific saddle (I never rode another Sovereign), but I never liked it as much as PDNs I rode in. Even the first generation Collegiates I rode in felt better to me. I discovered it had a broken tree a couple years ago (no accidents) at an age of maybe 17. The good news is, if you can find one, even in really good condition, they seem to sell really cheaply.


            • #7
              I have a 17.5 Sovereign in my barn that I have used a few times as a backup. If anyone is interested in it, PM me I wouldn't mind selling it. It's in great condition but be aware that the old owner had some massive pencil knee rolls put on it (no padded flaps). The tree is similar in fit to the Crosby PDN and Crosby AGA Grand Prix that we also own.


              • #8
                Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
                I would love to get another, but they are few and far between, and most are very worn out by now. (The 17" saddle above looks to be in good condition; the 16.5 is not a Sovereign).
                Too bad I wasn't on this board when I sold my Crosby Sovereign. It was in mint condition. I purchased it off eBay for $400 and sold it for the same amount. I loved that saddle, but it left white hairs on the sides of my mare's withers after only a few months. They do seem to pop up on eBay quite often.

                Middleburg Tack has a 16.5" with a M tree listed now for $250.



                • #9
                  The Sovereign that I bought in 1978 or so was in storage for almost 20 years but is back in use.... I have a Delgrange that I bought a few years ago but brought out the old standby because it fits my current horse better.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by paintlady View Post
                    The Crosby Sovereign only comes in a M or W tree
                    or xw I had one, gorgeous but fitted a W horse w/ high withers, not a roly-poly wide.

                    bought it on ebay for $300 and sold it for just a bit more. you sovereign lovers should really haunt ebay, some real treasures pop up once in a while.

                    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                    • #11
                      I would urge anyone still using a Sovereign (or any old saddle) to check the webbing that the billets are attatched to for age and wear.

                      The issue that retired mine is that that webbing was made of natural fiber, and had weakened. It may appear to be in good shape, but can actually be brittle and prone to tearing.
                      Inner Bay Equestrian


                      • #12
                        yikes.. Can this webbing be replaced ?


                        • #13
                          Back in the day, I had a Sovereign. M tree was similar to the Hermes Steinkraus, which was my dream saddle at the time. Loved the Sovereign, and only rode TBs back then so the M worked for me. I really liked the Crosbys in the 80s... Sovereigns, Hunterdons (except the color!) and then a little later, the Hampton Classic. I rode in my Hampton Classic until I literally wore it down to nothing. Then I sat in a French saddle and it was all over.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LARGEBORE View Post
                            yikes.. Can this webbing be replaced ?
                            Not easily or cheaply.
                            Inner Bay Equestrian


                            • #15
                              Wow....thanks for taking me back! I had a Sovereign as my very first saddle growing up (I was blessed more than I knew ) and I loved it. It had a tiny seat as I got it when I was four, but I rode in it until I was thirteen (no exageration). I the got a Prix des Nations and though I liked it it was definitely not the same; the difference was more than just leather. I rode in the Prix des Nations for a couple years until I got a Lovatt and Rickets custom with a tiny seat and very long flap at a pawn shop for under $100...rode in that until just before college. After that I got the Hunterdon and I rode in that until earlier this year. Until my current saddle the Sovereign or the L&R were my favorite saddles (I think the L&R ranks so high because it actually fit me whereas most saddles I have to have a very large seat in order to have a flap that fits....if it weren't for that I wouldhave liked the Hunterdon more I think).

                              My Sovereign was used on everything from my first pony who was 1 inch over the cut off for a mini horse to my horse I still have who is a 14.2h Morgan and a gazillion other horses as well....friend's TBs and QHs....my Mom's Morgan who was incredibly wide, my sister's petite little 14h Morgan...It seemed really well designed as far as tree shape. Until I got RA I was always a fan of the pancake saddles and I think that saddle was why- it was incredibly comfortable. I would go on 30+ mile trail rides with my Mom while she was training for competitive trail rides and if I was in the saddle I wold be comfortable and happy the whole time...

                              I would second the thought that the older saddles should be checked for safety though. I think any saddle of that age is worth getting checked out as even aesthetically great ones could be somewhat more aged in areas we don't see. I actually had my Hunterdon checked when I got it several years ago and it wasn't even all that old....maybe I'm a nut but I figure its better safe than sorry on that front.
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                              • Original Poster

                                Hey, my old thread!

                                Here's one eBay, which I where I eventually found mine.

                                If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous