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Child / Pony Saddles - Info & Experiences, Please

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  • Child / Pony Saddles - Info & Experiences, Please

    I recently bought an older but very nice 14" Collegiate Ian Miller for DD. I'm just browsing now through the 15" saddles on a couple of sites and there seems to be a lot more brand choices in that size. So I'd like some opinions from the more experienced because if I find a good deal, I'll get the next size when I see it.

    The Bevals - I've seen Ltd, Jr, "CC", and just "pony" listed. Are these all essentially Beval Ltds? They look very similar. And generally they're coming with a medium tree - does this medium run wide or is it a true medium? Also, were these ever wool flocked? Some claim to be but I thought Beval used foam panels. Any other comments on balance/durability/quality welcome.

    The Pessoas - If I go this route, I'd like an older one so what to look for? I know on the adult sized saddle the nail heads are marked N. Pessoa and Paris. Is that the same for the pony saddles? Or are they all Rodrigo Pony saddles? Same question on the flocking/foam issue. And I'd welcome comments on balance/durability/quality.

    Any other brand exceptionally good kid and pony saddles that I'm missing?

    Finally - if we continue to be happy with the Collegiate Ian Miller, should I just get a 15" in that (assuming I can find one)? Those seem to be less common but it seems like a really nice kids saddle. And supposedly the vintage I purchased was either made by Pessoa or someone from Pessoa, so I expect they'd be similar. Or are the other brands really that much better/nicer and I should just get one of those?

    I'm only interested in used (I'm not doing the work to break a new one in ) and we will use the saddle on a variety of ponies. Thanks!

  • #2
    I own a consignment tack shop and sell 15-20 saddles a month. I am also the mother of a pony rider. It has been my experience that the Pony Pessoa is the saddle of choice for young riders. We also do see quite a few Pony Butets as well. My choice would be a mint condition Pessoa. Prices range from 400-700 used. Worth every penny. Good luck.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by num1train View Post
      I own a consignment tack shop and sell 15-20 saddles a month. I am also the mother of a pony rider. It has been my experience that the Pony Pessoa is the saddle of choice for young riders. We also do see quite a few Pony Butets as well. My choice would be a mint condition Pessoa. Prices range from 400-700 used. Worth every penny. Good luck.
      Thanks! How do I tell the older pony Pessoas from the new ones? I've been finding them in that exact price range (which is fine) but I'd prefer an older one. Is there a way to determine age from the serial numbers stamped?

      Are only the adult saddles stamped N. Pessoa and the pony saddles something else?

      Comment


      • #4
        timely post for me
        num1train, what do you think of the hunter pony HDRs?

        I am looking at a Beval that is a 15 and looks small, do they run small? How would the resale be? I want a Pessoa but the 15 looks too big, the 14 too small. Granted I haven't been able to try one yet so that's what I need to do I know.

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        • #5
          Seven, Middleburg Tack Exchange has a 15" Ian Miller, or at least they do on their website. Price is $495.

          http://www.middleburgtack.com/index....lose%20Contact

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          • #6
            I have young riders with both the Ian Miller and the Pony Pessoa. I have been equally happy wtih both saddles.

            Comment


            • #7
              How can you tell an older Pessoa - weight! We looked at several and found the older ones weighed a ton. She couldn't even lift it onto the pony (a large large) without help.

              We ended up with an AMO Jr for her, and it's awesome. Balance is great. Fits every horse we've had it on. Puts her in a wonderful position. We got it from another COTHer and love it! I would definitely look for another one when she outgrows her 15".
              A proud friend of bar.ka.

              Comment


              • #8
                Pony Saddles

                My two girls have outgrown a 15" HDR Pony Pro and a 15 3/4Pessoa Pony. I would say that the Pessoa is a much better saddle. The HDR Pony Pro looks very nice but the ride is a lttle off compared to the Pessoa which rocks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's my experience with the Pessoa's and a Beval Ltd.

                  Last year my daughter showed her medium pony in a 15" Pessoa Pony but outgrew it by pony finals. At the time we were looking for a new pony or horse so I didn't want to invest much in a new saddle, until we found a new mount. I bought a used Pessoa Pony AOM in a 15 3/4" to use short term. We recently switched to a Beval, Ltd2. Both Pessoa's were older and in my opinion are made of much cheaper leather that is slippery making it hard to equitate, plus both put my daughter in a 'backseat' position. They are hard on the bottom with little stuffing under the twist, making it hard on the ponies back. It's very difficult for me to find much nice to say about them other than they are reasonably priced.

                  So far my daughter loves the Beval, soft leather, very soft underneath and my daughter has won every equitation class she's been in since we bought it a month ago. I would look for a good quality used saddle before the pessoa. I know the pessoa is popular but part of that popularity is becasue they are budget priced. You get what you pay for. The Beval was a bit more but it didn't break the bank.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can I just inquire as to how old/tall your kids are fitting into the 15s?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to agree with Lexus....
                      I have two 14" saddles and this is what I found:

                      Saddle #1 was a brand new 14" short flap pessoa pony - I have had it for at least 3 years, done weekly lessons and still seems hard and not broken in. I have cleaned and oiled it many, many times and it's still slippery. It does put both kids in the back seat on the 4 different horses/ponies that I've had it on. It works with a wedge pad and an additional lift behind the cantel.

                      Saddle #2 was a used Beval Stamford, 14" - this saddle does not come off the rack in a short flap but the flap on it does match the pessoa short flap (I was told that they run shorter but they could custom make you a Stamford with whatever flap length you want). This saddle is soft and grippy! My 9 year old has been through both saddles and LOVES this saddle. It sits more balanced on the pony's back and does put her in a better position than the Pessoa.

                      Saddle #3 - I just bought a 15" Stamford and have to say that there seems to be a big jump in size between the 14" and the 15", but I saw a good deal and couldn't pass it up for her future saddle!

                      For what it's worth....I didn't pay more than $400 for either Beval saddle and paid almost $900 for the Pessoa. I would stick with the Beval, I don't think that I would have any trouble getting out what I paid for them!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marimee2 View Post
                        I have to agree with Lexus....
                        I have two 14" saddles and this is what I found:

                        Saddle #1 was a brand new 14" short flap pessoa pony - I have had it for at least 3 years, done weekly lessons and still seems hard and not broken in. I have cleaned and oiled it many, many times and it's still slippery. It does put both kids in the back seat on the 4 different horses/ponies that I've had it on. It works with a wedge pad and an additional lift behind the cantel.

                        Saddle #2 was a used Beval Stamford, 14" - this saddle does not come off the rack in a short flap but the flap on it does match the pessoa short flap (I was told that they run shorter but they could custom make you a Stamford with whatever flap length you want). This saddle is soft and grippy! My 9 year old has been through both saddles and LOVES this saddle. It sits more balanced on the pony's back and does put her in a better position than the Pessoa.

                        Saddle #3 - I just bought a 15" Stamford and have to say that there seems to be a big jump in size between the 14" and the 15", but I saw a good deal and couldn't pass it up for her future saddle!

                        For what it's worth....I didn't pay more than $400 for either Beval saddle and paid almost $900 for the Pessoa. I would stick with the Beval, I don't think that I would have any trouble getting out what I paid for them!
                        Oh, and the one HDR that I sat in had a very hard seat and was very slippery (it was broken in and used 3/4 times per week).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Pessoa Pony saddle known as the Rodrigo has had the same manufacturer since it was first introduced. The resale value on these is amazing. I have seen really old, beat saddles go for $400.
                          The A/O Jr is basically the same saddle, same tree etc, with slightly nicer leather.

                          Pessoa introduced a new saddle about 2 years ago, the Rodrigo Pony Legacy. The flap is covered leather which is instantly cushy and easy to ride in for a child.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks so much for all the great info! Lots of great experience in these replies.

                            The good news is that even if I get one that doesn't quite work, these kids saddles seem to really hold their value, so it should be easy to resell.

                            And even better is I have time. The 14" should work for us for a good while yet, and it's 1000% better then the lesson saddle she'd been using!

                            Any thoughts on the flocking question (i.e., do any have wool are all those mentioned foam)? I generally prefer wool because it's adjustable but DD isn't exactly going on 4 hour hunts either...so a nice well-fitted foam padded saddle will work too.

                            Matay02 - maybe the Beval you were looking at might have looked small compared to the Pessoa that looked big because it had a slightly deeper seat? Might be hard to see if they're not side by side. I've seen several Bevals with deeper seats but are not specifically advertised as a 'deep seat' or even modified version. Not sure whether the owners don't know or it was presented to them that way, but there is definitely more than one type. I do think the deeper seat provides more security to little riders and is a good thing. But it does make them seem smaller then the same sized flatter seat saddle.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Rodrigo pony saddle, A/O jr & Legacy Pony have trees made just for ponies. It is known for having great fit for ponies.
                              Personally I think that wool flocking and restuffing can be a snare and a delusion; an extremely inexact science. I am sure that there are people who legitimately know what they are doing.
                              I saw a saddle that was destroyed by a saddle fitter with all kinds of things done to the knee pads as well as the panels.
                              Pony saddles in particular don't need this, but the whole reflocking thing is a story for another thread and I am not going to enter that debate.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We have an 8-year-old 15 3/4" Pessoa Pony. It is amazing. Has fit everything from a 13h pony to a 16h Thoroughbred. DD has stayed petite at 4' 11" and will basically be able to use this saddle for the rest of her life, unless she gains a substantial amount of weight in her forties ().

                                If you can find an older Pessoa, buy it quick.
                                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ditto the older Pessoa Pony. We bought one new and the leather was like butter from day one and we had no fitting problems (used it on several different smalls and mediums). I do not know how to tell the difference between old/new Pony's other than the quality of leather. It also held it's value well. IIRC, we sold it after three years of use for about $650,
                                  Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                                  http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks! I don't plan to have any saddle reflocked to change foam to wool - just questioning whether any of these brands were made available with wool. I'm thinking they were not but occasionally I see them listed as if they were. I'd be inclined to pay more for one that was, but won't cry about it if there aren't any. Fortunately I live close enough to a master saddler to get work done correctly (and custom fitted) but I'm still not changing a relatively short term foam padded saddle into a wool flocked one.

                                    Thanks again for all the great advice! Although it seems like there are a lot of different experiences within the same brands, it's interesting to read and gives me some ideas on what to look out for.

                                    And I'll second Mayaty02's question:
                                    Originally posted by Mayaty02 View Post
                                    Can I just inquire as to how old/tall your kids are fitting into the 15s?
                                    Sizes would be helpful. Just as guidelines.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The Pessoa pony saddle is THE pony saddle. Maybe becuase it is built on a pony tree rather than a small version of a horse tree.. Got to be some reason they are #1.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Seven View Post
                                        And I'll second Mayaty02's question:
                                        Sizes would be helpful. Just as guidelines.

                                        Hi Seven,

                                        I'm one of the thumbs down people for Pessoa's. However my daughter rode in one from the time she was 8 until she was 11 (before that she had a 14" Stubben Rex). She's small for her age so was in the 15" until she turned 11, then went to a 15 3/4 for 9 months until we recently switched to a Beval. She is 4'9" and less than 70 lbs. right now. If I knew then what I know now she'd have been out of the Pessoa's much sooner.
                                        Last edited by Lexus; May. 14, 2010, 07:57 AM. Reason: can't get silly icon's to work.

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