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Tell me about the County Stabilizer Xtr

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  • Tell me about the County Stabilizer Xtr

    I am seriously considering purchasing one of these saddles, but before I do I'd like to hear your thoughts!

    I use to have a Bates Elevation until I had a saddle fitter out and he hated it, sugested I sell and get something wool flocked( County, Black Country or Prestige). So it's sold and I need a replacement, I really like this saddle and think it's what I will end up with, but I'm always open to other suggestions!!

    Thanks in advance, tell me the pros, cons everything!!

  • #2
    Love my Stabilizer XTR. It's a nice saddle and very well balanced generally speaking. I've ridden my mare in hers for the last 6 years and have been happy with it every step of the way through the AO Jumpers.

    What do you do with your horse? Hunters? Jumpers? Other? My personal feeling is that the balance is a little less forward than I'd like in a perfect world (though I never felt that way until I bought an Innovation for my TB gelding and realized that I prefer that saddle for the big jumps), and I've heard several people say that the rough rule is that the Stabilizer is better for hunters and the Innovation is better for jumpers (very rough rule with lots of exceptions, of course).

    All in all I love my County saddles.
    __________________________________
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, I don't have the XTR, but I do own the Stabilizer itself (as well as a slightly older Symmetry). As many have heard me say already, I am in love with that saddle. They are so great for horses' backs, and riding in it is like sitting on a heavenly little piece of cloud - though it's certainly not "fluffy" enough to be annoying. I grew up riding in VERY flat saddles - saddle seat mostly, and my hunt seat saddle for many years was an old-skool Crosby Prix des Nations - and the Stabilizer, for me, infused just enough padding and comfort into what is still a relatively flat, stable saddle.

      Truly, I couldn't be happier with mine. County was easy to work with and helpful, and even dealt with my saddle OCD... "OMG WHERE IS IT>?!?! HAS IT LEFT ENGLAND YET?!?!" and so on.

      County quality is certainly top-notch, and the leather they use is lovely. I found that with my brand-new Stabilizer, I had next to zero break-in time. I happily showed in it about a week after I got it. Can't go wrong with wool flocking either!! I don't think you will be disappointed.

      Have you ridden in it yet?

      Comment


      • #4
        I am currently awaiting the arrival of my new Stabilizer XTR, which replaces the pancake flat saddles I have ridden in for the last 35 years. It was a huge decision (for me) to move from something with no padding, rolls, etc. to a more 'cushy' saddle.

        After sitting in many demo models, however, I fell in love with the Stablizer models. My rep told me basically what PNWjumper said - that the Stabilizers are more for the hunters and the Innovations are more for the jumpers, with exceptions, of course. I have recently moved to the jumper ring, but found the the Stabilizer XTR put me in the best position overall.

        I ordered the bull leather, in the 'Conker' color, with pencil knee blocks and thigh blocks. Should be here in about 3 weeks (there was a slight delay due to the leather options/color I chose). The rep was wonderful to work with and has updated me several times as to the delivery date. Will let you know once the saddle is actually here what the consensus is
        ~*Friend of bar.ka*~

        Comment


        • #5
          I demo'd one, totally loved it. Fit my horse well.

          But, you absolutely do want to have a County rep out to fit the saddle to your horse - don't just buy one off the rack. Be warned though that not all County reps can fit a paper bag

          You really do just need to ride in it. They are beautiful saddles, *I* loved it, but you may totally hate it.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

            I have a regular Stabilizer, and it's the most comfortable saddle ever. I do the upper level jumper stuff mostly, and find it really locks my leg into place. I ridden in Antares, Devoucoux's, Butet's, CWD's, and over all--love this one the most.

            A few clients have Stabilizers and love them as well. Like JB said, you really just need to ride in one to see what you think. Try to see if you can get one on trial before you commit to make sure it's just as comfortable for you as it is for everyone else!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              I LOVE my Stabilizer (not an XTR) and finally a saddle that fits my hard to fit TB! I went through many saddles trying to find something that fit him but finally broke down and got a County. I had ridden in a Stabilizer before so I knew that I liked them.

              I agree with JB, gotta have a County saddle fitter to help fit the saddle but not all reps know what they are doing.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had one, but it made me pinch with my knees like crazy. (It did have "skid row panels", though, so that may have been part of the problem). I sold it and bought a new Antares, and my knee pinching stopped with the first ride.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lurve

                  I loved my Satbilzer (not the XTR). However, it came to me used, and the flaps weren't nearly forward enough for my leg, even with longish stirrups. If I were to order a new sadle, I'd order the Stabilizer with an extra forward flap. Best saddle I've ever had, and fit my horse beautifully.
                  "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Definitely have your fitter look at the saddle if you are buying one used as the trees can vary a bit over the years -- a wide from 2003 may not be the same as a wide made in 2010, or so I have found. I have a Stabilizer (not XTR) that made a huge difference in my horse -- it was like he went from almost lame to sound just by switching to a saddle that actually fit him.

                    As a side note, how does the XTR differ from the regular Stabilizer? I don't really see anything at County's website that says, and I've been curious.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by horsepoor View Post

                      As a side note, how does the XTR differ from the regular Stabilizer? I don't really see anything at County's website that says, and I've been curious.
                      I have a really, really hard time getting an ANSWER from my local fitter (a sales pitch I get unsolicited any time of the day and night, but a straight answer seems tougher to get) but I believe the XTR has a deeper seat and upgraded leather.
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                        As a side note, how does the XTR differ from the regular Stabilizer? I don't really see anything at County's website that says, and I've been curious.
                        When I bought my Stabilizer (2001 maybe?) the only difference between the regular and XTR models was the leather. The XTR had the thicker, printed leather on the flaps and the regular saddle had the thinner, smooth leather (there was no bull leather option at the time). I don't know if they've changed things since then, but to the best of my knowledge the only difference is the leather.
                        __________________________________
                        Flying F Sport Horses
                        Horses in the NW

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My saddle fitter told me that the flat is slightly more forward on the XTR version. I have the xtr and love it!
                          http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can tell you that the regular Stabilizer made it a little easier for me to post the trot, but the XTR made it a bit easier to sit the canter. Since I have a push horse, easier canter was going to be the winner over slightly easier posting trot.

                            So, the seats are a bit different, though I cannot tell you why each of them affected me that way. I do have a slightly long thigh, but no long enough to required a +2 flap or anything.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              check your PMs!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I got my Stabalizer Xtra in bull leather two weeks ago and I've only rode in it 3 times. I've been treating my horse for Lyme so I haven't been able to ride in it since. I do like the leather but I feel like my saddle is too big for me. Maybe I am not used to it? I am 5ft and always rode in a 16 saddle with a short flap. I ordered a 16 1/2 with a standard flap and now I feel like it is a bit too big for me and there is too much space in the knees.

                                I do like the saddle and like I said I only rode in it 3 times. The only complaint I have is the saddle rep said they are not allowed to advise you on the saddle flap or seat.

                                Oh well it fits my horse isn't that what counts the most?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by AHorseSomeDay View Post
                                  The only complaint I have is the saddle rep said they are not allowed to advise you on the saddle flap or seat. It would have been nice to have the person tell me nope this would be too big, etc etc.
                                  WTH? I would be having a SERIOUS discussion with them about that

                                  This is why there are so many unhappy County owners - too many sucky reps!

                                  Saddle fitting is NOT just about the horse. If it doesn't fit you, then most of us mere mortals have a really hard time compensating and struggle with position.

                                  I am so sorry for you they told you that.

                                  Oh well it fits my horse isn't that what counts the most?
                                  Sure, if YOU are able to adapt to the un-fit of the saddle to you

                                  Hopefully it will grow on you and you find you are able to deal with it more than just adequately
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                                    WTH? I would be having a SERIOUS discussion with them about that

                                    This is why there are so many unhappy County owners - too many sucky reps!

                                    Saddle fitting is NOT just about the horse. If it doesn't fit you, then most of us mere mortals have a really hard time compensating and struggle with position.

                                    I am so sorry for you they told you that.


                                    Sure, if YOU are able to adapt to the un-fit of the saddle to you

                                    Hopefully it will grow on you and you find you are able to deal with it more than just adequately
                                    I know it wasn't cheap either. I did want to get an Antares originally but there is no saddle rep in the CT area and the person wasn't willing to come. I give up. With my horse having Lyme and being hooked up to an IV twice a day and me being unhappy with my saddle. I feel very discouraged right now.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Trust me, I feel your pain.

                                      But it DOES get better. Somehow, some way, it does get better

                                      You may be able to help the too much room in the flap issue by adding or moving a knee block, or changing from a smaller one to a larger one.
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have the Stabilizer XTR and love it. When I was trying saddles, I rode in several and once we put the STabilizer on my horse's back his way of going improved greatly and he relaxed - and that is after having about 9 other saddles on his back that day!

                                        Since that time several others at the barn have bought the same saddle. I think the leather on mine is a bit different than the leather on the newer ones. The stamping seems deeper on the newer saddles.

                                        Two people at the barn have the Innovation. The saddles do not run the same width wise. Our rep said many of the jumper riders prefer the Innovation to the Stabilizer.

                                        I had tried the Antares but all the rep wanted to do was add pads to make the saddle fit. Who wants to ride with 3 pads every ride!

                                        Comment

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