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Custom Heritage Saddlery Saddles?

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  • Custom Heritage Saddlery Saddles?

    I have given up trying to fit my horse into any normal saddle, it seems as if it's just not going to happen. So I've started researching people who make truely custom saddles, and came across Heritage Saddlery, owned/run by Matty Marlow, in England. For only about $1k in some cases, I can have a custom saddle made from wither tracings....and it will fit me as well!

    But, obviously, I'm a little leery. Has anyone bought one of these saddles? How is the overall quality? How has it held up? Did it truely fit you and your horse? About how long did it take to get it? Any regrets?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    there is a new post about him in the hunting section


    • Original Poster

      Yes, I did see that and PMed Grasshopper, but just wanted to see if anyone else had experience with them.


      • #4
        I have not heard of him.

        However I was almost in the same situation a few months ago. I was coming close to giving up then I decided to buy a newer used Kieffer. Fits my TB like a dream. The saddle fitter loved it as well. Also I know that if you give them a wither tracing they can adjust the tree as well.

        I also like the quality of my Kieffer and riding in it. It's a great saddle especially for XC and is not bad on the flat either.

        I know Black Country makes custom-ish (not sure on how detailed they get) saddles. My friend has one and it is lovely and so comfortable. They do cost a lot though.

        What kind/type of horse are you trying to fit anyways and what have you tried?

        I am just curious.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post

          I know Black Country makes custom-ish (not sure on how detailed they get) saddles. My friend has one and it is lovely and so comfortable. They do cost a lot though.

          What kind/type of horse are you trying to fit anyways and what have you tried?

          I am just curious.
          I have tried everything. If you check past posts under my name, you'll see a couple specific threads that I started, and they get into more detail. I have had saddles reflocked to fit him, I've had him stand in the aisleway while my trainer and I went through every saddle in a 40 stall barn, I've borrowed saddles from friends, had tack stores send ones out on trial, etc. The issue is that he's sensitive and will let you know when something doesn't feel quite right. Which sure, is good, but sometimes I just wish he'd suck it up so that I can fool myself into thinking a saddle fits! Right now I am riding him in a Collegiate that is at least an inch and a half too large for me, not the style I want, and I have to use a half pad for it to fit. In my mind, a properly fitted saddle is one that you can just toss on without a saddlepad, anything, and it won't cause any issues. (I realize this is not possible in an "off the rack" saddle and any will need to be tweaked. But I have found very few that would even be worth tweaking!)

          The Black Country saddles are QUITE pricey....same with County saddles, and most other custom saddles. Which is why I was curious about this guy....I can swing a grand if I sell the other saddles that I have, but only if it's worth it.


          • #6
            That's unfortunate. Does he have an odd shape to him?

            Although you said he was a sensitive guy.

            Well, good luck in your search and I hope you can find something. It is quite frustrating.

            Have you had a saddle fitter/saddle doctor come out?

            They can fit a saddle or tell you what would fit. Often times some will take templates and shop for you/send them out to various shops.

            Although, it is pricey so it is understandable if you didn't go that route.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post
              Does he have an odd shape to him?

              Although you said he was a sensitive guy.

              Have you had a saddle fitter/saddle doctor come out?
              Somewhat. Looking at him, you wouldn't think that he'd be hard to fit...he doesn't LOOK weird. He's just got GIGANTIC shoulders, but then the rest of him is NOT wide. Most regular tree dressage saddles fit him well, and that's all and good...but I want a jumping saddle. The more forward trees just jab right into his shoulders.

              And yes, I have had several saddle fitters come out.


              • #8
                Matty is a sweetheart to deal with; he knows his stuff, and he's a competent saddler. I haven't bought a saddle from him, but I have bought other stuff from him. Might be worth contacting some of the people who've bought custom saddles from him and see what they have to say - you can do that through Ebay.

                However, I do believe that a saddle fitter or maker who can be with your horse to fit/make a saddle has got to be better than one who can only judge from photographs and measurements.

                Depending on your budget, you may have some luck talking to Schleese about a custom saddle, and I believe there are other competent saddlers in your area who can semi-custom a saddle for you.


                • #9
                  Are there saddle fitters around who will do some serious re-arranging on a saddle to make them fit better? Like extending flap?


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by imissvixen View Post
                    Are there saddle fitters around who will do some serious re-arranging on a saddle to make them fit better? Like extending flap?
                    Yes, but like I said, I haven't actually found a saddle that fits enough to bother tweaking. I would like to at least get CLOSE, and then have it perfected by a saddle fitter.

                    But honestly, I've had this discussion a million times over. I know what all my options are. I would just love some opinions on this specific brand of saddle, and the experiences people have had.


                    • #11
                      Well, here are the saddles I have had that haven't worked:

                      Jeffries Flyover -- Great fit for me, lack of panels and short tree gave horse very sore back.

                      County -- I was all over the saddle -- flaps too short -- but great fit on high withered hollow but relatively wide sore warmblood back. Sold on ebay for exact price I paid about a year later.

                      Detente Merlin -- Almost same as County. Great panels for horse, flap not forward enough for my leg. This is the one I want to find someone to alter as I am so sick of buying saddles.

                      Crosby Prix de Nations -- for shark withered TB, really pretty good fit, nice to ride in, bought for horse that I don't ride anymore. Paid $350 for it in consignment shop and it is sitting on the floor of my tack room all moldy.

                      Barnsby (I can't remember type) -- Fabulous saddle approximately 50 years old. Great jumping saddle. I rode in it for about 25 years and my mom another 10, but it's 16.5 inch and my butt is substantially bigger than it used to be. Hanging in the rafters of my garage.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks, I have tried models in three of those five brands. Like I said, just looking for any experiences with this specific saddle, the Heritage Custom saddles, as they seem a good deal for a custom and I would try one out if I had some first-hand accounts of them.


                        • #13
                          Bumping this up because I am thinking about the same saddle, once my rescue TB starts to fill out. He has very prominent and long withers, a deep girth and a huge shoulder but not very wide. I have read some good things about the saddles on Horse & Hounds and have sent some emails to people who have purchased from him on eBay.