Friday 19 May 2017

Saddle Saga Update

We still haven't found a jump saddle, so I thought I'd put together a list of everything we've tried that worked or didn't and why. I'd like to think we've been exceptionally unlucky (3 of the 4 used saddles I've had shipped to me have had twisted trees, 2 of them to the point they probably shouldn't be common is that really?) On the flip side, we've been super lucky in that all my long distance dealings have been good and my money has been refunded promptly, The vast majority of these saddles were lent by friends in an effort to try as many saddles as we could, I'm very lucky to have such a great barn family! Anyway, here's a list, in no particular order. Enjoy :)

17" Jeffries Elite W
Me: would have liked a 17.5" in this one, but would have made do. The overall well used condition of it killed the sale.
Bridget: slightly too narrow. but adjustable by saddler.
Other: website says you can purchase new in an XW. Repeated inquiries to the manufacturer and dealer have gone unanswered. This makes me nervous - if they're not motivated to make a sale, then how motivated will they be to provide customer service if anything goes wrong?

17.5" County Sensation MW
Me: Love. So much love. We're using this one while we search for 'our' saddle.
Bridget: Too narrow, but shape is good and the shoulders are gusseted, so she's happy enough.
Other: Cannot find this used in a  W/XW anywhere on earth. Can't afford the 6k for a new custom one.

18" HDR Rivella rotate to fit
Me: This rode really small. Like, too small for me.
Bridget: Thought it was fine.
Other. The way the tree adjusts makes me nervous, quality seemed a bit off...this one was almost new and the tree was twisted.

17" Antares Spooner W
Me: Love the open seat and nice sticky leather. Also, the flaps are an appropriate size for my short legs. Want.
Bridget: Way too narrow.

17" Stubben Roxane XW

Me: Had hopes because I loved my Juventus S, But nope, nothing about this worked for me.
Bridget: This tree is bananas! So curvy for my flat backed pony, although the width worked.

17.5" County Innovation W

Me: Don't love as much as the Sensation, but I'd settle.
Bridget: the panels are slightly the wrong shape, too angled. The Sensation fits her shape better, so we'll say the Innovation is a no go.
Other: This is a barn mate's saddle, so not for sale anyways.

Thorowgood/Kent & Masters:
Didn't even bother trying, check out how much wider B is than their XXW gullet:
the top pencil line is her. they would need to make a gullet 2 sizes larger than the XXW

18" County Stabilizer W

Me: too big for me, and the forward flap is too forward. Would like in a smaller size.
B: Slightly narrow, but OK. The length of it is the bigger problem for her.
Other: This could work in a smaller seat size. This is the other saddle we regularly borrow and ebay search while we look for our own.

Bates jump saddle/Wintec jump saddle:

Don't know the details on these, they were forgotten in the tack room by someone long ago, I just know the wide gullet wasn't wide enough and we put them on B and she was NOT a fan of the CAIR panels,
tabletop, now with dapples.

HDR 17.5 "Advantage W

Me: Ick. The flaps were SO long and weird.
B: Bucked me off 2 times. We borrowed this last minute for a XC clinic, after my saddle was deemed unusable. I knew this one didn't fit the best, so I deserved it.

17" Pessoa A/O W
Me: Meh. Would like a more forward flap and/or a 17.5" seat
B: Too narrow.
Other: these come in an adjustable tree, but I have a feeling even the XW plate won't be wide enough.

On my radar:

Am getting someone to measure the Pessoa XW XCH plate to see if it's even worth trying. Done. She's so much wider it's ridiculous.
Am trying to get someone to look at Bridget's tracings vs an XW Stubben Portos...the tree looks flatter and I know their XW is wide enough.
Prestige supposedly sells wide enough, as does Harry Dabbs. Now, to just get my tracings to the right person, or at least find one in a suitable size that is available locally for a quick trial.
Black County. Should work, but no local/Canadian dealers I can find.

On my "buy it if I find it in my budget" list:

-Newer county anything in an XW tree, Preferably a Stablizer or Sensation. Consider a W tree if fitter agrees she can adjust it.
-Jeffries anything in an XW tree. Again, possibly a W if fitter is happy with condition and adjusting it.
-HDR RTF saddles, we know they fit B, so if I could find one dirt cheap that's usable I'd use it while we search for the perfect saddle and take my chances on it dying :)
That was exhausting.



  1. Have you thought of trying a Duett? They're made for ponies shaped like B, and even new they would be in their price range. Stacey of Jumping Percheron had an 18...xw?...for sale for a while, you might ask her.

    1. it's so snobby, but I don't love the look of them. Also, I've inquired (about a year ago tho)and there's no distributors or support in Canada, and no desire from the company to ship here for a trial.

    2. That's a bummer. If you ever changed your mind, Trumbull Mountain might work with you. They're a US (Vermont) based remote saddle fitter and they do carry Duett. I sympathize with you, the saddle fit journey is so hard especially in an area with few saddle fitters!

    3. Thanks for the tip! I just checked the trumbull mtn website and they look awesome. I'm going to get in touch with them about sending some tracings for opinions. Thanks!

    4. I would also recommend a Duett. They're great for really wide horses. We had a lot of success with that for Shasta.

  2. Have you looked into Voltaire? Great fit on my QHx pony!

    1. ohh, another option to look at. Thank you! I knew bloggers would help!

  3. Donna at Precision Saddle Fitting was/is the Black Country distributor in Alberta, maybe she knows of one that would work for you guys.

    1. Awesome! They even have a website :) Thank you. I'll get in touch with them!

  4. Ugh saddle fitting limbo is the worst. Will keep my eyes peeled for you!

  5. Ughhh saddle fitting is the worst. Good luck!

  6. I have had great success with Thornhill - a good hoop-tree style on their Germania Spring tree. Cordia Pearson, Master SaddleFitter (, has been instrumental in getting me reasonably priced wide-enough width jump and dressage saddles.

  7. That's a lot of saddles! I wish you luck!

  8. Your journey has seen a TON of saddles. That's a little bananas. Good luck! I am still searching too, but I'm also pretty sure I know what I'm getting/doing so at least I have that.

  9. No advice other than I feel your pain. Saddle shopping is the absolute WORST.