I was wondering if anybody could help me with info on a Black Country saddle for Hunters. I am working with a saddle fitter so I know what I need for my horse but was wondering about fit for me? I am older & like to feel secure when jumping. probably won’t ever jump over 2’6". I have been looking at the Ricochet, Quantum & Wexford. I have an ottb so based on description from the BC website I leaning toward the Ricochet but wonder if anyone has ridden in both & how they differ. I prefer a narrow twist but know that has a lot to do with the tree width. He will need a MW. I was told the quantum & Ricochet have the same see depth. anyone know if that is true?
While I can’t answer your specific question, I am a middle aged ammy riding in a MW Ricochet in the hunters. Thought I should pipe up :).
Pros: I love riding in the saddle. It feels substantial. It is comfortable. The slightly deep seat gives me great security. Customer service was 100% fabulous (thank you Patty Merli).
Cons: It’s big, bulky, and ugly. Nothing like my last saddle, which was a sleek French number. Alas, my delicate parts require me to ride in the La-Z-Boy of jumping saddles, which is basically what the Ricochet is.
I did a remote fitting and order through Patty Merli, based on the excellent reviews here.
FYI - Most BC saddles are semi custom, so you can order different trees with different models. If you are buying used, reach out to BC with the serial number to check details. A saddle labeled Quantum for example may have been customized.
I tried both the Ricochet and Wexford and bought a Ricochet. It’s very comfortable for me - I would say medium depth seat and medium to medium/wide twist. It’s very secure and puts my leg right under me.
The Wexford wasn’t the right fit for me - it has steeper rise to the pommel that just did not work with my anatomy. It’s a deeper seat and bulkier saddle compared to the Ricochet.
Hope this helps!
I have the Solare and the Quantum in 17.5 MW. I prefer the Quantum. It’s the depth of seat I like better. I think it’s the closest to what I was used to in terms of hunter saddles (older flatter types). The Wexford feels like a much deeper seat. Also the Solare weirdly runs a bit small which is odd to me because I also have an Eden and have sat in some other models and all the other models seem consistent in seat sizing.
Thank you so much that helps a lot! Is patty Merli from BC in the UK?
I totally get that. I am coming off a Prestige that I adore but it doesn’t fit my horse & can not be adjusted.
Thank you for the info, It is much appreciated.
I have a BC Wexford. It’s the first new saddle I’ve ever owned. I absolutely love it.
We made a few tweaks to the design and it turned out splendidly.
Personally I appreciate the deeper seat. Chose that model as it put me in the best position of the ones I tried.
Had such a good experience buying it I’m now working on ordering a BC dressage saddle.
Patty is in Aiken - http://www.pattymerlisaddlefitting.com/contact.html
I believe she does quite a few remote fittings. We spoke about what I was looking for and she has a specific set of photos she asks for to get an initial sense of what may work. Then she sent demo saddles and I got videos of me riding in both. Once I’d decided on the model, I did tracings and more photos. She suggested a few tweaks to the standard set up (slightly forward flaps and upswept panels in my case) and had the saddle shipped to her for a final check before I got it.
It was an excellent experience and I ended up working with her again to check a used BC dressage saddle I had on trial. She charged a very reasonable fee (< $100) to review fit for both me and my horse on a saddle that I bought from someone else.
I used Patti Merli for a remote fitting as well. She’ll send you some to try. She’s super helpful and responsive.
I have the Solare. For me, it feels like a closer contact ride than the Ricochet. I tried the Tex Eventer too, but it wasn’t quite right for me.
Is she in the US or UK?
I have a gp I purchased about 10 years ago. It’s more dressage oriented, but not a pure dressage saddle.
It fits well, is well made and still looks nice. I got brown. I guess mine is GP dressage oriented.
I do mostly hacking out in the fields and outside flatwork with a couple of logs to pop over. My guy is comfy in it.
Patti Merli is in the US.
I have a mix between the dante and the wexford. The wexford was like riding on a couch, but it was too deep for me to easily get out of for jumping.
So, I put a dante seat and twist with a wexford flap and panel. It’s the best of both worlds for me.
how do I get ahold of her?
I just saw someone had posted her info. thank you.
Patty is in the US, Aiken to be specific.
Another person with a ringing endorsement for Patty Merli. I have two saddles from her. Both are Vinici Solares. Vinici just means monoflap, and Solare is the the tree it’s built on. I’m on year two of my fully custom BC I ordered from Patty, and year six of a used BC we purchased from Patty for a separate horse. Absolutely no complaints from horse or humans.
I think the Solare is more common with H/Jers (disclosure: I event).
Patty sent me six saddles to try. I am not picky about what I sit in but I do remember the Wexford felt wide in the twist. For some reason, the Richocet and Quantum felt downhill when I rode in them, but I believe its because of my horse’s anatomy. What felt best was the BC I already had (naturally) so, I ordered a custom BC last summer that is my old BC’s exact replica except for a leather color change (black).
You can’t go wrong with BC.You will get superior customer service from them over french brands. And yes, if you buy used, make sure you send them the serial number to confirm what you’re sitting in is really as described by the seller.
US. South Carolina I believe.
I apparently have a knack for choosing hard-to-fit horses. Black Country saddles have been magic for both of mine. First horse loved the Ricochet. I currently have a Wexford on trial for my young TB. He’s so much happier in it and I finally feel like my position is solid again.
My confidence was really lacking but after two weeks riding in the Wexford, it seems as though I was struggling more with my old saddle putting me wrong place and fighting against that. The Wexford’s twist felt wide to me the first time I sat in it but feels normal now. Jury’s still out on the seat depth - we haven’t jumped enough to know if I’m going to feel stuck in the Wexford’s deeper seat. A little extra security might not be a bad thing with my green bean, though.
Dressage person here, but I agree you can’t go wrong with Black Country. They are both horse and rider friendly.
I have a princess-and-the-pea mare and she approves of BC.