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county saddle flocking: "cut leather in panels?"

I just bought a saddle off of ebay and found that someone had actually cut (with a knife, I presume) the leather with one inch slits on each panel. I am guessing they did this to remove flocking as the flocking is very loose.

I’ve never seen this before. The flocking can actually come out, since the slits were not sealed.

Not happy with this and plan to return, although seller has a “no returns” policy. No pictures were provided of the incisions.

Do county reps do this?

My county rep has done it, FWIW.

All County reps do this. It’s pretty standard unfortunately.

Mine doesn’t. :slight_smile:

or I should say, She hasn’t. I think I’d be a bit antsy if someone took a knife to the panels…

Is this something that is unique to County? I had my saddle (another brand) reflocked recently and they did not have to make a slit anywhere.

I think that most of mine have this as well and truthfully it isn’t a big deal. I ride a bunch of different horses and sometimes my saddle gets most of the flocking taken out or tons of flocking put back in. I also have skid row panels so perhaps that is why mine has the slits but it hasn’t been an issue. I ride 2-3 horses daily almost 7 days a week and no issues.

My County Rep just flocked my saddle and DID NOT cut the panels. I actually asked her how she was going to do it because I did not want the panels cut. She showed me the “flocking port” the saddle maker had left so the saddle could be flocked and said the panels should never need to be cut.

I have slits cut in all of my saddles. If you like the saddle, it is not an issue.

I know I’ve seen it, too, but I don’t remember which saddle it was, a County or another brand. The conversation, as I remember it, was about getting just the right amount of flocking in just the right place for a specific horse. The slits were small and didn’t seem to have grown over the years, and no sign of flocking sticking out or bulging. If you hadn’t looked closely you wouldn’t have seen them. FWIW.

My fitter uses a long hook type of thing to flock them (she doesn’t cut the panels) but since I have bought several off of ebay they had slits cut into them already.

My fitter uses a long hook type of thing to flock them (she doesn’t cut the panels) but since I have bought several off of ebay they had slits cut into them already.[/QUOTE]

This is what my fitter uses (long hooks). I don’t think I would have paid what I paid for this saddle if I’d known about the slits and I do want to return it for that reason.

You, by chance? http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?370008-Sold-a-saddle-on-ebay-now-she-wants-to-return-it-because-it-has-quot-defects-quot&highlight=slit

:lol: (kidding)

You, by chance? http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?370008-Sold-a-saddle-on-ebay-now-she-wants-to-return-it-because-it-has-quot-defects-quot&highlight=slit

:lol: (kidding)[/QUOTE]

How funny is that? I actually recall that thread. Something about a missing saddle cord?

It can be a perfectly normal, acceptable means of flocking a saddle. I’ve seen hundreds of quality wool-flocked saddles with such slits. My own saddles have them–one came with the slits (from the manufacturer) and my fitter made slits in the other.

It can also be evidence of a butcher job by a substandard saddle fitter–or in extreme cases, evidence of an owner or amateur fitter trying to DIY (that’s bad, obviously).

The size and location of the slits, however, is a matter of opinion and skill. A good saddle fitter will make them as small as possible and put them somewhere unobtrusive. But depending on the saddle, a one-inch slit in a more obvious location might be the only choice for on-site flocking. So without picture evidence, it’s hard to say whether you’re dealing with a hack job or “what any decent saddle fitter would do if tasked with adjusting this saddle’s flocking on site.”

If you like, take a picture and post it here. There’s plenty of saddle fitters on this board who can tell you if it’s legit or not.

Those are flocking holes. Many UK-made saddles have flocking holes cut in the factory, but some don’t, and we fitters use something small and sharp (I have an Exacto craft knife) to make the slits, usually up high under the flap and billets. We add, remove or move wool/flocking through those holes, using a flocking iron.

These are meant to be there—I have them on both my County Innovation (which was custom-made for a well-known trainer) and my custom-made, non-County dressage saddle. THey are exactly where Kitt says they are, and are completely normal. Do not panic.

Thanks all! There are 3 slits on each side and now that I know they are normal, we are good!

I have a County Stabilizer upstairs in my “tack room” (guest bedroom). I don’t recall seeing anything that sounds like that but cannot say for sure. Could you post pictures so we could see? Brita with Dynamic Equine Saddle Fitting flocked my saddle for me and she used long hooks. There is one strange cut on my saddle that was stitched when I purchased it used (from a consignment shop). My curiosity is peaked now. Pictures would really help.

My fitter cut into my saddle using a seam ripper type of tool to flock under the stirrup bars.

I don’t love this practice but it is commonly done.