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CWD Saddle input

Looking for any advice!

Had a CWD rep come out today to try saddles. Of course I fell in love with the 2GS. I currently have a yearling so it was specifically being fit to me and not the horse. My saddle now is a Beval calf skin that seems to just be falling apart and I’ve never heard a bad thing when it comes to CWD. Wondering, if any, saddle might be comparable to the 2GS? New in full buffalo runs 8k+ so looking to see if its really worth the investment! I also rode in a SE01, liked it, but wasn’t sold on it. Any saddle input welcomed!!

It depends in what way you want something comparable (Leather quality? Balance? Flap configuration options? Tree?) but I’m going to cut to the chase and save you some time. I, too, loved nothing but the 2GS but thought I could surely find something just as great at a more reasonable price. One year and 2 saddles later I just gave in and ordered one because I could not find anything else that really measured up. So, by trial and error, yes you can probably find something else that would be fine. Or you could just buy it and be done. :wink:

I looked at the CWD a few years ago when I replaced my Butet and I did not like the CWD (pommel was too high in front) and opted for a Bruno Del Grange which I love but I did not try the 2GS as it was more than I wanted to spend.

I liked the 2Gs but I actually liked the SEO3 more.
I ended up buying a Voltaire because I liked the Voltaire as much as the SE03 and was not comfortable with my area’s CWD rep.
The only way to know what you will like is by continuing to sit in more saddles unfortunately.

I do not currently and have never owned a CWD. I have however ridden in several different models and model years on several different horses. In my experience CWDs are very specific to horse and rider combinations. When they work for the horse and rider the saddle is an essential tool. When they don’t work for either horse and/or rider = not good. This includes pro panel models that are supposed to fit most horses. I can’t explain why as not every saddle I rode in was a customized version but this is my experience.

That being said it would be unfortunate to spend $8k on the saddle and eventually hate it on your personal horse (Since he is a yearling you can’t ride him in the saddle).

I have owned several different saddles over the years and have always turned to my Butet, Devoucoux, Tad Coffin, and now Voltaire as my first saddle of choice regardless of the horse I was riding, as long as it fit reasonably well. I cannot say this about CWD. And I guess for me spending that much on a saddle I only liked on one horse if I was lucky was not a good investment.

Most people at my current barn ride in CWD and have been mostly pleased with their saddles. Some fit issues go unresolved which in my opinion is not reasonable if you are paying for customization and at this price point.

i have the full buffalo but not the 2GS (I forget my model name). I have low standards, though, because I’ve never had a fully custom saddle and my two previous saddles were really purchased to fit horses and didn’t fit me. My new saddle does both, and I’m very pleased with it. It broke it very quickly since I got the buffalo while still keeping some durability that you forego with calf. I never sat in the 2GS because I am still somewhat traditional and don’t like the more modern looks, although the new hunter style is definitely an upgrade.

I think if you really want one, you might as well wait until you can fit it to your horse. In 4+ years saddles will have likely changed a good bit.

ETA: Mine is the SE02.

If you really like the 2GS and aren’t getting it fit to a horse, why don’t you look for a used one in the configuration you sat in and liked? I see them for sale often enough, usually ranging from 3-5k

This one is used. But priced at 7,600 plus tax which I’ve come to see is quite high after comparing similar used models.

This one is used. But priced at 7,600 plus tax which I’ve come to see is quite high after comparing similar used models.[/QUOTE]

That is very high for a used one.

Also - I know many people love the 2GS but I know of two instances where the flap has literally come off the saddle (ie the stitching gave way and the flap came right off). This happened twice to a girl at my barn. The reps were somewhat helpful the first time, and not helpful at all the second time. This happened to her the second time while she was at a clinic and thank goodness the Antares rep was there and came to her rescue by loaning her a saddle for the rest of the clinic.

For me personally - I ended up trying Antares, CWD, Butet, and Bruno Delgrange and ended up deciding on the Bruno. Made me feel the most balanced and secure for the way that I am built. I know all the hype lately is around CWD - but you never know what other brands might work for you just as well for a better price, or may work for you even better than the CWD - definitely just try as many as you can before deciding.

My experience with the CWD rep from California (he was up in my area for the Spruce Summer Series last year) was that he didn’t really assess the fit for the horse, but only cared about fitting it to me and getting me in the 2GS even though I told him I couldn’t afford it. That threw me off - my first priority is always the fit for my horse and then working to fit me after. He finally agreed to look for a used one from one of his clients in the model I wanted (SE02) but do you think I ever heard back from him or my local rep who should have taken over once he departed back to California? Nope. I guess I wasn’t spending enough money to be worth his while.

Also - since you are focusing on the fit for yourself and not your horse at this point - I’d be leery of spending $7000+ on a saddle that may not work for your horse once he’s are started under saddle and continues growing. Seems like a lot of money to spend if you’re just going to have to do the whole process again (likely several times) over the next few years.

I had to buy a saddle to fit me while I was still leasing a horse and planning to eventually buy one, and I tried a lot of different things and liked the CWD SE01 best. I told the rep it needed to fit my lease horse, but that it was also going to need to fit other things, and he was great to work with. I tried 23 horses during my search, and my saddle fit the vast majority of them really well - I kept a half-pad and shims with me to adjust as needed. And it fits my new horse well. So, it is possible for a saddle to be versatile, particularly with a little help from a half pad with shims for adjustment. That said, I would be reluctant to spend $7k+ on one when you know for a fact your horse will be changing shape over the next few years. So, I don’t know that I would indulge myself on the 2GS in that situation, if I could find something else that I did like for less.

For what it’s worth, many of the people I know that have bought CWDs are selling them.

I got a new 2GS in calf about a year ago. Well, I ordered it about a year ago anyway. It took about 3 months to come, my rep couldn’t get back to me after I spent almost $10k, and when they charged me the wrong amount/didn’t send me everything I had paid for I thought I was going to lose my mind. I ordered my saddle in March of last year, and by the end of this week my transaction with CWD should finally be done. Not to say all reps are like that, but I would steer clear of custom ordering if you don’t have too. Like horse shopping, it seems like fun until you actually have to do it.
To be fair, I did order a custom Antares (in the most generic of sizes for the horse) for myself several years ago when I was riding 6+ horses a day under my trainer. At the time it was a good investment for me, but primarily because my saddle seemed to fit just about every horse I put it on and at that barn we rarely rode in clients saddles. When I bought my current horse my Antares didn’t fit him at all (go figure!), so I ordered my CWD.
I wouldn’t look for a CWD with a rep, as the price will be potentially higher and most reps seem less interested in the second hand market. I would look at the high end used saddle companies, any local used saddle market in your area, and save your custom fitted CWD experience for when your horse is full grown and filled out and would really benefit from the custom saddle. By then, probably everyone will be raving about a different saddle on the market!

That is insanity to me. I’ll own the fact that I would never spend this much on any saddle, but the only possible justification I could even begin to stretch my imagination around would be a saddle to fit a hard-to-fit horse. I’m pretty long hip-to-knee, and, while finding a saddle to suit me isn’t easy, it can certainly be accomplished for less that $8K. If I were you, I’d buy a less expensive saddle to fit me as my youngster grew, sinking the money into a dream saddle later when it can be made to fit you both.

Thanks for all of the advise! I was told this had been a demo but after finding a nameplate on it and my trainer knowing the individual realized it had not been. Thinking I might just pass and continue looking at other brands after this experience.

I know a lot of people who have had issues with CWD between the saddles and the reps. They don’t stand by their product very well. One friend of mine had the stirrup bars actually come off of the saddle while riding, on 2 different saddles. Also a friend had a CWD actually come unscrewed, and ended up messing up a horses back pretty bad. It was a 2G.

That being said, look into Voltaire. The saddles are great and so are the reps. They make a “pro-fit” and it fits multiple horses and

The 2Gs is a beautiful piece of equipment, and there is nothing else on the market quite like it. That said, being truly happy with a CWD happens largely in part due to your rep. And generally their reps suck. I tried and tried to make it work to own a CWD, but ultimately their sale model is really a “formula” versus creating a truly custom product, and the reps are not saddle fitters.

So! I think if you can get a 2Gs that actually fits you [and your horse] then you will not find anything else that comes close to the performance that saddle provides. Otherwise, it is a LOT of money for a brand that often doesn’t stand by making the fit correct.

That is way too high a price for used. Also, unless you have other horses you are currently riding that it would work for, I would wait until your horse is older before spending that kind of money on a saddle, unless money is really no object for you.

I have a 2Gs, and it’s honestly the only CWD I like riding in. I’ve ridden in several in addition to all the demos I tried. I was nervous because my horse has been growing/changing shape, but my existing saddle (a Childeric) made him very unhappy. I sat in several other saddles which also made him very unhappy. I as worried that the tree would wind up being too narrow, although the SE01 in medium-wide was too wide at the time of fitting. I was worried that the 2Gs would be too tight in the shoulder in order to have enough wither clearance. However, his behavior says he likes it. I rode in a demo several times that was very similar but not quite the same in the panels. He would get pissy and buck, just not as much as in my old saddle. His behavior has been great in my 2Gs, considering he is a very obnoxious youngster.

I did have an issue where the front panel came unscrewed after a few weeks. I had to send it to California for repair, but it was a pretty easy process and handled quickly. During the time it was out for repair, I realized how much better balanced I was in the 2Gs on my horse than the Childeric. The Childeric’s poor fit on him put me a little in the back seat and I couldn’t see a distance (even to ground poles) to save my life. And horse was telling me right away he was not happy with the saddle change.

I think that for my horse if I had to go to a different saddle, I’d look first at Tad Coffin with SmartRide. I almost did a demo from them but was worried about wither clearance since the panels are very, very squishy. If I could have found a demo locally (rather than having to ship from VA), it would have been easier. I had ridden in a couple TCs back in the 90s/early 2000s, and while they were fine (and have changed a little bit since), they weren’t my favorite, so I was hesitant to pay to ship out a demo. I have also not had great luck finding good condition TCs on the used market, and new is up there in price with the 2Gs.

I wouldn’t be buying a $$$$ saddle until your horse is done growing.

I haven’t sat in a 2Gs because I was afraid I’d sit in it and love it (and I can’t afford it), but I have 2 of the SE01 models and they’ve held up phenomenally over the years. I love them, and they fit a variety of horses. Can’t say enough good things about them. IME, the CWD models have their own fits; I tried the SE03 prior to getting my 2nd SE01 and I really didn’t like it; I had some of the issues that people have described with the pommel seeming too high. I’ve never had that problem with the SE01s, though, so I think maybe the seat depth is more complimentary to my build.

I would also agree to look elsewhere. As a fitter (independent), I would recommend a wool flocked saddle to allow some adjustments as your horse grows. I see too many ill-fitting foam panel saddles, that are pushed onto people because of ‘brand’ (CWD being one of them), and there is not much you can do with a foam saddle to adjust fit, except for using shim pads if it warrants.
But honestly, as others have said, if you are buying a saddle for you to use on your yearling when he matures, wait until he is under saddle before spending $$ on a saddle that may or may not fit him (or her).
If you need a saddle to ride other horses in, again, I suggest something wool flocked that you can have a certified fitter adjust to help fit whatever horse you are currently riding.
Have you looked at Black Country? Fantastic saddle, little less expensive than the CWD, and much, much higher quality.

The rep will roll their eyes, but CWD can do their saddles in wool. I almost went with that myself.