Help me spend $$$$ on a saddle...or not?

Had an independent fitter out to see my horses (2).

I currently ride them both in a Childeric FAP that was purchased for the youngster (now 4) but he has done a lot of changing shape (width and size of wither specifically) in the last year and is coming to the max width for the saddle. Good news is it still fits the semi retired one perfectly.

Now I hired an independent after being taken on a ride with CWD and wasting $$$$.

The fitter tried about 20 saddles of various brands and models on the youngster, up and coming Hunter show horse, and the best fit for him and myself was an Amerigo DJ Largo. I tried one that he was pretty much maxing out and the fitter is recommending I order a new one in a 1.5+ tree for longevity since he’s likely to get a bit wider still.

I really liked the demo I rode in. I rode better than I ever have according to a UL eventer friend who watched me. But I am so gun shy about buying something new again. Especially something $$$$. I understand his point. This horse will max out that tree in one adjustment. I am super lucky to be able to afford to buy a new one but I am just so nervous. I don’t want to keep going through saddle purchases- especially new ones.

Help me!

If you have vetted the fitter, it will be good. That is the important part. Ask what happens if it is not right. I reorder saddles for my clients if it is not right, but that is my personal decision.


They have agreed to endless adjustments (tree and panels) and 1 re-order or exchange of brand/model/etc if I really dont like the new one that comes in.

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Have you searched for a used one in the specs you’re looking for? That’s what I did when I got the recommendations from the fitter for my mare and it worked out better for my wallet!

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Is it feasible to buy the one you rode in, using it until he maxes it out, and then work with the fitter to see if the same saddle and a wider width is still the right idea? (Or keep an eye on the used market during that time.) I’m not sure if your concern would be allayed by having experience with an existing known working geometry. I’ve observed that used Amerigos of a fairly standard configuration seem to hold their value from year to year provided you’re starting with a saddle that’s a few years old and you don’t beat the heck out of it, so an intermediate step might be less costly than you’d expect.

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Unfortunately the demo is new. I was the first rider in it. There is no real incentive as it needs to be adjusted from 0 and its max is +1. The fitter would like him in a +1.5 tree

Yes I have. People seem to like this model. There isnt a single one I have found in Canada or the USA

I take it you’re not a 17.5"?

My sympathies. I also do a great job of having the horse who has the saddle that no one is selling.

Any saddle purchase is expensive, but Amerigo makes a darn good saddle. If you’ve done your due diligence on the fitter and you understand both why she’s making the recommendation that she is, and why that recommendation is suitable for your horse, and the logic makes sense to you, then you should be in good shape.

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Personally I would not spend $$$$ on a custom saddle for a 4yo unless the panels are easily adjusted. I’d look for something used that’s “good enough” until the youngster is done drastically changing shape


Yeah, my baby horse at 4 was not anywhere near what his final form would be.

My thoughts exactly. If I were going to spend $$$$ on a new, semi-custom saddle, I’d be sure my horse were mature in his body. You don’t know if this saddle is going to fit in two years, and you’ll be back to square one. Just use a saddle that’s good enough, and get creative with padding for now.


Amerigo panels aren’t foam. It’s a good saddle. I’d go for it.

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It sounds like you’ve done what you can to set yourself up for success (good fitter, wool flocked and adjustable saddle, etc.)

This would be a situation where I’d order something if I thought it was what I really needed. Some horses need the one in a million saddle.

Curious about your horse’s shape and why this model is in SUCH rare supply.

I think it has to do with his monster wither and compact shape.

He’s actually a littler guy with a monster step (reined ranch quarter horse, 15.2ish and a 13’ stride)

I will try and remember to get some photos of him on Sunday! Which views would help?

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Once I knew make/model/size that was best for me, and general shape since my “preferred” brand can have semi-deep or flatter seat, I felt pretty comfortable looking for my own at a steeeeeeep discount and then having the fitter out to adjust to the horse. I spent :see_no_evil: a lot on a new custom one, and then bought a used one five or six years later that was nicer than my custom one (it had been someone else’s custom) and like it better, and it was a little more than a 1/3 the cost of the new one. My preferred brand is not a trendy brand and are not attractive to my eye, but the horses love them and my booty and thighs cover the rest :wink:

This website has good instructions on what photos are most helpful to share…

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I think the “Largo” version of some of their saddles such as the DJ is a fairly recent addition. It’s got a wider channel and made for wider backs/spines. Add to that the need for a +1.5 tree (where these saddles run on the roomier side compared to many other brands), I think that is where the used market would be failing the OP.

I tried a regular DJ last spring based on tracings suggesting the tree would work, and I could not get a demo to try that was remotely in the configuration horse and I would need. The demo they had made him really sore and was too big for me as well as unbalanced, so I didn’t trust that they would actually make one he liked or that had the right balance for me, so i passed. (Horse had already proven to be very particular since I had tried tons of other more readily available demos and used saddles by this point). It’s one brand where they do have a main distributor on the east coast but for the most part all of the reps have to purchase their own demos. And there aren’t a lot of reps.

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Noted! I’ll try and remember on Sunday.

He does have a small tiktok page which shows his general shape @foxinsocksqh

*please please be kind to the adult re-rider on board! he’s my first jump horse coming from the AQHA hunt seat world and we are learning together. I bought him as a 3 year old last year with 60 days on him. May delete this post later :grimacing:

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Too late! I already looked him up and love him. Fancy pony!

So, I am in a similar position, or I was a few months ago. My 5 year old giant WB baby is far from done filling out. My plan was/is to buy him his “big boy saddle” when he has filled out. I spoke with 2 different independent fitters, had them look at the saddles I was using and I sat in saddles they had available. I ended up getting a used CWD for a great price, $2,000, and it fits him really well. Flap is a little small for me, but it’s honestly not an issue for me. My horse has room to grow, but if it turns out that he outgrows it, I should be able to easily sell it and buy a new saddle at that time. For now, my horse is very happy with the saddle.

I personally would not buy a new saddle at this time, even if your fitter is sure it would work. Each saddle is a bit different, and there can be so much give between the fitting, the saddle being made, and not to mention how much your horse changes in the time that it takes to make the saddle.

Another note about saddle fit- I hear people saying that the horse’s shape might change. My understanding is that the horse’s shape doesn’t really change, the size does. So, going from a 1 to a 1.5 is reasonable in a brand, assuming that the saddles are pretty consistent.

The shape does change- muscling changes the curvature of the back and the shoulder/wither relationship. You should have seen mine between ages 10 and 14 in his career transition from eventer to jumper to Eq horse to eq horse with a competent pilot who understood how to ask him to use his body…

I still don’t think it’s a terrible idea for a baby to have his very own saddle provided the owner of the baby understands why the fitter thinks the saddle is the right thing for the horse and why it will adjust to suit his development. If the explanation doesn’t make logical sense in terms of biology and geometry, maybe not the right fitter!

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