I absolutely love the Albion SL... what similar saddles should I try?

Hi folks,

I’ve been riding in my Klimke Miller saddle for about 20 years now and I’ve been happy riding in it until I discovered it did not fit my horse and I tried an Albion SL. Whoa nelly… I absolutely loved it. My leg naturally lays along my horses side with contact all along my calf. I could actually apply my leg in the sitting trot! In my Klimke I now realize that I was always struggling to support with my entire leg instead of just low calf and heel. My seat also felt so much more locked in, but not in a restrictive way. In the Klimke I have always struggled in keeping my seat even, especially at the canter where my horse tends to lean inside and I find myself sitting to the outside w/ my inside leg flopping about in the stirrup. Like magic, in the Albion that problem is drastically improved!

Unfortunately it is not quite the perfect fit for my horse. The MW tree width is ok, the shoulder panels aren’t quite the right shape and my fitter wasn’t a fan of large gusseted rear panels.

So, I’m looking for suggestions on saddles that will provide a similar feel while riding. My budget is pretty flexible, however i would like something that holds value fairly well and is easily sellable. My guy is 16 so I’ll likely need to re-sell in the next 5 years or so.

> Like magic, in the Albion

Someone once joked that this saddle would add ten points to your dressage score.

It is an SL and not an SLK correct? With a flatter more open seat and knee rolls that are not too enormous?

I have one and love it, except I have lost weight and am now swimming in the 18" seat so I will need to find something else once the pony grows up. You wouldn’t think it would make that much difference, but apparently it does. :confused:

I think what you are feeling is the narrow twist allowing your thigh to fit closer to the horse and your leg to fall naturally down the side.

ETA: Here’s an article that explains it: https://schleese.com/saddle-fit-twist/

Looking forward to suggestions of similar saddles to try!

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LOL, so I’m not the only one!

Yes, it’s the SL. I’ve had test rides in 7 other saddles including the Platinum Ultima and nothing has come close to the SL.

COTH hive mind PLEASE tell me there are other saddles out there that offer a similar feel!

I would say that most albions have a wide twist and wide seat. I would also try a frank baines or some of the Ryder’s. The new open seat fairfax would also be similar.

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Actually the older Albion Style (I have one), the Albion SL (I used to own two) and the SLK (I have one) are all narrower in the twist compared to other models of Albions and other saddles. The Style and SL were/are the ‘minimalist’ saddles that I found most comfortable and love. The SLK just happened to fit my stallion the best. I have always been a passier and stubben fan but unfortunately I’ve never found a model of either that really fit my welsh cobs well with the exception of the passier GG for one of my many. I gravitated towards the aforementioned albions because of their better fit of my herd of beer keg barrels (no hoop tree needed except for one mare) and yet narrower twist for me.

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Give stubben a try, they have a variety of models and they tend to be on the more minimalist side while still able to provide good support for the rider. Plus they have narrow twists.

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This is why I loved my County Competitor. It was there, but never in your way! I think it’s pretty easy to find a used one under 1k, I often see them on facebook for mid-hundreds.

Lemke. I went from an ALbion to a Lemke and really liked it. Now in a CUstom WOlfgang SOlo II…

Had an excelle saddle I liked more then my albions, too bad I parted ways with it.

I rode in a Style (Albion subsequently changed the name of that model to SL) and also loved it. The closest I could find might be a Neidersuiss? Also a relatively open seat with minimal thighblock, AND fits similar types of horses. The balance is a bit different, but not horribly different.

Super hard to find those open seats! Frank Baines might be another option - I don’t remember the model, but they make one that is a bit wider in the twist (not a lot wider, but there is a difference), otherwise feels similar.

And no, not all Albions are wide twists - I’ve ridden in SL and SLK (deeper seat, bigger blocks), and both have a narrower twist, and tend to fit wider, flatter backed horses really well. Albion made something called Original Comfort Saddle, and THAT had a wide twist, and was very popular for a time, so it gave them the reputation of a wide twist, but they have many other models.

I rode in an Albion Legend 5000, and I thought it was comfortable. I like narrow twists so it must not have been too bad!

Resurrecting this to tack on a saddle I saw recently that may be similar… at least it has the flatter seat, I do not know about the twist yet as I’ve never seen one in person:

Lovatt & Ricketts, Cambridge model

https://www.facebook.com/WillowGroveRanch/posts/1859468097536988

I love my Albion SL, but I also love my Roosli Pilatus. The Roosli seems to me to have even a more open seat that the Albion.

When I was looking for my first saddle 20 years ago I spent an entire afternoon at Pelham trying everything in sight with a $1000 budget. Store manager put me in an Albion general purpose. Ahhhhh. Over budget by about $600 but worth every penny. About a year later I stopped in and the manager had the “perfect saddle” for me. An Albion special order Original Comfort dressage saddle with 19" seat, short flaps, and deep gussets. The wide tree works well on my horse to my surprise - he has withers. It looked brand new, so somebody lost a chunk of money. It still fits both of us. I still love it. I’ve had it reflocked and all 4 billets replaced when one broke. I understood back then that they did have a wide twist, which is what women tended to need. I use Sprenger 4-way stirrups which got rid of the ache in my knees and hips.

Albion makes a terrific saddle but is not particularly well known over here. I like open saddles. I think it helps riders develop better balance and seat. They aren’t locked in a deep seat and gigantic massive blocks from day one.