If you're going to spend $7k+ on a saddle...

What brands are you looking at? Fit being most important, but also comfort, quality of the leather/overall, customer service, resale value. At this price seems prudent to do proper research. While I’m not a competitor, I use my dressage saddle almost every ride and love the flat work.

County

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I second County. Love their saddles!

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Also County. Quality leather, good workmanship and service. Made to last. To be expected in this price range, but not all provide, I can attest.

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Simply put, I wouldn’t spend $7k on a saddle, ever. I would gladly spend $3-4K on an excellent quality used saddle and save myself a couple thousand bucks.

The best saddle is the one that fits you and your horse. In terms of longevity and durability, I think the English saddles are a good buy. County and Albion for sure, if they fit well.

Prestige seems to hold up very well. A Stubben will last forever, but the fit and feel aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

I went through more saddle shopping than the average person with my oddly-shaped horse, so would avoid Schleese, Passier, simply because the sheer volume of cheap used ones available indicates people don’t keep them for long and / or they don’t hold their resale value well.

Would also avoid anything with foam panels. I know that rules out some truly excellent quality brands like Butet and Childeric but I would want to have the panels replaced with wool.

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Interesting. I didn’t think County was a higher end saddle. Just out of the loop I guess. Thank you and keep 'em coming!

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There is a also smaller, custom made Canadian brand called Paramount that you might want to look into . That’s what I am currently riding in and loving, but I did buy it used. I am also intrigued by the NSC brand but haven’t tried them in person. Love the quality of Antares, Devoucoux and CWD but as mentioned above,foam panels are a no go for me after a frustrating experience with a developing horse.

One of my absolute favourite saddles I’ve ever had was a Trilogy. It was just the perfect twist, feel, alignment and depth for me. Sadly, it was completely the opposite for my gelding so I sold it when I bought him. It was several years old when I bought it and in excellent condition. However I only had it for 2 years myself so can’t speak to durability. Resale value was great - sold it for more than I paid for it. Same with my Prestige - sold it 2 years later for what I paid for it. Another benefit of buying used - the depreciation is much less than with new.

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Resale value was great [Trilogy] - sold it for more than I paid for it. Same with my Prestige - sold it 2 years later for what I paid for it.

Wow!

IMHO… new saddles are awful. In my experience, you wait 6+ months and end up with something that only kinda matches what you asked for. I won’t do it again.

I buy used, and I only buy well-known brands that are easy to resell. Even if a saddle works perfectly now, odds are that inside of 3 years it either won’t work for the horse anymore or I won’t have the horse anymore (and we all know that saddles never fit the new horse).

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I’ve ridden the last 15 years in Hennig, but sadly no one in the US deals in them anymore. I’d have another in a heartbeat. I need a narrow twist with cutouts and like a more flexible tree. I’ll be looking at WOW and the new Prestige saddles.

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joidevie99, what “well-known brands that are easy to resell” do you look for? Any favorites?

Honestly, a lot of it has to do with what brands have good reps in your immediate area. Saddles with good support will always sell. I’ve had a lot of Customs, Albions, a Trilogy, a Black Country. Hennigs always sell. Equipe’s seem popular if you want foam.

The Custom spin-offs - N2 and Veritas are hot in certain circles now.

Around here I see a lot of Schleese and Prestige inventory, so I suspect those are harder to sell.

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Trilogy and Prestige here. Loved my Trilogy, but when I sold the flat backed horse I bought it for it didn’t fit my new, scoopy backed horse. The Prestige does. I have two, one for each horse, both the D1zero models, one is a monoflap and the other is standard flap. Love them, and the horses go very well in them. My Trilogy dealer/fitter said they could make one to fit my new horse, but I just can’t buy something I haven’t tried first. especially custom. But I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Trilogy if I had a different horse.

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I definitely agree that lots of people seem to unload fairly new Schleese, and my guess is they get oversold something that doesn’t ever fit their horse quite right.

But the Passiers I see for sale second hand are usually quite old once you look their serial number up. My dressage saddle is a 2001 Optimum I bought basically unused/ shopworn in 2013 from a friend who bought it on clearance from the US. My Passier jump saddle is from the 1990s and I paid $500 then had it restuffed. All the Passiers I see for sale at low prices are at least 20 years old, often more.

Perhaps the lack of newer Passiers on the secondhand market is a function of me being in Western Canada with no Passier dealer. Do you have a Passier rep or dealer in Eastern Canada?

Anyhow I agree that Passier seems to be off the radar for trendy brands, but I just love mine and they are a great fit for my horse. I honestly don’t see better quality dressage saddles out there.

I also really like County for jump saddles, don’t like the configuration of the County dressage I’ve seen, but I expect the quality is the same.

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I would probably get a Mike Corcoran Master dressage saddle. He developed some of the most successful Black Country models. I had a used Corcoran saddle on trial and was so sad that it was way to wide for my horse. Briefly contemplated keeping the saddle and finding a horse to fit it.

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I just saw a Master saddle on the Pelham website for $1495. It’s an 18M.
https://www.pelham-saddlery.com/dres…23844used.html

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Have been riding for the past 10yrs in my Hennig and couldn’t have been happier.
I had it done with C. Tota in Florida.
Got the perfect saddle, it literaly fits like a glove. Great leather and craftmanship.

If you only want a black one, there are quite a few on the market but you really need to know you and your horse’s « size » and « needs » so to speak as these saddles are only made to measure - so made for someone else originally.
Some of my friends don’t like my saddle…well, it’s mine! My precious. Mouhahaha!

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That looks like a nice deal for someone, and it has the serge panels. Probably not wide enough for my fatties, and I need a forward flap, or I might seriously consider snapping it up!

I have had 2 Custom jump saddles by Patrick Saddlery. They were both exactly as ordered and took about 6 or 7 weeks. I would consider a custom dressage from him. He recently made a drum saddle for the Horse Guards if that gives you an idea on his quality. However your resale will suck since nobody knows who he is outside the UK it seems.

Currently I am riding in a Voltaire if you don’t mind foam. My trainer loves her Hermes which are also foam.

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I didn’t want to go edit my prior post:
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