Okay saddle experts I would love some suggestions! What would you suggest for a horse that fits exceptionally well in a K2 but a rider who loves the minimalism of a Jeffries Flyover? My OTTB goes great in his K2 but I struggle to find my position as it is just too much saddle. I happened to try a Flyover (foam paneled) that was in my local tack store and love, love, loved it. Went back to my K2 and realized it is a super poor fit for me. The Flyover is a no go for my boy-- there wasn’t enough width in the wither area (he has wide withers) though there was clearance and the head plate wasn’t a good shape for him. So what fits a high wither, mostly flat backed (both side to side and front to back) horse but is “less” saddle?
I have an old flyover that is wool flocked but was too wide for one horse and the other needed a more cutback saddle. I rode in the flyover for almost twenty years and absolutely love the minimalist feel.
Both horses are very flat backed. On the thinner, relative term, horse I went with a County Solution monoflap. For the high whither, big shouldered horse I went with the Black Country Vinici Solare. Black Country has a variety of tree styles.
I will say after all those years riding in the flyover looking down and seeing the blocks grated. I had the companies make both saddles without the rear blocks but they wouldn’t make it without the front blocks. I showed both reps the flyover and how the saddle had molded around the points making blocks unnecessary.
Have you tried the Albion Kontrol? They are a bit harder to find, but much less saddle (imo) - I didn’t love the K2 either but my horse LOVES his Albions, and I love my Kontrol with the flat seat.
FitToBeTied-- thanks for the ideas! I may try a solution. (a friend has one and incidentally I actually borrowed it when I sat on this horse for the first time). I have a solare for my other horse and shape-wise it isn’t right (even though I love it!)-- the solare ha a bit of curve in the tree from front to back.
Illuminatedd-- I’ve tried a Kontrol in the past (not with this horse) and I still felt like it was lots of saddle. The seat was a bit deep for my liking. I do wonder about one of the flatter seat albions (is it the kontact lite maybe?). Anyone know how they ride? Do they push the balance point back further since it is built to be a XC saddle?
I placed friend’s stubben portos (wool flocked) on his back this week and it actually looked pretty good. Haven’t sat in one yet- anyone know how they feel?
I have the Kontact Lite and love it, but it’s a surprisingly lot of saddle for its name and nominal single flap. It has great clearance though. The BC Tex is nice and more minimal, but perhaps not as much clearance width-wise.
I have a Kontrol “flat seat” with no blocks, and it’s older, so maybe that’s why I feel that it’s less saddle! I haven’t tried the Kontact, though. I loved the Portos when I sat in it, but the Stubben rep I used was not particularly good and I ended up getting talked into buying a Stubben (not a Portos) that didn’t fit at all, and my horse was very unhappy with me.
Remember that BC has several different tree shapes that they can use.
To be honest, I’m steering clear of BCs going forward. I think historically they made a quality product but, sadly, currently they are taking short cuts in construction and using lower quality leather (this information coming from a local saddle maker I respect and from an independent saddle fitter I’ve worked with in the past).
Stubben NA is up the road from me about an hour so I’m thinking I may try to see if they’ll allow drive-ins.
Illuminatedd-- interesting to learn the old Kontrols were flatter!!
Thanks for this information! Interesting-- it is surprising to me that the Lite is still a lot of saddle.