Curious to hear people’s opinions on the Northrun Ashland II and Cliff Barnsy Milton saddles. I’m looking for a close contact/jumping saddle that will fit a narrow TB, with typical TB withers (not terribly high, but definitely prominent). I have ridden him in a County Pro Fit with a narrow tree, and it fit him well, but I would like to spend a little less than the price of a used County. If you’re familiar with the fit and quality of either saddle, I’d love your input!
I owned a Northrun and demoed a Barnsby back in the day. I liked the Barnsby a lot. Well balanced, no frills, fit the horse I was riding at the time okay. It may have actually been a smidge wide (he was a typical narrow TB as well).
As for the Northrun-loved that saddle. Very close contact, no blocks or anything. Durable too, the one I had was 12 years old I think. Super comfy and fit the narrow TB well. The tree definitely runs on the narrow side. I miss that saddle!
I’ve had 2 Ashlands, although both were the original. LOVED both of those saddles. In fact, I think one is still around somewhere. Anyway, I know nothing of Barnsby, but if you’re looking for something “old school” that always fit my TBs well, you can’t go wrong with Ashland. And the used ones can be bought for a song these days!
No experience with Barnsby…however: I friggin love my Ashland
I’ve had two, both originals and one of my clients just purchased a brand new II about a year ago. I had an Ashland in my junior days, grew out of it-sadly, I think I was the only kid NOT excited for a new saddle. Got a fancy schmancy one for my eq days, fast forward 5 years and it doesn’t fit my current horse.
I decided to look for an Ashland again because I had such great memories of riding in it, went to my consignment place and someone had brought one in earlier that day. (oh hello, fate!) In a long flap, and regular tree. Just what I was looking for. I love it. Definitely fits on the narrower side, very attractive AND durable English leather. I’m a no frills type, so the fact that it has nothing under the flaps (no knee or thigh blocks) is just fine with me! If you can find one, take advantage!
I love Barnsbys and have had a couple of the Miltons. Just a caution - they seem to be quite different from each other. I’ve seen some very well made and others that seemed to be made of cardboard. I also don’t know about them fitting on the narrower side. The ones I’ve had, have fit on the wider side.
I think the Northrun saddles are built on the same tree as the Butet. The saddle maker used to work for them and then started his own saddlery. They are super nice to work with and the quality is excellent. They have demos for you to try as well. I love their bridles and halters as well. Customer service is very knowledgeable and helpful.
Thank you all for your input! I have an Ashland on the way for a trial, and if it doesn’t work out I’ll try a Barnsby.
I rode in a demo Ashland and was very impressed. The company was lovely to deal with too, they make an excellent product and I think it meets all your requirements.
I will also add that one time, I had to contact Ashland about a saddle repair (from wear, no fault of Ashland). I found a contact number online which happened to be the owner of the company. This has been several years ago, so I don’t remember his name, but he absolutely could not have been any nicer! We talked for about a half hour- about horses, riding, and of course, saddles. Great customer service!
I will also add that one time, I had to contact Ashland about a saddle repair (from wear, no fault of Ashland). I found a contact number online which happened to be the owner of the company. This has been several years ago, so I don’t remember his name, but he absolutely could not have been any nicer! We talked for about a half hour- about horses, riding, and of course, saddles. Great customer service![/QUOTE]
Similar happy experiences - both with the Northrun distributor in Virginia and the actual saddle maker, who came toi my farm last summer and fitted my saddles to my horses personally Super nice, very knowledgable.
I have an Ashland II and an Ashland I. Both are 10-12 years old and are in beautiful condition. Would love to get a new custom saddle from him when I have the $!
Barnsbys used to be pretty popular around here, and I would agree that they are generally built to fit a wider horse. Havent seen one yet to fit a TB. Most are very well made though, but don’t get the smooth leather thy are very slippery!