Opinions on Black Country Saddles

I have a Vinici Tex Eventer that I got 4 years ago and I am having several issues with it. I am contacting the company about it and the saddle has served me well for the most part but I was wondering what other folks’ experience with the saddles have been, mostly to check if these are small problems or if it is signs of more to come.

Thanks in advance for your honest feed back.


I’ve got a Ricochet and an Eloquence and so far so good (can’t remember exactly when I bought them, but I think they were both around 5 years ago- right after the elbow in 2009). Except for a little fading on the flap of my Ricochet where the stirrup leathers clearly rub, they seem to be holding up well.

That said, I think the quality may depend on who did it when. I knew there was a time where they were using different trees and/or saddlemakers and things just weren’t quite right. And then things really started getting wonky after Nikki Newcombe left (at least for us, as she was one of the big reasons I got anything to fit my giant spotted beast!). I don’t know if they’ve gotten all of that worked out, but for awhile I feel like the customer service was lacking compared to when I was dealing with Nikki there.

In case you haven’t already, I suggest also checking with Liz Schroeder (she’s not on this board that I know of). She also has a tex eventer I believe (or at least she did at some point). And, I think she got it around the same time you got yours…

I have an Eden that was built for my horse and I probably 5 years ago? Pristine and wonderful and have not had any issues. I did order it through a local fitter, but never had any service issues (also got a K&M through her that I DID have to call about b/c they had a bad dye lot and my flaps started rubbing out in a week – they sent me a whole new saddle!!).

I would guess, though, as the previous poster suggested, that just like vehicles, it would depend on model and maker – Trumbull Mtn is a BC dealer, so you might google their site and see if they have any suggestions?

A big BCS fan here. No issues with my Quantum or Eden. Both saddles are well built and the leather while soft it wears quite well…

I bought an aged Eden for $200 (us). So old it is is brown (since I so can NOT ride in black tack.) Well made and lasts nicely OK the Billet straps while is good repair seem to hold grime and are hard to get to look clean (even though I clean them after every ride)

The saddle smelled like a grandmother’s attic! I took it to local saddle repair person for another $200 had the old flocking totally replaced. Now the saddle smels much better! The horses go well in it.

OK I do still get folk telling me dressage saddles HAVE TO BE BLACK. I like cow color.

I have a Tex Eventer and got it in… 2010 I think. No problems with it, though I need to replace the billets soon as they’ve stretched quite a bit. I have several friends with various models of BC saddles acquired before 2010 and regularly since (we’re fans) and no one has had a problem.

I remember there was a thread on here of someone who got a BC saddle and she got it and it was… well, crappy is putting it kindly. IIRC, we were all shocked such a thing would have even come out of their workshop.

Outyougo: One of my dear friends got her BC dressage saddles in brown, no black for her :smiley:

Based on all the positive comments on these forums I recommended BC to a friend who didn’t want to spend the money for a French saddle and it has been nothing but problems. The first saddle fit her and her horse well but they made it using the wrong leather and wrong color. The second saddle does not fit well and the rep has refused to correct the problem. My friend continues to ride in the saddle using a riser pad and the rep’s aggressiveness has intimidated her. If it was me I wouldn’t stand for this kind of treatment but she is different. I realize this is mostly a problem with the rep but if you are in the New York area I would stay away from using that rep.

Love my Black Country. Our local saddle fitter, Bill Woods, is fabulous, so no problems.

I think the local rep has a lot to do with how well things work out. some are very knowledgeable and know how to nail saddle fit right from the beginning. Others aren’t so good and don’t seem to get things quite right. That’s true of just about any brand.

Another problem is that no matter who takes the measurements for a custom saddle, what you actually get depends heavily on who makes the saddle. You could send the same design and specs to two different people at the same factory and end up with two slightly different saddles.

I think overall, the leather quality of the BCS saddles is very good. It may not be as “fancy” as those of the top french brands, but it is good quality and wears well. In fact, I prefer the leather that BCS uses over the french calskin that changes color and becomes blackened after you ride in it for a year.

I realize that I might seem biased as we sell BC saddles but I have had the same two jump and dressage BC saddles for several years now and have had no problems. Construction and leather have held up well…

I have two…one used, one bought new. Jury is still out on the new one. I’ve ridden in it three times and the seat is rubbed at the seams, despite only wearing breeches. Haven’t decided whether to call them on it or not because I need the saddle and can’t lose it for a month+ for them to look at it.

that said, while I’m happy with the saddle, I do wish I had spent more and gotten a better fit guarantee. I was basically told if you buy anything other than standard, it’s yours and tough luck, or lose 50% of the price to return it. That is a tough pill to swallow when you’re buying from a distance. I had good advice from my in-person fitter but without it, combined with the “no refunds” policy, I wouldn’t do it again. I think next time I will pursue a Patrick Keane or something else where the fit is guaranteed.

I had one, used, and the leather was lovely, a very pretty saddle. It was a bit much for my taste, liking a Tad Coffin or Butet, but a very nice saddle, well made, and a great balance point. It was very heavy, if I had to say anything ill about it. I’d buy another if I thought the tree would work for my current horse.

Trumbull Mtn

They usually have a nice selection of used BCs.

I think the fitter/sales source for the saddle is very key with Black Country (as well as with several other saddle brands), so I would ask around for the rep of your local person.