I LOVE my Pegasus Butterfly saddle. I have a Claudia jumping saddle.
I no longer own a horse, and it got difficult for me to ride the lesson horses in their saddles that “sort of” fit their shoulders. I went through the Wintecs (I personally HATE the Wintec Wide AP) and a treeless saddle (EZ-Fit). The Wintecs were a bust for me for getting free shoulder movement, the EZ-Fit was better but it was more like a hornless Western saddle, while I appreciated the freer shoulder movement I was doomed to always being behind the motion of the horse.
I finally got enough money for a Pegasus Butterfly saddle. I talked with Ron Friedman (sp?), told him which saddle had best fit ME (Crosby Wide Front PDN) and he sent me the Claudia.
It is not perfect for my body but I can definitely work with it. The freedom it gives to the top of the horse’s scapula is totally amazing, so amazing that I had to switch to wearing silicon full-seat breeches because the horse’s shoulders were pushing me across the saddle with me which ended up with the saddle shifting on the horse’s back (the cure was the silicon full seat breeches). In combination with a six-pocket pad (I use the BOT/ThinLine Contender II with the ThinLine shims as needed) I have been able to use it on almost everything I ride, from a super high croup sway back QH, Arabs, part Arabs and right now a rather flat backed QH. with some rather wide shoulders.
The croup-high sway backed QH had an extremely short area to place the saddle, maybe 3 inches of a “flat” area, and the Pegasus Butterfly saddle was barely small enough on his back to fit the saddle area while the seat is big enough for me (I’m a 17" saddle gal.) This saddle did not bother his back once the hinges loosened up, and this horse was totally willing to express his deep displeasure about anything that ever caused him any amount of discomfort. With the help of this saddle I was able to turn this sullen, hateful, anxious. balking, bolting and defiant horse into a rather neat riding horse who I really enjoyed riding.
If you get a new Pegasus Butterfly saddle the hinges have to get flexed some before the saddle sits down on the horse’s back–be prepared to tighten your girth two to three times the first few rides. Before the hinges relax some it is not a comfortable saddle to ride in, but when the hinges relax and the saddle settles down properly on the horse’s back it is a rather nice saddle to ride in.
PLUS, I can get my seat really forward in the saddle since my pubic bone does not run into the hard pommel. This has been very useful for horses that are sort of sore in their backs (lesson horses teaching the sitting trot, students slamming down in the saddle), and I can get free forward movement from these horses pretty readily when I get my seat bones forward in the saddle without having to stay up in two-point.
And when my riding horse changes all I have to do is fiddle with the shims. It is so much cheaper than having to buy a saddle that fits ME and that also fits the horse for each individual lesson horse. As the horse’s back, shoulder and loin muscles develop and increase in size the most I have to do is take out shims, not replace the saddle. The same would work for a horse that is still growing.
To me this saddle is worth every single penny I paid for it.