View Full Version : Custom saddles - your experience?

29-01-08, 08:13 AM
Just thinking of having a custom saddle made for my horse. Have had a saddler out to fit my horse to pre-made saddles, only two brands of the extensive range fitted him and the saddle that I now have is still too wide.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having a custom saddle made for your horse.
Has anyone had a custom saddle made for their horse and were you happy with the outcome or not? Would be interested to know.
I really like the Peter Horobin saddles. and have ridden in one previously and it was very comfortable.

29-01-08, 01:12 PM
Yes, we have a couple of custom made saddles and I would highly recommend it if you really want a saddle that fits yourself and your horse and..........you appreciate quality workmanship.

I've found them to be no more expensive that other quality off the shelf brand to purchase new. However, the catch is, when you no longer have that particular horse they very hard to get your money back on when selling second hand.

This is for a couple of reasons:-

* the saddle is custom fitted to your particular horse and your body

* despite the leather and workmanship being superior in the custom saddle over the mass produced one, Aussies are very hung up on "brands". If it is not stamped with Keiffer, KN or Bates they can't place its value. They will be reluctant to purchase a no name brand for its genuine value.

Incidently, what were the two brands out of the extentsive range that did fit him?

29-01-08, 02:15 PM
Many years ago I bought an Otto Schumaker dressage saddle from Hanoverian Riding Wear, South Australia. They have a steel gullet (probably not right term)that can be adjusted. I've sent it back once for adjustment, but it has mostly fitted every horse I've used it on. When I first rode in it, I felt wonderful, as if it was carrying me along with the horse. everyone who has ever sat in it loves it. And it's stood up very well to a lot of use in the tropics (I live in Darwin). If you want to know more detail, or even pics, email me. I still have the receipts somewhere. Friends where I keep my horse (club with 31 horses living there by the sea at Fannie Bay)have had saddles made to measure by top maker, disasters.

29-01-08, 02:19 PM
Both my current saddles are custom made and I could not be happier.

My last 'off the shelf' saddle was a very expensive good brand but my horse kept coming up sore after long rides and shows. I went to a saddle maker/fitter and he pointed out how the saddle did not fit the horse at all. He took the saddle blanket off and was able to show where it dug into the horse in some areas - this was where my horse was getting sore. I ended up getting a custom made dressage saddle from him and it was a fantastic saddle - fits my horse and I perfectly.

Last year I decided to buy a western saddle and had one custom made. Once again, perfect fit for me and my horse.

yes, they cost more but a good australian made saddle will last a lifetime and you and your horse will be all the better for a good fit.

29-01-08, 03:59 PM
thank you for your posts.

That is a good point about the problems of on selling custom made saddles, the perception of 'custom' is an issue. This is something I didn't think of, thank you.

The two saddles that fitted my horse were the Otto Schumaker and the Le Childrec. I really wanted to purchase the Otto however the model (entry level) had such a hard seat that I couldn't bring myself to purchase it. There is a soft seat version of the Ottos but I wasn't aware of this at the time of purchasing. A friend of mine has an Otto and loves it

I ended up buying a Luc childrec. It is certainly comfortable however I had this saddle fit checked after eight months and was told it is too wide for my horses back (otherwise good).

A custom saddle is looking like a good option.

29-01-08, 05:35 PM
i LOVE LOVE LOVE my custom made mal byrne - and so does my horse :)

30-01-08, 12:46 AM
I've got two custom made saddles, a Hennig and a Benz (both made in Germany), both of which I got second hand, and I adore them both. One of the great features with the Hennig is that although they're custom fit to one particular horse when they're first made, if you change horses later on the gullets are easily interchangeable so they can be customised to fit any horse at any point. The Benz saddles don't have that option and I don't know if it's an option with any Australian custom made saddles either, but it would be worth asking whatever saddle you use if you can have it as an option, because it's a really wonderful feature to have if you can get it. I think custom made saddles are a great way to go but it's important to make sure you get one that's made by a very, very good saddler.

30-01-08, 10:33 AM
I have a custom made Bruce Smith dressage saddle and it is the best thing I have ever ridden in.

Yes it was expensive, but my horse is so much better off because of it.

And the best thing is he can adjust it to fit any other horse as well :)

I went custom made because:

A) I'm a shorty and needed something with shorter saddle flaps
B) My horse is left over brown horse bits God put together to make a horse and I was going to spend mega dollars modifying an off the shelf purchase to fit him.

If you choose the right custom made, you'll never regret it.

If I ever sold my saddle on, it can be made to fit any horse and is designed for people with short legs, hehehe :)

***** Angel....with horns }> *****

30-01-08, 03:10 PM
Hi Sonya
I have bought 2 custom made saddles a couple of years ago for the following reasons:
The horse I had to saddle was basically a 44-gallon drum on legs and he was only 3. I have been on the saddle-merry-go-round for years and one mare had 5 saddles in 7 years because she kept changing shape! A very costly experience.
The other reason is that if something happens to it, I can send it back to the maker.
I bought 2 Amazones and am happy with them, especially with the flair system, since I recently had to do my first adjustments as the horses have grown older and the saddlers are more worn in. I was very easy to have again a perfectly fitting saddle without having to buy one or sending it away.
I do accept that I won't get as much for them secondhand, but in the geldings case, if I sell him the new owner will have to buy the saddle as well! I am not very good at selling saddles that 'haven't done anything wrong' got quite a collection now!

Good luck