Manufacturer: Custom Saddlery
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I have tried so hard to like these saddles. The are the least expensive of the "Custom" saddles and they do not hold their value. A used Custom Saddlery Saddle can be had for as little as $700 on Ebay. I was careful and purchased my Custom Saddlery Revolution from Ebay for $800. Should be a bargain for the materials and the workmanship, but unfortunately they are not.
Likes: This is an attractive looking saddle, though not as refined as a Hennig or a Schleese. They look soft and they feel. The buffalo leather has a "rustic" appeal, quite different than the usual "refined" look most makers strive for. The workmanship is excellent.
Dislikes: These saddles are all of a type. Made more for the rider than the horse, I think the makers may have forgotten the original reason most people purchase a custom saddle.... I have a hard to fit horse. Custom Saddlery saddles all have a similar look and feel. These saddles are made for very large, very long WBs with a very standard front end. The master saddler at Custom Saddlery feels he can fit any horse by changing the flocking and "tweaking" the saddle every few months. The fit and feel of Custom Saddlery saddles could not be called "innovative" by any means. They are of the old school of thought that changing the flocking cures every thing. I personally prefer a saddle that fits my horse and then I change the flocking to make him more comfortable. They use a standard panel, very uncomplicated and offer none of the recent saddle fitting innovations offered by Hennig & Schleese (the experience lever is just not there yet). I could find a saddle to fit me, I just could not make any of the five (5) Custom Saddlery saddles I purchased fit my horse. Another issue I had, is that these are large bulky saddles, with not much room to maneuver. Its a feel you must really enjoy and you give up that close contact communication between you and your horse.
The other very basic problem problems with these saddles are the owners/saddle fitters. The original owners have moved on and the not owners are not consistent in the service they offer. They tend to be rude and condescending. I have heard from others that where you keep your horse and they type of horse you own does affect the quality of the service. But I have also heard the the owner/saddle fitters can only fit one type of horse. And despite the fact that I finally had to purchase a saddle from another manufacturer for almost $3000 MORE than the most expensive Custom Saddlery saddle, I never felt my money or my horse was anything more than 'not good enough' to wear a Custom Saddlery saddle. Bearing in mind I that I own papered Dutch Warmblood with absolutely beautiful confirmation, a fine sculpted head and lots of trophies from his in-hand classes, I was not sure what type of horse the saddle fitter did like.
Quality: Construction and quality is top notch. Love the new 'rustic' look these saddle have. Its something different and if it ever catches on might be fun.
Summary: I cannot recommend this saddle to anyone who has any type of fitting issue with their horse or any who needs the help of a professional saddle fitter. Customer Service is inconsistent, at best and the Custom Saddlery saddles lack any of the saddle innovations that Hennig, Schleese and even DK Saddlery employ. They are less expensive and they do not hold their value. If you are looking for a less expensive saddle and have a very easy to fit horse, this is a great saddle.
Author: One Persons Opinion
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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