Monday, January 26, 2015

new trial saddle!

I found a fairly promising trial saddle in Virginia! The shipping fee is good ($25) and the trial period is flexible. And the saddle is priced competitively relative to similar listings on eBay and other shops (tho naturally nothing else is the right size)... 


Stubben Edelweiss CS 
17" seat / 29 cm tree

According to Stubben North America, the CS tree description is: Half deep, slightly wider seat, square cantle, forward flap, long points, front block (rear block optional).


Reviews of this saddle vary (and include different tree types, most commonly the NT). Mostly they are very positive (and say this color will deepen nicely), with a couple folks saying they simply don't like Stubbens, and then a few more saying the leather is slick and this saddle isn't great for training level or beyond (down banks were most contentious).


(Point definitely taken, but I won't judge the saddle on it's merits for running training when I still give 2'3" the hairy eyeball and moving up to BN is a long shot this year...)

*not a training level fence

I spent a while on the phone with a very helpful rep at the shop, and her impression was that the leather is a little slick - but in the 'new and barely used' sense rather than the 'stiff and neglected for ages' sense (like the Bates...). She thinks a little TLC would bring it around.


The measurements are right and the saddle is wool flocked and doesn't have mountainous gusseting... So theoretically it should fit Izzy (re-flocking is budgeted just in case). Tho maybe the CS tree will be too deep for Isabel's flat-ish back? Or perhaps it will be too all-purpose-y?




I'm admittedly feeling invested and biased in favor of this saddle, simply by nature of paying to ship it in. So it'll be important to still judge it impartially / objectively once it's here... (famous last words, right?)

All the same, tho, wish me luck!



this accurately represents my excitability lol

42 comments:

  1. Best of luck when it arrives, Kika's GP is a Stübben Genesis with the biomex seat (i spoiled my boots - back when I only had 1 horse lolz). I find the leather super soft and i am not exactly cleaning it after every ride...i am hoping to start cleaning stuff once a fortnight but as you say...famous last words ;-)
    I did try an older Stübben before buying this one and it was hard as a rock under my butt - it was a much older saddle than what I ended up buying.
    The only complaint i would have about my saddle is that if i don't watch my legs they can swing into too much of a chair position...
    Other than that wishing you well wear & trial periods ☺

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    1. Supposed to say I spoiled my booty not boots Grrrr autocorrect

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    2. thanks! glad to hear you like your stubben and that the leather is nice! i've heard a bit about the harder older saddles... don't know yet how old this one is but i plan to do a little more research on it once it's here and i can (hopefully) find a serial number. and re: the chair seat thing, that's probably what some of the negative reviewers meant -- like one guy who said he couldn't post well?? anyways, i'm excited to try it out - so hopefully it works!

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  2. It looks like its in great shape in the photo. Fingers crossed!

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    1. thanks Susan! the rep said it seems like it's in nearly new condition, so hopefully that'll be the case!

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  3. Good luck Emma! I hope this one works out! Reviews can be difficult to decipher since everyone's body (and horse's body) is different! Glad you are testing it out!!

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    1. thanks!! that's the hope - and the terms of the trial period for this saddle were much more favorable than a lot i've seen, so even if it doesn't work out that's ok :)

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  4. Good luck! Stubbens can be a "love it or hate it" saddle for a lot of people... hopefully you and Isabel both love it!

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    1. thanks - that's what i've heard. i suppose we'll find out one way or another, and hopefully soon too!

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  5. I'm sure Iz will have an opinion. Make sure to give us the full commentary. :) have fun good luck!

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    1. thanks - and i'm sure she'll have an opinion too :) and i will be sure to report on our findings one way or another - of that you can be sure!

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  6. Harder old saddles aren't so bad, and you can certainly condition them to have some stick, so they aren't hard AND slick. I don't mind either.

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    1. yea i tend to agree - tho i'm hoping to find a saddle that's a little more inspiring than 'i don't mind it'... the bates currently on trial falls squarely into the category of 'old and hard fixer upper'. sure, a little work would bring it around and at it's roots it's a great saddle, but ideally i'll find something a little closer to my preferences to start with.... we shall see tho!

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  7. Fingers crossed for a perfect fit!

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  8. I love the forward flap! I am definitely a fan on Stubbens. They seem to be a love'em or hate'em brand. I have always found them to be comfortable and have never noticed them to be more slick than any other brand. Good luck!!!

    Saddle shopping is so hard :-/

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    1. great - i'm glad to hear you love yours too!! i think you're right about the love/hate thing - so i guess we'll find out when i sit in it!! and yea... saddle shopping has been trickier than anticipated!

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  9. Fingers and toes crossed that you love it and it fits both you and Izzy to a T!

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  10. Good luck!

    And that GIF is amazing.

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    1. thanks!! haha and that gif is actually only the first in a series... lol.

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  11. It DOES look nice. And there's lots you can do to help with slippery leather -- good conditioner, for one, will always make tack a little tacky-er (or it has, in my experience). And for when you DO get to those training level drops there's those sticks of leather-grip stuff! ;)

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    1. thanks!! that's the hope that the leather will be workable! and if we DO ever get to those training level drops.... well i'll have more to worry about than just the leather LOL :)

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  12. I ride in a new-ish stubben like yours and I love it! They're not as slick and hard as the really old ones, they're actually really nice feeling. I hope you like it :)

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    1. yay glad you like yours!! this one certainly looks like it has a little cushioning - so i'm hoping your right about the 'nice feeling' !!

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  13. I actually really like most stubbens. Many of that model actually have a pretty comfy seat for a stubben as they put a thin layer of rubber under the leather. I recommend using some sort of leather balm (passier, devoucoux, etc) to really up the grip factor. The stubben recommended Hamanol is great on strap goods, but it seems to continue the 'slick shiny' factor on saddles. Fingers crossed it works for you!

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    1. thanks for those insights - glad you like them too! the seat does look like it has something under it (at least from the pic) so hopefully it'll be like a dream to sit in... i was planning to use my effax lederbalsam on it (provided i actually buy it...) but perhaps i'll look into those other balms too!

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    2. Effax is great stuff too, I swear it is the same as the passier with a different smell ;-)

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  14. Good luck! I have good feelings about this one :)

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    1. thanks! i felt the same way when i found the ad.... hopefully the feeling will be justified!

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  15. Good luck! Hopefully it works out and you like the saddle but if you don't the RIGHT one will come!! :)

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  16. Saddle shopping=hell. But, when the right one comes along, angels sing! I hope you hear singing with this one!

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    1. thanks!!! i've got my fingers crossed :)

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  17. Agreed that Stubbens tend to either be a love or a hate. I'm a hate because I find them slick and the leather refuses to budge from whatever color it comes in, but other people think they're fantastic. To each butt their own. ;) I hope it works out for you, finding something that the horse likes AND the rider likes can be such a production. I just bought a new saddle too so I'm hoping like crazy that it fits when it gets here!

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    1. thanks! and yay for saddle shopping - hopefully your new saddle works out too!

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  18. Subbens are decent, just oil it lots and you will be good to go!

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    1. thanks that's the hope!! the leather is definitely a little thirsty right now, but i think it will be very nice if i work on it (if i buy it lol)

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