If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve likely kept up with my “saddle saga.” I started noticing some back soreness in West in mid February. Not only soreness, but rubs from the back panels of his Voltaire Adelaide.
I called a few different reps, but ultimately decided going with Custom. My hunter jumper friends have likely never heard of Custom Saddlery – but my dressage girls know what I’m talking about. Custom is one of the most popular dressage brands in the world.
What drew me to the Custom was exactly that – all of their saddles are 100% custom. They’re also all wool, unless you choose a wool/foam hybrid – which I think we may end up needing. Fingers crossed we don’t.
I loved the fact that my rep is not employed by Custom, she is an independent fitter who is authorized to carry Custom saddles.
* Saddle buying tip : ALWAYS use an independent fitter – they’re not going to sell you something (for a lot of money) that they already know doesn’t fit your horse. *
She came out, assessed my situation and took measurements of West’s back. I rode in 8-10 different models before choosing the one I liked the most. Shortly after – I had a brand new Custom Icon Star made just for West in my tack room!
I don’t think it’s the most beautiful saddle in the world, I actually kind of dislike the way it looks. It is however, probably the most comfortable saddles I’ve ever sat in. Function > appearance.
Custom saddles are also all hand made. I’ve included a few shots that really show that. There are flaws that wouldn’t be there if the saddle was not made by hand. Not complaining, just saying!
You may also notice that the seat almost looks suede. It is not. It’s full buffalo leather. Brand new buffalo leather. When I asked the fitter about it, she said it will wear down and look more “normal” with a bit of use. You can even see where by booty has worn it down on the seat in the last photo.
By far the best feature, the BLOCK. It’s a bit hard to miss, but it completely changed my seat and upper body. In a great way! I feel much more secure in the saddle and I can really use my thighs and lower legs.
I love this saddle, and I loved the experience I had with Custom. Will I stay in this saddle? Not sure yet, we’re still trying to figure out what will be best for both West and myself. Do I hope I stay in this saddle? Yes!!
Click here to find your local Custom rep!