Top brands favored on the "A" Circuit including Antares, Amerigo, Butet, Luc Childeric, CWD, Devoucoux, Delgrange/PJ, and Tad Coffin
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If you would like an opinion on whether a particular saddle is likely to work for you, feel free to email me the following information at email@example.com : your height, your weight, note whether you consider yourself to be long from hip to knee, the breed of horse you will be using the saddle on, a general description of your horse's build (wither height and width of back), and your riding discpline and level (jumping height). With this information, I can help assess whether the saddle is close enough to your needs to warrant further consideration, i.e. ordering the saddle for a trial. While the fit can only fully be assessed in person, my goal is to help keep your return shipping costs to a minimum by discussing sizing with you prior to your order.
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Butet Close Contact Saddle. Stamped 17”, measures generous as is typical for this brand, at approximately 17.5”. Gorgeous, buttery, supple French leather that glows with good care. Made in 2009, and appears to have only about one season of actual use so looks more like a 2014 in my opinion. Ideal for a rider who wants a Butet in nearly new condition, but at a cost savings and/or with the opportunity to test ride under normal circumstances as opposed to the test riding of a new Butet which may take place on a demo saddle rather than the actual one you purchase, which could lead to hiccups in your ability to test the feel of the exact one you are buying. Regular flap length and position, measuring approximately 13” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Has both billet guards. No blocks, for a very close contact ride (of the sort Lillie Keenan favors; according to Chronicle of the Horse she favors saddles without blocks http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/less-more-lillie-keenan). Regular tree, measuring approximately 4” between the two dots under the pommel, and suitable for TBs, light warmbloods, and other high-withered type of horses. Exceptional condition. Comes with pair of matching Butet leathers, which are calfskin (the softness of calfskin aids in preserving the condition of your flaps) with the nylon reinforced core (which helps to minimize stretching). Retail is currently $5,050 for the saddle and $250 for the Butet leathers, bringing this package total retail value to $5300 new. Save and still enjoy the beauty and performance of a nearly-new saddle. $3395
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Antares 17” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures true to size. Full calfskin, a premium upgrade feature. Padded flap. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards. Flap is regular length, forward position (2A). Flap measures approximately 13 ¾” in length from the top of the stirrup bar where the buckle sits to the bottom of the flap, and approximately 14” in width at the widest part. Tree is regular and measures approximately 4 ¾” between the dots. Made in 2002. Good condition; I see a dark spot on seat and the texture of the leather shows some of the typical calfskin crinkling. Retail new in the full calfskin is over $5,000. $1995 OUT ON TRIAL
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Antares 17.5” Close Contact Saddle. Beautiful saddle, ideal for the rider who wants a saddle that is close to new in condition but at a saving of time and money compared with ordering new and waiting for the saddle to be made and shipped over from France. Flap is long/forward (4A; we note measurement of flap is the same as another Antares 3A flap we have in stock, see Item #AN76C description to see identical flap measurements.) measuring approximately 14 ¼” from the top of the stirrup bars to the bottom of the flap and approximately 14 ¼” in width at the widest point. Regular tree, measuring approximately 4 1/4” between the dots, a size that will work for horses of average build. Padded flap. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards, the attached kind, which is a helpful design because it reduces the chances of losing a billet guard. Comes with fleecy-lined Antares cover. Excellent condition, appears to have only about one season of actual use; if I’m being very picky I just see very slight darkening at twist on seat. Made in 2008. Comes with fleecy-lined Antares cover. Also included are a pair of Antares 54” calfskin leathers with nylon core to minimize stretching. Cost new is around $4,500 + wait time, plus around $200 for leathers. Try this one instead and save time and money. $2595 OUT ON TRIAL
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Antares 18” Close Contact Saddle. Beautiful saddle, ideal for the rider who wants a saddle that is close to new in condition but at a saving of time and money compared with ordering new and waiting for the saddle to be made and shipped over from France. Flap is long/forward (3A) measuring approximately 14 ¼” from the top of the stirrup bars to the bottom of the flap and approximately 14 ¼” in width at the widest point. Regular tree, measuring approximately 4.5” between the dots, a generous size that will work for many warmbloods. Padded flap. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards. Comes with fleecy-lined Antares cover. Gorgeous supple French grain leather with calfskin knee and seat. Excellent condition, I just see the typical signs of use on billets. Made in 2013. Cost new is around $4,500 + wait time. Try this one and save time and money, plus you have the chance to try it before you decide whether to finalize the purchase, unlike with ordering custom where you may not be able to get a refund if you don't love the finished product as much as you had expected. Comes with fleecy-lined Antares cover. Ready to go for your next big show. $3195
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Devoucoux Oldara 18” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures true to size. The Oldara features a seat that is less deep than the Biarritz model. Grippy full calfskin leather, an expensive premium upgrade. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards, the nice full-length kind that cover the entire length of the billets. Leather is incredibly soft and supple. I just see the usual darkening on flaps from contact and the typical wrinkle-like texture that calfskin often displays. Very good condition. Regular tree, measuring approximately 4 ¼” between the two dots under the pommel, and suitable for horses of average build. Flap is long (4) length and regular position, measuring approximately 14.5” from the top of the stirrup bar where the buckle sits to the bottom of the flap, and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Retail is over $5,000 in the full calfskin option. Wonderful saddle suitable for all three rings. Made in 2008. $2595. SOLD
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Vega by Amerigo 17.5/18” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures approximately 17.5” (stamp reads 18). Beautiful dark brown leather, in nearly new condition. Padded flap. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards. Flap is standard, measuring approximately 13.5” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Tree is stamped medium-wide and measures approximately 4 7/8” between the dots. All I see are the usual nameplate holes on the back of the cantle. Exceptional condition. Made in Italy. Retail $3700 - $4100.Beautiful saddle, ideal for the rider who wants a saddle in as close to new condition as possible at the price of a used saddle. $2295
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Butet 17/17.5 Close Contact Saddle. Stamped 17” and like most Butets, runs generous in the seat measuring approximately 17.5”. Regular flap length and position. Padded flap. Front blocks. This is the “C” seat model, which is a true deep seat model (slightly deeper than the Butet "L" seat option) that offers a secure ride. Narrow twist for which Butets are famous, which many riders find allow their leg to wrap down and around the horse especially well. This tree is a great choice for a horse that needs both some wither clearance and room for a large shoulder or well-sprung barrel; this the FB2 tree, designed with a wider channel suitable for warmbloods, with the ESP option which the manufacturer describes as: The Butet "ESP" Panel has a larger bearing surface behind the shoulder. This panel design is beneficial for horses that have a high wither and drop off from the spine. The panel is significantly thicker to accommodate the lower back. Has two billet guards (one original). Very good condition, I just see the usual light signs of use at contact points, some faint spidering near cantle, and what looks like an ever so slight wrinkle in seat depending on the angle you look. Made in 2006. Retail is $5,050. Great opportunity to get a highly coveted Butet FB2 at a reasonable price. $2495
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Devououx Biarritz 16.5” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures true to size. French grain leather with calfskin knee/seat. Flap is standard length and position for this seat size (1), and measures generously in length, approximately 13” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Tree is stamped regular (“arcade normale”); in terms of actual fit, the fit is so generous (measuring approximately 4 5/8” between the dots) that I would recommend this saddle as best suited to horses that might normally take a wide tree such as warmbloods, ponies, and other fuller-bodied horses. Front and back blocks. No billet guards. Made in 2006. I see some things to point out…I see spidering throughout, a parrot beak mark on piping trim near pommel, and flaws around the felt dots on the underside of panel on each side. Otherwise normal wear. This saddle has never had a nameplate on it, so yours would be the first! New is around $4,800 + wait time. $2095 OUT ON TRIAL
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Vega by Amerigo 17” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures true to size. Beautiful dark brown leather. Flap is standard, measuring approximately 13.5” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Measures approximately 4.5” between the dots, a generous measurement that will suit many warmbloods. Padded flap. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards. All I see is slight fading in the color where the stirrup leathers make contact (which would not show much once your own leathers are on the saddle to actually use), and the usual nameplate holes. Beautiful saddle, ideal for the rider who wants a saddle in as close to new condition as possible. Tree is stamped medium and measures approximately 4.5” between the dots. Made in Italy. Retail $3700 - $4100. Comes with cover. $2395 SOLD
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County Innovation Close Contact Saddle. Stamped 17, measures approximately 17.5, so may work for a rider who takes either a 17 or 17.5. This saddle features the XTR leather which is designed to be long-lasting. Soft, supple grippy leather. Front and back blocks. Has both billet guards. Integrated panels for a closer feel of the horse. Gussetted panels allow for a broader distribution of weight across the horse’s back for increased comfort of the horse (this feature tends to work especially well for horses that have a more flat back or horses that have trouble with more curved shaped panels creating a rocking effect.) County saddles are wool-flocked, which means that you can have flocking added or subtracted by a fitter to help further fine-tune the fit for the horse to some extent, should you wish to do so. This saddle features very slight wither gussets to give a bit of assistance with wither clearance. The panel angle is very generous, ideal for a horse with a big shoulder (see the photo from the front and you’ll see what I’m talking about). I would describe the actual fit as medium/wide or suitable for a horse that has a big shoulder (some people who have tried this one have said they found it's comparable in tree size to a wide tree in the French brands; I note that tree stamp is XN, but believe it was perhaps mismarked by factory). Very good condition, I just see a rub on one of the calf blocks under the flap. County saddles retail up to around $5,000. As part of our special promotion on County saddles as of the time of listing, we are offering this one at a very affordable price. $1895 Because of the unusual nature of the difference between the tree size stamp and actual tree fit, we are eliminating your shipping cost as a courtesy. SOLD
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Forestier Close Contact Saddle. For those of you not yet familiar with this brand, it is a well-established French brand that is very popular in Europe. (I became familiar with this brand when I was a working student for an Olympic eventing rider in Belgium.) This saddle measures approximately 16 ¾” so may work for a rider who takes either a 16.5 or 17. This is the Atlanta model. Regular tree, measuring approximately 4 3/8” between the dots under the pommel, suitable for horses of average build. This saddle is in demo condition and has only the lightest of use. All I see is one scratch on the underside of panels. This saddle is in such nearly new condition that the buyer should expect that this saddle will need to be ridden in several more times in order to break it in. I do not see a year stamp in the serial number, but this saddle appears to have less than one season of use. One of my favorite features about this saddle is that it has…wait for it… front blocks that can be moved and/or removed according to your build and preference. So if you want to remove blocks for flat lessons and then add them back on for jumping lessons, you can do that. They are on a Velcro backing, with a large enough surface area to position them according to the placement that best matches your build. You truly cannot beat that level of ability to customize the features on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis according to your riding needs and preferences. Flap measures approximately 14” from the top of the stirrup bar where the buckle sits to the bottom of the flap, and approximately 13” in width at the widest point; I would describe this flap length as generous enough to be suitable for a longer-legged rider and I would describe the position as slightly forward, though I don’t see a specific flap designation. Great choice for a rider looking for a lot of bang for the buck, as we price this brand very reasonably since it’s not yet as well known in the U.S. as the other French brands. Forestiers retail around $3,000 new. Get this one in stunning condition for less than half of that. Comes with Forestier saddle cover. $1495 SOLD
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Hermes Steinkraus 17”. Seat measures true to size. Extremely soft, supple, with durable buffalo leather. You must touch this leather to appreciate it… the feel cannot be conveyed in a photo. Features the narrow twist that so many riders love for allowing them to wrap their leg down and around the horse especially well.) Padded flap. No blocks. Has both original Hermes billet guards. Seat measures true to size. Flap is standard length, measuring approximately 13.5” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13” in width at the widest point. Serial number 38.179 . (Have receipt showing purchased from Hermes in the summer of 2000). Very good condition overall, with very little wear. The main thing I see is very, very fine spidering on panels and some lines on the front of the panels where I can’t tell whether they are creases or cracking. (The rest of the saddle is in such beautiful condition that cracking would seem out of place, but you never know.) I also see some slight darkening on the seat. Current retail is $6,750 and up on the Steinkraus model. Comes with *free* Prestige leathers and irons, a value of around $200 retail. The Prestige Stirrup Leathers are made of calfskin leather that is a lovely color match for this saddle, with a nylon core to prevent stretching and engineered with an extremely low profile design. I believe this is the Hermes wide tree option (awaiting confirmation from Hermes), but Hermes tree sizes tend to run more narrow than other brands, so I believe it is likely to fit horses of average build or a horse with a big shoulder who also has a high wither. The dot to dot measurement is about 4”, but that is a little deceptive as the panels angle out generously to accommodate a fuller shoulder (so I think it’s likely to fit more comparably to a measurement of about 4 ¼” or so because of the generous panel angle). As with any of our other saddles, contact us for assistance in determining whether the tree fit is likely to work for your horse. Wonderful value on a top-quality saddle. Hermes saddles are known to last and last, so they are an excellent choice for a rider seeking a very durable high-end saddle. I think this saddle is even more lovely in person than the photos can capture. I personally love a saddle with a narrow twist, and fans of the Butet brand will probably also enjoy the narrow twist on this saddle. Great chance to get a package that would cost almost $7,000 new at pennies on the dollar. $1795 SOLD
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Antares Spooner 16.5” Close Contact Saddle. Seat measures true to size at around 16.5”. Here is what the manufacturer has to say about this model: The Spooner by Antares is for those with a discerning taste who need a ready-made saddle. Designed by Antares for Richard Spooner, "The Master of Faster" as he is known on the Grand Prix circuit. The Spooner helps place the rider in correct position allowing the rider to focus on the ride rather than their position. Features soft French grain leather with calfskin knee and seat. Excellent condition, I just see darkening at the twist and the usual nail holes from a nameplate. (You will see color striations in the calfskin seat that are a common part of the grain in calfskin.) Flap length is a “2” and measures approximately 13” from the top of the stirrup bar to the bottom of the flap and approximately 13 ¼” in width at the widest part; this flap length is generous enough to work for riders up to about 5’6” in our experience. Regular tree, measuring around 4 ¼” between the dots under the pommel, suitable for horses of average build. Features front and back blocks. Has both billet guards, and they are the attached kind that I think are so nice because the attachments reduce the likelihood of loss. Comes with cover. Made in 2012 (purchased new in 2013, so actually has very little use on it since it was first owned in 2013). Great saddle for someone looking for a nearly new saddle at a savings. Before you buy new, try this one and enjoy the chance to test ride the exact saddle under your usual riding circumstances before you have to commit to the purchase, plus avoid break-in time. $2195 SOLD
CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS: AN74C