HighEnd Used Saddles, LLC, Saddlery & Harness, Tucson, AZ

Saddle Brand Info

Saddle Brands I Carry

I focus on used close contact hunter/jumper saddles and accessories in the following brands:
  • Antares
  • Amerigo
  • Butet
  • Childeric
  • CWD
  • Delgrange
  • Devoucoux
  • Hermes
  • Tad Coffin
  • Voltaire
  • Other Brands as Available

Saddle Information by Brand

Below I have provided for many of the brands of saddles that I carry:

A link to the manufacturer's information about the saddle brand
Subjective observations with regard to fitting or other points of interest. Please note that these comments naturally reflect opinions and personal experience only.

Antares

Link to the manufacturer's information:

http://www.antaressaddle.com/products/jumping_medium.html

Observations:

  • Antares has a reputation for offering excellent customer service on the saddles they make, throughout the life of the saddle.
  • Available in a range of seat depths.
  • Generally true to size in the seat.
  • Generally has a wider twist, but can be special ordered with a narrow twist (If you are a Butet afficiando, you might also like an Antares that has been ordered with the narrow twist option)


Butet

Link to manufacturer/distributor's information:

http://www.beval.com/content/butet.html

Observations:

  • Butets are available in a flat seat (P) or deep seat (L) option. Recently, a new deep seat (C) has been introduced, which is deeper than the L model deep seat.
  • Customers who normally ride in a half-deep seat in other brands typically find that the L model "deep" seat is the closest choice to this feel in Butet.
  • Butets are typically available in whole seat sizes only in the US, though half sizes can be found in Europe or via a special order from the manufacturer.
  • Butet whole sizes tend to run comfortably large. A 16" Butet will often actually measure around 16 1/2" or so. Therefore, most clients who take a half size in other brands prefer the smaller whole size in Butet. For example, clients who ride in a 16.5" in other brands typically find that the 16" Butet has fit them nicely.
  • If you are between sizes, ask me to take the measurement of the Butet you are interested in with a measuring tape. (Using the traditional center of the nailhead to center of cantle measurement.) We can compare this measurement against your regular size or the saddle you are riding in now to assess whether you might prefer to try the smaller or larger of two sizes.
  • Flap sizes are indicated in the serial number as 1 for regular, or 2 for long (note that this varies from other French brands such as Antares or Devoucoux, where a 1 is short, 2 is regular, and 3 or higher is long).
  • Knee pads are typically fairly thin, for a closer feel of the horse
  • Butets are often popular with customers who prefer a more narrow twist. A Butet twist is generally more narrow than a standard twist in many other French brands. Some riders who have a round thigh shape find that a more narrow twist gives their thigh a nice place to "sit" on the saddle. In general, a narrow twist can help a rider to wrap the leg down and around the horse as opposed to feeling perched on top of the saddle.

Childeric

Link to manufacturer's information:

http://www.lucchilderic.fr/

Observations:

  • I have found that Childeric generally runs true to size in the seat.
  • Balance, feel, and comfort for the rider is quite similar to Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD.
  • Twist tends to be wider, similar to Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD.


CWD

Link to manufacturer's information:

http://www.cwdsellier.com/?currentPage=Collection&family=SE

Observations:

  • CWDs are typically made with integrated panels. With integrated pannels, the panel and sweat flap are integrated, so there is less bulk between your leg and the horse. This provides a very nice close feel of the horse. (In contrast, with most other saddle brands, this is a premium feature that costs more and is only available by special order.)
  • I have found CWDs to be made with leather that is particularly soft and has a nice grippy feel to it. If grippy leather is a primary consideration for you, CWD may be an excellent choice.
  • The sweat flap (the one close to the horse) is typically made with a cutaway design so that you have less bulk between you and your horse where your calf rests.
  • CWD is one of the brands I have personally ridden in for many years and I love its comfort and the secure ride that it provides.
  • The "flat seat" model in CWD tends to ride like a half-deep seat in most other brands.
  • Generally true to size in the seat, although occassionally can run 1/4" small. Ask for the seat measurement to be taken with a tape to be sure.

Delgrange

Link to manufacturer's information:

http://www.selledelgrange.com/sellesetaccessoires-produits.php5?id=1

Observations:

  • Typically runs small in the seat size.
  • I have found that most customers need to go up at least 1/2" in size in Delgrange versus their size in other French brands.
  • However, some older Delgrange saddles (i.e. mid - 1990s or so) run true to size.
  • In my experience, a regular Delgrange tree (in the more recent model years) has a nice amount of room to it. Thus, this might make a versatile choice if you need to ride a range of different horses, or if you have a horse that needs a fit that is in between medium and wide. Older models (from the mid-1990s or so) typically have a regular tree that is more suitable for your typical TB build type of horse.
  • Flap lengths are relative to the seat size for Delgrange, so flap numbers work differently than on Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD. The following chart for Delgrange saddles may be helpful:

Seat size Standard flap Other flap options Special order only flap options
16 1 2 0
16 1/2 2 1 or 3 4
17 3 2 or 4 5
17 1/2 4 3 or 5 6
18 5 4 6

  • In my experience, the appropriateness of the flap length can be better determined by comparing measurements in inches to another saddle than comparing the manufacturer's flap number to another manufactuere's flap number. I recommend comparing the flap length in inches (measured from the stirrup bar to the end of the flap) to a saddle that fits you well so you compare the inches rather than mere flap numbers. For example, I have seen a Delgrange 5 flap that fit a rider's leg nicely who was looking for a Devoucoux 2 flap. Thus, I recommend looking at the measurement in inches, rather than relying on the flap number to determine a good fit.
  • One of the most popular Delgrange saddles for many years was the PJ series (including the PJ Original, PJ Light, and PJ Pro/Partition models). However, more recent PJs are no longer made by Delgrange. If you liked the feel of the Delgrange-made PJs, choosing another model from the current Delgrange line is probably going to give you the feel you are familiar with. The PJ Lite is now the Bruno Delgrange Athena. The PJ Pro is the Bruno Delgrange Partition,and The PJ Original is now the Bruno Delgrange Virtuose. If you notice on the flap for these saddle there will be a A, P, or V in front of the seat size.
  • The newer PJ saddles are not made by Delgrange and are a different product.

Devoucoux

Link to the manufacturer/distributor information:

http://www.devoucoux.com

Observations:

  • I have found that a regular tree Devoucoux has a nice amount of room. So it can be an excellent choice for someone who needs versatility to be able to fit a range of different horses.
  • The Biarritz model is good choice for riders seeking a half-deep (a.k.a. medium deep) seat depth. 
  • Seat tends to run true to size, in my experience.
  • Twist tends to be wider, similar to Antares, Childeric, and CWD.


Hermes

Observations:

  • Often works especially well on high-withered, Thoroughbred type builds.
  • If other French brands tend to sit too low on your horse's withers, Hermes may be a great choice for providing the wither clearance your horse needs.
  • One of the features that Hermes fans love about the saddle is the narrow twist, which allows the rider to wrap their leg down and around the horse as opposed to feeling "perched" on top. The Hermes twist is the most narrow twist I have found on the market, so a great choice for riders seeking that feeling of being able to wrap down and around the horse.
  • If you find other French brands to feel overly stuffed or overly padded, you might prefer an Hermes, which offers a close feel of the horse with less "stuff" between horse and rider
  • Hermes saddles tend to last for many years
  • Known for using high-quality natural latex in the panels, which allows the panels to be thinner and less bulky than on other brands, particularly through the shoulder area.
  • Flaps often are generous enough in length

Tad Coffin

Link to the manufacturer's information:

http://www.tadcoffinsaddles.com/

Observations:

  • Tad Coffin saddles made prior to 2009 were available in one tree width, which is a wide fit than can be adjusted to suit narrower horses with the Tad Coffin leather pads. (This is now known as the "original" fit.) Beginning in 2009 Tad Coffin offers three tree widths. The original fit is the wide fit.
  • Many Tad Coffin saddles tend to run about 1/2 a size small.
  • A typical comment we hear from customers is that, "The Tad Coffin saddle fits all of my horses, with the right use of pads."
  • This can be a great choice for trainers, owners of multiple horses, catch riders, and others who want to have one saddle that they can confidently switch from horse to horse without a lot of fitting difficulties, with the use of a leather pad.
  • The Tad Coffin saddles in general feel like there is a very close contact when you ride. This is a good choice for riders who prefer a "minimalist" type of saddle and those who find that the French saddle brands feel like too much "bulk" between rider and horse.
  • Tad Coffin saddles are designed with an emphasis on maximizing the comfort of the horse. Many vets are recommending them for this reason, and they can be an excellent choice for horses that have experienced any back soreness. Some horses move especially well in a Tad Coffin saddle.
  • A good choice for riders who prefer a flat/shallow seat. In 2009, a deep seat model (the TC2) has been introduced. But prior to 2009, all Tad Coffins were the flat/shallow seat model.
  • A good choice for riders who prefer a low pommel. (If you have trouble hitting the pommel in other saddles, the Tad Coffin can be a great choice)
  • A good choice for riders who prefer a low cantle. (This feature can be helpful for jumping off banks, etc. where the rider needs to be able to lean back.)
  • The TC2 (deep seat model) seems to provide additional wither clearance, and may be the better model choice of the Tad Coffins if you want to ride in a Tad Coffin but find that the flatter seat model sits too low over your horse's withers.

Voltaire

Link to the manufacturer's information:

http://en.voltaire-design.com/home.html

Observations:

  • Founded by former employees of Devoucoux, this is a relatively newer company that brings all of the quality of other top saddle brands, with some unique features
  • Known for high-quality leather and workmanship, comparable to Devoucoux and other top saddlers.
  • Typically features its signature blue stripes on the gullet and/or billet guards of the saddle
  • Innovative billet system. Instead of three standard billets, saddles have two billets and three billet rings. The two billets can be looped onto whichever two rings the rider prefers to use. This eliminates the common problem of the uneven stretching of billets (In the traditional three billet arrangement, most of us primarily use two billets, and so the third billet never stretches evenly and thus becomes almost useless because the holes on the third billet are uneven with the other two billets). This feature also means that for billet replacement, you may just order by mail rather than missing riding time having your saddle in to the saddler. You just loop the new billets onto the rings. Brilliant system.
  • "Second skin" feature is a very thin sweat flap for an exceptionally close feel of the horse through the lower leg
  • I have received especially good feedback on this brand from riders who are long from hip to knee; they have reported that the placement of the stirrup bars on the Voltaire saddle creates a nice balance and fit for them.