Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
Dumb question. Custom to fit the rider or the horse? I've always wondered how it would feel to ride in a saddle that was designed to fit my own horse, but it seems like a losing battle. You spend all that money to fit him perfectly, but his shape changes as training progresses. At some point, it's not going to fit so well anymore and you're back to being off the rack so to speak.
Exactly! And then the guy that does DK being himself won't actually come to your barn to fit your horse unless you threaten him (or if he's decided he likes you and you are near where he is). And Schleese is on the other side of the country and only come out twice a year. And if you have anyone else touch your saddle, then your warranty is invalid, etc.. etc..
Plus the oh so wonderful air panelling system that comes with most of these "custom" saddles pop at the worst times (ie during transport to a show/clinic) and bounce around on your horse's back if you don't have the saddle cinched so tight that your horse can't breathe.
The other thing is although these things are "custom", they pull a stock "one size fits all" tree off the rack, adjust the width of the gullet and it's "custom"... *roll eyes* So if your horse needs a different shaped tree, you're S.O.L. Because there's only one shape. This is not so with some manafacturers, they will do a fully custom tree (Regal and CWD pop to mind) but you're looking at paying as much as you could for a nice used 03' Mazda.
My advice after having been through one of these things is to save your money and buy a well made saddle like a Passier, a KN, etc.. Something that will last you more than oh say, 4 years before needing major repair, at least. Then use the money you saved to buy a nice matching bridle, and when you sell your horse in 5 years, your saddle will have resale value!