Beval Stamford vs. M. Toulouse?

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Beval Stamford vs. M. Toulouse?

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  • Toulouse premia for sale 2012
  • Beval stamford saddle reviews

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    12-24-2012, 09:56 AM
Beval Stamford vs. M. Toulouse?

I'm neck-deep in my great saddle hunt, and I would love some opinions!

A few things to keep in mind: I live in the middle of western riding country, so we don't have a local saddle fitter. Our best local tack shop has a few decent saddles, but most are consignment (not a great selection) or Kincade/Camelot (I refuse). For the reasons above, I'm doing much of my research online and trying saddles on my horse wherever I can find them.

My horse: 16.3hh OTTB, flat and relatively short-backed, high withers, somewhat of a narrow build but with those giant TB shoulders.

I went to Dover Saddlery yesterday just to look around (the nearest one is about four hours away), and I was able to talk to the girls in the store and get some ideas of what brands might be good and what brands I need to stay away from. My current saddle, a Bates Elevation, doesn't fit my horse well. There's not enough wither clearance, and just in general it's a somewhat awkward fit.

Because Bates won't work, I've pretty much ruled out Collegiate since to my knowledge they're all built on the same tree (please correct me if I'm wrong). I also don't have a high budget, so the $2400 Pessoa they wanted me to buy is unfortunately out as well.

However, I kind of fell in love with the Toulouse Premia. It was a gorgeous saddle, near the top of my price range, but it could be doable (as could most Toulouse saddles). They seemed to think it was a possibility. Then while poking around online last night I checked out Beval--they had some reasonably-priced saddles, and I was particularly looking at the Stamford 2012.

I've read some very good reviews about Toulouse and lower-end Beval saddles online, and I've also read some VERY poor reviews about both. However, I trust Horse Forum people, so I figured I'd get your opinions about these as well.

Also, for the record: A used saddle isn't out of the realm of possibility. Unfortunately, I'm wary about used for two reasons: I have a hard-to-fit horse and I've seen a lot of used that can't be returned if they're not a good fit, and let's face it: I haven't found a used saddle yet that makes me drool in my price range.
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    12-24-2012, 10:09 AM
I'm a big fan of M. Toulouse saddles, for what my opinion's worth.
    12-24-2012, 10:13 AM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
I'm a big fan of M. Toulouse saddles, for what my opinion's worth.
Good to know--thanks! I trust your opinions on here. :) Do you have any favorite M. Toulouse models?
    12-24-2012, 10:16 AM
I bought a Toulouse Celine from a friend this spring and love it. My TB has a shape similar to what you described--the short flat back, prominent withers and massive shoulders. Collegiates don't fit him either, but this Toulouse is perfect.
    12-24-2012, 07:26 PM
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
I bought a Toulouse Celine from a friend this spring and love it. My TB has a shape similar to what you described--the short flat back, prominent withers and massive shoulders. Collegiates don't fit him either, but this Toulouse is perfect.
That's good to know! A friend recently bought the Toulouse Annice, and it was gorgeous... but didn't seem to have much clearance on her TB's withers. However, her TB is much rounder and stockier than mine is. On the contrary, I think my Bates fits her TB rather well... so maybe this bodes well for me with M. Toulouse saddles..?

It's just so stressful not having a huge saddle budget and not living somewhere that I can easily try a variety on.
    12-26-2012, 10:52 PM
Well, my saddle sold tonight. So once it ships tomorrow, I'm saddle-less! So I need to make a decision.

Any other opinions?

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