Tuesday, September 17, 2013

As the Saddle Turns

Things are still quiet for Ben and I. I'm still trying to give him time off, but we have done a bit of stuff here and there. Mostly, I've taken up the quest for the perfect saddle...because, why not?

This has been an abysmal quest, and I'm almost ready to call it quits...again. Adding my list of saddles tried: Schleese Wave (too curvy, winged off his back), Michal Cocoran (really nice in the front, panels winged off his back), Albion K2 (fit but KILLED my hips/legs/back - twist way too wide), Cardanel (nice front, winged off his back), Black Country Vinici X (too wide in front, billets hang all wrong).

Almost all of these had a few redeeming qualities- but in the end, i haven't actually been able to ride in any of them because just tacking him up in them presented glaring fit issues.

The next 2 coming on the list are another Black Country (Eloquence X in MW), and a used Detente Luna from Trumbull Mtn. The Detente is more of a long shot...but hey why not at this point.

So in the meantime, I am using my Enlightened Equitation Flexee (leather treed) saddle. So far, so good. Ben seems to like this- and I very much like it. I could just settle and use this, but I guess I just want to find a treed saddle too. But the pressure is off, because I do have something working fairly well. If no treed saddle can be found, I may end up just getting a leather Flexee when they are released.


  1. I was looking at the Flexee saddles. How do they ride? What kind of quality are they?

  2. The Flexee is a great saddle option, IMO. Right now it is just available in synthetic, but I know Heather is working very hard to push other options to market (leather, serge panels, smart panel) to make other fit options for horses.

    I tried both an 18" Dressage and have an 18" VSD. I really liked the deep seat on the dressage saddle- however, the panels were a bit too long in my opinion, squeaked like crazy against my boot. I also felt like the stirrup bars were too far back on it - which by concept is great, but on a wide horse like i have, and already aching hips- it is just too much to ask for my leg to come down out of the socket like that.

    The twist, however, was/is fantastic. A lot of treeless saddles make you feel like you are riding a barrel- but this one does not. Also, the seat materials is SO squishy and shock absorbing. Your body can really relax and take the movement. I find even being able to ride in the Flexee a bit, then switch to a sturdier treed saddle, how complimentary it is.

    I chose the VSD for the stirrup bar (slightly more forward), and slightly more forward flaps. What I messed up is the seat size. I purchased an 18" and its really more like 20-21 when you measure traditionally. It feels big, and it is a bit more open than the Dressage...making it feel even bigger.

    The panels themselves- I'll admit, I struggle a bit with these. At first, the saddle sits very pommel high. But as you ride, it does settle. A couple of times I've felt like it has settled a bit too much, not allowing for clearance. So I've played with the shoulder shims, shimmy pad, etc. I can't say I've gotten the secret recipe just yet- but I have had success moving this and that.

    For reference, I'm 5'5" and 150lbs ish. My friend who weighs a bit more than me, and is a bit taller wanted to sit in it, and we thought it sank a bit more under her weight...but at the time I did not have the shims and padding in place.

    I do think I will sell this version on in the near future, and get a 17" VSD, which may be the best size for me.

    The quality of the synthetic is good. It reminds me of the Thorowgood T4 w/ faux suede. It is pretty dang sticky- Clarino seat on Clarino saddle=not moving an inch. Not sure if I liked being that locked in place all the time - so when i plan to ride in it i choose my breeches for the occasion! :)

    So- my review is kind of mixed, but mostly positive. I feel like I havent put enough mileage in it to really say one way or the other. But I can see how people love them...and also how people wouldn't like them. It continues to be a great "bridge" saddle for Ben and I while we sort out this treed saddle situation...and also wait for the leather + other options of the next generation Flexees.

  3. Here is a helpful link to the Flexee FB group. Lots of good information! https://www.facebook.com/groups/411997955537777/