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Re: OF saddles

Lisa casady <> said:
>I have been reading the jabs at OF saddles and the quality going down hill
>on ridecamp.  I own 4 OF and like them a lot.  However, the dealer I have
>always gone through has quit selling for them too and is now selling a
>saddle similiar to OF with a flexible panel...

Long ago, Ortho-flex sold saddles directly to end customers.
Then, (round about five years or so ago as I recall), they
went to a system whereby they sold saddles strictly through
dealers.  If you called OF, they would only speak to you to
give the name of your closest dealer.

Recently, it appears that Ortho-flex has gone back to selling
saddles directly to end customers, as well as maintaining a
network of dealers.  This has angered some dealers, who have
always found the relationship somewhat stressful (for example,
if you wanted your dealership mentioned on the OF home page,
you had to *pay* OF for the link!).  At the recent Equine
Affair here in Massachusetts, Ortho-Flex had a booth directly
across from the booth of one of their own dealers!

The thing I find particularly exciting, unmined territory is
the wide variety of European endurance saddles.  Teddy Lancaster
posted the URL of a French saddle company several months ago
whose products looked extremely interesting.  (I'd repost the
URL but the Ridecamp archive seems truncated and I can't find
it.)  European saddle thinking seems to be more "out of the box"
(innovative, unrestricted by tradition) in both materials and
design than American saddle thinking.

I wish some American firm would take to importing these European
saddles.  I understand that the capital investment would be high, but
I should think that the Europeans would be interested in cracking
the American market.

Besides, havn't you always wanted a green saddle?

Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA

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