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    Re: [RC] Dressage Saddles for Endurance Riding - Flora Hillman

    I use a County Competitor which I purchased in the early 1980's for dressage and eventing.  It is the most comfortable saddle I had ever sat in in my life, beautifully built, and is holding up like iron under all the horrendous abuse I've subjected it to since I moved from the world of dressage and cross country fences into endurance. 
    The design excels in providing both rider and horse comfort at all levels and distances -- from Limited Distance to multi-day rides.   You will find it comfortably puts your legs and seat exactly where they should be to maintain an optimum center of balance  and security, and keeps them there regardless of whether you are climbing a mountain, sliding down a huge slope, trotting 100 miles or galloping on the flat -- or doing half-passes and flying changes in front of an Olympic level judge at Devon. <grin>
    More recent models (from the 1990's on up) are being designed more for the wide, broad backs of the big Warmbloods, making it a perfect choice for chunky Quarter Horses, Morgans, Arabs, and pony breeds. The only modification I did to my saddle was to have my local saddler widen it to fit my Welsh/Arab, and add D-rings to the cantle and pommel.
    You can buy older models on E-bay for anywhere from $300 to $900, later models for about $1000. New saddles sell for over $2000, and are marketed extensively throughout the US -- especially in areas that have a high concentration of dressage and eventing.  You can preview the saddles, fitting guide, and sales of demo saddles at their website:  www.countysaddlery.com
    I have another friend who uses a Keiffer dressage saddle -- she adores it, and it fits her broad little Arab gelding like a dream.