|pictured: not otto|
Construction and ServiceI asked around and got pointed to a small Irish shop called Uisce Saddlery, based in Ireland. I am the worst at custom anything because I hate options, so I looked through the gallery until something leaped off the page at me and then emailed to ask how much it would be and if there was shipping to the US and just sort of get a feel for the process.
I got a prompt, polite reply in fluent english (hey, you never know) by the saddler herself (holla Elaine!) with specific answers to my questions. She was also conversant in standard sizing, inches, and US dollars, which I find very useful because my interest in understanding foreign currency is around zero. I will google the exchange rate. That is all.
I don't order full custom much, so this was kind of an experience. Elaine doesn't just glue some trim on an existing caveson--she makes each piece from scratch.
The gallery and her happy customs told me she could do more fancy custom stitching and etc, but I liked what I saw and I had an itchy trigger finger. I had a paypal invoice in my inbox within an hour or two of initiating the conversation and when I paid, there was a note indicating about a 10 day wait depending on what was ahead of me in line.
|threw it on a bridle i had sitting around :-)|
FitI told her Courage was a pretty standard cob size, she sent me her standard measurements, and because I'm a dork who has C's measurements memorized (but not my own, go figure), I knew it would work. I also needed it made sans flash because SOMEONE hates them.
|dress up=always a good idea|
DurabilityThis is a funny topic with strap goods. I love my some French leather, but I really don't think the Antares/CWD/Devoucoux/insert French here strap goods are worth it for the asking price (but by all means, hit the used market). They don't hold up the bestiest and they just aren't as substantially nicer than everything on the market the way the French saddles are.
|we don't understand|
|experimenting with bonnets|
ValueRemember when I inquired by email originally with some specific questions? See the thing with the world of custom shit is that you can get anything you want; you just have to be willing to pay for it. A lot. And while I spend an obscene amount of money on Courage, I'm just not the sort of person who drops $$$ without thinking about it and planning for it and all that. I'm blue collar. What can I say?
So yeah. Custom colored, custom stitched, custom made piece of leather shipped to the US. What do you think she quoted me?
|oh yeah and that other blue bridle also|
Not a joke.
I... really don't know how you could say no to that.
(Note: price current as of fall 2016, so be advised that currency fluctuates and I'm not a rep and if you're reading this post years later, you need to get your own number).
LikesOh, everything. Love the color. Love the cut. Love the design. Love the non-crank. Love the custom options. Love the service. Love it all.
DislikesUmmmmmm well it's exactly what I wanted, which is exactly what it was advertised to be and I had an exceptional customer service experience. I'd be hard pressed to find anything to really dislike about it.
ConclusionIf you need fun colors, custom sizing, bold accents, and affordable pricing, I really don't know how you could do better. The look maybe isn't for everyone, but I'll definitely be ordering from Uisce Saddlery again. 10/10 positive experience would recommend.
PS If you want one of these in purple (I DO!!) and have a stupidly tiny horse (alas. sob.), Teresa has one for sale. Contact her for details.