Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saddles and Stuff

Thoughts for a Freezing Afternoon

Weather report? Bitter cold. The Arctic air has settled here in New Jersey with temperatures in the teens F.  I suspect we are around -9 C now and it's supposed to go down to around 5 F (-15 C) tonight.

Obviously, doing much more than the basic outside chores is not exactly appealing.

So, I began thinking about a conversation I had with my friend Stacie last night. She is an agent for Trilogy saddles and also a saddle fitter. She stuffs and adjust saddles for clients as well as selling saddles.

We were discussing the business last night.  As a distributor/representative for Ansur treeless saddles, I have run into many of the same situations Stacie has in her sales trips.  We've both driven for hours to meet a client only to have to wait until they show up for the appointment.  A number of times, the client doesn't even have the horse they want to try the saddle on remotely ready to test ride.

I've had clients actually take a riding lesson in the saddle as a test, taking up a couple hours of my time.  One rider rode in the saddle herself, loved it, and then insisted on waiting for her instructor too arrive to get her opinion.  Said instructor liked how the saddle fit and felt, but thought it wasn't stylish enough and convinced her student not to buy on looks alone.

Another of my favorites is when a client loved the saddle and then decides not to purchase a new model from me but instead seeks out a used on on the Internet.  As a result, I have set up demo fees so that my time is not totally wasted.

But both Stacie and I agreed that one of our pet peeves is another saddle maker who sends out high pressure salespeople who spend more time making negative comments about every other brand of saddle--especially Ansurs--than they do bragging about how good their saddles are.  Usually, as soon as I hear that a client is going to have that company out to show saddles, I'm pretty sure my sale has gone up in smoke.

Stacie and I believe that our saddles speak for themselves. Although we have a basic difference of opinion regarding treeless vs. treed saddles, we think a good saddle basically sells itself.   Trilogy saddles are beautiful and well made. I know that Stacie is very particular about fit for both horse and rider.  I know that Ansurs are wonderful and the treeless advantage is super for most horses and riders.

We have faith in the products we sell.  We don't need a heavy duty sales speech, and we would never talk negatively about the competition--at least not in the way this other company does.

Is this the way America does business? It sounds like politics. Instead of talking about how good your candidate is, you talk about how bad the opposition is.

Just a thought on a cold winter afternoon.

And, by the way, Ansur treeless saddles are incredible!! I've been riding in treeless for over 10 years now and my horses' backs are in excellent shape.  The Ansur Excel dressage saddle puts me in a great position and is super comfortable.  And, one of the biggest benefits is that the same saddle fits all three of my horses, even though their conformation is very different.

There's my sales pitch. 'Nough said.


  1. People are crazy. I think it's terrible that they would treat a representative of a company so rudely.

    I don't know much about treeless saddles. I've heard both pros and cons about them. I think it all boils down to what the rider prefers.

  2. it's not just companies, though, is it jean? it's politics as well, although which started it off first....

  3. oooh, shiver me timbers! ok, that is cold.
    and ugh, sounds very challenging selling saddles. my neighbor sells Specialized saddles and she has some of the same problems.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  4. so you say it all.

    Don't get me started about negative talk about some saddle manufcturer. It is one of the reasons my blog is private, when I saw one of these manufacturers hounded down comments on personnal blog ...

    As you say a saddle sells by itself. If I were to go back to Dressage, (always a possibility) I would definately look into the Ansur saddle. Karen Rohlf loves them too, she has become a distributor of the saddle.

  5. I've actually been thinking about testing an Ansur saddle. I have an ancient Crosby Lexington that looks like it might be on its last legs and I'm trying to decide what to replace it with.