Decoding Saddle Codes
No gatekeeping here! Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to saddle fit. Many French-made English saddles will be stamped with a serial number, model number and other important fitting information. Each brand has its own language for organizing the information on their saddles. Some brands are happy to share to educate potential clients on their products and tack while others try to keep it more of a mystery. This makes it challenging for those who want to learn more about the saddle created by different brands.
This is my ever-growing list of saddle decoding notes I have picked up as I research and learn more. I am happy to share what I have learned with you, but just a reminder I am not a certified saddle fitter, just a tack nerd! This blog post will be ever-changing and growing as I learn. :)
Another reminder, stamps will be for when the saddle was produced, sometimes there can be changes made to the saddle that are not reflected in the stamp.
In 2000, Antares was established in Saintes, France, with the goal of creating both luxurious and high technology saddles. Five professionals within the horse world came together: Xavier Lenrouilly, Thierry Guiberteau, Eric Guiberteau, Evelyne Cummings, and Dominique Bauer.
Antares Saddles have 3 tree options, their standard medium wide, and two wider styles the A01 and A02. Similar to other French saddles, a foam paneling can be crafted to help with the fit of the saddle to the horse's back.
If you are looking for the Antares stamp it can be found on the billet flap or on the back right of the sweat flap.
Example Antares Saddle Stamp:
P A1 17 E 09 602
P = seat depth
A1 = flap
17 = seat size (generally true to size)
E = Seat width
09 = year of manufacturing
602 = item number of the year
P Flat Seat
SC Half-Deep Seat
C Deep Seat
00-5 Flap Lengths
N Standard (Straight)
A-AAA Progressively more Forward Flaps
AB Lower Point with a more forward Flap
NB Lower Point with a straighter Flap
M15 T1 Pro Panels (Standard)
M10 Decreased amount across entire panel
M20 Increased amount across entire panel
RAR +/- Front of pommel near wither increased or decreased
RAG +/- Back of panel near gusset increased or decreased
DTA Larger contact area of overall panel
T Angle of the panels // As the # gets bigger the angle of the panel becomes more a framed
CWD Saddles are one of the most popular French made saddles. Their saddles can come with options for a variety of different leathers including, grain (most durable), calf (soft and grippy but still with excellent durability) or buffalo (the softest and most grippy). CWD Saddles feature a 3-point girthing system, wide panels that are concave and integrated for a better pressure distribution of the saddle along the horse's back, and a higher cut sweat flap to reduce bulk under the rider's leg. CWDS also tend to have the shortest billets. Many people find they need to go up at least one, if not 2, girth sizes to accommodate the shorter billets.
SE01 TC 170 3L
PA 715 205 205
CWD typically has 3 lines on their stamp. The top will be details regarding the model, seat size, and flap on the saddle. The second row has information on the foam panels, and the third row will contain the year it was produced and the serial number.
The majority of French saddles are built on a similar tree, then shaped to the horse with the foam panels. Since there isn't a range of tree sizes, it is important to understand how the panel is shaped when researching these saddles.
The standard CWD Panel will either have no stamp or read 700 / 200 / 300. The 700 section refers to the front of the panels, 200 ranges from the shoulder to the cantle and 300 is the rear. Their standard pro-panel 705 / 205 / 305.
CWD Flaps come in a limited number of shapes compared to other brands. With C as their forward and L as their straighter standard style. They do come in a variety of sizes from 0 - 5, with 0 being the shortest.
PA - Less Fill
RT- Cut Back at the Shoulders
TC - Flat Seat
TR - Half Deep Seat
XTR - Deep Seat
SE25 2Gs Semi Deep Seat
SE26 2Gs Flat Seat
SE32 2Gs Mademoiselle
SE33 2GS Kid
SE38 2GS Hunter Mademoiselle
SE01 Flat Seat
SE02 Semi Deep Seat
SE03 Close Contact
SE10 Classic Kid
Flap 1 – 5 Flap Length. 1 is the shortest and 5 the longest.
Flap C Forward
Flap L Straight
Flap K Kid
Flap H Hunter
Panel 705, 205, 305 Pro Panel
RG More Wither Clearance
Another elegant French-made saddle. Known for their close contact feel, Butets offer a narrower twist compared to other brands, but this also leads to them fitting more narrow. They tend not to fit horses with very large shoulders or those with a convex area behind the shoulder. They do tend to fit normal to narrower-shouldered horses, thoroughbreds and French-bred horses very well.
Butets come in whole sizes only. You can find the half-sized seat in Europe more commonly than in North America. Butets frequently vary in seat size by 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the stamped size so always measure the actual seat size - both desired and in the saddle you are considering.
They have either standard or forward flaps (designated as .5), various flap lengths (0 being short, 1 standard, 2 long, and 3 extra long), and flat (P) or deeper (L) seats. The deep-seat Butet is about equivalent to a half-deep in CWD or Devoucoux.
Butet has options on their tree width, including E = narrow, N / S = standard, W = wide, XL = extra-wide (if not mentioned in the serial number, this means standard tree)
Flap 1 Standard
Flap 2 Long
Flap 3 Extra Long
Flap ¼ Slightly Forward
Flap ½ Forward
Seat P Flat
Seat L Half-Deep
Seat C Deep
Seat Size Follows Depth Letter
Year # above MIF
Devoucouxs come in whole and half seat sizes and flap lengths 0 through 5. Grain/calf, full calf, and buffalo leather are all options. Devoucoux has 4 "grades" of forwardness, with D being the straightest, no letter associated with the flap length being standard, A being forward and AA being very forward.
18S42019888 002 2A D3D 4.0 3-5
18 = year of manufacturing (2018)
S42019888 = saddle make reference number
002 = seat Size (001/16"-16.5", 002-17"-17.5", 003/18"-18.5")
2A = flaps (flap lengths 0-5, D/Straight, A/Forward, AA/Extra Forward, B/Low Forward)
D3D 4.0 3-5 = panel configuration (D3D is wider panels that are perfectly symmetrical: weight-bearing surface area increased by 30% compared to the previous generation of panels)
Year 1st number in Serial
Seat 3rd Row left
Flap 0 – 5 Length of Flap
Flap D -Straight
Flap A - Forward
Flap AA - Very Forward
Flap B - Lower Curve
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