Monday, February 27, 2012

Hennig Sofa: Honey, I'm HOME

What the Hennig feels like...

What the Hennig looks like...
In the course of looking for a new saddle, I tested products of the very nicest saddle makers. One of the better/finer manufacturers is Hennig. Have you heard of it? I had read about them on the Chronicle listserv, but had never seen one. One of the amusing things about Hennig is that they are well known for their Hennig Sofa.

Um. That's not an actual sofa. It's the name of a saddle.

Having sat in three Hennigs, I can tell you it doesn't matter what they're called -- they are ALL sofas, and there was never a more perfect brand identity.  Hennig is...
  • Comfortable à la sinking into a Lazyboy
  • Butter-soft
  • Enormous
  • Substantive
  • High Quality
 More than ANYTHING, you can feel the value and workmanship of this saddle.

The Good
 As a rider, I felt balanced and secure. Riley responded well, in part (I suspect) because the saddle gave me stability. This saddle envelopes you in comfort.  If I had a back problem, or discomfort, or a disability of any kind when riding, I would look at a Hennig. There are many options, but I focused on the ones with exposed thigh blocks and a straight flap.

The Less Good
Really, the worst thing about them is the cost! All that workmanship doesn't come cheap. New, these saddles cost up to 6K; used they are at least 3-4K.  I'm known for impulsive spending, but couldn't quite take the plunge. Why? As much as I loved the saddle for its strengths, I'm doubtful about how I'd feel about riding in it long term. Would it help me be a better rider? I am not sure.  All that comfort, padding, and solid construction comes at a price -- it separates you from the horse. Riding in it,  I was not quite as tuned in, and I kept thinking, How can Ri feel my seatbones? Also, it's heavy.

Don't get me wrong. If Bob bought me one, or I won one, or if I could even get one for a discount, I'd be doin' the happy dance for hours. I mean, look at that GORGEOUS leather!!! Part of me still covets the saddle pictured above, which is now available at  Someone should snap it up.

Hennigs feel like home. I loved riding in it. But in the end, I'm not sure it would be as effective in it as I might in a saddle that was less, er, substantive.


  1. YES! I had the privilege of sitting. In my trainer's hennig on her mare-- My God i didn't know dressage could be like that!!!

  2. New posting format? Is that you or Blogger at work again?

    The Hennig does look comfy. I am not too keen on too much saddle between me and the horse either, but I suspect if you rode a lot...maybe horse after horse for hours...the feel of sofa comfort might become a treasure worth more than feel of the horse???

  3. That leather is Gorgeous. How do I covet thee? Let me count the ways...

  4. I have a friend who loves her Henigs (yes, she has more than one!). Personally, I'd buy a real sofa! $6K is just too darn much for a saddle.

  5. My personal theory: If the horse doesn't cost as much as the saddle, the saddle is too expensive ... bahaha. In Riley's case, I'm sure there's a decent ratio going. ;) My rescued redhead pony mutt mare needs a new saddle ... and I can guarantee $6,000 would be better spent on reflocking something else a little less "craftsman-like." If I spend 6 grand on any tack for my horse, there better be a 100% guarantee I will never ever fall off ... ever ... never ... ever ... NEVER ... again.

    If I bought one of those, my horse would have to be earning me some major dough to compensate for my taking out a second mortgage on my house. LOL.

  6. Whoo-eee... and here I thought Hermes was the only manufacturer out there charging that kind of stratospheric price! (Fun Fact: they now sell one for NINE THOUSAND some dollars. Ridic, no?) That is one stunning-looking saddle, though. I just bet it feels like a sofa. Gee, I'm glad my friend's Wintec feels okay to me so I'm not tempted to run right out and get one, LOL! :-)

  7. About a year and a half ago I got my hands on a used one for a steal of a price. ($1600) Its comfortable. Fits everything from large ponies to skinny tbs to fat wbs. Ive started horses undersaddle in it. Ive competed across the country in it. Ive let students borrow it to help them find their correct leg position. It still looks barely used. Everysingle horse ive put it on moves better and is more relaxed across their topline and I certainly have not struggled to feel connected but maybe thats because I got mine pre-broken in. I dred the day that this one dies (probably sometime in the next 20 years....) because Ill never be able to go back to a cheaper saddle!

  8. People can choose to go for individual units, and not select the L sections or rounded shapes in large sections. Single unit sofas can also look very elegant with the matching floor mat and table combinations.


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