Serial Number FAQ

French Saddle Serial Number Deciphering

Decoding Examples

CWD: SE 0217 TR 2C PL 08 4223
SE02 = saddle model
17 = size of the seat (sometimes run small)
TR = seat depth
2C = flaps
08 = year of manufacturing (2008)
4223 = item number of the year

Saddle Models: all referenced here (just look at the bottom of each picture for the reference codes for each saddle)
Seat Depth: TC is flat, TR is half-deep, XTR is deep
Flaps: Length goes from 1 to 5, 1 being the shortest. The letter following the length number describes the angle of the flap; C being more forward while L is standard (more straight).

Antarès: P A1 17 E 09 602

P = seat depth
A1 = flap
17 = seat size (generally true to size)
E = tree width
09 = year of manufacturing
602 = item number of the year

Seat depth : P is flat, SC is half-deep, C is deep
Flap: Length goes from 00 to 5, 00 being the shortest and 2 being standard. The letter following the length number describes the forwardness of the flap; N being standard (more straight); A slightly forward, AA forward, and AAA very forward. There are also specialty flaps, like AB (low advanced which is forward with a lower forward curve), NB (normal with a lower curve), D (dressage, which is a flap on a jumping saddle with a straighter cut)
Seat Width: E = narrow, N = standard, L = wide, XL = extra-wide.
Tree Width: AN = Medium tree (saddles are not marked when they are standard), AO = Arcade Ouverte = wide tree, AO2 = , A03 = ,
M15 T1 indicates that the saddle was made with standard panels. Sometimes, additional info such as “M10” = a panel designation means they’ve decreased the amount of padding across the entire panel. RAR+ or RAG+ also refers to padding added or taken away from (-) the panels.

Amerigo : 175N12340113 M 4 LHI

175 = seat size (usually true to size)
N = flap
1234 = item number of the year
0113 = Date of Manufacture (January 2013)
M = tree width
4 = panel volume
Flaps : short = K, normal or regular = N, long = L, extra long = XL. If the flap has a forward angle, there is code “SW” added.
Tree widths : Narrow = -1.5, Medium = M, Medium Wide = +1.5, Wide = +2.5, Extra wide = +3.5
Panel Volume: Each saddle is made with wool flocked independent panels that can be chosen in different volumes 2  4 (and in Dressage Saddles 6 as well). 4 is standard.

LHI – If you see this code in any Amerigo serial number, this means that the saddle has been made with an extended head iron. The longer head irons are suitable for horses with longer, hollow withers.

Saddles made in 2009 or after have also been stamped with a code indicating the model. Please refer to the link for the full list of codes.
Butet: C18 2 1/4 925 07

C= seat depth
18 = seat size (generally they run large)
2 1/4 = flap
925 = item number of the year
07 = year of manufacturing
in Seat depth : P is flat, L is half-deep, C is deep
Flap: 1 is standard and 2 long, 3 is extra-long.  The second part describes the forwardness, 1/4 being slightly forward and 1/2 more forward.
Tree width: E = narrow, N / S = standard, W = wide, XL = extra-wide (if not mentioned in the serial number, this means standard tree)


18 = seat size (generally they true to size)

1 – short
1.5- short forward (1A on newer models)
2 – regular
2.5 – regular forward (2A on newer models)
3 – long
3.5 – long forward (3A on newer models)
4 – extra long
4.5 – extra-long forward (4A on newer models)


The seat tends to run true to size, in my experience. Some are marked by the seat sizes they are and others are marked by a number:

001 - 16/16.5
002 - 17/17.5
003 - 18/18.5.

flap lengths 0 through 5

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. additionally also B (lower curve)

Delgrange: 12 1090 A 17/3L 2
12 = year
1090 = item number of the year
A = model (seat depth)
17 = seat size (often run small)
3 = flap length
L = forwardness
2 = knee padding thickness

Model / Seat depth : R = Rivoli = very flat. A = Athena = flat. P = Partition = semi-deep. V = Virtuose = deep. E = Edea = extra deep
Flap length They go from 1 to 6, but Delgrange indicates relative flap lengths, not absolute flap lengths as other manufacturers do. This means a 3 flap on a Virtuose 18′ can be a very different length from a 3 flap on a Rivoli 16′. Therefore, please refer to the measurement in inches we always provide.
Flap forwardness : R = backward, L = straight, A = standard, X =  forward
Knee padding thickness : 2 = standard padding, 3 = slightly thick padding, 4 = very thick padding

Specifics of each brand


Antares has a reputation for offering excellent customer service on the saddles they make, throughout the life of the saddle.

Available in a range of seat depths.

Generally true to size in the seat.

Generally has a wider twist, but can be special ordered with a narrow twist (If you are a Butet aficionado, you might also like an Antares that has been ordered with the narrow twist option)



Butets tend to be narrower through the twist that other saddles and offer a very close feel, however, because they run slightly narrower they tend not to fit very large shouldered flat backed warmbloods as well as other makes.  They do tend to fit normal to narrower shouldered horses, thoroughbreds and French bred horses very well.

Butets are available in a flat seat (P) or deep seat (L) option. Recently, a new deep seat (C) has been introduced, which is deeper than the L model deep seat.

Customers who normally ride in a half-deep seat in other brands typically find that the L model “deep” seat is the closest choice to this feeling in Butet.

Butets are typically available in whole seat sizes only in the US, though half sizes can be found in Europe or via special order from the manufacturer.

Butet whole sizes tend to run comfortably large.  A 16″ Butet will often actually measure around 16 1/2″ or so. Therefore, most clients who take a half size in other brands prefer the smaller whole size in Butet. For example, clients who ride in a 16.5″ in other brands typically find that the 16″ Butet has fit them nicely.

If you are between sizes, please ask me to take measurements of the Butet you are interested in with a measuring tape. (Using the traditional center of the nail head to center of cantle measurement.) We can compare this measurement against your regular size or the saddle you are riding in now to assess whether you might prefer to try the smaller or larger of two sizes.

Flap sizes are indicated in the serial number as 1 for regular, or 2 for long (note that this varies from other French brands such as Antares or Devoucoux, where a 1 is short, 2 is regular, and 3 or higher is long).

Knee pads are typically fairly thin, for a closer feel of the horse

Butets are often popular with customers who prefer a more narrow twist. A Butet twist is generally more narrow than a standard twist in many other French brands. Some riders who have a round thigh shape find that a more narrow twist gives their thigh a nice place to “sit” on the saddle. In general, a narrow twist can help a rider to wrap the leg down and around the horse as opposed to feeling perched on top of the saddle.

Butets tend to be narrower through the twist that other saddles and offer a very close feel, however, because they run slightly narrower they tend not to fit very large shouldered flat backed warmbloods as well as other makes.  They do tend to fit normal to narrower shouldered horses, thoroughbreds and French bred horses very well.


Extremely popular, CWD Saddles are favored by riders such as Scott Brash, McLain Ward, Kent Farrington, and Kelley Farmer. They come in several models, seat depths, flap lengths 1 through 5, and standard (L) or forward (C) flaps. The tree is a standard medium-wide, and various panel configurations can be used to change the fit.  The leather may be grain (most durable), calf (soft and grippy but still with excellent durability), or buffalo (the softest and most grippy). The price points in CWD increase with the calf and buffalo options.  Most CWDs also have an integrated panel that offers a refined close contact for the rider.  Another nice feature frequently found is the RT designation.  This indicated the front panels under the scapula have been contoured to allow greater freedom through the scapula. CWDs 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. They come in a lighter brown and a darker mahogany color. Foam.

CWDs are typically made with integrated panels. With integrated panels, the panel and sweat flap is integrated, so there is less bulk between your leg and the horse. This provides a very nice close feel of the horse. (In contrast, with most other saddle brands, this is a premium feature that costs more and is only available by special order.)

I have found CWDs to be made with leather that is particularly soft and has a nice grippy feel to it.  If grippy leather is a primary consideration for you, CWD may be an excellent choice.

The sweat flap (the one close to the horse) is typically made with a cutaway design so that you have less bulk between you and your horse where your calf rests.

CWD is one of the brands I have personally ridden in for many years and I love its comfort and the secure ride that it provides.

The “flat seat” model in CWD tends to ride like a half-deep seat in most other brands.

Generally true to size in the seat, although occasionally can run 1/4″ small. Ask for the seat measurement to be taken with a tape to be sure.


I have found that Childeric generally runs true to size in the seat.

Balance, feel, and comfort for the rider is quite similar to Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD.

Twist tends to be wider, similar to Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD.



Typically runs small in the seat size.

I have found that most customers need to go up at least 1/2″ in size in Delgrange versus their size in other French brands.

However, some older Delgrange saddles (i.e. mid – 1990s or so) run true to size.

In my experience, a regular Delgrange tree (in the more recent model years) has a nice amount of room to it. Thus, this might make a versatile choice if you need to ride a range of different horses, or if you have a horse that needs a fit that is in between medium and wide. Older models (from the mid-1990s or so) typically have a regular tree that is more suitable for your typical TB build type of horse.

Flap lengths are relative to the seat size for Delgrange, so flap numbers work differently than on Antares, Devoucoux, or CWD.

In my experience, the appropriateness of the flap length can be better determined by comparing measurements in inches to another saddle than comparing the manufacturer’s flap number to another manufacture’s flap number. I recommend comparing the flap length in inches (measured from the stirrup bar to the end of the flap) to a saddle that fits you well so you compare the inches rather than mere flap numbers. For example, I have seen a Delgrange 5 flap that fit a rider’s leg nicely who was looking for a Devoucoux 2 flap. Thus, I recommend looking at the measurement in inches, rather than relying on the flap number to determine a good fit.

One of the most popular Delgrange saddles for many years was the PJ series (including the PJ Original, PJ Light, and PJ Pro/Partition models). However, more recent PJs are no longer made by Delgrange. If you liked the feel of the Delgrange-made PJs, choosing another model from the current Delgrange line is probably going to give you the feel you are familiar with. The PJ Lite is now the Bruno Delgrange Athena. The PJ Pro is the Bruno Delgrange Partition, and The PJ Original is now the Bruno Delgrange Virtuose. If you notice on the flap for these saddles there will be an A, P, or V in front of the seat size. The newer PJ saddles are not made by Delgrange and are a different product.


Another luxury french saddle brand, Devoucoux are also quite popular on the hunter/jumper circuit with the Biarritz, Oldara and Socoa models being the most popular with hunter/jumper riders.  While all are designed to satisfy the rider’s need for balance and precise contact during daily jumping and flat work the Biarritz and Oldara have a wider and deeper seat than the Socoa, and tend to be a bit more “saddle”. The Socoa is a jumping saddle with a flatter seat and narrower twist to enable the rider to shift his center of gravity easily giving great freedom of movement and enabling the rider to shift his center of gravity easily. Its sporty, clean line makes it a favorite with top riders.

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.  Other nice Devoucoux features are the R designation – this indicates the flap behind the rider’s leg has been contoured, to allow the rear block to be positioned farther back, useful for riders who feel they “run into” the rear block – and the “B” designation, indicating a flap with more forwardness on the bottom of the knee roll area.

Riders who are looking for “soft and sticky” (especially in the seat) should absolutely try a Devoucoux Biarritz or Oldara! Foam.

I have found that a regular tree Devoucoux has a nice amount of room. So it can be an excellent choice for someone who needs versatility to be able to fit a range of different horses.

The Biarritz model is a good choice for riders seeking a half-deep (a.k.a. medium deep) seat depth.

Seat tends to run true to size, in my experience.

Twist tends to be wider, similar to Antares, Childeric, and CWD.

Voltaire Design

Founded by former employees of Devoucoux. The Voltaire saddles are a wider and half deep-seated saddle with an innovative “second skin design” to improve rider position and ensure a high level of comfort.  The wider tree accommodates most warmbloods and wider bodied horses, while the second skin flap design ensures close contact with the horse.  While narrower, high withered horses can be accommodated with fuller panels in a custom Voltaire, when shopping used saddles make sure the paneling will be appropriate for your horse. The Voltaire is also one of the lighter (in weight) french brands and comes in a dark chocolate color. It is now available in the Palm Beach (half deep seat), the Stuttgart (deeper jumping seat) and Calgary (flatter seat) models. Foam.

Known for high-quality leather and workmanship, comparable to Devoucoux and other top saddlers.

Typically features its signature blue stripes on the gullet and/or billet guards of the saddle

Innovative billet system. Instead of three standard billets, saddles have two billets and three billet rings. The two billets can be looped onto whichever two rings the rider prefers to use. This eliminates the common problem of the uneven stretching of billets (In the traditional three billet arrangement, most of us primarily use two billets, and so the third billet never stretches evenly and thus becomes almost useless because the holes on the third billet are uneven with the other two billets). This feature also means that for billet replacement, you may just order by mail rather than missing riding time having to send your saddle to the saddler. You just loop the new billets onto the rings. Brilliant system.

“Second skin” feature is a very thin sweat flap for an exceptionally close feel of the horse through the lower leg

I have received especially good feedback on this brand from riders who are long from hip to knee; they have reported that the placement of the stirrup bars on the Voltaire saddle creates a nice balance and fit for them.