View Full Version : Okay where are the good inexpensive dressage saddles?

Sep. 19, 2009, 06:19 PM
Where oh where are they hiding?? I have read the other threads and looked at some of the saddles recommended, but even these saddles are 1200, 1500, 2400 USED! I just can't spend that on a second saddle that I will only use until my new guy builds his back up again. So where do I look, am I just missing them? :confused: Oh and I want leather, I can't do the wintec saddles :no:

Sep. 19, 2009, 06:25 PM
They're in the tack shop, in the 'Used Saddles' aisle.

There are a zillian saddles for sale right now, and some of them are very, very nice. The recession sucks.

Sep. 19, 2009, 07:01 PM
slc2 which tack shops? I can't seem to find them. I have googled and googled and just haven't found anything, can you pass on some websites, maybe I missed some.

Sep. 19, 2009, 07:32 PM
www.ebay.com ;)

But check the sales as well, because there are some deals to be had. For example, adams has a bunch of Collegiates on sale:


Sep. 19, 2009, 07:53 PM
Wintec Pro is still my favorite saddle that fits many horses and is inexpensive (and oh so easy to clean--and wears like iron). :D

Sep. 19, 2009, 07:55 PM
If the collegiates don't float your boat, this is a great brand- simple good design and nice leather, nothing fancy, doesn't have a high resale value.


Saint's Partner
Sep. 19, 2009, 09:08 PM
Picked up a 2009 Wintec 500 with girth, leathers and cover from the online tack shop on E-bay, and absolutely love it. Bought it based on COTH'er comments, and less than $500. And don't miss Trumbull Mountain and Pelham Saddlery for used inventory.

Sep. 19, 2009, 09:13 PM
You guys aren't scared of buying a saddle off ebay, what if it doesn't fit? I always buy all my other stuff from there like bridles and halters, but those are no big deal if they don't fit you just give it to a friend who's horse it does fit, but saddles are so hard to fit and whether or not you like the feel.

Sep. 19, 2009, 09:18 PM
You guys aren't scared of buying a saddle off ebay, what if it doesn't fit? I always buy all my other stuff from there like bridles and halters, but those are no big deal if they don't fit you just give it to a friend who's horse it does fit, but saddles are so hard to fit and whether or not you like the feel.

Then try these shops. They have trials.


and so on.

Sep. 19, 2009, 09:31 PM
I have always had good luck on Ebay. If you know your horse and have a good idea of your horses size you can useally do a good job finding a saddle for a great price. Also don't be afraid to ask the seller questions. I was asked to measure the saddles that I was selling on Ebay in every way possible. Also I have had good luck at local barns useally they have a cork board that sales fliers are atached to. Go to the local dressage barns an see what is up on the board also horse shows are a good place to look.

Sep. 19, 2009, 11:15 PM
If you know what fits your horse, you can usually find it used on eBay - what price range are you looking at? There are often some nice used Bates saddles (Isabelle & Caprelli models) for under $1000, I've seen some Neidersuiss saddles go for under $800 (and those saddles fit a wide variety of horses), some of the older Albions (such as the Style) for under $800 too. Also second Trumble Mountain for its trial policies even on used saddles. Depending on WHERE you live, there may be a ad service for your region - check with your USDF GMO, or check for other ad services. We have a "Bay Area Equestrian Network" that serves much of Northern CA - tons of tack for sale, and often close enough to go try it. Often name brand saddles for around $1000. I know it has some "sister" ad networks in other parts of the country.

One warning, if you DON'T know what will fit your horse, and you are looking for trial policies, you can easily spend several hundred dollars shipping saddles back and forth - $25 here, $50 there...

Sep. 19, 2009, 11:21 PM
My trainer rides my XXXW and my narrow horse in the same Neidersuss (I think it's an Olympik?). I really don't get it, but when I look at the saddle and try to find problems with the fit I can't.

If I weren't irrationally attached to my Schleese I'd get one for myself so I could ride both in the same saddle too!

Sep. 20, 2009, 12:12 AM
Pelham Saddlery (in NH) is a good source, and you can have saddles shipped to you for a trial period as well.

Also, Rick's Heritage Saddlery (in PA) has a good reputation as well.

Sep. 20, 2009, 08:11 AM
"Which tack shops"

I'm not comfortable with buying stuff like that on the internet. I like to get a look at the saddle, flex it, check it for tree damage, and see if it's alright overall before I buy it.

There are usually local tack shops that sell used saddles. Call around. There are often tack shops people run out of their homes, and they don't have a lot of ads or web sites. In an area where dressage is popular, lots of used dressage saddles are for sale. I have driven to tack shops a few hours away to look at used saddles; a business trip or vacation can always be co-opted for the purpose.

Another place to check is riding club newsletters, ads on tack shop ad boards, etc.

Another place to check is with the local dressage and eventing trainers and instructors. Someone almost always has a student selling a saddle.

For me, I've always rathered buy a high quality used than a cheap new saddle.

Sep. 20, 2009, 08:15 AM
AS others said, if you know what it is you want Ebay has the best deals. I have bought a good number off ebay (to also be resold on the same) as various horses out grew saddles or ones I had didn't fit em. My only bad ebay experience was one that was advertised as "like new" and was most certainly more worn that than though still seviceable. FWIW that one was listed by one of those ebay dealers/someone gave it to them to list.....the ones I have had listed by the actual owner/a horse person have been accurately represented. So.....now I will only deal with the "actual owner/no more dealers". I like the Wintecs IF you do not have a wide WB. The Wintecs fit fine for narrow to a med wide horse. When you get up to the W/ XW the front can be opened up but the back is still too narrow and it will start to walk up the withers.

Sep. 20, 2009, 09:01 AM
Thanks for all the websites, I too would love to see the saddle but I would have to drive about two hours, which I will probably do just to see before I really commit to anything. But here's another question, which saddles can be adjusted tree wise? That would be something good to look for since his back will be changing with his fitness comes back.

Sep. 20, 2009, 09:41 AM
I'm not comfortable with buying stuff like that on the internet. I like to get a look at the saddle, flex it, check it for tree damage, and see if it's alright overall before I buy it.

The omission of "place it on my horse's back to see if it fits" is striking.

Flexing does a whole lot of good.

Sep. 20, 2009, 09:52 AM
You guys aren't scared of buying a saddle off ebay, what if it doesn't fit? I always buy all my other stuff from there like bridles and halters, but those are no big deal if they don't fit you just give it to a friend who's horse it does fit, but saddles are so hard to fit and whether or not you like the feel.

That's why there are saddle fitters and the option to resell again on ebay.
ADJUSTABLE; http://cgi.ebay.com/Laser-Dressage-Saddle-100-black-18-adjustable-tree_W0QQitemZ200384418752QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item2ea7d793c0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Sep. 20, 2009, 11:21 AM
Don't forget about Passiers. Rick's Heritage Saddlery (saddlesource.com) has some at very reasonable prices and they are totally adjustable. You can go from a narrow to quite wide. I don't think many people realize those trees are totally adjustable. I have the number of a guy who is certified by Passier to adjust the trees, he'll have saddle back to you in under two weeks, and it's under $200. They also feel great for the riders as well.

Sep. 20, 2009, 11:28 AM
not all passiers are adjustable. check the model. The older ones built on the PS-Baum trees are all adjustableby a saddler (or a redneck boyfriend with a vise and crowbar- KIDDING!) and can be had for under $1000 used in decent shape.

$1200-1500 is very cheap for a dressage saddle made from leather. But the wintec Pro is an excellent saddle for most horses and most people and is under your lower number for price.

Sep. 20, 2009, 11:52 AM
I have always bought saddles on eBay for horses that are changing shape. Right now the deals are amazing. Yes, there is some risk but if you know -- in general -- what types of saddles (tree size, panel shape) fit your horse, you should be okay. I have usually been able to resell at a profit when the horse needs a new saddle but in this economy, it's hard to tell. I have a saddle that I'm not using right now but I refuse to sell it because I don't think I'll get enough for it to make it worthwhile.

My understanding is that a professional saddler can adjust many saddle trees +/- one size, but only once or twice before you start to affect the integrity of the tree.

Kiefer saddles have trees made from a fiber-glass reinforced synthetic material which allows an infinite number of adjustments but they need to be done by an approved saddler that has the device (I think it uses ultra violet light) to enable the adjustments. Schleese saddles are marketed with the idea that the trees are adjustable (by Schleese). The cost for that is pretty low (I think it's about $200)Wow saddles have interchangeable gullet heads that make them adjustable. Whether you want to go the Flair route is another question.They are pretty pricey but they are completely modular. There are a few other high end saddles that also advertise adjustablility.

Keep in mind that you can do subtle adjustments using the shimmed pads (Mattes, Thinline, Corrector) which can help you with a horse and a saddle that's a tad too wide. I think it's worth having one in the barn.

Couture TB
Sep. 20, 2009, 12:35 PM
What size tree and seat are you looking for? I have a few students that have saddles they are selling

Sep. 20, 2009, 01:23 PM
I have had he best luck buying saddles by word of mouth. My most recent bargain was getting a Barnsby for peanuts because it has a small dent in the back of the cantle. My trainer bought it from someone I know at work who was practically willing to give it away because it had a "crushed" cantle. The dent does not affect the soundness of the saddle in any way and at the price I paid it, it is perfect for my semi-retired fatty and my TB who is still developing a top line.

Sep. 20, 2009, 04:03 PM
I need a 17.5 or 18 and a medium tree, thanks again everyone it has really helped!! :D

Sep. 21, 2009, 09:44 AM

Lots of good, used, cheapies!! And you can try before you buy. :)

Sep. 21, 2009, 10:16 AM
I got super lucky recently on eBay and got a used, truly like new Thornhill dressage saddle - an upgrade from my Wintec (they are great, but if you want leather, you want leather). I suggest searching for "English saddle" or just "saddle". The trick is to find a dressage saddle that is owned by someone who has no clue what they have. The seller I bought from had tried to identify the saddle, but it had an older marking on it. I emailed the company to confirm what it was, and I got it for $153!!!!! Also, Craigslist is a pain to search on, so I use Searchtempest.com which lets you search however many miles from your house. Again, to get a true bargain you have to get lucky and find someone who doesn't know what they have but still took care of it - maybe inherited or found it at a garage sale or something. But try to search for how a non-horse person would advertise a saddle. The other tip would be to look at dressage associations and other regional riding association websites and check out their classifieds. I just moved from California, and the Bay Area Equestrian Network often listed nice saddles at great prices.

I hunted for my saddle bargain for a long time, so here's the websites I found the best prices on:

www.horsebackridingclothes.com (Maryland Saddlery)

For more variety/choices, VTO Saddlery, Pelham Saddlery and St Croix have good options, but not always the best price. I will say VTO has great customer service. I don't have experience with all of these websites other than searching, though.

Also, once you find one, I love checking out horsetackreview.com to see what others say about it. But of course, you can always ask here! I love my Thornhill:)

Good luck!

Sep. 21, 2009, 11:10 AM
Yep, sometimes bargains can be found! And sometimes not, I've tested a few bargains that turned out to be duds, and a few that turned out great! (I am an e-bay-aholic and would say that at least 90% of my purchases turn out to be good or very good deals).