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View Full Version : I want a new saddle but don't want to spend $1000's. Any suggestions?



greeneyelioness
Oct. 10, 2009, 05:51 PM
So I'm doing research on saddles as I am going to buy a new (used?) one after the holidays. I've been wanting a Bates Caprilli becaus a.) they are comfortable b.) they have the adjustable gullet c.) I can find them at reasonable prices.

I can't afford a $2000 saddle, I wish I could. Maybe after Vet school ;) so what I wanted to ask you all on here for other suggestions. I definitely do not want synthetic-I hate mine hate hate HATE it and want to find something with the interchangeable gullet. I know Collegiate has one.

I'm looking for an AP saddle- one that is comfortable for cross country and low level dressage, once I get back to riding regularly and feel better about riding in front of people again :)

Again no synthetics, under $1500, AP, preferably with changeable gullets

jn4jenny
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:15 PM
The million dollar question: are you trying to fit a specific horse, or are you a horseless rider?

If you own a specific horse, start with what fits the horse. If you are a horseless rider, think about what kind of horses you ride (sharkfinned TBs? wide draft crosses? Warmbloods with table backs but also some withers?) and go from there.

Personally, I would go close contact before I went AP. There are so few all purpose saddles that aren't just "no purpose" saddles. The Stubben Siegfried and a few others make the grade, but most AP saddles make some kind of bad compromise in the stirrup bar location/balance point.

You've already identified the user-changeable gullet saddles on the market: Bates, Wintec, Collegiate. There's one other, the Pessoa XP3, but it's not in your stated price range.

Duckz
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:25 PM
So I'm doing research on saddles as I am going to buy a new (used?) one after the holidays. I've been wanting a Bates Caprilli becaus a.) they are comfortable b.) they have the adjustable gullet c.) I can find them at reasonable prices.

I can't afford a $2000 saddle, I wish I could. Maybe after Vet school ;) so what I wanted to ask you all on here for other suggestions. I definitely do not want synthetic-I hate mine hate hate HATE it and want to find something with the interchangeable gullet. I know Collegiate has one.

I'm looking for an AP saddle- one that is comfortable for cross country and low level dressage, once I get back to riding regularly and feel better about riding in front of people again :)

Again no synthetics, under $1500, AP, preferably with changeable gullets

Ebay and tacktrader.com. You can find a Bates in really good condition for under $1500 on these sites. I've bought and sold saddles using both, they're great resources for saddle (or any other tack) shopping on a budget. Especially if you know exactly what you want. Good luck!

rockfordbuckeye
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:44 PM
Crosby XL AP is a saddle for fox hunting and it has a pretty deep seat and nice long flaps that could fit the bill as a "hybrid." You can find them used for < $1k. Other than that not sure...I've ridden in a Dover Circuit and their cheap but functional tho I don't think they are anything like a dressage saddle.

mjmvet
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:30 PM
Firstly, congrats on vet school! Its a journey and a half, that's for sure. So, knowing you've just mortgaged your life for the next 20-30 years (right there with ya, baby) money is an issue. If you feel like you may be able to afford more saddle when you graduate, I would give some more thought to a used saddle now, and new later. (I suppose if you really wanted new, I'd personally consider the Dover circuits, but you can get MUCH more saddle for less money buying used)

For used saddles, I'd consider the Bates saddles for shear comfort for the rider - this of course if you're really lucky and it fits your horse, but that's a whole 'nuther story. I've seen a lot of Bates come and go on usedsaddles.com. A lot of these are in 'Demo' condition, and once you're sitting in it, no one would be able to tell its used. If you're REALLY lucky, you might find a used Black Country - if you do, it won't depreciate much, and you could resell it for what you paid when you graduate.

Its too bad you hated the synthetics - I really loved my Wintec pro jumping saddle - super comfy, and cheap. Good luck!

S1969
Oct. 10, 2009, 11:01 PM
http://www.riderscrossing.com/consignment.htm

Not sure where you are but this store is not far from me so I always keep it bookmarked {you know, just in case!}. They have two Bates Caprilli CCs: 17.5; looks like one black, one havana? I also ride in this saddle and like it a lot.

I'd bet that these prices are very negotiable; I got mine for much less. (Not from this store, but still...)

luckeys71
Oct. 10, 2009, 11:13 PM
When I was looking at saddles, I had decided I was going to buy a Collegiate, because they looked nice and were in my price range. I had ridden in one for awhile when they were pretty new and liked it then. I went to a couple tack stores to take a look at them in person and a really great salesperson helped me at one and sat me in a bunch of saddles, including a couple of the Collegiates and a couple I couldn't afford. I fell in love with the Bates Elevation H (a close contact, not AP). It was just oh, so comfy and that was the one the girl said she liked best for me, as well, although she said she thought one of the Collegiates (can't remember which model) looked good, too. I, also, discovered I needed a size larger than I thought! The Bates was about twice my budget, brand new, but I came home and found one on eBay that had been used only a couple times that came with an ugly saddle pad, brand new Bates leathers, and 3 of the gullet plates for a bit more than I had planned to spend. I jumped all over it and I had to look really closely to see it had EVER been used at all. I've been very happy with it. Have you ridden in a saddle with the CAIR panels? I did find that the saddle does have more "bounce" than my previous ancient Crosby Sovereign.

MsRidiculous
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:13 AM
I found my Caprilli on craigslist for $750 and it didn't even have two months use on it, it's barely even broken in. Came with the cover and complete gullet kit.

All I did was go to google and type caprilli craigslist then go through the results. The one I found was in NJ. I did the same thing searching for a few other types of saddles and found some good deals as well.

mojo7777
Oct. 11, 2009, 07:05 PM
I love my adjustable-gullet Collegiate Senior Event. You'll find quite a few of them out there used. It puts me in just the right position and is extremely comfortable, with just enough of what feels like a thin foam layer just under the leather of the seat and pommel to cushion without interfering with feel. I had to go with something a little less expensive too. My only complaint is the leather of the flaps could be a little heavier and less prone to wear, but in all it's a great saddle. The adjustable gullet allowed me to fit it to my horse. I'd buy it again.

BybeeGirl
Oct. 11, 2009, 07:20 PM
I bet if you look at Middleburg Tack you'll find something. There are a couple of Bates AP on there now. Click saddle inventory at the top...

I've bought two saddles from them, and tried two more. If you're not local, they'll ship. Even though I'm within driving distance, I had the last one shipped to me as I had trouble getting there before closing time.

http://www.middleburgtack.com

Love that store!

bizbachfan
Oct. 12, 2009, 08:22 AM
used to live 20 mins from there, now I am in Florida, darn it. some great deals on those saddles, but would want to go there and look at them.

Ray
Oct. 12, 2009, 06:56 PM
OP - where are you located ?

I sold my Bates AP on COTH classifieds for ~$750 last year, it was in good condition. I liked that saddle - very comfortable, lots of miles doing BN eventing and fox hunting. Once I got more serious about jumping and started training with a h/j trainer, it became obvious that saddle did not put my leg in a good position for jumping (could just be my weird conformation, who knows) and I switched to a close contact.

greeneyelioness
Oct. 15, 2009, 08:21 AM
I'm in Pennsylvania but travel regularly to NY, where UsedSaddles.com is located. My biggest dilemma is my WM has these big honkin shoulders, like a QH and makes saddle fitting a chore and if we get this TB, he's of course not so bulky upfront. So that was my thoughts on the adjustable gullets.
I just found out that our 4h group is sponsoring a huge tack sale next month and am going to shop there. Goodbye paycheck! :yes:

naters
Oct. 15, 2009, 08:30 AM
Bits and barter board is great for a good deal too!

kellyb
Oct. 15, 2009, 09:48 AM
eBay's a good place for saddles. I will be listing my Bates caprilli CC on there shortly.

jn4jenny
Oct. 15, 2009, 09:52 AM
I'm in Pennsylvania but travel regularly to NY, where UsedSaddles.com is located. My biggest dilemma is my WM has these big honkin shoulders, like a QH and makes saddle fitting a chore and if we get this TB, he's of course not so bulky upfront. So that was my thoughts on the adjustable gullets.
I just found out that our 4h group is sponsoring a huge tack sale next month and am going to shop there. Goodbye paycheck! :yes:

If you're hoping to use a single saddle on both of those horses...well, good luck with that. The adjustable gullet saddles are not *difficult* to adjust, but let's just say it's not an operation I'd care to undertake every day. Both because it's a little bit of a PITA and because the tree points do eventually wear out from frequent adjustments. It would be like trying to buy a shoe that fits a big-footed man with a flat arch and a wide foot, but that also fits a delicate small-footed woman with a high arch and a narrow foot.

It's just plain HARD to find a single saddle that will fit a shark-finned TB and a wide WB. Since it's possible to pad up a wide saddle but impossible to make a too-narrow saddle comfy--and because there will be FAR fewer saddles in the wide ranges available in your budget range, which will limit your search--start with fitting the WM. If you can get that saddle to fit the TB with corrective padding, that would be delightful...but don't count on it.

gottagrey
Oct. 15, 2009, 01:36 PM
I'm in Pennsylvania but travel regularly to NY, where UsedSaddles.com is located. My biggest dilemma is my WM has these big honkin shoulders, like a QH and makes saddle fitting a chore and if we get this TB, he's of course not so bulky upfront. So that was my thoughts on the adjustable gullets.
I just found out that our 4h group is sponsoring a huge tack sale next month and am going to shop there. Goodbye paycheck! :yes:

You're in PA, have you been to Rick's -from what I understand they have a huge selection of saddles (and many at very good prices) If you have a horse(s) that are difficult to fit, I would steer away from ebay or mail order - there is much to be said for touching, feeling, sitting in, riding in -etc. I used to work at a tack shop - I would ask my customers what their budge was for a saddle and start the search from there - there are many unfamiliar makes but excellent saddles out there which may fall into your budget. Some tack stores will let you take home saddles to "try" ,used ones you can ride more in as they are already showing use; many tack stores are willing to work out financial arrangements i.e. payment plan with you. As are some direct dealers.

Happy shopping

greeneyelioness
Oct. 19, 2009, 06:37 AM
You're in PA, have you been to Rick's -from what I understand they have a huge selection of saddles (and many at very good prices) If you have a horse(s) that are difficult to fit, I would steer away from ebay or mail order - there is much to be said for touching, feeling, sitting in, riding in -etc. I used to work at a tack shop - I would ask my customers what their budge was for a saddle and start the search from there - there are many unfamiliar makes but excellent saddles out there which may fall into your budget. Some tack stores will let you take home saddles to "try" ,used ones you can ride more in as they are already showing use; many tack stores are willing to work out financial arrangements i.e. payment plan with you. As are some direct dealers.

Happy shopping

where is Rick's? I'm in York County....

Phaxxton
Oct. 19, 2009, 10:48 AM
I have 2 Bates Caprilli CC saddles and I love them. One I bought used from a friend (it's about 6 years old). The other I got on Ebay. Find someone who has the "Buy it Now or Best Offer" option and make an offer below the Buy It Now price. I got mine brand new (with the gullet kit, leathers, etc.) for far less than they were asking on Ebay this way. PM me if you want more info. :)

Callison
Oct. 19, 2009, 01:23 PM
where is Rick's? I'm in York County....

Rick's is in West Chester probably about a hour and a half drive for you right down the turnpike. They have a TON of saddles and might be worth the trip for you.

joiedevie99
Oct. 19, 2009, 01:30 PM
Rick's lists their used saddles online at www.saddlesource.com so you can check out what they have and make a list of what you want to sit in before you go. Make sure you take wither tracings of both horses with you so you will have an idea of what is worth trying.

blackcat95
Oct. 19, 2009, 05:57 PM
You should try the Circuit saddles by Dover. They run from around $600 on sale to $1000 regular. They are amazingly comfortable and last a long time. Not quite as good quality as the Pessoa saddles, but a little cheaper and definetly in the same category. :D

pday09
Oct. 19, 2009, 07:25 PM
I have two smith worthington mystic's (dressage and jumping) and I love them both. They fit my wide QH, and are very adjustable, and have lasted great. Their dealers are the best, I got each saddle and the full fitting (and checks to make sure the horse's back hasn't changed) for a little over 1000 each, I forget exactly. I can give you the name of my fitter if you are in the MD/VA area and are interested, send me a PM.