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ExJumper
May. 6, 2010, 06:52 PM
How do we feel about the dover brand saddles? My trainer is wondering if they are something she could feel okay about recommending to some of her more casual and sporadic clients.

Anyone have them? Are they good quality for the money? Any comments?

alteringwego
May. 6, 2010, 06:54 PM
Good quality. They aren't a PJ or an Hermes but for less avid or those on a budget I think they are a good option. And Dover's customer service means that you will always have someone to talk to when you need help (unlike Toulouse).


The Farm House has a Big Ben in very good shape on consignment that I saw yesterday. Was lovely!

sptraining
May. 6, 2010, 07:35 PM
Good budget saddle. Much better than the HDRs for about the same cost. The wide is sort of a slightly-bigger-than-medium-wide size but not wide wide. The leather will hold up, but you might lose some of the dye if you're not careful with oiling it. The seat sizing seems to be pretty true. The balance also seemed to be pretty decent. I put it on a few horses and it fit for the most part. Fit my low withered, wide mare great but didn't fit my high withered gelding at all.

I bought one of the pro models off ebay for a steal but ended up having to sell it because the buyer said it was a 17" and it was actually a 17 1/2". Totally bummed. But liked it otherwise.

hntrjmprpro45
May. 6, 2010, 07:40 PM
We bought the Dover circuit pro for my husband (who doesn't ride a lot) and I actually will steal it and ride in it. I have never sat in the other Dover saddles but am quite pleased with the circuit pro. Its not super cushy (which doesn't matter to me) but its not hard either. I like the balance of the saddle and I like the wider panels. Leather quality is good for the price (much nicer than some of the other brands in the same price range) and it has held up well over time. Now its no high end french saddle but IMO its one of the nicest saddles in that price range.

blackcat95
May. 6, 2010, 08:46 PM
I have one, but I don't use it anymore because it doesn't fit my current horse... It was an ok saddle. It was comfy, but the knee pads (on the Elite EQ) were a little bigger than I wanted. And it got huge rub marks that never came off.

TRNasty
May. 7, 2010, 09:41 AM
I had a Dover Eventing Saddle for a few years and it was quite comfy. Held up well, broke in nice, I really liked it and the cost was just right. Had to sell it when I purchased current horse as it didn't fit him.

Sulta
May. 7, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of people at the barn have them and like them. The older they are the better quality leather. But they seem to hold up well even for those who ride 4-5 days a week. Well balanced, and fairly comfortable as well.

redears
May. 7, 2010, 04:08 PM
I had one and absolutely loved it, it had great balance and the leather was pretty decent for the price. I sold it to a friend and whenever I used to hop on her horse I wondered why I sold it, ha... (got a Beval Natural instead)

indygirl2560
May. 7, 2010, 04:16 PM
My friend bought one and hated it, but she's a very consistent rider(5+days/week). She said it was super slippery no matter what she did and she felt like she was going to slide right out of the saddle! My trainer hated it too. I guess for someone that is just starting out and doesn't ride consistently then it could be ok, but my trainer doesn't even recommend them to her beginner students with super low budgets!

Sarah616
May. 7, 2010, 04:33 PM
I have the Dover Circuit Close Contact *I believe*. It was the cheapest of their brands, so I'm assuming that's what it is, although it looks a little different now. I've had mine for... gosh, 7 or 8 years now. The first couple years were twice a week rides, but for the last 3-4 years, it's been every day, up to 5 or 6 horses a day. It hasn't failed to fit anything that I've been riding. It's held up very well. Some stitching coming out of the bottom of the flap, and a little discoloration/MINOR cracking on the seat/pommel... For the first 4 years of its life I rode in it in jeans. It DOES become slippery, but only if it goes too long without being cleaned. What I find works, and what I've been told to do, is to SCRuB it with a damp towel, so that it gets a little "worked up". You'll notice the shine going away, and since a shiny saddle is a slippery saddle, this is a good thing. Then condition it as normal.
The only problem that I've had with it is that it tilts slightly forward. When it's resting on a fence or saddle stand, you can see that the pommel is a bit lower than the cantle. It's something that I've had to work out in my riding, but I've adjusted to it, but it hasn't damaged my riding - if I get in another saddle with better balance, I don't feel out of wack.
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2766287900102254300qIvbyY This is it on my 16.2hh Thoroughbred last winter. (As you can tell it probably hadn't been properly cleaned in a while... I can see the stirrup reflecting on the knee roll! lol)
http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2525230830102254300zHZawi This is me riding in it recently on my TB
http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2082367330102254300eHfbcp And on a dinosaur of a Warmblood.

Hope this helps some.

Anyplace Farm
May. 7, 2010, 05:08 PM
I've got the Circuit Elite. It had a calf-skin seat and knee rolls and is, what I consider to be, a thirsty saddle. I clean it each time I use it but only use the cleaner on the flaps. I always just oil the seat and knee rolls as well as trim in front of the knee rolls.

I can't imagine mine ever getting slippery. I can't imagine not oiling it after at least every two rides. It bugs me when the calf skin gets dry rubs here and there on it from when I dismount or lift the flaps up to tighten my girth. Riding in jeans in this saddle would be tough on it although I did it for the first two years I owned it.

Breaking in the flaps took a bit. I oiled and rolled them a lot and they are now nicely broken in. Seems to fit just about every horse I put it on although it really isn't the best fit for me. The seat is a little too generous - I'm not sure my ass will ever get that wide and my knee sits a little close to the edge of the knee roll - I'd like just a little more knee roll out in front of my knee.

In short - yeah, good saddles for the money but they cannot go neglected.