View Full Version : Buying myself a new saddle

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:02 PM
So I've been wanting a new (used) saddle and I have saved up about $500 to get one. I haven't shown in years and years. I am starting with a green horse doing eventing but plan on moving up with him.

In the past I've had a Pessoa A/O, wintec dressage, crosby equilibrium, and a courbette. I loved the Pessoa and the Wintec. Both saddles fit me and my horses well. Not so crazy about the other saddles. The Wintecs are so comfy, but for some reason I think I need a leather saddle.

Any suggestions? Like I said my budget is $500 for a new or used saddle.

Apr. 1, 2011, 10:13 PM
It just depends on the build of you and your horse. I had a friend who was riding in a Courbette, and it was horrid. We took it off that horse, and tried it on another ... Bingo ! Perfect saddle :) Same with the Wintecs - I've always hated them, I had one, it was horrid. I saw a little horse a couple of weeks ago, and a Wintec was all she had, so we got it set up just right and ... WOW - little horse started moving like a million dollars, rather than the $300 craigslist bargain he'd looked like ten minutes before.

You just have to try a bunch of saddles on the horse, and really ride in them. It's no good just sitting on them in the shop. Do you have a local saddle fitter ?

Apr. 2, 2011, 08:57 AM
I can't quite tell from your post, but it *sounds* like the actual horse in question (the green bean) is already known to fit well in Wintecs.

If so, then I strongly suggest you let go of your "some reason" that you think you need leather and find yourself the older model of Wintec Pro Jump. It's a great choice for eventing with its forward flap, a grippy equisuede seat and knee/thigh blocks, and an overall balance and structure that is very similar to the more expensive Bates Caprilli CC. And it happens to be available on the used market right around the $500 mark. Middleburg Tack has a 17" one priced $350, which means even after shipping and purchasing the adjustable gullet set, you're comfortably under your budget mark. And you'd get a trial ride. The Wintec Close Contact, another cousin to the Bates CC, would also be well within your budget.

If you prefer leather, then you could save up some additional pennies and buy a Collegiate Convertible Diploma, which is basically a wool-flocked cheapie version of the Bates Caprilli CC. Typically found on the used market around $650-$750. A very nice choice eventing IMO.

Beyond that, $500 isn't going to buy you much saddle. You could buy a very old Stubben or Berney Brothers (and nothing wrong with that as long as they fit your horse and the flocking isn't terribly ridiculously compressed), or possibly a used Collegiate/Dover Circuit/Thornhill/HDR. Every now and then, you see a "miracle" Pessoa in this price range too.

On that budget, you can't necessarily afford to be shipping saddles back and forth or to make a mistake by purchasing (and then reselling) the wrong saddle at a loss of $50-$200. If possible, either shop locally or go hunting for a saddle that you already know will fit this horse. Another strategy would be to work with one of the larger consignment vendors that has a fair amount of cheap tack in their inventory (like Pelham Saddlery, Middleburg Tack, Rick's Heritage Saddlery, Bucks County Saddlery, etc.) and have them ship you 3 saddles as candidates. It only costs nominally more to ship 3 saddles than to ship one, and if you just decide to "eat" the $100 in shipping both ways, that is like paying $33 apiece to try each saddle. And that's a darn better deal than paying $100 round-trip to try ONE saddle.

Apr. 2, 2011, 09:38 AM
I am also in the midst of saddle shopping and trying to get rid of my wintec dressage saddle. I've found several potential options on eBay! Nice selection of hdr, pessoa, beval, collegiate few other good brands. My budget is a little bigger $700, it might be worth it to save at least another $100. I started out with your budget, but after looking on eBay and a few other websites (classicsaddlery, fine used saddles, beval, Leslie's tack solutions, tack trader, etcetcetc) I decided to hold off and save a little more.
I hope the places listed help you with your search! Keep us posted!

Forgot to add: make sure to check the serial number with the company to avoid the same nightmare we saw a few days ago with CWD