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View Full Version : Best Budget saddle for TB



KateWooten
Dec. 26, 2011, 12:11 PM
I keep coming up against this problem with different horses ... I have a lot of clients who are leasing maybe an older TB-type eventer - typically a pony-clubber, or re-rider. I'm in good shape with providing dressage saddles to work well on lean Tb-type withers, but what's the best used budget jump saddle to try ? I'm struggling with those.

Typically, it's the sort of horse where an easy old Stubben, even in the perfect width, will bang horribly against his long, high wither. We're not averse to filling in behind with wither with shimmable pads where we have to, but would still like a lot more help with the basic saddle shape if possible. We're talking about the sort of good, decent rider who wants the best for the horse, but is probably starting out with a $500 budget - I can usually push that up to an 800-1200 budget once we've talked about the fact that the saddle will hold its value for resale, but definitely far removed from having something made to fit !

I tend to carry around 10-15 jump saddles with me in my truck, and the most recent 'best fit' for one of these guys was an HDR Rivella, which surprised me how well it fit. What else have you had good luck with ?

yellowbritches
Dec. 26, 2011, 12:21 PM
Some people will strongly disagree, but my medium tree Berney Bros has fit a wide variety of horses with very, very little complaint on the horses' parts (In the 9+ plus years I've ridden in one and the 100s of horses I have ridden in it, I think I've had exactly TWO horses that really, really couldn't deal. One was a teeny tiny, knife blade of a TB mare). They aren't always perfect, but they have never been so bad that imperfections couldn't easily be remedied with different pad set ups. They are good, solid, well balanced saddles that are well made and will wear out long after the rider is tired of them ;) They also can be found used in the $500-900 range pretty easily. I prefer the TW, but the Dublin Jumper is very similar with a bit more knee roll/block. The Prix (I think) is more of a close contact, a little less forward, but a very nice, balanced, good looking saddle, as well.

53
Dec. 26, 2011, 12:45 PM
I've become a fan of the County Stablizers and Stabilizer XTR's, having learned quite a lot recently from Jess, who works with Canter Mid Atlantic and rides lots of TBs as part of the retraining program.

RoundTheBend
Dec. 26, 2011, 12:52 PM
Im in the UK and have found the thorogood T4 Robert whitaker jump saddle good for the TB. You have the adjustble headplates. I got mine for £200 off ebay. They fit very, very well.

Not brilliantly comfortable to ride in, but perfectly acceptable.

Flying Ponies
Dec. 26, 2011, 01:22 PM
Collegiate Nobility Jump it is wool flocked.. sort of a knock off on the Albion K2 .good prices on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Collegiate-Nobility-Jump-Saddle-17-MEDIUM-/390353378423?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae2dfdc77

subk
Dec. 26, 2011, 04:36 PM
Kate try the Ainsleys. I have an old Chester (the one you've worked on with the hole in the knee roll! :) ) that has been doable for every TB I've put it on--usually much better than doable! Even the newer models in good shape can be found for less than $1k and they are great saddles. I would also focus on other English made saddles.

One thing to keep in mind--especially if your looking for older saddles--there is a tendancy for saddles to most likely fit the horses that are similar to the ones usually found in the country the saddle is made in. (This makes great sense if you think about practical sales and marketing issues!) Saddles from England are more likely to fit a TB type and saddles from Germany are more likely to fit a WB type. While this is a vast over generalization and you will find TBs that do well in Stubbens I have found this little info nugget to be very useful in the couple decades since I first heard it.

mcorbett
Dec. 26, 2011, 05:50 PM
My 17.5 medium Toulouse Premia seems to fit everything I have pretty well. It's flaps arent very far farward, but you know how long my leg is and it still works! The saddle is pretty cheap new, and oils up to be very pretty!

retreadeventer
Dec. 26, 2011, 06:57 PM
My Ovation 4-star eventer fits EVERYTHING remotely resembling a TB.

eponacowgirl
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:26 PM
MY Stubben fits everything. (except big fat couch looking QH's!)

KateWooten
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:33 PM
I don't think even your Stubben would fit Doc, ecg, because that's what we tried ! I even tried pressing one to fit, but no cigar. I had forgotten about the Berney Bros, yellowbritches, good thnking - I have one of those... and an Albion in the right price range that we haven't tried yet. Oh, subk ... ever since we talked about those Ainsleys - they've been rare as hen's teeth ! I keep my eyes open, but the one Chester I found sold instantly, and i have never found a Pro-National come my way !

good tips ... keep 'em coming !

Lori B
Dec. 26, 2011, 07:43 PM
Another vote for the Ainsley (can't remember the model). My trainer has one and it miraculously fits many horses acceptably, including a 17' TB and a 15'1" appy / TBx, w/ appropriate pads. I found it very comfortable and it really improved my position.

My TB mare isn't completely sharklike, but has done remarkably well w/ a Collegiate Convertible (can't remember which model). This one has the swappable gullet plates, and is pretty good, I think.

Becky Rocky
Dec. 26, 2011, 08:18 PM
I agree with a toulouse for the reasonable price all around fit, my daughter had the monoflap toulouse and it was fine on many horses.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 26, 2011, 09:21 PM
Collegiate Nobility Jump it is wool flocked.. sort of a knock off on the Albion K2 .

This was going to be my suggestion. I have a nobility I paid $750 brand new for. LOVE that saddle and I'm a total tack snob

Mouse&Bay
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:33 PM
My BF (tall!) has a courbette vision extra forward flap. Nice saddle that is wool flocked and has fit everything that he has ridden - shark finned TBs, little WBs and now a ginormous WB in the barn. My trainer has been pretty pleased how nicely it can go on all the horses in the barn who have a wither.

Great saddle for a great price if you can find one and deal with the non-traditional two tone look. Also nice for riders with longer legs/femurs - I'm 5'4" with long hip to thigh and it did me pretty well in a pinch even though the seat was too big.

cindywilson
Dec. 26, 2011, 11:44 PM
Here's another vote for a Berney. Mine cost $100 used and fits young TBs with high withers as well as the other horses. We've restarted plenty of OTTBs in it.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 26, 2011, 11:49 PM
A note on the vision. They have a very rearward balance point and are generally not good for short backs. Loved mine when I rode a HUGE hano.

scubed
Dec. 27, 2011, 10:43 AM
Agree on the Berney Bros. Also, have had great luck with the older Courbettes (Pandur FZ). I have heard, but don't have personal experience, that the Exselle saddles http://www.exselle.com/ fit TBs well. They typically have a lot at Rick's http://www.saddlesource.com/close-contact.html#paging-top-anchor
I have also had very good luck with the Kieffer jumping saddles, though they are harder to come by.

TBrescue
Dec. 27, 2011, 10:56 AM
MY Stubben fits everything. (except big fat couch looking QH's!)

Mine too! Though I also occasionally have to pad a bit on some horses. I find that a sheepskin pad will fill in the gaps pretty well if necessary.

RunForIt
Dec. 27, 2011, 11:02 AM
Agree on the Berney Bros. Also, have had great luck with the older Courbettes (Pandur FZ). I have heard, but don't have personal experience, that the Exselle saddles http://www.exselle.com/ fit TBs well. They typically have a lot at Rick's http://www.saddlesource.com/close-contact.html#paging-top-anchor
I have also had very good luck with the Kieffer jumping saddles, though they are harder to come by.

actually, scubed, it's occurred to me that you could have a second career going as a personal saddle shopper... :lol:. Plus, that way you could have all the fun of finding and buying, without adding to your saddle collection (or is THAT really the fun? :D )

Right on Target
Dec. 27, 2011, 04:17 PM
I found that my Ovation 4 star fits a wide variety of horses very well.

It does not work so well for my new TB with the tallest withers on the planet, so I got a Thorowgood T8 as a cheap dressage saddle that is wool flocked, has room for his huge withers, and has an adjustable gullet. The saddle fits him perfectly. I'm pleased with the fit of the Thorowgood, and the price is right as well.

joiedevie99
Dec. 27, 2011, 04:27 PM
The Thorowgood High Wither line of saddles does a really nice job on the narrow ones- and the standard line is a wider fit with above average wither clearance as well. I had a T6 showjumper at one point that thought it was well-made, and well-balanced. The material was quite nice.

Collegiate, Bates (except a few older ones) and Wintec are all made for flatter backs.

Prestige, Amerigo, Vega, Harry Dabbs, Passier and Kieffer tend to have more curved panels and more with clearance. All except Amerigo can be found used in the right price range. Prestige has the added benefit of an adjustable tree.

kkindley
Dec. 27, 2011, 07:44 PM
My Ovation 4-star eventer fits EVERYTHING remotely resembling a TB.

*Sigh* Mine did not. :(

CookiePony
Dec. 27, 2011, 09:24 PM
We will try the Berney Bros. on Doc (not older, but a high wither!) when you are around next. But remember, I have a County Extreme coming on loan from the fabulous Bensmom, and you can evaluate it, too. I wonder whether older Counties might be a good option for folks on a budget.

ens0613
Dec. 28, 2011, 12:32 AM
I'm going to second/third? the Ainsleys - mine has fit every TB or TB-cross I've put it on, and even fit my guy perfectly without pads! (BTW, it's for sale, as I can no longer afford a horse :( )

ZackAttack
Dec. 28, 2011, 01:25 AM
I have a prestige eventer that has fit almost every TB/TB like back I have put it on. Of course, the only two it doesn't really fit are the ones I have now. So its currently for sale. But you can find them reasonably priced used and they're great saddles, good quality, comfortable.

tGievent
Dec. 28, 2011, 09:21 AM
My courbette vision fits ANYTHING I put it on- ponies, arabs, TB's, warmbloods... It has a cutback for the withers and I have never had trouble with on either of my TB's (one is shark fin-ish and the other is standard huge withered TB) It's really well balanced, but on a few I use a shim pad just for fine tuning (basically my horse is a prissy brat) and it works beautifully. It's also very secure for over fences work. You can generally pick one up used for $500-$750 but new they are $1500.

Happyonhorseback
Dec. 28, 2011, 12:04 PM
I agree with a toulouse for the reasonable price all around fit, my daughter had the monoflap toulouse and it was fine on many horses.

My very first post ever on COTH - what a great community!

Love our Toulouse (;)wink wink;)), and not only a good fit for the horse, but a comfortable ride for my girls!

Becky, I hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year!

RunForIt
Dec. 28, 2011, 12:13 PM
My very first post ever on COTH - what a great community!

Love our Toulouse (;)wink wink;)), and not only a good fit for the horse, but a comfortable ride for my girls!

Becky, I hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year!

Welcome and get ready, COTH is addictive and fun and soooo helpful. On another note, which Toulouse did you get and when you get a chance, could you post the tree width and the length of the flap? I've got to find a saddle for a QH mare coming and I have to find a "budget" saddle that works for both of us. Tried to buy a Toulouse on ebay but got lots of conflicting info from the seller so I passed on the purchase(don't think she was being dishonest - just didn't know stuff and sent me weird info). An ULR who is a friend has another friend riding in one that quite likes hers...so, any info you can provide I'll just love! And see, you're already doing what COTHers DO - help out! :cool: