I'm looking at two different saddles. First, a bit of a background:
I'm an ex-young rider. I'm currently working a few young horses now, waiting until I get out of graduate school to buy my own. I've got a bad back (don't we all??) and I really enjoy a deep seat. I have a great Schleese that I LOVE but I want to keep it nice and wait until I have my own horse thats a bit older and then have it fitted. In the meantime, I need something affordable to use in training.
So... which do I get??? (they are the same price)
Saddle 1: Wintec 500 Dressage with leathers, irons, girth and cover. Used, but no wear on the saddle. Has CAIR and adjustable gullets.
Saddle 2: Kieffer Wein DL, no leathers, irons, girth or cover. Not new, faded so that the knee rolls are no longer black but look chocolate colored (so is different piece of leather included behind the leg) it almost looks like it is bi-colored black and brown. (is it possible to dye these and have them still look okay??)
and after hearing this... just to make sure I'm not paying too much, what (around) would you pay for these???
I appreciate you guys saying I should ride int he good saddle.. I really do. I can't afford to have it refitted right now-- my old horse (RIP) had very high withers so how it is now it wouldn't fir many horses.
Also, I'm riding 4 young horses that can easily flip while I'm lunging them or run into the wall or whatever to mess up the good saddle.
The other two are only priced at $250.
Anyone know more about the Kieffers? is the $250 a decent price for one thats had some "love"
go for the kieffer. When you are done with it, you can sell it for what you paid for it. Don't re-dye it, its not worth it and the uneven colour is probably not visible when you are riding. If you decide to keep it, it will last another 20 years. The keiffer wein DL is one of my favourite dressage saddles ever- I've owned two of them. Sorry I traded in the last one. The first one was a brown one with a deep scratch in the seat leather and I paid $250 for it and sold it for $250 a year later. The second was a black one, in very good condition that I paid $750 for about 4 years ago, and sold a year later for the same.
The wintec will wear out within 10 years and they do not hold their value once worn.
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF
I got both saddles. First saddle was the Wintec 500 (without the CAIR panels, I believe). Just got my slightly used Kieffer Wien DL probably not quite 4 years ago. Loved the Wintec, but honestly, my Kieffer is the best. And for $250, that's a very good deal. Plus when you're riding in the saddle, others won't see the wear & discoloration as much. I paid $1000 (I think) for my slightly used Kieffer. No wear marks but a couple small marks from the leathers.
I can see your point about not using the other saddle... wouldn't want a horse to flip and ruin that. Especially when working with young horses, because they can be so unpredicable at times.
Good luck with your decision.
ETA: Love my Thorowood Girth (see: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=289356196) and my Jaguar leathers. Though if you do a search on here, Gary Mundy's leathers are the bomb. I'll be getting those next! And irons... get your basic ones. Or, if you're at all worried... do the peacock ones, with the rubber band for safety.
I'm going to say (GASP) I love Wintec saddles. I do however, prefer the Pro model to the 500 because I think the 500 is a little slippery. Pro has nice suede seat. And I love CAIR panels too (shocking again, I know). I'm not afraid to say it either. Throw a sheepskin pad under those CAIR panels and watch your horse float!!! Of course if you ask 100 horse people the same question, get ready for 100 different answers, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking with it.
Have you ridden in the Kieffer yet? I only ask because some (and I think it's that model) have a protruding stirrup bar that jabs me in the leg and I can't ride in it for 10 minutes without hurting. Just something to think about if you hadn't ridden in it, you might want to try one first.
"There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it"
no, I havne't ridden in it yet, but when I look at the photos of it, there isn't any extra wear up by where the bars out, so I would GUESS they wern't sticking out.
I've ridden in a few kieffers before and I can't remember any super bad things on them. I have a larger rear end so some saddles tend to throw me forward, which is what I'm semi afraid of with the wintec.
I appreciate all of the input from people, of course... the more the better.
(though now I'm toying with the idea of buying them both and just selling the one I don't want because I'm pretty sure I can get more than $250 for either of them.
I love love love my Kieffer Wein. It is about 20 years old and other then some of the leather being a bit browner in the seat and leg area then the original black it is a wonderful saddle. If you don't buy the Kieffer for $250 send it my way!
At present, i doubt you can get more than $250 for either of them. I've been watching NICE (albeit brown) Kieffers on ebay not selling over and over again in the $250 price range. I also do not see the wintec 500 selling much at all. Everyone opts for the pro, which i would say holds a decent resale value (but i'm not a fan of either for myself)...
I would get the Kieffer. I've never sat in one that didnt give me a super postion and excellent quality saddle that will last you forever, no matter what the color. I think when we get out of the economic crisis saddle prices will start improving, but if you think you can make a quick flip on either at this point in time, i would say hang up that idea. They just arent selling! Good time to get some SUPER deals... But i've given up selling the saddles here i need to sell after letting two super quality saddles go for $200 each... Just not worth it right now!