Though I would probably just ride in my nice saddle, I can understand wanting to have an extra if you're riding colts. So, I'd have to say the Kieffer as well. If you have a nice Schleese, then who cares if your Kieffer is a little faded. I bet it looks fine when you're on it, and you might even be able to rehab it a little bit when you get it home with some tender loving cleaning/conditioning.
I often ride in my trainer's Kieffer Wien, and quite like it. It seems to fit a lot of horses pretty well, and it puts me in a nice position wiithout a lot of knee/thigh blocks or a crazy deep seat. My horse really likes it too. I actually have been saddle shopping recently and had that on my list along with a Passier GG. I ended up going with the Passier because I found a super deal, but I really like the Kieffer too.
I think the old brand names tend to hold up very well and also often fit a wider variety of horses - especially the ones that are less built up for the rider.
I've never been a huge fan of Wintecs though, so maybe I'm biased. But you could almost certainly resell your Kieffer down the road for $250, so if that's the asking price, I'd get it. Leathers/irons/girths aren't that hard to come by. Just do some shopping around. I've gotten some good ones off of ebay and actually just ordered new leathers, irons, and a girth from Dressage Extensions. I went with slightly cheaper leathers, regular Fillis irons, and a Wintec girth (though I don't like their saddles much, my horse seems to like their girths) for under $100. I'm sure you could pay even less if you shopped around = )
alright... so theres a deep dark secrete with the Schleese.
I am still really uncomfortable with riding in it or any of its parts because the last horse it was on was my great wonderful young rider horse that died. Its t last thing I've got thats tied to him, and I get all emotional just typing this.
Its just one of those bridges that I'm not strong enough to deal with yet. I think once I get my own horse and begin to make a connection I can try to move on, but riding in the Schleese, or taking it apart is like the final nail in the coffin that I don't think I'm ready for.
Whew... moving on...
thanks for the comments about the saddle market. I do tend to see a lot of Wintecs up on sites and on ebay, so I'm sure you're right that they aren't going anywhere right now.
After many quick replies from you guys (much thanks), I think I'll go with the Keiffer. I got an email from Libertyville Saddlery saying that leathers and irons are 30% off for the next few weeks... so I might take the long drive out there (and try to convince myself not to get anything else while I'm there!)
Spend the money you were going to spend on the Kieffer and get the Schleese fitted instead. You can ruin a young horse if you work him in a saddle that doesn't fit.
Isn't there something from Erma Bombeck that says if she had known she was going to die she would have used her good china everyday?
I understand the sentimentality, but I would use the Schleese. That's what you bought it for!!
A well balanced saddle that will enhance your position and comfort is the Klimke Dressage saddle. It was developed personally by Reiner Klimke.
It was made by Ruiz Diaz for Collegiate many years ago and is now sold under the Ovation brand.