I just sat in a Courbette Futura. Felt pretty good. Anyone have an opinion on them?
I'm less then 5' tall
suggestions welcome. I'm just getting started in dressage so no looking to spend a fortune and willing to consider used.
There's a nice Jaguar saddle in the "Deals" thread (last page) that is a 16in ... you don't mention what your body proportions are - do you need a smaller seat? a shorter flap? is a junior saddle better suited to your frame? (eg, Stubben makes the laurus, juventis & rex as 'junior' saddles, as well as some junior models in their other lines)
Try sitting in as many saddles as possible, if they sit great in the shop, try on your horse (preferably with your trainer around to help judge your postion etc or a friend with a video camera for you to analyse later) .
The courbettes seems to get very mixed reviews with more positives coming out for the german made versions rather than the Swiss made saddles (but fit reviews are always subjective - pay more attention to those concerning leather quality, saddle longevity etc) ... resale tends not to be great but that also means you're likely able to get a good deal on a used one (there are also some major clearance deals on new courbettes while other online shops are still selling the older models at suggested retail ).
If you're happy with your horse & not looking to change soon, I'd spend more on a better quality used saddle that has good balance etc than a lower priced one "to start" - it's much easier to advance in a nicely balanced saddle than if you strugge with a saddle that places you in a chair or has stirrups set too far back or flaps too long or seat too deep etc for your stature. (it will also be easier to resell)
If you find a shop with experienced "people saddle fitters" that will help alot in narrowing the list to saddles that at least fit you, if you can trailer your horse in or have someone out with a load of saddles around your budget even better (no sense in finding out a Hennig model fits you & your horse as even used Hennigs tend to run $4-5 K); then do several rides in the saddle to make sure the saddle is comfortable for more than 15min.