Bates Momentum and a small rant about saddle shopping
Looking for thoughts on this saddle. Didn't even know it existed until the last couple of days. I rode Vernon a few times in someone's Caprilli in the spring and he LOVED it. I've always liked the balance of the Bates I've ridden in (even the AP!), so if it worked out to be forward enough for xc AND Vernon loved it, well, I'd die a happy woman (he's telling us he may not be as thrilled with the Berney's as we thought...sigh).
On to my rant....I talked to my local tack shop yesterday since they carry Bates...Bates apparently doesn't do trial saddles. So, I'd either have to buy the saddle outright or my struggling local tack shop would have to get one in stock for me to try and take the big risk on me not liking it...then they'd have a saddle that they might not be able to sell on their floor. This just seems kinda silly...the second biggest purchase to the horse (sometimes even bigger!), and you can't adequately try saddles.
I have the original CC with a forward/long flap. and for the most part i like it. my only problem has been that the air panels have leaked slightly, but then again ive had the saddle 5+ years. The saddle fitter i use said he has seen that happen some, and its not so bad yet but eventually we are going to have to pull the air panels out and just flock it... but even thats not a big deal.
As far as test riding, i believe dover does test ride of the bates saddles. I know the used to , not sure about now but it would be worth looking into
I love my Momentum. Two of my trainer's students have bought them after riding in mine. But, I very much disliked the Caprilli (I had the extra forward flap model) and the Eventer. These are 3 completely different saddles and have different balance, etc.
It has a forward flap- it is one of the few (very few) off the rack saddles that works with my long thigh without me having to size up the seat.
I will never sell it, even if someday, I find another jump saddle I like better- it has worked on lots of horses and is very handy to have around. (I like it better than my custom Stackhouse, which I am selling.)
Try Maryland Saddlery in Butler, MD - before I bought my Caprilli Eventer about 5 years ago, I was able to take one out on trial from them. Not sure if they still do trials, or how far they might be from you, but it's worth a shot.
My Eventer seemed to fit everything and the horses really liked it, but it only worked on horses who had a reasonably flat, quiet jump. Anything with a round jump with thrust and power, and you'd get jumped right out of it. The flaps are forward, but not so much as the Berney, and the seat is way flatter. I think the seat was the biggest problem for me. I ended up selling mine and buying another Berney, even if it doesn't really fit my horse all that well. With a Thinline pad underneath, he seems to tolerate it well enough.
The Eventer is not forward enough for my tastes...Vernon and I are both picky, apparently. I'll see what the local shop can come up with...I hate to go through the hassle of a trial by mail on a saddle I can't put my butt in/see in person first. If that's what it comes down to, though, I guess that's what I'll do.
I do get to try some Amerigos, probably next week. That should be interesting.
Another saddle I tried that I like- off the rack- is the Black Country Quantum. The one I sat in that worked for me was a 17.5 with a long and forward flap. I still think my Momentum is more comfortable though. If I was closer, I'd let you try mine. I'm not traveling to Area 2 for any events this fall (I'm in Area 1).