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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2009
    Posts
    65

    Default Bates saddles: Elevation vs. Caprilli

    Recently (at WEGs), I sat in a lot of saddles. Fell in LOVE with the CWD, but unfortunately, cannot afford one right now (yay for University debt!).

    I also sat in the new generation Bates Elevation. It was almost the same as the CWD, but the point of balance in the seat was a liiittle further back. I am starting in Equitation and Jumpers this season, and am looking for something with a semi-deep seat (flat seats are okay, too) and NOT a forward flap.

    I have been looking at the Bates Elevation H and the new generation. (the H looks like it has a but longer of a flap.. but with all the features Bates offers, does the elevation come in a longer flap?)
    I sat in a Caprilli a while ago (Feb.) and didn't mind it, but I liked the security of the Elevation more. Also sat in the Bates H/J and felt it, too was a bit too flat.

    So, what are the differences? The other big "turn-off" to me is that the next gen. Elevation only comes in havana (though it is a lovely red-brown colour.. I love caramel and newmarket).

    Any other saddle opinions? I can spend around $2k, give or take (preferable take).

    Thanks!!
    "Riding a horse ... is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    17,479

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fearless_intheirons View Post
    Recently (at WEGs), I sat in a lot of saddles. Fell in LOVE with the CWD, but unfortunately, cannot afford one right now (yay for University debt!).

    I also sat in the new generation Bates Elevation. It was almost the same as the CWD, but the point of balance in the seat was a liiittle further back. I am starting in Equitation and Jumpers this season, and am looking for something with a semi-deep seat (flat seats are okay, too) and NOT a forward flap.

    I have been looking at the Bates Elevation H and the new generation. (the H looks like it has a but longer of a flap.. but with all the features Bates offers, does the elevation come in a longer flap?)
    I sat in a Caprilli a while ago (Feb.) and didn't mind it, but I liked the security of the Elevation more. Also sat in the Bates H/J and felt it, too was a bit too flat.

    So, what are the differences? The other big "turn-off" to me is that the next gen. Elevation only comes in havana (though it is a lovely red-brown colour.. I love caramel and newmarket).

    Any other saddle opinions? I can spend around $2k, give or take (preferable take).

    Thanks!!
    I have an Elevation H that I bought used. I have never ridden in a Caprilli, but as a general matter I find the Elevation to be a more forward flap, slightly "jumper" style saddle. The seat is reasonable shallow. I absolutely love mine. I thought they discontinued the Elevation H. Where have you seen one for sale?
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,281

    Default

    I would pass on a Bates personally. There are known issues with the tree cracking, specifically the points, and they are a royal pain to deal with on warranty issues. I had to really fight with them to get them to understand that a babied, rarely-used, 6-yo saddle shouldn't have a broken tree. And it's been gone for about 6 weeks now. They certainly are in no hurry to get it taken care of, plus I have had to pay shipping there and back.

    The only reason they decided to look at it at all was because I found a tack shop that was willing to go to bat for me because the saddle had a serial number. Otherwise, I would have had to pay to have the tree replaced on my own, as the Bates trees cannot be repaired.

    So if you're OK with possibly ending up with a useless saddle after spending $2k on it, then by all means go for it. But I know I will never buy another one again. I can't see spending that much money on something that doesn't have good customer service to back it up.

    Oh, and their idea of a "lifetime" warranty is 10 years too. So if the tree cracks at 11 years, you will have to pay to have it replaced on your own, or just trash the saddle.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Posts
    688

    Default Try a Pessoa Gen X

    Why not try Pessoa Gen X too. I have a Bates Caprilli (which I bought used) and very comfortable to ride in, fits my mare well in a MW gullet. Always, had trouble finding the right saddle for her because she has big shoulders so I needed a medium wide for that little bit of extra room without having to buy a custom saddle. I've had the Bates for about 2 1/2 years now. Previously, had a Stubben Roxanne which I loved but my mare did not after 6 months. As I said before, I've been happy with my Bates but always found sitting the trot more difficult and found I tended to pitch forward a bit in the canter. I thought it was me not the saddle. My instructor borrowed my Bates one day and forgot to bring it back from where he left it.

    So I borrowed another boarders saddle a Pessoa Gen X (with the XCH feature). I used over a weekend and I have tell you I could not belive how centered I felt in the tack. Could sit the trot with ease (never happened in my Stubben or Bates) and cantering was like "Nirvana"….no pitching forward. It just had the right "sweet spot" for me. I ridden in it six more times just to make sure it was not a fluke plus I even rode in it on another horse and it felt just as good.

    Also the Pessoa Gen X fits my mare like a glove too like it did when I tried an Amerigo DJ. Which by the way I really wanted to love it but when I rode in the Amerigo DJ it was "blech"!!! I could never get comfortable in and it just did not work for me. Strangely enough I did sit on the Amerigo DJ a few times on a horse stand at Rolex and Tack shop and it felt great but riding in it was a completely different feeling. So whatever brand you try make sure to really ride in it.

    When I was looking for alternative saddles after my Stubben, I passed on the Pessoa because of the bad rap it was getting at the time about holding up to wear and tear. But I will say when I first bought my horse I did ride her in my instructors OLD Pessoa A/O and it did work well for both of us but just wanted a Stubben at the time. Also I don't think the Gen X exisited at the time. I think the Pessoa brand might have hit rough patch during a particular production period and I know some people still hate them. But I would give it a try. The Gen X I tried was the traditional no frills cowhide leather which I am perfectly fine with but I am also going to try the Gen X Elite as a comparison and then decide which one to buy. That's how much I liked it : )

    Either way saddle preference is a very personal thing. Good luck in your search. Below is some info about the Gen X's when I was researching for myself. There are other tack stores and retailers that carry them at slightly different price points just using Adams for the purposes of giving you a good overiew of the different models.

    Classic Traditional/Fixed Tree
    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,8672.html

    Classic XCH
    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,6011.html

    Rolled out in 2010

    Elite
    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,8564.html

    Natural
    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,8673.html

    Prestige
    http://www.adamshorsesupply.com/browse.cfm/4,8566.html



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 12, 2010
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    417

    Default

    I have an elevation deep seat that works well. i admit there are times when i long for my calfskin devoucoux again BUT the elevation allows me to tailor the entire saddle to my hard to fit warmblood - and his chiropractor even noticed a difference for the better.

    those saddle can be customized with the cair panel system that allows you to add shims to the front, center and/or back of the panels. plus the normal gullet change.

    i got mine from The Tack Room online and they said they would gladly manage any warranty or wear issues for me.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2010
    Posts
    29

    Default

    I'm with hampton bay on this. I'm a eventer and I had the bates dressage saddle. I took it in for a minor repair only to find the tree is cracked. I had the saddle for less then a year. My tack store tried to fight them for me, but they stopped carrying bates/collegiate/wintec/weatherbetta products because bates wouldn't honor a warranty on a employees saddle. so the company didn't care at all. so now I'm out $1200 and i have to buy a new saddle. I will never buy another product from them again. the saddles are really comfy and i still have my bates eventer saddle but when i need a new one it most certainly woln't be a bates.



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