Circuit Pro? Circuit Elite EQ? Big Ben? Toulouse? Stubben?
Tall, slim rider here with a flat backed horse.
I'm considering a USED Dover Circuit Elite EQ, Dover Big Ben, Dover Pro, and the Toulouse (Celine...or others?) Stubben Eidelweiss? Reviews? Pros/cons?
Any tips on finding the "lower end" saddles (where to find), used? Where do people on the "circuit" sell their saddles?
Saddles I've Tried/Owned:
Pariani USA and was really annoyed by the blocks.
Crosby DSL Equilibruim...I liked it, but not super comfy and it was too big.
Prestige Hunter Classic D...flaps too short
Jeffries Flyover...comfy on the bum but flaps too short
Toulouse Premia...balance was weird for me and flap awkward (maybe too big)
Tad Coffin: Love the balance, but flap too short
Last edited by HollysHobbies; Nov. 23, 2010 at 01:37 PM.
I am 5'10" and I have an Ovation 4 star event saddle. I like it so far. It does have forward flaps, but I need them to keep my knees from hanging over. I am comfortable with my stirrups long as well.
The leather is soft (perhaps too soft?). It took about a week for the saddle to look as worn as my 2 year old Pessoa A/O where the stirrup leathers rub. Actually, I even marred it test riding with protective socks over the leathers. But on the good side, it breaks in easily.
Another annoyance is that the billet straps are really short.
The 4 Stars have adjustable gullets and the price is right at just over $1K.
Overall I think it is worth the money.
I have a Circuit Elite from Dover and overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's fit a variety of horses quite well and is overall very comfortable. The leather isn't phenomenal (nothing like a $3000 saddle) but isn't a piece of carboard either. I've just cleaned it regularly and used lederbalsam as a conditioner on the underside of the leather to get it suppled up quite nicely. So far, I haven't found a way to get it to darken so I'm tempted to strip one of the girth buckle guards with ammonia as a test, then oil it and see if I can get it to darken that way. One nice thing aboutbuying from Dover is the lifetime tree warranty. Never thought I'd need it but had a rotational fall in June and upon testing the saddle I heard a squeek. Sent it back to Dover, they took the saddle apart, determined that the tree was compromised and sent me a brand new saddle. So for that reason alone, I was really glad I'd bought the Dover saddle... would not have been able to afford a new one at that point.
As a point of reference, I'm 5'6 with a femur that goes on forever! I'm comfortable for flatting and jumping mostly. But If I needed my stirrups up for BIG jumps I'd be getting a new saddle with a more forward flap.
I have both the Circuit Elite and the Circuit Elite Eq. I'm 5'7" with long legs, and find I prefer the Elite Eq. Because of my long legs, the Elite was a little short in the flaps for me. The Eq. puts me it a better position. Both saddles have held up well and the leather has gotten soft. The wide fit my stout QH type pinto, and the medium works well on my TB who has fairly large withers. Not a bad saddle for the price. You can also save a bit by buying a saddle that's been out on trial.
I had the Big Ben and liked the balance of it over the Pro and waaaaayyyy over the Equitation saddle. The leather on the Pro was a tad better than my Big Ben but the Big Ben did oil very nicely and the color finished beautifully.
Good luck in your search!
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