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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default Looking for saddle opinions

    I am in the market for a used close contact saddle and am interested in opinions from all of you out there... I have a TB jumper with pretty typical TB build but not enormously high withers. I also ride a lot of other horses for people and realize that no one saddle will fit them all, but would love some versatility. I ride a lot of young green horses and want to be able to really feel them and I can't deal with the deeper seat like some of the Pessoa's have. I recently rode in a Tad Coffin that a young girl at one of the barns bought and I LOVED it. It helped keep my lower leg secure with the blocks which can be a struggle for me because of how my horse jumps. But I've also looked at PJ's and Bevals. There are a lot of nice choices out there. My budget is around $2000. Obviously, whatever I go with has to fit my horse first and foremost. Any thoughts, experiences, advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    846

    Default

    I have a Collegiate Post Grad and Bates with adjustable gullets, A++++ I would recommend these to anyone and very afforable.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
    Location
    ENC
    Posts
    423

    Default

    i bought a close contact Bates new about 10 years ago. It has the interchangeable gullet system (which i didn't like then, when i was 13, because i didn't want to think of ever riding any other horse ) I'm so thankful to have gotten that one since i had the x-wide (red) gullet in for my stocky QH then and just changed it to the standard (black) width for my TB. They are super easy to change out (granted, i had the tack shop do it for me but i watched and i'm pretty sure i could do it on my own). it took me a little bit to get used to when i first got it and while posting the trot, i would slowly end up bent over, kind of like when you try to make a Barbie's legs walk and her top half starts folding forward. I love it though and would definitely buy it again.
    Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
    Facebook me!

    I have Higher Standards ...do you?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,602

    Default

    For $2,500 you can have Albion come out, measure, and build one to suit you and your horse.

    I have found that the one built for my TB (also not particularly high wither) fits a good number of horses in addition.

    Black Country's also come built-new-to-suit in that price range and are beautifully balanced, imo.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    447

    Default

    I have a bates with the Interchangable gullet and LOVE it! It's super comfy, got some knee roles and best of all, I can ride just about any horse without changing the gullet BUT if I need to, it takes a screwdriver and like ten minutes.

    I am so happy that I purchased the bates. I bought mine off ebay for like $1100 including shipping. It looked nearly brand new! I waited for about 6 weeks till I found the right size and color but it was worth it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2011
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    2,510

    Default

    I'm going to second bates. I did the EAP and I noticed A LOT of riders had bates saddles, and everyone at my barn who has one loves it.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
    Posts
    11,487

    Default

    I am selling my Tad Coffin as soon as my new Tad Coffin comes in. :O)

    I can't stay away from the Tad's but I have several reasons for getting a new one which have nothing to do with this one.

    PM me.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I've tried Albion, although it was probably 10 years ago, and am just not a big fan of those saddles. Had one fit to my horse and everything, but I hated it for me, too bulky.

    What's the general consensus on interchangeable gullets? When I first saw them I thought they were gimmicky but it seems like they've been around a while and people like them.

    Lord Helpus - can you elaborate on why you love Tads? It seems like some people swear by them. I loved how it felt when I rode in one, but what makes them better than another high end saddle in your opinion?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
    Location
    ENC
    Posts
    423

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper13 View Post

    What's the general consensus on interchangeable gullets? When I first saw them I thought they were gimmicky but it seems like they've been around a while and people like them.
    as previously stated, LOVE IT! It's an easy switch and so cost effective. spend $2k or whatever on the saddle, which comes with the standard black gullet (or i think you can choose whatever one gullet you need since i only had the xwide one) and then whatever different widths you need are $20 apiece. in riding different horses, it's perfect because it allows you to give them the comfiest ride that you can. I had my pudgy QH (The Real Fat Shady we nicknamed him, even after he lost weight after i had him for a bit) and now I have my TB and i would have been rather upset if i couldn't still use my saddle since it's still in nearly new condition.
    Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
    Facebook me!

    I have Higher Standards ...do you?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
    Posts
    488

    Default

    I'm partial to the Black Country Quantum, or if you really want close contact, the Vinici! I think they are absolutely beautiful, and so comfy to ride in. There are several options for fitting that are 'to order' but still 'off the rack'. You should be able to find a used one in your budget. Trumbull Mtn is a good place to look.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I really like the Prestige Hunter and Hunter D saddles. They can be found online used anywhere from 1200 - 1800. For a 2600 saddle to get it at that price what I LIKE to do, and I have 2 of them, Is to have my saddle fitter flock them in wool ( they are foam ) so They can be custom fit to the horse. In my area this cost 250. If you have the oppurtunity to try one I think you'd like it. The only downside is that if you have a very long leg, Long flaps are hard to find... The standard flap is just over 13". I am 5'5 so that works out fine for me. They are VERY comfy and balanced. Happy Shopping !!!!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2010
    Posts
    881

    Default

    I've been riding a lesson horse in a 16.5" (Read 1" too small for me!) Bates close contact (doesn't say on it which one it is) and I really like it. It's got some cushion to it, but I don't feel forced into position by too much padding.

    It's not so bulky and blocked up like my trainer's CWD which is really comfy, but not quite right for me.

    When my 3 year old finishes growing I'm thinking about getting a Bates. Nice to see so many others here glowing about them. I thought surely such an inexpensive saddle has some issues!
    ==================
    Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
    Posts
    434

    Default

    I have a tad and a pj. I have tried em all. Depends on the horse. If you like a tad, dont get one that is too old or they are rock hard. Use the tc pad,, the lighter the better.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
    Posts
    3,803

    Default

    Bates are wonderful mid-range saddles that fit a wide variety of horses. I had one for many years but recently upgraded to an Antares (omg HEAVEN), which means my Bates is currently for sale
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    462

    Default

    I love my Butet, but I would probably suggest a Tad for you. Be careful which model you get, though; my friend has one and it rubs the TBs he rides.
    "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
    ~George Morris



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,407

    Default

    Bates can be good, but they're just too much saddle, in my personal opinion. I've ridden in a ton of them, and like them just fine, especially at your price point, but it just isn't what I'd choose.

    They're hard to find, but if you can find a Forestier, you might give that a shot. Obviously, it depends on the model...I have no experience with the QH Lynn Palm version, but I have a Segonzac (sp?) that I absolutely beyond ADORE. It works well with these typical TB types, and rides similar to a Butet, again, in my opinion!

    I found mine on eBay a few years ago for about $650, but they're harder to find used and that cheap these days. Certainly worth a brand considering though. Good luck with your search and let us know what you decide!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,698

    Default

    The saddle needs to fit YOUR horse firstly.

    "typical TB build but not enormously high withers." doesn't really say much other than you don't need high pommel clearance.

    Shoulder width, the shape and angle of the back in the lateral view, and the curve of the back in the longitudinal view are criteria for knowing how to choose a saddle.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2011
    Posts
    54

    Default

    JB - I agree totally - the horse's comfort is first and foremost. I intend to make sure that whatever saddle I choose fits all his dimensions, but I was mentioning withers specifically because I know some TB's have huge, tall withers which precludes them from certain saddles/fits and he's not one of them.

    I have a friend who rides in a Bates and I've tried it a few times. While it is SUPER comfy, like sitting on a couch cushion, I find it's too much bulk for my preferences and the seat is deeper than I like. I feel like its an effort to get up out of the saddle because it's "sucking" me in...

    Thanks for all the suggestions - I'm still shopping around, but I'll keep checking back for ideas ...



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