Going to start my OTTB in dressage. Need a good "starter" saddle. Suggestions?
My 16.1 hh OTTB is actually pretty easy to fit. He's in a medium tree now on my Bates Momentum (older style before all the suede was added) jump saddle, and it fits him pretty well. I do have to shim up one side, but that's pretty common for unbalanced "track babies". He's only 6 and developing muscle pretty quickly, so I would prefer something with a changeable gullet (like my Bates). I've only had him since February and he's already had a gullet change. With that in mind, I was looking at the Bates Isabell or the Wintec Pro. I could be sold on something without a changeable gullet, though, assuming he stays at the medium he's at now (which might be the case since he's muscled up pretty well and might not get THAT much bigger), or if it's affordable enough to have refitted in the not-so-distant future. He is NOT a shark-fin TB, but he does have some withers. Here's a fairly recent pic - not the best, but you get the idea: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net...84807823_n.jpg
So anyone have any suggestions for a good starter saddle for my guy? I want to go used, for sure, and I would love to stay at or under $900.
Thank you for your help! Willy and I appreciate it!
One thing you could try are the thorowgood saddles. They make three models to accommodate not only different widths but also different back shapes. I bought a T4 high wither model to use as an interim saddle while I look for the right dressage saddle.
It's synthetic and has a wide twist which you may not like, but at ~$600 or so, it's not too bad of a deal. You might even be able to find a used one for half that or less.
If you're not against sythetic I like the Wintec Dressage 500, but I like a saddle that doesn't have huge knee/thigh blocks. It does have the smaller ones that you can take out. It's a nice balanced saddle for a great price and has the changeable gullet you're looking for
Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason "Once you go off track, you never go back!"