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Cheap dressage saddle?

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  • Cheap dressage saddle?

    My daughter has been bitten by the eventing bug again, after a summer of indecision, and her trainer would really like her to ride in a dressage saddle. Because she is young (13) and impressionable (meaning, she's not sure how far she wants to go), I would prefer to stick to a "cheap" saddle - such as Wintec or Collegiate. Any input? She has a light-boned TB. Thanks for the opinions!

  • #2
    Go on used saddle websites like usedsaddles.com and saddlesource.com and see what brands go used in your price range, and then see if you can find them at your barn or in local tack shops to try out. I like the new wintecs, couldn't ride in the Isabelle- but I know friends who love it. Older Kieffers and Passiers might be in your price range too. It's really a personal thing- what fits one rider and horse combo will not work for another. Personally, I have a much harder time finding a dressage saddle that sits me properly and doesn't put my leg somewhere it doesn't want to be- I've had comparatively little trouble buying jumping saddles over the years. I'd take the rider to the store (or the trainers tack room) and see what fits her. Take those home and try to get an idea what fits the horse. Then you can start looking for the right thing used in your budget.


    • #3
      I have a Wintec 500 model and I love it! My TB Sam loves it too and he is very hard to fit. DId not have to change gullets. I got a new one for $329 at Triangle Horse Sports in Raleigh but I am sure you can find deals!

      Good Luck!


      • #4
        I've never ridden in a Wintec or Collegiate dressage saddle, but I have a Wintec A/P and a Collegiate CC and love them both. The Collegiate is over ten years old and in GREAT shape, and the Wintec is going strong after about 8 or nine years. Both are great for the purpose they were designed for and very comfortable.


        • #5
          I really love my Wintec Pro Dressage. It's not as confining as the Isabell - more 'close contact' in feel. I found one on tacktrader for cheap. Good luck!


          • #6
            Love my Wintec Isabell. I don't think you would go wrong with any Wintec. They are hard to find used, because they get snatched up as soon as there is a hint a used one may be available. Nice saddle, easy care , great price.


            • #7
              Luckily, the Wintec/Bates makes are usually a good fit for TB-shaped withers. I've had good luck with Passier, too. Used is your friend.


              • #8
                Need to know how your horse is shaped before even possibly suggesting saddles to look at.

                All the Wintec drsg saddles I've seen are flatter treed - will absolutely not work on a curvy horse.

                The Collegiate's I've seen are not as flat, but still on the flatter side.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  I am strictly a dressage rider and surprisingly really liked the Collegiate Jessica when I rode in one. It is not confining at all, feels very close contact and provides just enough support. This was on a big barreled, high withered horse.


                  • #10
                    I have a used Kieffer that's working out for me and my TB. It does need to be reflocked b/c of age, but it fits well. For right now we use a keyhole/lollypop pad. I don't know what your budget is but this was $495. It's also brown, which I love. Got it from here St Croix Saddlery:
                    Oh look - a used Wintec


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Beasmom View Post
                      Luckily, the Wintec/Bates makes are usually a good fit for TB-shaped withers. I've had good luck with Passier, too. Used is your friend.
                      Ditto; Wintecs do well with TBs. The older Passiers have panels better shaped to TBs/the newer ones are designed more for WBs. My TBs do well in the old Passier GT
                      Providence Farm


                      • #12
                        Really cheap

                        This one is really cheap but, I bought it to use on a horse that my keiffer slid a little forward on and we are both happy with it:


                        I think it runs a little small though. At another Coth'ers recommendation, I got a 1/2 inch larger than my Keiffer and they fit about the same. It is a cheap saddle though and it doesn't look like an expensive one but it's lightweight and comfortable.
                        Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CallMeGrace View Post
                          My daughter has been bitten by the eventing bug again, after a summer of indecision, and her trainer would really like her to ride in a dressage saddle. Because she is young (13) and impressionable (meaning, she's not sure how far she wants to go), I would prefer to stick to a "cheap" saddle - such as Wintec or Collegiate. Any input? She has a light-boned TB. Thanks for the opinions!
                          Another idea....Look at the good used saddles. If in a year or 2, if your daughter has outgrown the saddle and/or the sport, a good used saddle will very likely be saleable for the price that you paid for it. In the mean time, she will have a really nice saddle to ride in.

                          I've actually MADE money on used saddles I've had 3 saddles over the years (2 dressage, 1 jumping) that I bought used, took care of rode in for a few years and then resold through a dealer and after commision and shipping costs actually made a little more than the original price.


                          • #14
                            Definitely agree with those who said go to the tack store and try everything that you can. Then when you have an idea of fit for your daughter and her horse, you can start bargain hunting elsewhere if necessary.

                            I don't really like Wintecs, but a lot of people swear by them, and you can get a used one for very very cheap. I would certainly go used at this point because you are quite likely to get your money back if you need to sell it in a couple of years if your daughter/horse grows out of it or if she decides she likes cars+boys better (never happened to me, haha).

                            I've heard good things about the Collegiate Jessica. There are also a lot of used Kieffers on the used saddle websites and ebay and some Passiers that might be in your price range. I've had good luck with those brands fitting quite a few types of horses with minimal adjustments.

                            So, first step, try out every saddle you can find. If your daughter's trainer has a few, test them out. The size might not be quite right for your daughter, but it'll give you an idea of the fit on the horse and the type she likes. Then go to your local tack store, if possible, and try a few used saddles out. Then you can really get to bargain hunting online. If you do a search on here, there are quite a few used saddle threads with great online tack store recommendations. And don't forget ebay = )


                            • #15
                              Crosby PSG

                              I grew up riding in and LOVING a crosby PSG softride--it's a very basic, nicely built dressage saddle--wonderfully comfortable, put me in the correct position, you couldn't get me out of it as a kid. Their "medium" tree will probably fit your TB perfectly...it fit my TB growing up beautifully.

                              I've graduated out of that saddle at this point, but they are usually priced around $750 or $800.

                              I personally didn't like the Wintec--I prefer leather. I also had a Kieffer combined--it was kind of a hard saddle though.

                              I saw both Keiffers and a Crosby PSG when I was saddle hunting in Middleburg...try the Middleburg Tack Exchange and I think the other one was called The Tack Box.
                              Last edited by HollysHobbies; Aug. 20, 2009, 02:19 PM.