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Jump saddle on a budget

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  • Jump saddle on a budget

    Didnt get any replies to my other post on fitting my mare and what might work so lets try this. I am looking for a jump saddle, used is fine. On a bit of a budget. Would love to stay under $600 but will go as high as $800 or a little more if I absolutely fall in love. Though I have been riding for nearly 30 years I have not ridden in many saddles. I have had one saddle since I was about 14. A Knight Rider that I bought from Gayers (localish store, they also sell Ashley and Clarke, which is what I rode in as a kid) This saddle does not fit my new TB mare. It bridges on her back which causes it to slide back and also puts too much pressure on where the back end of the saddle sits. I want to try to stay away from foam pannels if possible, and need panels that are not as flat as mine. I pretty nearly despise Wintec synthetic saddles. Though this is what I am doing my hacking in since it fits my mare better than my KR. What else might be recommended. Also where could I shop? I am in Southern Maryland. I have tried Ebay but I need an 18" seat or bigger and apparently large rearended people only ride Xwide horse? as I can not find one in a medium or regular tree. Have checked out pelham saddlery and they do not seem to have anything in my price range that might work. Have alo checked some other sites but cant remember names.

  • #2
    You might check out the Northrun Ashland at yoursaddles.com - it meets some of your criteria & is a decent saddle (may be negotiable on price), my only hesitation would be the gullet channel width but you can assess your mare before you bring anything in.

    Schleese has a video format 9 point saddle fit check list that is well worth viewing.

    Trumbull Mtn has some excellent saddle fitting pages & a wonderfully helpful saddle fitter on staff; they carry the Kent & Masters line which might be worth a go (yes, 17.5 is the largest listed seat size, but some 17.5's fit generous etc). As your mare has been off for 2 years, I'd expect she may change alot so an adjustable gullet may be worth considering.

    Classic Saddlery generally has some great clearance prices on M Toulouse saddles (& would be the only shop I'd buy this brand from).

    Read jn4jenny's many posts on saddles for various horses & people on these forums - she usually gives some very specific advice & you may recognise your horse/yourself in her descriptions

    For more responses, include photos of your horse (Trumbull Mtn gives details on appropriate saddle conformation pics), do a wither/back tracing, even post some video (or pics) of you and your horse if you're feeling particularly brave

    Comment


    • #3
      I know leasing isn't the smartest thing monetarily speaking, but, I stick to a strict horse budget and just bought two new dressage saddles last year. It'd be awhile to build up funds for a new or nice used jump saddle for me and my TB. I was thrilled to find out Schneider's tack (sstack.com) has a lease option on saddles! They have enough different brands, definitely worth checking out. I still didn't go crazy on price, and after loads of research, got the Ovation Evolution. LOVE it! But, if I hadnt, I had 10 days to return at no cost other than shipping. And can't say enough about how nice Schneider's were to work with. Great option if you don't have the money to buy a saddle right now!

      Comment


      • #4
        Try Maryland Saddlery in Crofton/ Hunt Valley, Rick's Heritage in Westchester, PA, and Middleburg Tack Exchange in VA. It might be worth a road trip just to sit in a bunch of saddles and get a feel for what you like. I would also just ask your trainer/ friends if you can try their saddles. Most people are pretty nice about it and even if they are not your size you can often get an idea what works/ doesn't.

        As far as seat size/ tree size, I have 18" Stubbens I bought on Ebay. One is a medium and the other is a medium wide. I actually don't think it's crazy hard to find 18" saddles-- it's when you need something bigger that it becomes tough.

        Comment


        • #5
          Lots of 18" saddles on ebay, but eBay shopping is really for people who already know what they want.

          If you haven't bought a saddle for a long time your best bet is to sit in as many as possible so you know what works for you -- ask friends to try their saddles or if there's a consignment shop near you, sign out a few and ride in them. Compared to 30 years ago, there are a lot more options.

          For example, if you are very long from your hip to your knee, you should look for a saddle with a more forward cut flap and stirrup bars that are set a bit farther back. Most Stubben saddles don't work for me because the bars are too far forward for *my* conformation and forward bars puts you in a chair seat.

          A saddle with a flatter seat (lower cantle) will fit roomier than one with a deep seat so you might be able to ride in a 17.5. The "sweet spot" on a deep seated saddle is smaller. Some people really like the security of being held in place; others prefer to have more options about where they sit in the saddle. If you are jumping drop fences or lots of xc fences, I personally prefer a flat seated saddle because you don't get hit in the butt by the cantle!

          You should be able to find a number of really well made older saddles for $500 or less -- Passier, County, Ainsley, to name a few. I know you say you don't like Wintecs, but the older version of the Wintec Pro Jump is a very nice balanced saddle that seems to fit the TB shape. The leather equivalent is Bates and you can usually find those used in the $800 range. I bought an old Ainsley Chester (true xc saddle with a forward flap) for $275 last year and it fits my TB and the one I'm fostering really well. The old ones are really nice and this one was in great shape. I found it on eBay but I'd already ridden in one so I knew it would work for me.

          I've worked with quite a few of the tack stores listed above and I've had good luck with Trumbull Mnt and Middleburgh Tack Exchange. If you can find an independent saddle fitter (one who doesn't rep a particular brand) that would be a good place to start as they can tell you what tree size and shape will likely fit your horse and then what might work for you.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
            Try Maryland Saddlery in Crofton/ Hunt Valley, Rick's Heritage in Westchester, PA, and Middleburg Tack Exchange in VA. It might be worth a road trip just to sit in a bunch of saddles and get a feel for what you like. I would also just ask your trainer/ friends if you can try their saddles. Most people are pretty nice about it and even if they are not your size you can often get an idea what works/ doesn't.
            I'll ditto this advice. I just bought a very lovely new (to me) jump saddle this fall, for under $1K. Barnmates were incredibly generous and willing to let me try and ride in their saddles, because pretty much everyone's been through the process themselves! After trying several saddles, and finding one that fit the horse perfectly, and knowing what I needed regarding flap length (I've got LONG legs), I had a pretty good idea what to look for. I needed an 18" with a medium tree, and long flaps--for me the long flaps were the hardest part of that, moreso than tree width. Made snapping up what I wanted when I found it easy.

            But if you're not sure, a road trip to Middleburg one weekend might be a great idea--both the Tack Exchange and Tack Box have used saddles, with an enormous selection between the two that would at least let you sit in several things to get an idea. When I bought mine at the TE this fall, they took my CC# for a hold but I had a few days to try it on the horse and see if it worked before I had to commit to buying it.
            A Year In the Saddle

            Comment


            • #7
              Would you consider a synthetic saddle? I have a Tekna saddle that I really really like, sadly horse isn't too keen, I'm going to get it re-stuffed as I think the padding at the pommel is too hard, and that's what's bothering him. They look like leather and come in brown or black, are very reasonably priced (well over here they are), and up to an 18" seat.

              Comment


              • #8
                You have a PM!
                Big Idea Eventing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Try an old Stubben. They are inexpensive and have curvy trees. For example, my "make muscles" saddle is a 50+ yr old Stubben Siegfried I bought for $250. I use a Mattes pad with shims with it.

                  I suggested the curvy tree because you said the other saddle bridged. Bridging is a sign that the tree is too straight for the horse.

                  Ainsley might work too and they tend to be not expensive used.

                  This place has lots of used saddles:

                  http://www.middleburgtack.com/index.cfm?pagesID=1
                  Unrepentant carb eater

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I second the older Stubben idea. My most expensive and newest used Stubben was $700 and was only a few years old. My other three were considerably older, but still perfecly fine and were $200-400. (Can you tell I like Stubbens?)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It is a bit of a drive for you, but Saddlery Liquidators in Haymarket, VA has a huge selection of jumping saddles at reasonable prices. It is worth the drive just to get to sit in a bunch of options.

                      I have a friend with an 18.5" Collegiate Parfare. It has a medium tree and fits her Appendix Thoroughbred. It is a very comfortable saddle, but the seat is a little too flat for my tastes.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        The teknas do look and sound really nice. I dont like the idea of synthetic, but have heard that the Tekna are very leather like. I do like the price as well.
                        Originally posted by sixteentwo View Post
                        Would you consider a synthetic saddle? I have a Tekna saddle that I really really like, sadly horse isn't too keen, I'm going to get it re-stuffed as I think the padding at the pommel is too hard, and that's what's bothering him. They look like leather and come in brown or black, are very reasonably priced (well over here they are), and up to an 18" seat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When I got my new horse 2 years ago I also had to start the saddle search for something to fit her and myself in a limited budget (like yours). I tried SO many saddles from the local shop, it would either fit her, or me but not both or I found it extremely ugly or uncomfortable. I finally gave in and tried a Wintec Pro Jump and fell IN LOVE! It fit my mare perfectly with the med./wide tree and it has a great stickability that I appreciate these days. I didn't even want to try the Wintec, boy am I glad I did!
                          Grab mane and kick on!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Even though you say you 'pretty nearly despise' Wintecs, I'm going to nth the suggestion that you look at the mid-00's Wintec Pro Jump.

                            I use this saddle on most of my horses. I like that it's lightweight, I like the wide gullet and flat panels. Over the years, I've converted a lot of Wintec haters to Wintec enthusiasts -- if you can drop your prejudices against synthetic saddles, you might find yourself sitting in something that's very comfortable for horse and rider. Also, it's perfect for bad weather as it doesn't get slippery and it dries quickly.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I rode in a friend's wintec pro jump today and though I liked it it did still bridge a little on my mare, not bad at all but a little. I didnt mind her saddle and I dont midn the older clothish wintecs but most of the "leather look" ones seem so stiff. I have ridden ina couple and did not like them much.
                              And Bogie ya got it just right. I have been ebay shopping but I dont know what might work for this mare as I have not had to fit a variety of horses over the years. I am thinking that a stuubben might work or an ainsley. I have an ainsley dressage saddle and it sits pretty ok on her, but with a little bridging. The pannels on my dressage saddle seem flatter than the pics of the Ainsley jump saddles I have seen pics of.
                              I will def be making a trip to test out some saddles soon. Should be funish. I have been riding nearly 30 years but really have not ridden in many saddles at all.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a Collegiate Nobility:

                                Cost around $800 (I got mine new for slightly less)
                                Flocked, not foam panels (with a flocking slit and point billet)
                                Comes in a 18.5” (that is what I ride in)
                                Fits my TBx mare that was in a Wintec Close Contact before this saddle
                                Made out of a different factory than most collegiates (and this is why they are discontinued – the plus is they do not have the same “issues” some other collegiate saddles have).


                                I am very happy with the quality, it fits me and my horse well. I highly recommend it (and there are a few other posters here on COTH who have this saddle as well)

                                I bought mine here:

                                http://www.carouselhorsetack.com/pro...-CLOSEOUT.html

                                (and they take returns on saddles if it does not fit)
                                APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Minor bridging can be an easy fix, turn saddle upside down and pack stuff in between the panels and the seat till you get the desired roundness to the shape of the bars, custom fit to your horse -- I've used cardboard, paper towel, newspaper........

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you buy an Ainsley, look for an older model. I don't like the knew ones nearly as much. They are out there and they are a bargain!

                                    Middleburgh Tack exchange often has them. The Chester is my favorite but the Pro National is pretty good.

                                    The Wintec Pro Jump has a pretty flexible tree and most horses that I've used mine on seem pretty comfortable in it. I like the model so much that I bought a spare after it was discontinued. Those older ones have gotten more difficult to find but they are still out here.

                                    Originally posted by Riverview View Post
                                    I rode in a friend's wintec pro jump today and though I liked it it did still bridge a little on my mare, not bad at all but a little. I didnt mind her saddle and I dont midn the older clothish wintecs but most of the "leather look" ones seem so stiff. I have ridden ina couple and did not like them much.
                                    And Bogie ya got it just right. I have been ebay shopping but I dont know what might work for this mare as I have not had to fit a variety of horses over the years. I am thinking that a stuubben might work or an ainsley. I have an ainsley dressage saddle and it sits pretty ok on her, but with a little bridging. The pannels on my dressage saddle seem flatter than the pics of the Ainsley jump saddles I have seen pics of.
                                    I will def be making a trip to test out some saddles soon. Should be funish. I have been riding nearly 30 years but really have not ridden in many saddles at all.
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Went to Dover a couple days ago and sat in some saddles. I really liked how the Collegiate Alpha fit me and just felt overall. Now I cant afford the Alpha, but then I was thinking about the Sorrento. Anyone tried the Sorrento? Also how might a collegiate fit a curvyish backed TB? It does not have an adjustable gullet. Which is pretty ok with me. They have their advantages and disadvantages.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Check out www.FarmHouseTack.com

                                        There are more than a few 18" and 18.5" jump saddles in your price range, all with medium trees.
                                        Patience pays.

                                        Comment

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