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Good youth saddle?

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  • Good youth saddle?

    Two of my students have finally outgrown their cheapy, no-name saddles they got before working with me and I'm starting them on the search for a nicer saddle that fits them better.

    Any reccomendations on a good starting point for a young-adult saddle? They are fifth and seventh graders, so I'm thinking about moving the fifth grader into the seventh grader's saddle (hers is an older no name, but not as cheap and is balanced and puts the kids in a nice position) and getting the seventh grader one she can hopefully keep forever OR pass along to the fifth grader in a few years.

    I know its all relative to horse/rider etc, but does anyone have success with a certain saddle for several young riders, or recommend something NOT to look at. Budget will be an issue and because of that, we will probably be looking at an older, used saddle.
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    The really old courbettes are great. The pandur was wonderful. I am less enthusiastic about their newer saddles. I also think the berney bros can be had inexpensively and work for many people and horses. The Crosby Grand Prix is also a pretty nice saddle and there are a lot of used ones out there. I don't know the saddle, but I have heard thornhill mentioned for this situation and their are inexpensive ones at Rick's http://www.saddlesource.com/cc.asp Also, excellent prices on some jumping saddles here: http://www.shawssaddlery.com/catalog...82a7dc06b9c45a Good luck with the search.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


    • #3
      I've had really good luck with Pessoa's, and @ 5'4 130#, I can school when needed in the 15 3/4, and actually school the ponies and not look like a complete idiot.
      Seem to fit most ponies/horses well, and they have a nice balance.
      You can normally find them used and in good condition.
      The Tack Exchange in Middleburg currently has 2 in the $400 range.


      • #4
        I love Wintecs.

        They're versatile, comfortable, inexpensive and very easy to care for. But like all saddles, they have to fit the horse and rider.


        • #5
          Are you looking for a jump saddle or dressage or all purpose? Also are the girls long legged/ tall, etc? saddles will fit different depending on if they are long legged or not?

          my first dressage saddle is a rembrandt (still have it) and I have had it 10 years- it is in great condition, and only reason I have to sell it is because it doesn't fit me any more (saddle i'm no longer a 16.5/17 inch seat, had to move to a 17.5 seat. I had the billits replaced and the saddle flocked in wool.

          i also have a parker forward flap jump saddle. (also for sale ). that is great for a long legged person.


          • #6
            The Stubben Juventus is geared toward the Junior rider. It works great for me (Sm adult). It has a deep seat and the blocks fairly well lock you in. It gives a great feeling of security – nice when you go hurtling around cross country courses!!
            "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


            • #7
              Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
              I know its all relative to horse/rider etc, but does anyone have success with a certain saddle for several young riders, or recommend something NOT to look at. Budget will be an issue and because of that, we will probably be looking at an older, used saddle.
              Just say no to the HDR's; I still haven't met anyone who liked their HDR and really knew what they were talking about regarding tack.

              Lots of great suggestions given here. An old Stubben is a great choice for a young rider riding many horses, but often will not accommodate the wider horses/ponies. The Wintec Close Contact or Collegiate Convertible are both good choices too and do a better job accommodating wide load horses/ponies, but they're not going to be as good on a high-withered beast (which you can compensate for, to some degree, by budgeting for some thick corrective padding).
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


              • #8
                Check out Stubben's youth saddles. They have jumping, AP, and dressage models which come up to 17". New they are $1,250, but I'm sure you'll be able to find a great deal for a used one. They're very durable so will last them long time.
                Originally posted by RugBug
                Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


                • #9
                  My daughter rode in the Stubben Juventus dressage and jumping saddles and liked them.
                  Last edited by Moderator 1; Oct. 5, 2009, 08:31 AM.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone for their input so far!

                    My older student isn't particularly tall, maybe 5', and she is currently outgrowing her 16.5" saddle. I was surprised to see it was a 16.5, I thought it would be a 16, upon eyeballing it. I think it has to do with the configuration of the flap, but is that totally weird that she'd be outgrowing a 16.5? Another of my adult students is 5' nothing and rides in a 16 and another adult is 5'4" and has a 17.5, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
                    Big Idea Eventing


                    • #11
                      I agree with all the Stubben posts. The best!


                      • #12
                        The Stubben Juventus saddles only come in a 17" seat.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RayRay View Post
                          The Stubben Juventus saddles only come in a 17" seat.
                          That fact was very nearly a deal breaker for me, but the deep seat takes up that inch/.5 very nicely
                          "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


                          • #14
                            I have a huuuge DO NOT tip for anyone reading this post. I'm sure most people have seen the Marcel Toulouse saddles. They are almost all under $999 and are are very attractive saddles. Although i really do not suggest them. They are terribly unbalanced and put the rider into a very awkward position. Yes, you can pound on thick correction pads and riser pads, but as all good horseman know, the less padding the better. Unfortunately in this case the low price tag does translate in to very low quality.

                            As far as good saddles for young riders i suggest eBay! Yes, in most cases you cannot return saddles, but if you buy from a trusted seller and most importantly a trusted brand. They really dont make saddles like they used to, unless you are buying a L'Apogee $5000 saddle (which are unbelievable btw! ;]). So i would search for good quality used saddles such as Beval not the newer brands such as HDR, and Colligate.

                            This is all from experience so i hope nobody is offended. After selling my M. Toulouse saddle i bought a Bevel Butet saddle on ebay for underr $900 and it is perfect and fits almost every single horse i ride and is perfectly balanced.

                            Good luck!


                            • #15
                              Our teenager has a Crosby that is great. Unfortunately, I think sometime next year we'll be looking into a real xc saddle for her, as the Crosby is borderline not forward enough for her stringbean legs (we're the same height, but when I get on her pony, I have to bring the stirrups up at least a whole, preferably two, to flat him!). It is great quality but not expensive and pretty easy to find used. She bought her's from one of our other clients who didn't need it anymore. I like it because it is good for her right now. She can hike her stirrups up and gallop and jump, but it is not so forward that she can't do good dressage in it, too (though, she's discovered MY dressage saddle and prefers it now for dressage lessons ). She is kind of in a no man's land right now in her skill level...not elementary/itty bitty but not quite there for BN, so she doesn't need a truck load of saddles right now.

                              The saddle is VERY well balanced and well made. Her little sister rode in it quite a bit, too, and while it was biggish for her (I think it is a 16.5 or maybe a 17....I can't remember...we tried SO many saddles for them), she was secure, balanced and happy in it.

                              We also have an "Ian Millar" (I think it is a Collegiate??), that one of our other kids (11 going on 12) inherited from his older cousin. It isn't as nice and soft as the Crosby, but it is also well balanced and built. He is very secure in it, as is the teen's little sister when she rides the boy's horse occasionally. They both have jumped in it and been fine.