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CC Saddle on a 1k budget?

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  • CC Saddle on a 1k budget?

    I know this and the "what do I name my horse" threads are discussed to death here, but I need help! (fwiw- I already have a show name for my mare, so I won't start that thread today! )

    I have found several saddles on eBay that I like. I'm a big girl (6'0" and 185), with a big mare (she's 16h2 with a solid 82" blanket). I am looking for a, 18 1/2" MW tree.

    I found this saddle, but I don't know a whole lot about Harry Dabbs (see my thread about Crosby Hunterdons ).


    I would prefer a good used and for $1k, I figured I should get something pretty nice used.

    Any other ideas? We have a couple good tack stores on the mainland (near Seattle), but they have a lot of CWD and Antares saddles (which I would love, but even used I can't afford).

    Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
    Top Shelf "Charlie"
    Check out the Military + Horses fb page!

  • #2
    Sadly (or maybe not so sadly?) this is a topic that I know a lot about. I helped a larger, taller friend shop on this same budget for an 18.5" last year.

    Here's some of the problems with shopping for that size:

    --a lot of them are AP saddles. And although this is a huge generalization, "all purpose" tends to come with the following baggage: a fairly straight flap that is not friendly to the tall long-legged person's leg, a fairly flat table-like panel that assumes a horse without a curvy topline, and even if there's good wither clearance at the pommel there is often a huge "dip" in wither clearance as the seat dives deeper that a typical CC. All of this adds up to "let's hope you have a flat horse and don't need a forward flap."

    There are certainly some exceptions to this rule, but the True Brit you linked to seems to embody all of those things.

    --a lot of 18.5's are actually built on the saddle company's 18" tree. They scoot the pommel nail forward a little, they build up the cantle a little bit, and voila--you've got something that measures 18.5" but isn't really anymore roomy than the 18". This isn't a big deal if you have a tiny behind and are just looking for 18.5" to accommodate your leg--in fact, it can even be advantageous for a long lean rider because it keeps the stirrup bar closer to the balance point of the saddle--but if you have a large badonadonk, you want to look for the few companies that actually elongate the bars of the tree beneath the rider's seatbone area to make the 18.5".

    In your price range, some of the more attractive options are:

    1. Used Stubbens, especially if you have a horse with a curvy topline. There are TONS of gorgeous 18.5" Stubbens, some with forward flaps, for well under $1K. Middleburg Tack has about a billion of them in their All Purpose inventory. They also have a lovely 19" Thornhill Germania, which is a saddle that was modeled after the Stubben Siegfried and is a nice competent piece of tack.

    2. If you are long-legged then consider looking at an XC saddle, where the flap and stirrup bar are purposely set forward (and can be wonderful for accommodating a long leg). The Ainsley Chester and Ainsley Pro National are good examples. The Courbette Vision is not as extreme as the Ainsleys in flap angle but is still pretty "out there".

    3. Look at some of the adjustable-gullet models. The Collegiate Convertible Diploma is only manufactured up to 18", but because of the way their trees actually run on the metric system, the 18" rides very generously. It is the cheaper sister saddle of the Bates Caprilli CC, and I know MANY super tall riders who love their Bates CC's with a long/forward/extended flap (the Bates CC's with the forward flap usually go used for around $1200-$1300). The Ovation Competition Showjumper also has a nice forward flap and can be had with an XCH changeable gullet for around $1K, and it can be special ordered in 18.5".

    4. Look at some of the brands that are "notorious" for running large and having naturally forward flaps. Berney Brothers, for example, sells some 18" tack that actually measures 18.5" when you put the tape measure on it. But always be sure to ask because there are actually two Berney Brothers saddleries and some of the saddles measure a true 18" and others measure 18.5". Incidentally, Berney Brothers will make you a fully custom saddle in Ireland for about $1200 shipped.
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Jan. 23, 2011, 11:35 AM.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


    • #3
      The only thing I have to add to the post above is that the Prestige 18" tends to run between 18.25" and 18.75". Not all the models will be in your price range used, but some will. I sold my Red Fox in your price range- and it was a lovely saddle.


      • #4

        I second the poster that told you to go with a good used Stubben. Simply cannot beat them IMO.


        • #5
          Baby got back? If so...

          For $2.7K you can have a 19" Lauriche CC saddle at Middleburg Tack Exchange. That's alottamoney. But these are lovely and rare saddles; some Lauriche fans would consider it fair.

          Did you get the 19" part? That dimension looks real. Perhaps the flaps will be too short for you.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            ~ Unexpected ~


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys! Sometimes, I feel like I'm all alone in the land of 5'5" 130# riders! You all gave me some really good advice, I really appreciate it.

              I'll do some research today (it's playoffs, so we aren't *ahem* going anywhere today), and let you all know what I find.

              As far as the extra baggage in the back end... Totally have it! I carry all my weight between my waist and knees. I actually lost 55 pounds over the summer, which is why I get to start looking for a new saddle (as per deal with the husband).

              I didn't even think about cross country saddles, that's an interesting idea. Jagermonster had a Bates that she was going to sell last year, but I'm sure she doesn't have it anymore.

              Thanks again! Stay tuned for the next installment of "Is there anything that will fit Hollynanne's bum?"
              Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
              Top Shelf "Charlie"
              Check out the Military + Horses fb page!


              • #8
                oops, scratch that!
                Last edited by Moocow; Jan. 23, 2011, 03:47 PM.
                I'd rather be riding!


                • #9
                  There is one (not mine) on TOB that might interest you. She is asking $1200 but the saddle looks to be in great shape.


                  Happy shopping!
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                  • #10
                    On that Trumbull Mountain page, I'd certainly have them send me the 18" Ovation to try, and maybe have them throw in one of the Vegas since two saddles in one box doesn't jack up the shipping too much.

                    Those Ovations are well designed saddles. And the price is very nice.

                    Oh, and the original e-bay saddle doesn't look bad. With all the stuff, it's a nice deal. I wish for two things. First, that the panels didn't thin out quite so much near the pommel. But that does leave room if you want to add a half pad to correct other parts of the fit. Second, I wish they had a picture of the saddle upside down so I could see all of the panels and gullet.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks guys. I'm currently in the process of getting pics of an Ainsley Pro National.... thoughts?

                      Also- While I DO have quite a lot of "junk in the trunk," I've been told that the Stubbens are notriously hard on the bum. They do last forever (I have a friend that still rides in her mom's Stubben that is over 30 years old!), so it would be a good investment.

                      Thanks for the links for the saddles. I read Stacey Kimmels's blog (behind the bit) and she swears by Tombell Mountain Saddlery. I've heard they are awesome to work with.

                      Lucassb- That saddle is beautiful. It brings up two questions,though. The first is the above question about the hard seat. My second question is more general and may need it's own thread... Do you all think that an AP is "appropriate" in the ring, in the land of CC saddles? We're jumpers, and everything goes, but I don't want to spend a lot (well, a lot by my standards ) on a saddle that isn't okay for the ring.

                      mvp- Thanks for the input. I rode in a Dover Circuit Elite (or maybe a Pro) yesterday, which is apparently very similar to the Ovations. I really liked it! We've always ridden with a cashel riser with my mare. I didn't yesterday with her and his saddle and she wasn't too fussy (she has a large scar on her back from what we think was a barn fire or something similar). A riser (to level me out) and non-jointed stirrups probably would've been better. Olson's Tack in Bellevue is an Ovation dealer. They also have a saddle fitter on site. I'm going to take some tracings and pics and probably go sit in a few saddles.

                      Thanks to everyone for the input. I'll keep you all in the loop!
                      Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
                      Top Shelf "Charlie"
                      Check out the Military + Horses fb page!


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                        Baby got back? If so...

                        For $2.7K you can have a 19" Lauriche CC saddle at Middleburg Tack Exchange. That's alottamoney. But these are lovely and rare saddles; some Lauriche fans would consider it fair.

                        Did you get the 19" part? That dimension looks real. Perhaps the flaps will be too short for you.
                        Whew! 2700 would be hard to get the husband to okay. It is painfully beautiful... so pretty.... drooooollll....
                        Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
                        Top Shelf "Charlie"
                        Check out the Military + Horses fb page!