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Saddle Gurus Go!

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  • Saddle Gurus Go!

    I posted a month or two ago about getting my leg back under me on the flat. Several people recommended a saddle change, which worked wonders. Riding in a school saddle made a noticeable difference in my leg. School saddle is an old cracking Bevals with a plain flap and flatter seat. So now I'm looking for a new saddle. I'm 5'1'', and about 113lbs. I'd say I'm pretty normally proportioned, maybe a little long from hip to knee.

    I had a 16.5'' Ovation with a long flap about a year ago. Flap was way too long and my leg would shoot out in front of me and slip far back in the air over fences. I sold it about six months ago and bought a new saddle. (Picture of me in it here: http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photo...26462_7399.jpg)

    I bought a Beval Stamford, size 16''. Flap length fits but saddle is slightly too tight in the seat (not bad at all, maybe three fingers room in the seat instead of four.) I felt like I could wrap my leg around the horse's barrel, and it stayed more in place over fences but it still really shot out in front of my on the flat. When I let the stirrups hang without my feet in them the stirrups are almost in front of the girth. (Picture of me in it here: http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._6888487_n.jpg)

    I rode in a Bates? in an IHSA flat class that my leg looked good in (http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...49984287_n.jpg) and my friends Pessoa (http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._3776049_n.jpg)

    So basically, I'm looking for a 16.5'' with a short flap and a stirrup bar set further back. For under $1500. New, used, don't care. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I am just so frustrated with fighting with my saddle to get my leg under me.

  • #2
    I just purchased the new Bates h/j, cost around $1400 (incl. duties, taxes, everything) on Ebay and runs about $1800 in shops before tax.

    Love this saddle, puts me in a beautiful position. I never realized how my Collegiate made my leg swing forward until I rode in this saddle. It is HEAVEN!
    http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Look for an old Crosby Prix de Nations, flat flap. Can't go wrong at around $250-300 tops. Give it a try.
      Inner Bay Equestrian
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      KERx

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      • #4
        I actually have an old Crump Pris De Saute, which is very similar to the PDN. It might be a 16.5, I would have to check. Love the saddle but there is no way it would fit my Mt Witherest horse! Let me know if you would be interested. I could check the size....Needs to be cleaned up that is for sure but made very well...I have had it for years!
        Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
        Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
        "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

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        • #5
          Well, if we are descending into sales offers, then OP, you should take a spin in my Crosby AGA Grand Prix.

          The balance in that thing is awesome. It was sold to me as a 16.5 but measures a 16.25. My butt is too big for it, but my femur is still the same length so I love it. Mine is also a modified version of the usual ones, with no knee roll and no curvy "back thing" on the flap.

          If you do find one of these to try, you won't enjoy it unless you find a 16 or 16.5. A 17 or so and you lose the magic.

          The flap on the Ovation does look too long and IMO, the Bates (you and white horse?) is too long, too.

          In general, you want the front edge of the flap to kind of parallel your knee when you are sitting. The acid test is the trotting two point: You should be able to "just stand there."

          It can a hard to buy the saddle with that balance if you don't have just one horse in mind, but it can be done. I know which dimensions make a saddle work for me, so I can buy that "on top" in a variety of trees and panels underneath for a full library of saddles that works for my shortness on any horse.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

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          • #6
            I actually liked how the Pessoa fit you. Lucky for you because my horses and I are not the "off the rack" kind...

            The ovation flap is too long. The Beval puts you too far back in the seat. And, it's hard to tell from that photo but the bates looks like you are having to lean forward a bit.

            It really depends on the horse you are riding... the saddle must be balanced for you to have the proper position.

            I do have to say after riding in a CWD full calf I will NEVER ride in a slick saddle again... so whatever you choose make sure the leather is grippy. It's a nice thing....
            Live in the sunshine.
            Swim in the sea.
            Drink the wild air.

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            • #7
              ^^ Pessoa was my favorite too.

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              • #8
                Another pessoa fan

                I also think you look best in the pessoa. I am built similar to you. Shorter, petite, long in the thigh. My favorite saddle was a Pessoa Jubilee that I bought used within your price range. Sadly I had to sell it when my young QH mare grew into her wide mature shoulders, and it no longer fit. I don't know what the saddle needs of the horse you ride in is, but if a Pessoa can work, that's my vote

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  As much as I appreciate the offers, I am planning on really taking my time looking for this saddle. I had to rush into getting one for the how season which is how I ended up with the Beval Stamford. I will definitely look into the models suggested but won't be seriously looking for a saddle to purchase for a month at least.

                  The Bates had a super deep seat, I felt like I was getting sucked in which is probably why I am leaning forward so much. I'll have to look into a used Pessoa as well. Obviously the seat of my friend's saddle was huge on me, but my leg is actually under me for a change!

                  Thanks for all the advice guys, and keep it coming

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I love my Counties for their balance, and feel like I have to say that since I ride all of my horses in my Stabilizer and Innovation (and I'm planning to buy a Sensation in the not-too-distant future).

                    But if I'm being honest, my absolute, all-time favorite saddle ever ever ever (and cheap if you can find one) is my old Clinton Northrup close contact saddle. I see them on eBay and Craigslist every now and again in the $200 range, but I haven't talked myself into picking another up since I already have one. Mine fits all of my horses (skinny TB to fat WB to small pony) just like the saddles of yore, and the balance is spot on. My Counties are more fitted to my horses, which is why I stick to them, but out of my 10 or 11 saddles, my Clinton Northrup is the only non-County saddle I ever ride in...and love every time I sit in it.
                    __________________________________
                    Flying F Sport Horses
                    Horses in the NW

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                      The Bates had a super deep seat, I felt like I was getting sucked in which is probably why I am leaning forward so much.
                      for what it's worth, when i got my Bates years ago, it pitched me forward for the first couple weeks. posting at the trot was like when you make a Barbie's legs "walk" and her top half bends over a little bit more with each step
                      Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
                      Facebook me!

                      I have Higher Standards ...do you?

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                      • #12
                        I've been there! I'm 4'11" and am a little long in the thigh. I bought a used Collegiate because it was in great condition and it was cheap. Problem was its regular flap was 14"! I ended up fighting with it at the canter for some reason so I sold it. I really like Pessoa's but the newer ones did not fit my horse and there weren't any in my size when I was looking. I ended up with 2 Antares, both had a 2 flap, but one was slightly longer and slightly more forward than the other but was not marked that way on the saddle. FYI I actually bought that one off ebay with shipping for $1585. It was one that started at .99 with no reserve. (I made sure it wasn't stolen with Antares) That one was an '07 with grain leather in very lightly used condition and I paid less for it than the '03 that I also bought with calfskin. So you can definently find a higher end saddle at a good price, especially if you are waiting for a little while. Too bad you can't do a 16" because there is a good deal on one with a more forward flap on ebay. I also had an Equipe that I really liked but horse outgrew it, you can find them in a 16.5 on ebay for a decent price also. They are calfskin and come in a nice dark brown and a reddish brown.

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                        • #13
                          If you like Pessoa, look into Rick's (do a site searah for "pessoa" to get the complete list of used saddles) - they always have s decent selection of used & still have a number of the brand new (ie "like new") Pessoa saddles that hit the market when they changed out the tree for the new adjustable gullet version (which a local tack shop fitter has dropped from her stock as she has yet to find a horse to actually fit that tree.)

                          There are Bates on the market with a much flatter seat & flocked rather than CAIR (if you don't like the "bounce").

                          ETA definitely agree on the quality of the Equipe saddles - they are outstanding!

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                          • #14
                            You might want try a Vega, too. You can find used ones in that price range, as well. Just a thought....
                            "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cottonXCblondie View Post
                              for what it's worth, when i got my Bates years ago, it pitched me forward for the first couple weeks. posting at the trot was like when you make a Barbie's legs "walk" and her top half bends over a little bit more with each step
                              LOVE THIS lol. What a great reference!

                              I would check which model of the Bates you rode in, mine has very flat seat. But everyone is different... a great saddle to me might be your worst nightmare
                              http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TrakeGirl View Post
                                ^^ Pessoa was my favorite too.
                                ditto

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