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Saddle under $500 for a growing TB???

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  • Saddle under $500 for a growing TB???

    Hi all! I just bought my future Eventer (2yr old TB, 15.3 and growing) Obviously we won't be clearing fences anytime soon, so I was looking for a quality All-Purpose saddle, hopefully under $500; to get us thru the next couple years while we put in some HUS, and basic Dressage work.

    I'm not looking to spend a lot. Comfort for us both is key. Any saddle pad advise would be fantastic. I haven't purchased a beginner saddle for several years so I'm afraid I'm a bit out of touch.

  • #2
    Best bet would be to look for a used saddle that will fit your needs. That way you'll get a balanced saddle that will work well in your price range. Alternatively, you could look at synthetic saddles...they often are pretty well balanced and will work well. The indian made saddles that are out there cheap tend to not be well balanced, and you'll be fighting yourself trying to ride in one.


    • #3
      Check out Tekna.... they are built on Prestige trees and are nice saddles for being synthetic. They now come with an adjustable gullet system too.
      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


      • #4
        I know the Stubben Siegfried isn't popular on this forum, but that's what I'd recommend. People complain because they say it is hard and puts them in a chair seat. However, it has several big advantages. Used models are plentiful and easily available in your budget; it has a deep seat, knee rolls, and large thigh blocks for security; it is perfectly suitable for jumping (it was once THE model for cross-country); and it wears like iron. Your Siegfried will probably outlive you.

        I have ridden in Siegfrieds for over forty years and wouldn't use anything else to train a green horse with. I have a medium-wide (31), and with saddle pad adjustments, it fits lots of horses. For a TB, I might go for a 30, but not necessarily. Just make sure you can try it on your horse with a knowledgeable person around before you buy.

        I recommend the basic VSS model. The CS is a close-contact--for your purposes, I wouldn't recommend it. If you have long legs, look for the "extra."
        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


        • #5
          Definitely used or synthetic I'd say. I'd second a gullet system saddle. I think Wintec makes one with an adjustable gullet system. The tack shop at my barn had one on consignment. Don't remember the price on it though. I thought I remembered it being something like $600?

          I didn't know everyone was against Stubben here, but the Stubben I rode in at a lesson barn was like riding on a brick - fit the horses nicely though! Could always get those cushy seat savers!


          • #6
            I'll put in another Stubben vote. I have an old Siegfried that fits most horses I put it on. I broke my Arab colt out in it and he bashed it into things, knocked it off his back, etc. Still perfectly fine (so says Stubben) and looks nice enough to show in. I've done endurance rides in it, its been soaked both in rain and in a river several times, dropped, tossed, fallen on, etc. Still fine. Best part? It was like $400.

            My friend loves it so much I'm going to sell it to her for her new horse. I've been toying with getting a new one anyway - this is just a good excuse, right? She does ride with a cheap seat saver (like one of the $15 fleece ones) in it, but I never did.


            • #7
              I also put another vote in for Stubben. I honestly have never tried the Siegfried, was going to try, but it wouldn’t do well with my shark fin TB. But I have owned an Artus for 15 years and love it. Recently upgraded to the Roxanne this is a great all-purpose with a deeper seat and knee and thigh blocks. I have a jumper so it’s a wondeful saddle and fits my TB wonderfully...granted I did have to have them make it to fit him.

              But like above posters my Artus, had a half seat, worked well for a while and with the right saddle pad/half pad it fit him comfortably. You should be able to find them used and still in great condition as they do and probably will outlive their owner!

              Good luck with your new project!
              Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
              Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
              Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
              Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


              • #8
                Originally posted by Neigh-Neigh View Post
                Hi all! I just bought my future Eventer (2yr old TB, 15.3 and growing) Obviously we won't be clearing fences anytime soon, so I was looking for a quality All-Purpose saddle, hopefully under $500; to get us thru the next couple years while we put in some HUS, and basic Dressage work.

                I'm not looking to spend a lot. Comfort for us both is key. Any saddle pad advise would be fantastic. I haven't purchased a beginner saddle for several years so I'm afraid I'm a bit out of touch.
                If you decide to go Stubben (or really any saddle), choose one where the tree shape is correct for your horse, but is moderately too wide ie can be fit properly with a saddle fit pad with shims (I prefer the Thinline version with the dense foam shims); if you get a wool flocked saddle, that's another bonus as it allows another level of adjustment BUT this is really only useful if you have access to a saddle fitter & are willing to reflock the saddle every few months as your horse changes shape.

                I don't know if you're intending to back her as a 2yr old (there are many reasons to wait until she's 3 - and she looks pretty immature in the recent video) but, if so, you will really need to watch saddle fit & expect to replace the saddle.

                Rick's Heritage always has a surprising number of under $500 saddles (even some that are "like new").

                You might start by just sitting in as many saddles as you can & find what works/does not work for you (beware that a saddle that fits a horse poorly will usually fall into the "not work" camp).
                Once your filly arrives, you can do back tracings & send them off to a few online saddle fitters & see what recommendations you get.

                If possible, try to borrow saddles for her first 6-12 months (not only will her back change as she grows, but muscling will also change her topline) or find that $150 saddle that fits.
                This 1st saddle really just needs to fit her: you'll only be in it for 20 - 30 minutes, 2-3 days a week & staying off her back as much as possible (ie always in a light seat & not really sitting deep into the saddle)


                • #9
                  I'd look at used saddles and I'd also check over on the Eventing forum... they'd probably have a better idea on something that might work down the road.

                  I know you said you want to work on HUS stuff with her, but if you're making her into an eventer, would it not be a better idea to get her going around at dressage shows and the like and spend your time on that and your $$ on a dressage saddle (with wool flocking so you can adjust it as she matures)? Just a thought.
                  Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone! I've got some great leads to go on!