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Is getting a saddle with grippy leather on a $1,000 budget or less, possible?

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  • Is getting a saddle with grippy leather on a $1,000 budget or less, possible?

    I'm getting a pretty decent tax return, and am wanting to upgrade from my Dover Circuit Elite. It fits my ponies well, but after 12 years, it is still SOOOOO slick! I no longer show, so it doesn't have to be pretty, but it has to be comfy, with that tacky, grippy leather, since I am getting too old to fall!
    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!

  • #2
    I have the Toulouse Candice which I bought used for $600. It has the covered leather and is the CWD knock off and I love it! I hate slippery saddles and this one I don't move in. Would definitely buy another one! I found mine at classicsaddlery.com You can generally find good deals with them on the Toulouse saddles.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
      I'm getting a pretty decent tax return, and am wanting to upgrade from my Dover Circuit Elite. It fits my ponies well, but after 12 years, it is still SOOOOO slick! I no longer show, so it doesn't have to be pretty, but it has to be comfy, with that tacky, grippy leather, since I am getting too old to fall!
      I suspect the leather is "finished" (much like the collegiates of this era & HDR's & M Toulouse) - if you strip the finish, the leather will then be able to break in & wear & accept conditioners etc: downside is that the leather quality was not that great on saddles at this price point, so when you remove that protective finish, you may see blemishes, leather may wear unevenly etc.
      (OTOH the few people I know that have done this, did not regret doing so ...).
      There are some fabulous threads in the archives that discuss various ways to "strip" so I'd suggest searching those out if you think this is something you want to do.

      For a new saddle, I believe Dover's new circuits (which run $1200 & up on "special introductory offer") are all the in vogue sticky, pre-oiled leather (beware as this takes marks relatively easily); the old circuits are on sale for $700 - $800 so that gives you an idea of what you might expect if you sell your current saddle (note that some circuit saddles were better made than others so depending where yours falls, you may get a better price).

      Then there are the M Toulouse (read all the discussions on these before buying) which you definitely want to purchase through Classic Saddlery (they've been importing these saddles for years & execute quality control as needed); older models/demo models are always available on clearance.

      Stubben still has a good range of demo/"used" saddles available in the $1000 - $1300 range BUT these are final sale if you order through your tack shop so arrange for a Stubben rep to come out & fit saddles to you & your horse first.
      (or do phone consults, wither tracing etc & ship out some demos)

      Used saddles: I've seen discontinued County models go in the $1K range, CWD, Antares etc not but there are lots of other lesser known brands on the market. BUT if you start shipping in saddles without having a very good possibility of fit, you'll quickly spend $$$, much more economic to work with a good online fitter or have someone come to your barn.

      Look at Dover's closeout saddles, I'd buy this over a Touloose any day, they also have some Circuits with blemished leather, a new Collegiate which likely rides nothing like your old (depending ).

      Murphy's always has some very nice saddles.


      • #4
        Lots of used saddles that originally cost $2.5K plus are now available for $1K or less -- I've heard mixed things about the Toulouse saddles and would probably avoid them. I buy/sell lots of saddles (because I like to) and I wouldn't buy a new saddle when you can get something twice as nice (or better) if you buy used.

        Or you can just by this nifty seat cover: http://www.theotherseat.com/

        It adds grip and costs a whole lot less than a saddle.
        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


        • #5
          I would say look at some used Pessoas and Stubbens. 1.8k can buy a nicer used saddle, I'm pretty sure I'm just saw an older butet go for that.


          • #6
            The other couple Toulouse's that I have tried were kind of eh. But this one and the Claudine I really really liked and was very surprised compared to the other 3 I had tried. 2 I tried a few years ago and the other is also a couple years old. I found the medium tree on the Claudine too narrow for my gelding but the Dennise and the Candice work well and fit great. So with these it's for sure a trial and error between the different models. I would for sure go for the double leather, haven't seen or tried the printed leather yet.


            • #7
              It can be done, but you're much better off going used. I found a buffalo leather Harry Dabbs, "used" but practically in new condition, for just under $1K. Nicely grippy, comfortable, and fit me and the horse.

              If you look around used at some of the saddles with better leather, they're going to be grippier than anything new in that price range.
              A Year In the Saddle


              • #8
                See if you can find a Prestige with calf skin used...the Versailles and Passion run $2,800 new.
                aka Amanda
                "For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again."


                • Original Poster

                  What about a BdH? There's one I found for sale for $900 - from the pics, it looks like its in great condition, but I've never ridden in a BdH before.
                  The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                  • #10
                    I got a used Tad Coffin (that I LOVE) for $1200. I know that's a little more than you want to spend but still right around target. You may want to call a saddle fitter and tell them your budget and what you are looking for. They can most likely help. Good luck!


                    • #11
                      I like the idea of the seat cover suggested, but is it legal in the show ring?


                      • #12
                        I love the Thornhill 24k. It is very comfortable and has nice grippy leather. I like it better than my Antares. New they run around $1300. You can find used ones for under $600.


                        • #13
                          Ovation Evolution are a wonderful option if on a budget - love mine!


                          • #14
                            My friends older Jaguar is super grippy. You can find those for a little over 1000 used. My Hadfield is very grippy and I love it but it doesn't fit my horse so I have to sell it. I would look for some of the older nice saddles.


                            • #15
                              The new Pessoa GenX saddles are super grippy. I have a client that just purchased one for herself and one for her daughter. It's my saddle of choice at the moment while starting the babies! Just saw a used one on ebay in the 800-900 range.
                              Nani Lio Farm, LLC


                              • #16
                                The Pessoa is banana shaped I have found which was a bummer since I liked it a lot but there was no way it was going to work for the horse that I had! Or the one I have now!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by horsecrazy12 View Post
                                  I like the idea of the seat cover suggested, but is it legal in the show ring?
                                  I do not believe it's legal but I believe the OP said she no longer showed.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • #18
                                    I have an Ovation that I love. It's leather is like super glue. Paid $800 for it brand new. It's all in how you break it in


                                    • #19
                                      I picked up a hardly used Crown Impala for $1100 - lovely saddle and very grippy. Since I am a hunter re-rider the "grippy" was very important to me! My trainer rode in it over fences a couple of weeks ago (quick school on my guy before my lesson) and she really liked it. She also loves what it has done for my position. Not very common here in the States - but, if you could find one, you won't regret it.

                                      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                                      • #20
                                        The Beval Salem is in your range, I believe it's like $1300 new? It is grippy and comfy. I think it is just as grippy as my Devoucoux.