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anyone try that Dover Circuit Pro saddle?

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  • anyone try that Dover Circuit Pro saddle?

    I'm curious to hear what people think of that saddle...

    I'm looking for a saddle with enough grip, but I don't have 4k+ to shell out on a really nice one. I'm not a huge fan of the deeper seat, and I'd probably remove that massive knee block, but if it has the leather I want then I might consider it.

    Also, anyone know of a saddle made with a lot of buffalo leather? I rode in one once and, although it isn't going to win any beauty contests, it was fantastic to ride in. I believe flaps were also buffalo leather. Can't remember the name or make.

    Any info would be great!

  • #2
    Not the exact saddle... but I've owned a Dover Circuit CC saddle marked "Big Ben" on the billet cover (I've never been able to find much info on this particular model, I think I bought it on closeout) for about 10 years now. The leather quality is decent; not great, but plenty durable. It puts the rider in a good position, fits all kinds of horses well, and is still holding up well after 10 years of use and abuse. It's not the prettiest, but it gets the job done while fitting the horse nicely; IMO a good buy for the money.

    As per your question on buffalo leather - my very expensive (French) Devoucoux is made with mostly buffalo leather and some calf. It. Is. Butter. <3

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    • #3
      Had two girls I used to ride with from 2004-2006 have Dover Pros. They loved them, but I didn't think they were the prettiest things to look at. The girls said they broke in quick, decent leather, comfortable, good leg position, but something about the seat. I don't remember what they said. I think if you don't have a lot to spend, I'd look for a nice used saddle instead of buying new. So many people now are rushing out to buy the new "it" French saddle, you can pick up a nice fairly new English saddle for the same price as the Dover.

      I have a 15 year old Pessoa A/O that you would have to pry out of my cold, dead fingers. Lots of threads about what you can get used at a decent price.

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      • #4
        but a nice used one.
        the dover saddles are not super nice quality. two girls at my barn had them. the leather is stiff and got really dark near where the stirrup leather lays, and faded on the seat. they took a long time to break in and they arent particulary nice looking.

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        • #5
          Au contraire! I have two Dover saddles and love them. One is a Dover Circuit Elite, the other is a Dover Circuit Elite Eq. I am long in the thighs, although not particularly tall, and the Elite Eq is the best fitting saddle I have ever had. The Elite is a wide tree, and the Elite Eq is a reg tree, and they fit the appropriate horses very well. Fine soft leather tends to be last on my list of priorities, and the leather on the Dover saddles is perfectly good. I certainly prefer their leather to my Butet, which I sold when it looked like it was going to wear thin way too soon. In fact, in all aspects, I like my Dover saddles much better than the Butet or a PJ I had before that.

          I will say that my Dover saddles may be as much as 10 years old, so I cannot vouch for the current versions, if they have changed.
          Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

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          • #6
            Have the Big Ben (also on close out) and it is frequently mistaken for a Devoucoux. It takes a while to break in but given the price difference it's not a problem. My saddle fits a lot of horses, positions me great and has definitely held up to the rigors that I've put it through. Even my trainer who swears to only ride in a Butet exclaimed that it 'really wasn't bad at all.' And she's a tough critic.
            I sat in a friend's pro saddle and loved it. Leather was soft, position was even better than the big ben and reminded me a lot of the Devoucoux and the Amerigo saddles. A great buy! Much better quality than pessoas.
            "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC

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            • #7
              I also got my "Big Ben" on closeout in late 2005 for my very hard to fit ottb. My trainer scoffed that it could possibly be fleece flocked, but it is. It broke in within a week. But I oiled and massaged/manipulated the leather after every ride that week, which took about an hour. The saddle is amazing. I fits everything I've put it on. The seat and knee rolls are butter soft grippy leather, and the flaps are super supple to allow great contact. If you want bang for your buck, I would give it a try. The only negative thing I have to say is that a Dover rep told me they changed manufacturers for 2006, and it sounds like mixed reviews, which might mean I got lucky! I am a firm believer of "pretty is as pretty does..." and if nothing else, this saddle has saved my can too many times to mention because I "stick" in it. Hope that translates! I LOVE my Dover!

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              • #8
                I feel like a lot of people really liked their older ones but I'm really not at all enamoured with the newer ones - the ones I've seen have all been plasticky.

                For the cost, though, you can find a used saddle that will probably be higher quality than a Dover.
                ---
                They're small hearts.

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                • #9
                  I've ridden in an older (not sure what year) Big Ben of my trainers and I loved it. Was the only saddle where I felt like I could really stay with the 17.1 OTTB who overjumped everything, always cracked his back to the point that he would hit your brestbone with his withers on occassion. It had the rear blocks which I usually don't like but liked with this saddle.
                  My friend has a Dover, not sure what model, and she likes it well enough.

                  I have the Dover child's pony saddle and I ADORE it. Leather is pretty decent and darkened well, but I think the leather is different for the Pro model.

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                  • #10
                    I wouldn't buy them. The older ones are nicer, but the newer versions look and ride like crap. My trainer's older model is comfy and grippy, but her mother's newer model is stiff and uncomfortable. I would look for a nice used saddle. Those are always worth the money and last for years.
                    www.justworldinternational.org

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                    • #11
                      I had the Dover elite for about 2 months 2 years ago and HATED it....so stiff and never broke in. didnt take oil well and was just awful. I hated it and would steer anyone away from it
                      Dacharia = best mare in the world

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