10-29-2010, 07:21 PM
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The Bates Isabell is either a love it or hate it kind of saddle, but cair and adjustable gullets are not nearly as bad as a few people will make them out to be. I have cair in my CC saddle (Bates Hunter Jumper), and many of my friends have the Bates Isabell, and our horses have no issues because of it. Adjustable gullets can be a very valuable too - both my dressage and cc have it, and as my mare's topline has developed I've been able to move her into a wider gullet. If they hadn't been adjustable, both of my saddles would have ended up being unusable.
Whatever fits your horse and budget is the best saddle for you :).