What is the better saddle?

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What is the better saddle?

This is a discussion on What is the better saddle? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    10-28-2010, 04:34 PM
What is the better saddle?

Someone local to me has a gently used Bates Isabell Dressage saddle for sale with the easy change gullet system and cair panels for $1250. My local tack shop is getting in an HDR Pro Lexus and an HDR Pro Buffalo, both for $1000 new.

Out of the three, which would be the best deal/best saddle?
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    10-28-2010, 07:04 PM
Bates are very nice saddles, but know that people either love or hate the Isabell. It kind of jams you in there.
    10-29-2010, 07:48 AM
I'd vote for Bates, but I never tried their Isabell. HDR from what I heard are not the best quality. I may be wrong though.
    10-29-2010, 10:51 AM
Neither. Keep looking. They are worth a try to see if they fir and give you a starting point but both CAIR and that "easy change gullet" thing are totally worthless. HDR is also a poor quality saddle.
You can find used, but well taken care of, saddles like Stubben, Passier, KN, etc.. for the same price.
    10-29-2010, 08:09 PM
I think your best option would be to take your horse to the saddler, if possible, and get them to try wide array of saddles that are in your budget to find one that fits you and the horse.
    10-29-2010, 08:21 PM
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 :).
    10-30-2010, 12:31 AM
Out of those, Bates. HDR is not that great of a saddle. But IMO I wouldn't buy either. For that much money, you could find a really nice used saddle or get a Toulouse or something. I have a barnsby dressage saddle. Very good condition paid around $1000 for it.
    10-30-2010, 03:49 AM
Also take into consideration that every rider prefers different saddles. Ride in all saddle options on YOUR horse, or the horse you will be using it on before you buy. Some saddles will ride nice on one horse, put it on the next and it will feel horrible! Saddle buying is definitely not a case of going for value for money.

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