What's more important, horse or saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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What's more important, horse or saddle?

So recently, my trainer has been telling my mom after every lesson I need a horse. So my mom is getting more serious about it and looking around on equine and dreamhorse.com as well as asking around. We've come across a lot of good jumpers that would take me to 4' for under $10,000. (you gotta love some things about that cruddy economy lol)

However, my trainer has been talking to us a lot about getting a saddle. She no offense is pretty into spending away. And has called on a saddle lady to come by the barn saturday and measure me so that she can order a custom made saddle. She tells me I need a custom made extra long flap because of my leg length. (I'm 5'9). With a narrow seat. And she says all the saddles and leather were imported from france(mmkay....) and aparrently my trainer already schedule her to come soley for me(and she has to drive an hour) yet my mom and I never even said we wanted to order a saddle right then. She simply asked about costs and how it would improve my riding.

My mom asked how much and my trainer said cashually "around 3,500-4,000" pardon me??? I go to the tack store and sit in some perfectly comfy saddles for $800-$2000. The price for a custom saddle is half the of the price of a horse. And honestly I could care less about a custom made saddle when compared to a horse. There are other saddles at the barn that I do fine in. Yet she makes it seem mandatory lol. She seems to be pushing both getting that horse and getting a custom made saddle made in europe lol. And we cannot afford both in the same time period.

Idk, what do you think? And how much did you have to pay for your english saddle?

Last edited by Jordan S; 04-15-2010 at 01:46 AM.
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 01:44 AM
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Get the saddle after you get the horse so it can be fitted and I'm sure you can find a perfectly nice one from a quality tackshop.

"If you can't see a thoroughbred has talent, you're probably too dumb to ride one anyway."
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post #3 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 02:04 AM
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Arhh, I just wrote a reply and it disappeared!

You have to get a horse first. Last thing you want to do is spend that much money and have the saddle not fit your horse. And a custom saddle is a 'custom' sell and can be harder to offload. What brand is it?

Besides, from you're post it's clear you've made your choice. Just be frank with your instructor with your budget. Trainers like their students to win - it's their business. A great saddle can allow you to ride better (put you in an optimal position, etc). I ride in a Barnsby skeleton right now (about the $2500 mark) and it is okay, but I rode in my friend and coach's Antares and I honestly rode better instantly. Now to save up $3500. Saying all that I started with an used AP Barnsby for $1000 and that was a luxury for me and my family.
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post #4 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 05:35 AM
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Get the horse first, then find a saddle that will fit the horse. You can go and spend big bucks on a custom made saddle, but even if it fits you perfectly, it may not fit the horse you buy no matte how much altering is done. Also you can ride in a saddle on one horse and love it, then ride in the same saddle on another horse and hate it.
So it's a bit of a joint 'decision' between you and your horse when buying a saddle.

Heck, I just bit the bullet and brought a 10 year old, second hand dressage saddle of Ebay for $500. It is a Dutch brand, BEAUTIFUL thick soft leather, fantastic seat and knee rolls that I can just melt into, looks brand new, and fits my horse to the T! Had my saddle fitter out to have a look and he didn't need to adjust a thing :O

So yep, definitely worth hunting around for a saddle AFTER you get your horse ;)
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 07:57 AM
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Exactly what Kayty said - a saddle that doesn't fit the horse is stress and misery waiting to happen!

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post #6 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 08:32 AM
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The type of horse you are looking for will usually have a similar body type. I wouldn't think that you would be going from a high wither TB to a more mutton wither warmblood. If you stay with a horse of the same build, a custom saddle should be fine and you can make minor changes with pads. Truthfully, a saddle that was custom made in April for a particular horse may need adjustments after you've ridden him through the summer and then again after a layoff during the winter.

I don't believe that even the most advanced international riders use a different saddle for every horse they ride. Since they usually ride owner's horses rather then owning each horse they ride, I'm sure they have one (perhaps a couple) saddle they they use and make the minor adjustments as necessary.

If you watch show jumping, as an example, you will see riders with keyhole pads, or other "fixes". Do you think that the saddle they are riding in was made for that particular horse?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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Last edited by iridehorses; 04-15-2010 at 08:36 AM.
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post #7 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 09:27 AM
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The most pressing issue right now is NOT which is more important the saddle or the horse... but being very very clear with your trainer what your budget is. You need to sit down with her and tell her what you can afford to spend on horse AND saddle. Sounds like she doesn't know and is just trying to get you the best. You may very well need a custom saddle, or perhaps you can contact your Antares/CWD/Devoucoux/whatever dealer and see what they have on hand used. You can be pretty sure there's someone out there selling their extra long narrow seated saddle. I'd have to agree, some of the best saddles are made in France, but if that's above your budget then it's above your budget and IMO the next most practical step is to buy that saddle used. If she's expecting you to spend more then $4,000 on a saddle, I'm going to assume she's expecting you to pay a lot more then $10,000 on a horse. You need to be clear with her so she knows what she's looking for when she helps you shop!
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post #8 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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I agree. I think she only wants the best for me. That's fine if she could put down the 4k. I just saw some pessoas on SLT that were 2k. And one other french saddle that was $396. So I'm starting to realize paying that much isn't particularly normal.
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post #9 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 11:15 AM
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Ok, first focus on getting the horse. Then you can get a saddle to fit. Ou may fall in love with a horse that your saddle doesn't fit and then what?

As for the saddles, both of my new saddles are custom for about $3,000 each. Both my mom and I have been saving up for years for that. I am the same height, and I had to get the custom forward flap on my jumping saddle.
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post #10 of 46 Old 04-15-2010, 11:40 AM
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Won't do you much good to have a really expensive, custom saddle if you have nothing but a saddle rack to put it on!

Another good thing about a cruddy economy is that people are parting with good quality used saddles for really good prices. A good used saddle that fits you and your horse is a good start and then you can save up for something better.
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