Originally Posted by Nevreme
Circuit Circuit Circuit!!
People like to turn up their noses at Circuits because they are often thought of as being 'cheap' saddles. And yes, they are rather inexpensive, and have little resale value, but a good Circuit will last you years.
I had a Circuit Elite XC that I wish I would have kept, but I literally could have sold it 4 times by now if I still had it, and I sold it for the same price I bought it for. It was a really well balanced saddle and while the break in period was almost agonizing, after it was broke in, I loved it so much!
Inexpensive does not need to be "cheap" either. I don't care for the Collegiates at all, and have never ridden in a HDR to give an opinion either way about them, but there are so many people selling used saddles right now, that if you can try it before you buy it, you can get yourself a great deal.
I got my Beval Natural 4 or 5 years ago now for $500 (new they are around $2300) because it had a minor blemish that was cosmetic only, and does not affect the use of the saddle at all. I ride in that saddle at least once a day, usually 2 or 3 times a day, and have for the last few years, I adore it.
I have also seen a lot of good deals lately at www.stcroixsaddlery.com
this is a local saddle shop to me, and actually a friend of mine bought it last year, then you can take the saddles on trial and there are always new consignments coming in, if you find one you like, don't be afraid to make an offer either, often saddles there were brought in after the owners bought something else, so they would be happy to see it go.
Best advice I can give though, is to try it. Saddle balance makes a huge difference in jumping, and for years I thought I was a really bad rider, it just turned out that my old Wintec Pro AP put my legs too far forward and I could not properly get my position over fences. I tried a friend's Pessoa one day and jumping was so easy and fun :)