English Saddle Brands

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English Saddle Brands

This is a discussion on English Saddle Brands within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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  • 1 Post By Speed Racer
  • 1 Post By Speed Racer
  • 1 Post By kitten_Val
  • 1 Post By englishaqh

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    07-13-2012, 03:14 PM
English Saddle Brands

Hey everybody!
So I'm going to get a horse when we move to Ohio this summer, but what types of saddles are the best? I don't really know very much about the English saddle so I'm trying to figure out what brand and where to get the best saddles. Also what makes one saddle $1,000 and another like $800? I do showjumping, crosscountry, English pleasure, and I would like to start on dressage, but I haven't done much of it...
Thank you!
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    07-13-2012, 03:17 PM
How is it that you do show jumping, cross country, and English Pleasure, yet don't know about English saddles? Those are all English disciplines. What have you been riding in?
kitten_Val likes this.
    07-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Well I ride in a regular tree saddle, but I haven't been to many shows and the saddle belongs to the barn. I ride at my barn and that's where I take lessons. I have been doing cross country for a while but I have only been to 3 shows. 2 of them were schoolig shows and one I just borrowed all the tack. So I don't really know about tack
    07-13-2012, 03:34 PM
'Regular tree' means nothing. Saddles are fit to the horse and rider by seat size and gullet measurements. If you go in a tack shop and ask for a 'regular tree', nobody is going to know what you're talking about.

If you're taking lessons, ask your trainer what brands he/she recommends. They'll have an idea about your seat size as well, since they know you and we don't.

You don't want to buy a saddle until you have a horse. Saddle fit for the horse is even more important than it is for the rider, which is why you get the horse first and the saddle second.

The brand and type of saddle also depends on what you plan to do. If you're planning on just doing little schooling or open shows, you won't need top of the line leather. You may be better off with a synthetic.

Since cross country, English pleasure, dressage, and show jumping all use different types of saddles, it depends on which discipline you expect to do most if you're only going to be buying one saddle.
freia likes this.
    07-13-2012, 03:37 PM
Ok thanks! Just wondering.
    07-13-2012, 04:02 PM
Fish, as SR said if you look into different disciplines you may consider different saddles (if you are serious about each discipline). Sure, A/P saddle can fit you in to the point, but personally I prefer to have dressage saddle for dressage, and CC for jumping.

When you decide on buying one you really want to make sure it'll fit both - your horse and you. Fitting english saddle on horse is sometime a tricky experience, so either use a fitter, or try to learn as much as you can.

As for brands, you can look into cheaper ones (say, Wintec, Tekna, Thorowgood - those are synthetic), or medium range (M Toulouse, Collegiate, Bates, Thornhill). You can also always look into pricey used ones (Stubben, Passier, Kieffer, etc.). Just stay away from those cheap "packages" and alike: they are cheap for a good reason (being junk).
Speed Racer likes this.
    07-13-2012, 11:23 PM
Take Speed-Racer's and Kitten's advice.

Also, stick with Australian, European/UK, and North American made saddles. If you can't find a maker's mark or name-plate, that's a big red flag right there. No Indian or Pakistani-made saddles. Some Argentine ones are OK, others not so OK, but still better than Asian ones.
    07-13-2012, 11:30 PM
Well first of all CONGRATS on the fact you will be getting a horse. That is so exciting and such an amazing feeling!

So, you do a lot of different disciplines, which is awesome. But, you probably don't want to buy a dressage saddle and a separate English saddle with a more shallow seat for your jumping and English pleasure. If you want to start out with one basic saddle, I would suggest an all-purpose saddle. I have an all-purpose and I really enjoy it. It gives me the comfort and security that I need at my level of riding, as well as the versatility to be able to participate in different activities when necessary.

Different saddles are different prices for... different reasons. Hahah. The leather could be different, the internal parts of the saddle may be different, it could offer features that some other saddles don't offer... but don't be fooled. As you get more experienced with purchasing saddles, you will realize that new saddles don't always mean the best saddles. I purchased a saddle that would retail new for probably close to $2000 or at least over $1000. I got it used for around $250. Remember, saddles are meant to get worn in, comfortable, and this means they will get scuffed up and have a "used" appearance -- especially if you get leather. Used saddles can be absolutely perfect, but it might take a little bit of time to look around for them. The way I look at it (and if you are looking for uses you can use this advice as well): look at as many saddles (or horses) you possibly can because when you find one you like, looking at all of the extras only makes you more certain you love the one you do... if that makes sense to you. (:

New saddles can also be great. Through companies like Dover Saddlery, you will have the option of ordering a demo saddle, but you have to actually pay the saddle's price first (you get the full refund if you don't want the saddle anymore). Dover Saddlery also sells saddles that are used or flawed if you look in their catalogs, but if you look at some local tack shops, you will probably have more luck finding more inexpensive options. I'm not sure what your budget is, but typically Dover Saddlery's good quality saddles are more expensive since their main saddle sales are probably the newer saddles.

Be careful when you are purchasing saddles -- stay SMART. It can be difficult if you purchase a saddle that doesn't fit your horse or if you purchase a saddle that doesn't fit your discipline (which is why an all-purpose saddle is a great idea for a safe saddle). Websites like Stateline Tack and Chicks Saddlery may offer saddle packages for cheap, but they will not be the same quality as some comfortably worn and used saddles. Of course, if you can afford the saddle package (includes the whole set of tack) and not much more than that, it is a good option as a starter saddle while you save for a higher-quality tack set. However, I would highly recommend purchasing a saddle that is a better brand because it will hold up better, the leather (or material) will be better quality most likely be better... I mean, if you look at cheap saddles and then look at the better quality saddles, it's a no-brainer which one is better. However, like I said, if you are on a tight budget the cheap saddle packages might be perfect for you.

My favorite saddle brand is Stubben. The new saddles retail pretty pricey in my opinion, not the literally most expensive saddles I've heard of as Stubben is a pretty well-known saddle brand, but they are expensive. Like I said, find a good used Stubben and they can be wonderful. I also love love lloooooove Marcel Toulouse saddles, they are so soft and comfortable, and absolutely beautiful saddles. Wintec saddles are less expensive and they are synthetic, so they are less maintenance. Although I have a leather saddle, it really isn't that much maintenance. I mean, I could stand to clean my saddle more, but I would rather have to put in some maintenance and have the saddle I really want than just not clean a saddle that I don't like that much... hopefully that makes sense.

I would highly recommend having your horse (once you get it of course) fit for a saddle so you know your size when you go to purchase saddles. Some saddles are higher cut in the wither area, some are wide, narrow, regular, the horse may require a special pad... saddle fitting is complicated and has a lot of possibilities. There are some things that a saddle fitter (or horse chiropractor, which I have never used) can tell you that many other educated horsepeople may not recognize. I cannot stress enough that you need to make sure you purchase a saddle that fits your horse. Even if a great deal comes along, such as a Stubben for $125, if the saddle won't fit your horse, it isn't worth it. Aside from making your horse uncomfortable, a bad-fitting saddle is simply unhealthy, and can actually impact your performance on your horse, as well. Make sure the saddle does not sit forward or backward, and that you have it placed on the proper part of the horse's back (so I used to take riding lessons and I was putting the saddle too far up on my horse's back, even though I had been tacking up for years on and off). You can find these routines online, but of course they won't compare to having someone experienced actually check out the horse and saddle.

Make sure that when you purchase your saddle, you are aware of the refund/trial policy. You can find plenty of saddle options on Craigslist or other used-saddle sites, but I would really recommend going to more tangible stores and making sure you try a saddle on your horse. You should have a more experienced person, aware of the saddle-fitting routine, examine the saddle during your ride. Saddle-fitters are amazing amazing amazing for this. They can do more than just analyze fit... they can examine horse conformation, movement during riding, etc.

Good luck with your saddle... but more so your HORSE!! (:
Princess Bubblegum likes this.
    07-13-2012, 11:31 PM
OH BY THE WAY. I should have seriously mentioned that there are saddles that have changeable gullets, which means that they change size to fit different wither sizes. However, I have a saddle that does not change wither size. If I were riding a draft horse with wide withers, I would have to use a different saddle. So keep that in mind that there are alternative possibilities. (:

God bless!
    07-14-2012, 02:09 PM
Thank you so much! It all makes sense don't worry haha. But thank you again!

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