Need help...M.Toulouse Genesis or Bates?

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Need help...M.Toulouse Genesis or Bates?

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    10-29-2011, 10:56 AM
Talking Need help...M.Toulouse Genesis or Bates?

I am saddleless!! I am in need of my first saddle in 20 years and am trying to make the right decision. I really love the idea of changing your saddle to fit your horse considering how much they cost and I am sure this will not be my only my horse has very high withers and is very sensitive on the back so fitting a saddle has been hard. Can anyone give me there thoughts or personal experiences with either the Bates or M.Toulouse saddles? Or any other awesome saddle you could recommend under $2,000:)

Thanks so much..LOVE this site!
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    10-29-2011, 11:38 AM
I love my MT (I have different one than you are asking, Claudine model). I tried Bates and frankly didn't like it at all. It's all a personal taste (and what fit your horse the best). In my experience MT was more "grippy" than Bates (and gives me a better balance).

Welcome to the Forum, BTW!
    10-29-2011, 01:26 PM
Before you choose what saddle you want, make sure that you have someone help you try the saddles on your horse, and see you in them, to ensure proper fit.

Also, the tree's on the 2 saddles, are quite different between the two. One is more strait, and the other is more arched. One accomodates a more shaped back, the other accomodates a more straiter/flatter back.

I would hire a professional saddle maker/fitter to help you out with your choice.

Also, your horse being sensative to the back, reading this I assume that your horse has a weak back. No topline, back sore? If that's the case, I would look into a half pad like a Thinline to help alleviate the issues.

I have the Marcel Toulouse Legano, and I LOVE it. It puts me in a position instantly, where I am balanced over my feet. I usually go with a 17.5", but this time I went with an 18" and I couldn't believe the difference. Make sure you sit in the saddles as well.
    10-29-2011, 01:39 PM
Some of the online stores can help you. After I sent Dover pictures of my horse's back, they recommended I NOT buy the saddle I was looking at.

I have Bates. I'm happy with the quality, but they seem a bit bouncy to me. I don't own an English saddle without the CAIR panels, but they sure are bouncier than my Australian style saddles.

My horses seem to love them, tho.

Also, good fit for you is also important. A saddle that fits your horse but puts your legs in the wrong place is still a bad saddle. Some of the online places allow you to try a saddle with minimal cost. I wish there was a good saddle shop near me, but online was by far my best option. And there are good online stores that will help - but be picky.

If you haven't had experience trying to fit a horse, I recommend buying this:


I like horses with high withers, but I sure wish there were more saddles made with them in mind!
    10-29-2011, 02:02 PM
I have an M. Toulouse Padjette and I absolutely love it. The seat is comfortable and I feel very secure in the saddle.

I will echo what others have said, though. What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander, as the saying goes. If you can afford to hire a professional saddle fitter, great. If not, the next best thing is to take a wither tracing of your horse and have a saddle shop like Trumbull Mountain or Rick's or Dover take a look at it to determine what would fit best on your horse. (I particularly like Trumbull's how-to directions.) Then with that in mind, shop around. Be sure you sit in several different saddles to find one that you like and that is comfortable for you. Then try it on your horse and have someone help you evaluate the fit. If it works, great, buy it! If not, try some other ones.

It can be an annoyingly bothersome process not unlike trying to find jeans or bras that fit. But once you find one that you like and that fits your horse, you will be glad that you went to all the trouble.

Also, don't be afraid to look at used saddles. There are LOTS of them out there. A well-made saddle will last a very long time, so buying used is a good way to get a quality saddle that would have been out of your price range if it were new.
    10-29-2011, 08:50 PM
M. Toulouse Genesis all the way.
It's soooo easy and quick to adjust, and with millimeter by millimeter adjustments options, you get a fit 10x better than you ever could with the EC Gullet plates that Bates uses.

Side note-I went into Dover to compare leather quality on some saddles, and Bates was honestly the poorest leather I'd ever felt for a saddle of that price, and expected caliber.
I don't know how well, or how quickly they soften up, but buckets of oil flashed through my mind when I felt it. They're made by Wintec, so it didn't really surprise me. It's a sound brand, don't get me wrong, but I like my saddles supple and workable.

I've never oiled my MT, just conditioned it, and the leather is like it's a ten year old saddle right out of the box.

Wither tracings and careful measurements are great, and 100% beneficial, but you have to remember, your horse changes shape through the work loads, so that's where frequent saddle fitting checks (by a professional is even better), and adjustable gullets come in. The saddle that fit your horse when it was three, is not likely to fit them as a five year old.
    11-01-2011, 01:56 AM
Thank you all so much! I am seeing saddles in my sleep, I have been looking on every website,ebay possible trying to learn all about them. I will definitely do a trial of several thing has been mentioned to be by several folks were staying away from saddle made in argentina..which are toulouse, pessoa and I think HDR...not sure if that is really a big deal or not considering I am not doing any shows..just riding again after 20 yrs:) I want my horse to be comfortable and myself to be in a good and safe position. I have a trainer meeting me hopefully this week and hoping she can give me some input. Any other advice is awesome!! Thanks so so much!
    11-01-2011, 10:21 AM
Originally Posted by angelbrown    
one thing has been mentioned to be by several folks were staying away from saddle made in argentina..which are toulouse, pessoa and I think HDR...not sure if that is really a big deal or not considering I am not doing any shows..just riding again after 20 yrs:)
What you really want to avoid are the cheap saddles made in places like China and Pakistan. The leather is not good quality and the saddles are prone to problems because of the lack of attention to craftsmanship.
    11-02-2011, 09:23 AM
Argentine leather is not the best, but not the worst. Most European countries treat their leather well, and I tend to go for French treated leather if I have the option.

Toulouse is Argentine made? I would have certainly never known that... It's been pre-treated extremely well.
My old HDR definitely shows it's Argentine make of quality, but just frequent oilings, and the leather was always strong. Just a little too thick to be fully flexible.
    11-02-2011, 09:26 AM
Originally Posted by DejaVu    
Toulouse is Argentine made? I would have certainly never known that... It's been pre-treated extremely well.
Very likely (although I'm not sure). Pessoa is/used to be Argentinian made. Personally I have no problems with Argi-made ones as long as they are made well. I have problems with India/Vietnam/China-made, because so far I haven't seen saddles (or bridles) of high quality made in those countries.

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