Originally Posted by otis07
and are the saddles used in lessons generally not too nice?
It really depends on the barn. Some barns invest in quality saddles 1) for the benefit of their lesson horses and 2) to offer their riders a more secure and well balanced ride...it's easier to learn and riders won't have to "fight" with their tack!
But yes, many times lesson saddles are the old, beat up, worn out, hard things!
One barn I rode at had this dirty tackroom that went on for miles! Most of the "new" lesson saddles (cheap quality, but newer) were at the front of the tackroom and would be all ready with stirrup leathers attached, etc. Most people used those. I'm an organizational freak, so one day I asked if I could clean out the tack room (of course, they agreed!) In the way back of the tackroom I found this old Stubben buried under a stack of saddles and blankets and dust. I cleaned it up and that saddle was GREAT! I had my first ever jumping lesson in that saddle.