I am avid rider who will be off to college soon. I have been looking into getting a saddle, and through my research have found that Down Under appears to have good quality saddles that better suit my price range and needs. The two saddles that most interest me are the Kimberley Economy Outback and the Exmoor Endurance. I would love any advice everyone here may have on which saddle would be best suited to my needs.
Kimberley Economy Outback
As a college student I will for the most part be leasing horses or assisting with the training of horses. I will be riding a variety of horses and will need a saddle that is as versatile as possible, though I understand that there will always be exceptions. I have seen that the Kimberley can be adjusted to custom sizes, while the Exmoor comes with one standard medium tree. The company also sells a Shaped Felt Shim pad for their aussie saddles that can be adjusted to make a saddle fit better, but does using a pad to adjust a saddle for differing horses actually work or is it a bit of a gimmick?
What the website says about this pad: "If you need maximum flexibility for fitment, this pad will fit the bill. Three pockets with felt inserts on each side of the pad allow you to adjust fitment from side to side and from front to back. The inserts are easily inserted and removed, so you can use it for different saddles and different horses."
I understand that another important part of choosing a saddle is considering what I plan on doing in it. I have done quite a bit of dressage and apply lower level dressage to much of the training and riding that I do. For this reason, the Exmoor was more attractive as it looks more like a traditional dressage saddle. However, I will also be doing a fair amount of trail riding and will be working with green horses on a more regular basis, which makes the Kimberley attractive for its extra deep seat. In addition, I ultimately plan on starting my own horse under saddle.
Thanks for reading all of this to all of you who have, and I am very grateful for your input!