Saddles? Good buys/brands - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-10-2008, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Saddles? Good buys/brands

I currently have a Dover Circuit Elite (17', regular tree) for my paint gelding, and I don't believe it fits him correctly. Whenever I work him, and he 'sweats' alot; there are 'dry' spots on his back, underneath the saddle. And after I've been riding him for about 30-40 mintutes or so, he just wants to stop, and throw his head & whatnot.

While it is not a terrible saddle, I would prefer to get something of better quality that will last me a long time. I have a budget about about 2,000 at the max; cheaper is better. I don't show heavily on the A-circuit, more on the 'local' type circuit, and such. We jump; & he'll probably max out at about 3'-3'3ish, just depends.

Anyways, I think I would prefer to get a used, higher end saddle, rather than a brand-new. lower-end saddle.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-10-2008, 11:56 AM
Green Broke
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For $2,000, you have a WIDE range to look at. Whatever you look at, go for a medium-wide or wide tree. From the sounds of it, your saddle is too narrow.

I prefer Passier, Stubben, Crosby, Courbette, County, and Bates saddles, in that order. I would go for something used as you will get more saddle for your money. Plus the older saddles were just better made than the newer ones. Passier trees can be adjusted by a qualified saddle fitter, which is a nice option. Any wool flocked saddle can have the flocking adjusted to fit (to a certain extent). County saddles run wide, so one of their medium trees might fit.

To help you determine if a tree will fit your horse before you buy it, you can apply the degree method. You take a wither tracing of your horse first. Use a wire coat hanger or flexi curve. Bend it to the shape of his back and barrel 2" BEHIND the back edge of his shoulder blades. Trace it on paper or the side of a box. You'll need a protractor for the rest. Read the instructions on this web site (it's an adobe PDF file):
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 10:18 AM
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I'm a firm firm firm believer of buying quality. With saddles especially you seem to get what you pay for. 2k will not get you "anything" but it can get you a good used very high quality saddle. Even though you don't show in the A circuit you still might want to check out the high end French saddles. Devoucoux, Delgrange (found mine almost new on Ebay for about $2000), CWD, Antares (my fav), Butet, etc. Good deals can be found on ebay! The difference in comfort and quality of leather between these saddles and the Circuit is unbelievable.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 10:24 AM
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m toulouse ! they are great saddles very comfy & great for jumping

i got mine for $560 used

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-03-2009, 12:19 AM
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luvs2ride, upnover, I love you guys! Well, I love your opinions on tack!

Anyways, tayahswirl, the only thing that I would add is to see if you can do a trail before you commit to spending $2K on a saddle. Or just sit in them all at a tack shop. Most of the high-end French saddles will have numerous flap options, yet their center of balance will be similar for each configuration (per brand).

For example, I really wanted a Butet, so I bought a used one on just felt awkward. I bought another in a different size & flap configuration: same awkward feeling. Now I've gone through a similar issue with the 3 Delgrange PJs that I've acquired. Then I tried a Devoucoux Biarritz...Wow! Perfect! It's just 2 sizes too big and way too long of a flap. But at least now I know what I should be shopping for!

Moral of the story: Don't end up buying 7 saddles to find the perfect one. TRY OUT 7 saddles then buy the perfect ONE!

Monte - 15 year old Paint/TB
Auric - 13 year old Arab
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-03-2009, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Equina View Post
luvs2ride, upnover, I love you guys! Well, I love your opinions on tack!
LOL, Equina I love you too!

AND what you said about trying different brands. Everyone has their opinions about different brands. I know tons of people who love Butets, I've never sat in one I liked. I've never sat in a Delgrange I DIDN"T like! I've sat in 3 Devoucouxs, 2 I loved, 1 I didn't. I thought my Antares was the most comfortable thing I've ever sat in, but it didn't fit me correctly. <-- that is a problem with buying a used custom saddle, it's been custom made for someone else! For the most part not a huge issue, but it can be. But all of the above are great quality saddles. Good luck! Saddle shopping can be an adventure!
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