Thoughts on the "English Starter Kits" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on the "English Starter Kits"

So I am looking to invest in some cheaper tack to use when giving lessons to students. This immediately came to mind because it's inexpensive and has all the basics... has anyone ever bought this package? How is the quality? Thanks in advance.

English Starter Set: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies -

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 03:32 PM
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I have heard that these "starter packages" are on the cheaper side, with poor trees and low-quality leather. I have not had experience with them, though.

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 03:34 PM
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They're made with low quality leather. They've been known to fall apart fairly quickly, and not fit most horses.

Better to buy decent tack to start with, even though it's more expensive.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 03:56 PM
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They're also total rubbish for position. They're probably the worst thing you can buy to teach new riders because the entire design is flawed. I've owned a couple, and it's almost physically impossible to achieve proper equitation for a beginner.

If you're looking for inexpensive, take a gander at some of the synthetic packages. I have one that retails for just over $400 with taxes right now and it includes the Supra All Purpose saddle, leather Connemara bridle, girth, stirrups/leathers and pad. You're basically able to get a much better quality saddle for cheaper because it's not made of leather. It's still not a great saddle, but they're quite comfortable and designed MUCH better then the cheap leather crap. We've also been riding in it steady for over a year and it has almost zero wear and tear. They're also fantastic for maintainence!

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 04:10 PM
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OP, if you're looking for inexpensive tack, why not try a consignment sale?

You can get some really decent saddles for not much money. Wintecs go for practically nothing, and since they're synthetic, you don't have to worry about leather care.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 10:31 PM
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All those extra-cheap starters are junk. Better consider the used one!
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-20-2010, 10:43 PM
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Had a friend who wanted to get into english, didn't know much, purchased one of those kits, and swears it was the worst money she's spent. She can't find anyone to take the stuff. Sits collecting dust.

The consignment store idea is great. It's worth it! I live in Indiana, but was visiting relatives in FL and found some fabulous consignment stores in Ocala. Found quality stuff for just the right price. I wish there were consignment stores closer. Or, that could be entirely too dangerous for my wallet. =)
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-21-2010, 12:58 AM
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If you value your horses' and riders' comfort, you will stear clear of any cheap Asian imports. All of the imports I have laid my hands on had one or more defect: tree was crooked, fell apart, put the rider in a bad position, didn't fit the horse, or was very poorly flocked. Most had at least 2-3 of these, if not all.

I have collected older Stubbens over the years. They fit all of the horses I use for lessons, hold up well to wear, and put riders in a decent position. I have one Parvizal VSD and three Siegfreids. One of my students has a Siegfreid that she lets me use in my program. The only non-Stubben I have is a medium-wide tree Avante. Avantes are good Argentine made saddles, definitelty worth buying. All of these saddles ranged from $200-300 used.

Another good option is buying the recently discontinued style Wintec AP saddles. You can get black 500 model APs pretty cheap right now, and you have the advantage of the changable gullet system. Thorowgoods go cheap as well, especially the older "FISH" saddle (fixed gullet).
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