So, I ride English, and am probably going to get a saddle for Christmas. I was wondering, what type of saddle I should get? I mainly do dressage, but I'm going to start taking a jumping lesson very soon. I was thinking about getting an all-purpose. And eventually, I'd probably get a dressage saddle too, so then it'd be better for me to have just a jumping saddle, and then a dressage saddle, right? Also, what saddlemakers do you recommend on a somewhat tight budget ($500-$1000)?
I had a Wintec saddle when I still rode english (have now switched to western) I loved that saddle but sold it on ebay. It had the cair panels and adjustable gullet system. I kick myself for selling it.
Old Collegiate saddles (the older AP; the Alumnus, I think), are good on your budget. Wouldn't buy a new Collegiate, the leather quality is not as good. Henri de Rivel makes a nice saddle too, you can sometimes find them on sale, I found it to be a very comfortable saddle. Stubben makes a nice AP (you'd have to find a used one to fit your budget). Overall, I'd go used unless you find a new saddle that you really love; you can get so much quality in a well-kept used saddle and its nice that they've already been broken in for you:P
The hardest part is finding a saddle that fits your horse or (even harder) if you are trying to buy a saddle to fit a variety of horses. While all of the saddles I listed where comfy to ME, only the Collegiate was comfy to the 4 horses I was riding at the time I bought it.
Noone said here that wintec is leather. I'd say in opposite: it's synthetic. From my personal experience I prefer synthetic over the leather, but it's just my experience (I don't care what to use to compete in as long as it comfy for both - me and my horse).