I'm thinking about getting this saddle when I get a litte farther into my switch from western to english riding. I've been reading reviews and pricing it (definately going to go the ebay route as far as when I'm ready to buy it)...
I'm just wondering if any of you have any experience with this saddle and what you liked/disliked about it.
What I liked:
What I disliked:
Everything else. It doesn't ever fit 100% (even with the CAIR panels), puts the rider in a funny position and imo is less convenient to clean than a leather saddle. Not worth the money.
If you want to find a good inexpensive dressage saddle, then go to a local tack consignment shop and try out some of their saddles to find one that fits you and your horse properly. Some saddle fitters also have second hand saddles that are for sale.
Hmm...thanks Anabel... The only problem I have is I don't think I'll be keeping the horse I have now when I start showing seriously (which I fully intend to do). I was counting on the changeable gullet to be able to fit more horses (and hopefully have a better chance of fitting my next horse). Hmm...I may just have to find another route to go.
I've got a multitude of Bates and Wintecs and love them all. I've found that my horses move significantly better in them, they don't mold to one horse the way a traditional foam or wool flocked saddle can, and they are easily adjustable to fit most horses. Yes - there are exceptions, but I've had great success. I do prefer the Bates to the Wintec of course, because they are leather, but I've also found they tend to fit a little better b/c the leather is a little more pliable.
Anyway - they fit well in my experience, do best with a thin saddle pad, and are great and easy to maintain. Like I said I do prefer the leather, but use my wintec for trails and in inclement weather (and right now since I hav to ride with my huge knee brace...blech).
Sit in one and try it out locally if you can before you buy on ebay to be sure it's right for you. Good luck - and I love it! :)
Thanks CJ82Sky. I think I've heard about 50/50 as far as good and bad reviews on this saddle. I'm still kinda drawn to it though. I'd love to go for the Bates version, but I don't think hubby's going to go for me getting a bates for arena work and a wintec for trail and rain...and it'll be hard to explain the price difference and why I need a leather saddle versus the synthetic to him...he doesn't really understand how little things like that can make much of a difference.
I love my Isabell too. It is always comfy while schooling and I have done some long trail rides in it as well, and found it to support my back well. I have scoliosis and my back gets so sore when I ride for long periods.
I like how mine sits me, I find it easier to keep my legs in place (cos I have huge problems with this at times) and the deep seat offers security for when horses have little episodes. This is also the saddle I used when breaking Nudgie in.
I found the Isabell uncomfortable. The thick thigh blocks really jammed my legs into an uncomfortable position and the seat seemed very deep. I had trouble getting up out of it even to post. I guess it all depends on your body type, but it wasn't for me. I ended up getting the Wintec Dressage Pro. It doesn't jam your legs into a set position and allows for much more freedom of movement. Definitely try to find one to test ride before you buy. That's a love it or hate it saddle.