The only thing I have against Collegiate, is that sometimes the stirrup bars are not recessed and you either get a nasty bruise on your thigh or you purchase a special "low profile" buckle stirrup leather. I have a Collegiate dressage saddle that I absolutly love, it is newer and I had a graduate years ago that I liked but that one had the sturrip bar issue and so I sold it. Collegiate used to be made by Millers HC as a cheaper line from their Crosby brand, but that was 20 some years ago. I don't know who makes it now.
So, summed up, if I'm looking into the collegiates I should look for a older one, since the newer ones aren't as good quality as the older ones? If this IS true, anyone have any "cheaper" names that they recommend? ;) thanks for your help! Posted via Mobile Device
Wintec is OK, I hate the feel of the synthetic leather, but the equisuede material is nice and grippy ( as long as you don't care too much about looks lol). I would look into the used saddles, you can get nicer ones at a good price usually.
I would most certainly look for a well cared for, good quality used saddle. The stubbens, ime, tend to get hard and the seat feels like you're riding on a concrete block but I have found that the older collegiates and crosbys are quite nice (assuming that you are looking for a close contact saddle!).