I've been taking lessons and riding for about 4 years now and just about a month ago I got my first horse :D he's supposed to be a Quarab but other than being a little larger than your average Arabian, he looks Arab. My trainer advised me to get a dressage saddle for him as opposed to a hunt seat all purpose type and as the area where I live (central Florida) I don't have a lot of options in the area as far as shopping in person. I'm leaning towards a brand new Wintec dressage saddle that I found since I ride in one of them when I do English and it fits my gelding. However, I also ran across a used but in good condition Bates Isabell dressage saddle and I've always adored them. The only thing is it's about $500 (the saddle's $950 and I have about $450) more than I have right now, although I do have a brithday coming up in about 3 weeks, I'm trying to figure out whether to buy the Wintec now or wait and try and get the Isabell. This is all very confusing :?
Honestly, Wintecs are great saddles and are simply synthetic versions of equivalent Bates saddles.
I'm sure that the Wintec you are looking at is probably the 500 Dressage, which will serve you well now and for a good while. Particularly so since most Wintecs fit the same so you have a really good chance of getting a good fit right out of the box.
I'd get the Wintec and use the money you didn't spend on saddles to get more lessons.
That's what I've been thinking, as much as I like the Bates I'm leaning towards just buying a good Wintec now and saving my money for other horsey stuff. As far as the 500 I'm trying to decided between a used-looks great though-500 dressage and a new 500 but the difference is the used 500 is more like I guess the Bates, with the suede looking knee roll and the shorter and wider flat like a Bates. The other 500 is the one that I ride in, it has the more narrow and elongated flap without the suede knee rolls and I think the seat isn't quite as deep? I'm bad at explaining D: anyway, could you possibly-if you miraculously know what I'm talking about-tell me which is a better saddle?
TF, it's not so much about the saddle as it is about the fit. Can you borrow both - Wintec and Isabell from someone to see if either fits your horse? Based on that you can make your decision on what to get.
Good luck! For me saddle shopping is always a pain in back...
My experience of the Isabell is that it's definitely not as 'forgiving' a fit as the standard dressage saddle. Because of the tree and panel shapes it needs professional fitting, IMO, and even then some horses won't get on with it.
Just sayin' :)
Just a tip. Make sure you are learning the discipline that you want :)
Thorowgood T4 High Wither Dressage Saddle | Dover Saddlery
I realize people are going to start thinking I make commission off this brand, but have you looked at Thorowgood saddles? It's like the Wintec, but wool flocked and nice balanced seat for most body types. Might be worth considering if you want another brand to investigate.
I would agree with this advice.
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