Bevel saddle - worth it?
I found a Beval saddle on CL for a really good price and I'm wondering if it is actually worth buying it. The saddle is a 17", which is my size, so that's another plus for it. I ride hunter/jumper and do intend to start showing again (I'm getting back into riding after a hiatus of about 4 years). I have a saddle currently but it's not the greatest thing. See some general pictures below - I can get better ones once I'm home from work and not posting Off my phone :) so my question is - does this saddle look suited for jumping and in relatively good condition? Again. I know the pictures aren't great but I will add some better ones once the workday ends.
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Here's a rough check-list:
1: Is the tree sound. If no - move on
2: Will it fit your horse. If no - move on
3: Are the billets all good? The ones pictured look good. If no, are you willing to pay $100 to have them replaced? If no - move on
4: Is the flocking in the panels pretty smooth and soft enough to provide cushioning for your horse's bacK? If not, are you willing to pay $250-$300 to have it reflocked (more if it's foam instead of wool)? If no - move on
5: Are you comfortable jumping without padded knee-rolls or knee-blocks or calf-blocks? This is purely personal preference. It also has to do with skill-level and how high you'll be jumping.
6: Can you sit in it before buying? Remember it's not just seat size. You need to make sure your leg fits on the flap, too. Make sure it feels balanced and comfy.
7: What's the price? Bevals are usually pretty valuable, and this one looks like it's in nice shape. Give us a price and we can try to give an opinion on whether it would be a good buy.
Bevals are nice. If it fits you and the horse, and is in good condition, and is the style you like, then it would be a lovely saddle. The flap size and shape makes me think that it leans more towards an A/P saddle than a jumping. If you're not jumping too high, a lot of people do jump successfully and happily in their A/P saddles. I personally prefer to jump with at least a little something in front of my knee for security when I have an oops, though.
Also be sure to get pictures of the billets on the near-side. Usually the nearside billets are more worn that the offside billets. It's a common trick in ads to picture only the offside billets, as is done here, to make them look better than they are.
It's $100- which is why I jumped on it and emailed the woman right away. I don't own a horse currently but I ride a pretty thin, high withered OTTB during lessons. The fact that its so cheap makes me excited but also nervous about how good it actually is. I've ridden in different saddles- mine has knee rolls and blocks but they're pretty small.
It's one of those deals where, if the condition is good, it's a total steal. I'd be able to sit in it and see the condition for myself before buying it- but the place where it is, is about an hour and a half away, so I don't want to waste a Saturday or Sunday if the overall opinion of others is its not worth it.
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Alright, so here are some [much] better quality pictures:
I'm still on the fence about it. She sent me more pictures and I do have pictures of the billet straps on both sides- the near side straps look to be in pretty good shape, no warping or obvious pulling.
Hunter saddles often don't have the padded knee flap of the AP. The saddle appears pretty decent. No rust on the C ring or the steel stirrup bar. Rust in those to places can be an indicator of cheaper materials elsewhere as well.
For 100$, if the tree is not broken, it's a steal!
Steal! Assuming it's sound, you won't do much better for $100. At that price, you'll usually find a bunch of cheap Indian saddles, worn out or dry-rotted saddles, or an occasional good-quality used saddle (few and far between).
A Sunday drive is in order. Bring your horse's wither-tracing.
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