Dressage saddle brands?
I am looking into getting a dressage saddle.
I am amateur and don't need anything too fancy...functional works just fine by me. However, I am needing a saddle that has an adjustable gullet/tree system as I am riding several different horses AND I would also like to be able to adjust the fit as muscles/topline develop.
Currently the horses in my care are a stout quarter horse, a tall TB and a friesian....so it would have to work with everyone....I know, incredibly different body types.
It may just be a fantasy to find a saddle that is as versatile as im hoping...thats why im posting on here.
I don't have a ton of money at the moment so the budget is.....well...teeny tiny. I had looked at the wintec because they are so affordable and was thinking of getting an older model with actual flocking versus the cair system. I also checked out Kieffer saddles because they have an adjustable tree but they are way out of my price range.
If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would appreciate it. Im looking for something in an 18" seat.
Unfortunately it IS a fantasy to find one that fits many. :wink: I'd look into Collegiate or M Toulouse with changeable gullets. Those are med-range saddles. Or if you want to go for something cheaper you may look into Wintec (although I'm not a fan of it personally).
oh thank you!
I tried googling it...typing in things like "adjustable saddle," "perfect saddle," etc.....hoping I might get lucky. Unfortunately all I saw were a lot of Wintec saddles.
I didn't want to go into a tack store because sometimes when you even glance at the saddles it starts to feel like a car lot...yikes!
I appreciate the suggestions and didn't even know that they made an adjustable tree in those brands...I have an old collegiate and I love it but its not adjustable....bummer.
I will definitely start doing some hunting and research now that I am armed with a little more info!
Thank you again:-P
Imo, needing to adjust a saddle "as a horse grows" is BS. My horse has had the same saddle since he was 6. A good saddle can be reflocked to adjust to whatever minute changes the horse goes through.
As well, generally unless you are doing really strenuous work, having 2 saddles, a wide and a medium or MN, and a good half pad, you can fit all the horses well enough to exercise them. KN, Passier, Stubben, etc are all good saddles which will easily fit multiple horses. Many of my friends, and myself, who ride multiple horses have one saddle that fits most of them, and another saddle which will fit the more narrow guys. I'd say go for a MW tree saddle and a half pad and you can fit most of the horses, if the saddle is good quality.
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I tried KN, Stubben, Black Country, County, and several other brands on my horses, and they all were a bad fit (not just per my saddle fitter who is very respected in MD/VA, but noticable even for my untrained eye). I know several other people who couldn't fit their horses with these "good quality" saddles. I tried my saddles (both - MT and Collegiate I used to have) on lesson horses and the saddles were bad fit for those horses (so I was not allowed to use them). All good lesson barns I know of use saddle per horse professionally chosen by the fitter.
I've heard of these miracle saddles, but unfortunately never found one.
So now if a customer says 'I used to have a great saddle that fitted everything' I usually scream, 'Why didn't you darned well keep it, then?!!! ;)
Yes, we all care for good fit. If a horse truly needs a different saddle then we will find one. However, 80% of horses can easily be fit with a stock saddle.
Some people blame pooky's every spook or sidestep on discomfort from a saddle, or are so unbalanced in the saddle that it is them making it not fit. These are the people who go through saddles like underwear and can never find a saddle that fits.
The wide tree prestige I use fits at least 4 horses I can think of off the top of my head. My KN fits most narrow horses. When I tried a KN on my narrow horse, it was a medium or MW tree and the addition of a half pad made it fit well enough to ride in at low levels (up to 2nd) to test the saddle.
If you are riding horses of a similar type, likely you will only need 2 saddles. Go to a BNTs barn and they don't have a custom saddle for every horse. They will have 2, maybe 3 saddles. Unless of course they are endorsed by a big name saddle company and then they will spread the BS to make the companies money.
Of COURSE any saddle fitter is going to try any way to talk you into a $6000 custom saddle!! It's not exactly a high paying job. Friends of mine have dropped tens of thousands on saddle after saddle until my coach convinced them to grab something off the rack for the horses that saddle fitters had them convinced were impossible to fit, and guess what saddles they have kept? And both saddles for the two different horses are the exact same when the fitter said the horses were completely different.
Grains of salt, people. Western folks aren't nearly as wacko about saddles and will end up with one saddle and multiple horses for years, and the horses are worked way harder than any mid level dressage horse. In real life, people own a few saddles for multiple horses.
Anyways, good luck OP and remember to question what anyone at a tack store or a saddle fitter tells you. Just like a used car lot, as you have pointed out!
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And FWIW, I rode in a Wintec for years with many different horses, Quarter Horses mostly, but also a Fjord and a TB/Hanoverian cross. I wouldn't say it fit any of them like a custom saddle, but my trainer always double checked the fit, recommended which (if any) half pads to use with it, and I never had any problems with any of those horses getting sore. The newer English Wintecs have the interchangeable gullet plates and shims, which I haven't seen in person, but look like a nice feature.
I now have a much nicer saddle that fits my horse very well and was flocked specifically for him. He doesn't seem to care about it one way or the other, but I certainly like it more.
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