ok well im getting a saddle for christmas from my parents but we dont know which 1 to pick! we dont want anything to exspensive like in the thousands, but were not gonig to get a crappy 1. we are kinda leaning towards an hdr, dover, or colligate. i can get a hrd at a local tack shop for like 400-700$, dover 600-700, & colliigate, im not really that sure lol..
I'd pick an older used Collegiate out of those options (one of the Miller ones). But that's just me:P
if you buy cheap, you get what you paid for, i meantioned this in another post, i'd stay away from the cheap package deal's ( saddle, pad, girth,bridle), i bought my stubben second hand years ago and it's the best saddle i've ever had, think of it this way being a second hand saddle you don't have to brake it in butmake sure it fit's you horse properly
ya..like i usually ride around 2 or 3 times a week because i dont own a horse but im training 1 right now & lessions. but like i need a saddle that is pretty durable & fits a variaty of horses, like i usually ride quarter horses & they are around the same size kinda so i guess the saddle should fit them but idk. & like the horse im training now threw off the saddle last time i rode her because i was about to take it off but she got spooked over something but ya kinda off topic but anyways, i definiely need something that can withstand things liek that lol..
take in to the fact this sadle will not only be used for one horse but many, and that it might not fit one horse but will another, i was ridding for a woman who had 3 horses and never had time for them, she demanded that i ride with her saddle all the time when i rode her horses.
I agree with Sara...out of those choices, I'd pick the older, used Collegiate as well. Back when Miller's distributed Collegiate, they were fairly similar to the Miller's Crosby saddles. Not quite as nice, but well balanced and durable.
I would not recommend the HDR. My friend bought an HDR Advantage and it was so cheesy! It fit her horse REALLY well though, so that's why she went with it. But the leather was poor Argentinian quality and the grain texture wore smooth within months. Also, the stitching seemed kind of "loose" after a while. I also had an HDR Pro (the higher-end line) for a little while. It's low price and pretty looks lured me in. The flaps wore horribly and had very dark marks from the stirrup leathers. I don't think they used a very good tanning method for their leather. Overall, it also felt kind of like cardboard.
If you ride a variety of horses, you may consider one with a changeable gullet. Although, I'm not sure who else makes them besides Wintec (blech!) and Bates ($900+ used). Or, get a wool/sheepskin pad (like Beval's) to help your saddle be more comfortable for multiple horses.
As for the Dover...I haven't had any personal experience with them. But, I know at one point, they went by the name of "Trainers" and these were designed/produced by Ruiz Diaz who now makes the new (Argentina) Pessoas.
Overall, I would actually recommend buying a used, quality saddle over a new, mass-produced saddle. Especially if the horse may spook and drop or scratch your saddle. Or maybe in a year you'll get your own horse who requires a wide tree and you'll have to replace your saddle! Ya never know. =) Of course, it's easier to tell your parents, "Get the 17", Medium Tree, HDR Pro Close Contact down at Bob's Tack Shop" than "surf eBay for weeks until the perfect saddle is listed." Do your local tack shops have consignment/used saddles?
Oh! Have you considered a Beval? They make some awesome saddles and their Stamford is produced with Argentinian leather, so it's less expensive and still really nice! I don't recommend the Princeton though...too cheapo.
Sorry for the long post...I'm very passionate about not riding in crappy saddles!
If you are riding many horses, go with something that has an interchangable gullet. Wintec may not be among the nicer of the saddle brands, but they are pretty decent from what I have seen. I don't know if you are looking for a nicer show saddle, or one just for training, but the girl who rides my gelding bought an inexpensive all purpose wintec that she seems to like and that fits the horse well. It is that material (can't remember what it is called), so it is easy for her to clean and she doesn't have to worry about scratching leather. She uses it for everything. In a couple of years you will likely upgrade, but a decent inexpensive saddle might be preferrable for a first saddle. That way you have more time to investigate and possibly try other saddles to see what you would really like.
I ride more western, so I did the same thing when I started showing. I bought one of those cheapy western show saddle, bridle, breast plate packages for $500; the thing was crappy, but it was tidy, and looked okay in the show ring. When I decided I wanted to keep showing, but realized that I wanted a saddle also suited for performance, I knew I was ready to invest more in a saddle. I just ordered my long term saddle (hopefully) for just under $2000. I am glad I got the cheaper saddle first though, because I didn't know at the time just what I wanted to do. Plus now I have a cute starter saddle that my 4H kids can use.
I agree about the interchangable gullet saddles. Saddle fit is such a frustrating thing and makes so much difference in horse attitude. In the price range you stated you can get a cheaper quality leather saddle new that won't last long and may not fit different horses. A used better quality saddle that still may have fit issues, or a sizable synthetic that is easy to keep clean.
I ride western and started out with a synthetic Abetta, worked my way up to a cheaper leather and now have a custom leather saddle that I paid $2000 for and that was without any tooling or fancy work. The first 2 I sold to help pay for the one I have now. Guess its kinda like cars and houses start small and trade up :wink:
Try the tack shop. I'd recommend to go there and try to sit on all saddles you like. I was shopping for saddle (western though) last week. Must say I tried out at least 20 saddles in 4 different places before I made my choice. With internet orders the bad part of it is if it doesn't fit your butt well (and some saddles don't) or your horse, you have to exchange blah-blah-blah, which takes tons of time and money.
What I found out from own experience shopping for saddle is not that easy. :)
i dont really want a synthetic saddle because when i showed at my old stables my trainer said that something about synthetic saddles arnt really a "show" saddle & i do show from time to time. my local tack shop doesnt really have many used saddles but theres 1 like an hour from my house that has like A LOT of used and new saddles so im probaby going to go there first before i do anything. Also, with the dover saddles i can test ride one so i could go to the stables & see if it fits the horses i ride.
& i will definitely buy that one saddle pad just in case, and i'll try a miller colligate :)
also at a close tack shop theres a saddle thats on sale for 200$ dollars when it was 300$. the brand is Regency, ive never heard of it but it looks like a good saddle but looks can be judged wrongly i guess
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