Finding the perfect saddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-22-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Finding the perfect saddle

I have been in search of a saddle since about December. I have always been the kind of person who just went on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace and just gotten a $50 used one, because I just never really cared about brands or looks. But considering my last two have fallen apart within months of getting them I decided to actually save up enough to get a good quality saddle, used or brand new. Now I’m in a rush because my first show is in September (We are very excited!!) and I’m currently borrowing a black wintec all purpose saddle from my trainer. So I’ve buckled down on researching and finding my perfect saddle. But I can’t decide which one to get!

The first one I found, my dream saddle, was a used Bates saddle that still looks to be in a great condition, it’s the Hunter Jumper design with a changeable gullet system. The problem is just that on the sides of it the leather is changing color where the stirrups rub. And it’s a 4 hour drive away.

The second one I found is a HDR Luxembourg saddle. It’s close by, my size. But, the gullet doesn’t change size. It’s the correct size for both of my horses, however in a situation where I’m riding another horse or I get a new one for some reason I can’t adjust it. It’s not really worn down at all and practically in brand new condition, but how it looks for me is just kinda, eh. But I already have the money for it so I could get it right away, where as with the bates saddle I would have to take longer to save up and then find the time to take the long drive.

If it was up to you which saddle would you pick. Is there anything specific about Bates or HDR that you’ve found to be good or bad? TIA.
DreamerR is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 07-22-2019, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ont. Canada
Posts: 40
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Me personally, I would take the bates. I had an HDR Luxembourg saddle, LOVED the look of it but I found the gullet size to be on the smaller size. My current saddle is adjustable and I love that I am able to customize it more to my horses back and shape especially as his back muscles develop and change.
Sarahrachael is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 07-22-2019, 10:41 AM
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You are finding that going from synthetic to leather...wear shows.
My saddles have all had marks from where my leather stirrup leathers laid against my leather saddle flaps...
No one sees this when you're astride and I would be more concerned if a used saddle didn't have markings from use...
Called shoe polish applied to cover distress marks and then what else have they worked to cover..

Make sure the seat size is correct for your height & weight.
Many adults ride in a 17" or larger seat so length of femur is properly seated on the saddle flap.
It isn't that we can't fit in smaller sized seats but... you need to fit and be in the sweet spot of the saddle where your balance and support are matched with the horses balance point and proper fit.

I am not a fan of interchangeable gullets...
Changing the tree head does not change a gullet width, only the very front of the saddle moves and good saddle fit is more than how it looks at the wither.
Don't be fooled by that "change the gullet" = fits all...cause it doesn't.

Neither of your horses have a ridiculous bone frame and a saddle fit for them would fit most any horse you would be riding.
In the event you purchase another horse, you might need to purchase a specific saddle to fit that bone frame and build...why many people have multiple saddles honestly.
If you're just riding someone else horse occasionally, use their saddle and deal with a slightly different feel.
You should keep your tack for your horses, use tack on a occasional ride belonging to that animal and if a lesson horse use the lesson horse tack again to safeguard your investment.
It also keeps your tack clean and free of germs, or bacteria another animal has and you may not want invading your horse..

So, in Ocala is a place called Good Apple Tack Consignment might be somewhere to keep in mind too...the inventory/stock change often.
I put in HDR and Bates specific and was surprised at how large the selection and prices varied new, and used depending upon what link you use.
Just some places you might not realize have used, new and trial programs that might work for you and within your budget.
Let your fingers do some research and look at every saddle shop within 40 miles of home = a lot of places who may have used saddles to try and you might stumble on. Western or English stores can have consignment of any discipline waiting for a new owner to come in and try.

As for which brand...each saddle has pros and cons and when you do used much will also be how it was cared for and ridden in by the current owner in how you feel riding it now...beware.
Not everyone sits a saddle as you do or takes care of equipment same as you...again, buyer beware.

Good luck in your search...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  

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