Best affordable All Purpose saddles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Best affordable All Purpose saddles?

Hi all,

I am slowly making my way back into the horse world after taking a break for five years while I was in college. After having been gone for what feels like ages, I just feel like I have no idea where to even start.

I am starting off riding one of my father's horses for now as I make my way back into it all, so first and foremost any saddle I purchase is going to be trial and error, as it's going to have to fit her. I was riding at an eventing barn before and was on an even tighter budget than I am now, so I was riding in an old Collegiate. I can't even remember which saddle brands (open to new or used) are actually quality for the price I could get them for. I am searching for an All Purpose saddle not really looking to spend more than $700. I will not be showing so I am not concerned with what ever the tack and show trends may be at this time, but would like to get the best quality I can within my budget. I'll just be pleasure riding really and would like to have something that is comfy.

I've been looking into some used Stubbens, but I have heard that many of these (especially the older ones?) are a little harder and have that hard, slippery leather feel...I have also been looking into HDR's which I have received so many mixed reviews about. I am generally confused over which saddle brands are superior to others because when shopping used many can be in the same price range (despite being of different quality...) I have also been looking at a few Crosby AP's, but again, it's been so long since I have been in the horse world that I just can't recall what was popular at my barn at the time. I know Collegiate isn't great quality, but budget friendly. I've heard Wintec's are comfy (which is what I want!) but would like to stay away from Synthetic. To reiterate, this would have to be fitted to the mare I'll be riding for the next while, but it would be helpful to have some brand's in mind to really start my search.

Please drop your opinions on the above mentioned names, any other suggestions, etc. anything helps.
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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I know you want to stay away from synthetics, but I really love my Wintec! I've ridden in several models and all have been comfy and fit my horses. Plus with the humidity along the Gulf coast, I don't have to worry about mold!
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 12:27 PM
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Welcome back to the horse world...once bitten by "the bug" you never get rid of it.

Most of the names you mentioned in older saddles are excellent quality.
Stubben, Crosby, Collegiate, Courbette, Blue Ribbon are all excellent saddles and hold their value and usefulness for decades.
Being you don't care about the show-ring fad you have so much available to you to look at.
Try Craigslist in your surrounding area, the Farm & Garden section for horse equipment.
By me, you can buy a really nice used saddle in fantastic condition for way less than you mentioned if you don't care about "fad" today of a split flap look to it.
I would add that unless you can get hands on to check that tree...no sale.

BTW, add Pessoa...the older Pessoa saddles to that list. Collegiate saddles were made by Pessoa before he started his own company so you bet quality was in his work.
I found most any older saddle with "Made in England" on the pins, stamped in the billet protectors and manufacturers plate were quality made.
That also is something I see in quality saddles is billet protectors provided...cheap saddles don't offer and many have no idea what a must that is to protect the life of your saddle from damages of buckles...
There are so many brands that are quality...and so many names not known because it was from a saddle shops own store brand inventory but made to exacting standards by the really good saddlers.
Judge each saddle on its own or risk missing a great find.
You can keep your "adjustable" and change the "adjustable-gullet" stuff is my personal feeling.
A good saddle will fit a huge variety of horses well. With the exception of a real moose of a horse, those spring trees worked and did their job adapting.
Older saddles are and were made with better leather stock because the cow was older and had time to grow their hide thicker.
In western this is true as it is true in English too...new saddles have cheaper grade of cowhide, thinner and not as hearty.
Older saddles hold up better is a fact.
If you really look closely at saddles you can see the difference in materials used and of course our better craftsman who have retired/died and been replaced over time...there is a great difference.

Happy shopping.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 12:47 PM
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I found you some listings ...I asked my computer what state you were from using the "@" symbol and it came back with a answer...

Also check the local horse sale pages for tack, local feed stores for a card put up...
Holidays are coming and with that some get new saddles for presents and then sell their old saddles to get rid of...keep your eyes and ears open.

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/grd/d...015411978.html
They are measuring wrong...looks like it is a 17.5 size.
BT Crump, there are 2 companies.
Find out which this is...
I own a BT Crump close contact
Made in England...nice saddle!!

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/grd/d...998171949.html
I would negotiate this price if you can use a saddle of this size.
And look very carefully for a loose tree as it fit such a large range and then the comment of rubs...

I found these also from the same state but maybe not close to you...IDK.
https://greensboro.craigslist.org/gr...976417312.html
https://winstonsalem.craigslist.org/...989281632.html

..

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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@horselovinguy

Wow, thank you - this is so helpful!

I always thought that Collegiate's were not as nice? I will certainly add them to my list. I actually found this Pessoa on Craiglist, although it looks like close contact not all purpose. Photos are not the greatest. I know AP's can be frowned upon, but I think for leisurely riding and maybe occasionally going over a few small jumps it is probably the most suitable...

https://hickory.craigslist.org/grd/d...014112838.html

Last edited by Hooves; 11-08-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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@txgirl

Thank you! Definitely something to keep in mind. I have an old riding friend who swore by her Wintec. I have just heard they are comfortable.
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Last edited by Hooves; 11-08-2019 at 02:06 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 04:41 PM
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I found that one should not get stuck on a certain brand. My friend (who is a professional rider/trainer) found a Charles De Kunffy saddle for me that she swore was just wonderful and at a great price. I bought it. I rode in it. My horse loved it. I did not. It was the correct size for me, but my lady parts weren't having it. I sold it the next day!
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooves View Post
@horselovinguy

Wow, thank you - this is so helpful!

I always thought that Collegiate's were not as nice? I will certainly add them to my list. I actually found this Pessoa on Craiglist, although it looks like close contact not all purpose. Photos are not the greatest. I know AP's can be frowned upon, but I think for leisurely riding and maybe occasionally going over a few small jumps it is probably the most suitable...

https://hickory.craigslist.org/grd/d...014112838.html
A well-made Collegiate saddle will last you an upwards of 20 years. I have a Collegiate Senior Event saddle, that is now 7 years old; there are only leather rub marks on it, and I was using it on multiple horses a day at one point. Before I bought it, my then coach had me try her Collegiate saddle, same model, that she bought 20 years before, and you couldn't tell that it was that old.

I love the Collegiate convertible system, my saddle hasn't not fit a horse yet, and its been on quite a few. Usually with a half-pad (I use a Mattes or Premier Equine under it) it will fit anything. I'm a big fan of Collegiate.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 08:04 PM
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Rule of thumb... always can be a exception...

Square cantle is close-contact style
Round cantle is all-purpose

Some close contacts have a deeper seat and more of a knee-roll and support of the leg/knee than others.
You need to know what you feel comfortable in, secure in and are searching for to save you some time and aggravation.

Prix de Nations are not what you want if you want knee-rolls and a supportive deep seat...
But a Crosby Sovereign might be right up your alley.
So might be a Stubben Rex model for example..
There are so many saddle that would fit your want and needs...enjoy the search.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-08-2019, 08:19 PM
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As far as collegiate, they switched manufacturing a few times, so there is a period where the quality went down. Old collegiates and new collegiates are of better quality. I don't know what years those in the middle were, though.
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all purpose , ap saddles , crosby , hdr

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