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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so I'd like some advice/help with my "theoretical" saddle shopping.

I am not ready to buy one now, but I am looking to see what is out there and for how much, that way I'll be ready/knowledgeable when the time is right (hopefully this summer). So if you saddle experts could help and advise me, I'd appreciate it so much! I know some companies like Pessoa and Stubben have good reputations, but I am finding some on ebay that I don't know, but look interesting. That's where you guys come in! :wink:

Also, I know buying used saddles could be risky, in the sense that they may need to be re-flocked or the tree might be broken (etc, etc) in a worse case scenario, and that's where I also need help. I can't tell if something is fishy, unless it's obviously in bad exterior condition or is made of some cheap leather/synthetic. I know to stay away from those.

Here are a few I found so far, what are your opinions? I fit in 17, 17.5. 16.5 works too (and they tend to be less expensive :p), but generally that size is a wee bit small (not a full palm in front and back). However it doesn't bother me and I still found myself being comfortable.

1. Used Beval Riem Jumping Close Contact Saddle 17'' Brown | eBay

I really like the courbette.
2. Courbette Derby Close Contact Saddle 17 | eBay

3. HDR Rivella Close Contact 16 5 inches Saddle | eBay

4. 16 1 2" Beval Ltd Devon 2000 Close Contact Jumping Saddle Made in England | eBay

5. 17 1 2" M Harry Dabbs Original A O Close Contact Jumping Saddle Medium | eBay

That's all I could fine now. There were some others but I they didn't have the knee block, and seeing as I never rode without them, I don't know how I'd like them. I feel I would really miss that extra padding/stability.
 

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I would personally recommend buying from a tack store, not online. Saddles are very weird sometimes about how they fit and unless you have fitted an identical saddle on your horse or ridden in it yourself, it may fit differently than you'd like. If you do decide to buy online though, make sure to get as much information from the seller as possible about measurements. You absolutely need to know how wide the tree is! And you shouldn't have to worry about broken trees, just make sure you read the entire item description. I've been shopping ebay for about five years and have never gotten any less than what the description said I would be receiving. I'm not an expert on English saddles, but have gone through a lot of western saddles and I can say I actually prefer used saddles because they are already broken in. Also keep in mind, some flaws in saddle fit can be fixed with the right saddle pad, but don't fall back on that because you want the saddle to fit as best as possible. Sorry if I repeated info you already knew:/ I hope I helped some!
 

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Oh, and I personally like the look of the seat in saddle one (Beval Riem) and five (Harry Dabbs), and from what I have ridden in, I really didn't like saddles like the fourth one (Beval Ltd. Devon). You should get more information from someone more experienced than me in English though, I really only jump at open shows occasionally, nothing super serious.
 

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the first saddle is nice enough. it looks a bit on the narrow side, so if you are buying with a thought that it be general engough to fit any horse you might lease, i might steer clear of it. the next one is nice, but has sold.

the 3rd one is nice, but it is small. do you really want to "manage" with a saddle that is too small for you?

the last one is nice. It is the best of the four.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both for your input!

The first saddle is nice enough. It looks a bit on the narrow side, so if you are buying with a thought that it be general engough to fit any horse you might lease, I might steer clear of it.
I am glad you mentioned that tiny because I hadn't thought of it. And yes the saddle would be for a leased horse, or even the school horses I might ride (that is if my own saddle would fit better than one of the school's).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will find and post some other saddles I find interesting later on. I also regularly look at the saddles sold in my area, but usually what is being sold are Mondega's from Greenhawk. From what I read, the brand is apparently good quality for the price (new ones range between 1000-1600$) and fit a large variety of horses fairly well. Down side is that they don't hold their resell value and so getting your money back is difficult. However people still try to sell them for more than they are worth used, which explains why some of these saddles stay for sale for months. I did sit in a few models at my local tack shop and they are extremely comfortable however.

What are your thoughts on them?

Mondega Callisto Close Contact Saddle | RIE3931 | Greenhawk

This one is in my area and used (1 year).

DOIS VENDRE - Selle 17'' - Équipement - Petites annonces équestres

Many HDR saddles are sold too, anyone know a bit more about that brand?

Selle HDR Rivella 17'' - Équipement - Petites annonces équestres
 

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Unless you are built like a stick, 16.5 is out. If your are slim, the 17.5 is a bitter size as you need 4" between your butt and the edge of the cantle. Also better resale value. 16.5 is more of a kids saddle.
 

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I too was told by a trainer in pony club years ago, that a proper saddle has a palm in front, and a palm behind, but I was later corrected that it should just be a palm in front OR behind. I ended up getting a saddle based on the hand in front AND behind, and was swimming in it. At least it fit my horse. I had a really hard time keeping my leg still, and seat in place in the canter.

That being said, HDR's are decent saddles, as are pessoas. What price range are you looking in? I agree that you should really go with a tack shop, instead of buying over the internet, that way you have a better chance of seeing if it fits you and the horse, and returning it and getting a different one in a timely manner. If you are flexible in price, marcel toulouse is a really good saddle from what I've heard. I've ridden in one before, and like it, but my favorite saddle is my amerigo farouche, but even used they can be really expensive, so you may want to stick with middle of the road until you get your own horse if you are planning on getting a horse or doing a long term lease at some point. One of the reasons I bought the Amerigo off of one of my clients was because it does fit a variety of horses pretty well, and as I train, and want to feel comfortable and secure in the saddle, and happen to have a small butt, so need no bigger than a 16.5. Most clients had at least a 17, and/or their saddle didn't fit their horse very well, so it was nice to know that I've got something myself that I can use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If your are slim, the 17.5 is a bitter size as you need 4" between your butt and the edge of the cantle. Also better resale value.
Alright, gotcha. 17.5 it is. :)

What price range are you looking in? I agree that you should really go with a tack shop, instead of buying over the internet, that way you have a better chance of seeing if it fits you and the horse, and returning it and getting a different one in a timely manner. If you are flexible in price, marcel toulouse is a really good saddle from what I've heard.
My price range is 400-500$ (less if possible, although I know the chances of me finding a super duper deal are slim).

I really like Marcel Toulouse and that is one saddle I would buy in a heartbeat if I found one used and in my price range. I rode in one once and I just loved the way it was made and how comfortable it was! Sadly most of the ones I find are 800+ on ebay.

I've never heard of the amerigo farouche but I will look into them. A versatile and comfortable saddle is definitely what I am looking for. However as it's my first saddle and not for a specific horse, so I don't want to spend too much money. But then I want to buy something that I will fully benefit from.
 

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I would also look at collegiate. I had one for a few years, and really liked it. With your price range, finding a nice brand used saddle would probably be the way to go. Middle of the road for your first saddle, and then once you have your own horse, you can save up the money for a really nice saddle. I know that some people are really picky about wanting a brand new saddle, but I think you can find some nice deals for good used saddles. I would definitely wait until you find just the right saddle. Good luck in your search!
 
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