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I'm currently riding in a Barnsby Cirrus, which I absolutely love.

After years of riding and competing in a flat-as-a-hat close contact; I refer to it as a middle aged lady's butt bucket. It's comfortable, beautifully balanced and deep enough to be very secure, with a knee block well in front of, not under, my knee..

My favorite dressage saddle was a Kieffer Wein. Sold it when I stopped competing.
 

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I like the collegiate brand, all of their models are really nice and I think their saddles are affordable too.

I love wintecs, but you have to have a pretty flat backed horse for them, other than that I love the easy of care, not having to worry about throwing it around some, and being able to change the gullet to fit a variety of horses.

And lastly I really like the CTD brand of saddles. They are made by stubben on the stubben tree with the stubben leather, however they are considered stubben's "off brand." Fit my curvy backed horse well, and at least the one I had, had buttery soft leather and really cradled me.
 

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The French saddles are the hottest thing now, so I guess that those brands are what people think gets the h/j job done the best. French-Used-Saddles, The smart way to buy a top quality French used saddle! Save up to 50% on a quality pre-owned saddle! (NO affiliation!) or fineusedsaddles.com for some possibilities. Stubben has cooled, as has Crosby. Fillipe Fontaine seems to be gaining a customer base. Toulouse, also. HDR Pro an Rivella are pretty much shunned except as entry level saddles. Derevel, I never hear anyone say they ride/own one. COTH (Chronicle of hte Horse) for h/j saddle critiques. tackreview.com has reviews.

Dressage preferences are going to be all over the road, unless you are just talking about quality of materials and construction. Dressage saddles are a highly individualized like/dislike, and how they saddle helps or hinders interaction between horse and rider is a whole lot more variable than h/j. Read the tack forum at ultimatedressage for some tips.
 

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I find it quite amusing how the Hunter/Jumper world goes through "Fads" for tack.

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I have always liked Stubbens. They are well made saddles and have been around for years. I do not think you could go wrong with a Stubben IMO.

There is a few Phillip Fontaines at my barn, and they are lovely saddles. Very well made, they look super comfortable. They are saddles used on lesson horses, so they sit in the main tackroom owned by the BO, so I got to have a close up look at them.

M.Toulous saddles are very nice as well. I like them very much. I've ridden in an M.T Premia and I didn't want to get out of it. I used it during a Bruce Davidson clinic *or was it Buck?* Very comfortable, put me in a great position.

Never liked HDR's.

Rembrandts, I owned one and rode in one - and wow is all I have to say. The particular saddle I had was exceptionally well made, leather very soft, very comfortable. Put me in a great position.

Collegiate Convertible Diploma - love this saddle as well. I have been priveledged enough to of been permitted by this particular saddle's owner to use whenever I need to, for she isn't using hers. I got to ride in it last night and I didn't want to get out at all. I am definately saving my pennies for one of these.
 

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Not a great saddle, but for trails and jumping fairly low I loved my little synthetic HDR ap. It was a great little starter for saddle for willow and I. Sadly, she grew out of it and I had to sell it last year. :(
 

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Some of my favorite CC saddles include:

Prestige Red Fox- this saddle is amazing. It puts you in a great position but is more for smaller riders. had it when I first started eventing but had to sell it when it got too small :( http://www.allsaddles.com/media/predrox.jpg

Courbette Vision- I have this saddle currently and I love it nearly as much as my old Prestige. It is designed for riders with longer legs but it works great for me somehow... haha. I have the old version which I much prefer to the newer model. It is both brown and black but when you sit in the saddle, it looks completely black so I have a black bridle and breastplate. VERY forward seat/flap. Not for people that do not like forward flaps. http://www.freeporttack.com/usedsaddles/courbette vision.jpg

I HATE Stubben Siegfrieds. They just do not work for me and a lot of trainers all say that they are the worst saddles for eventing because of the longer flaps and deeper seat http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/stubben_siegfried_vsd.jpg

Dressage:

Wintec and Bates Isabell. It's basically my dream saddle. I love the position it puts the rider in and the sticky, deep seat. The only Wintec I like :D I am saving up for one now. I prefer the Wintec over the Bates because I really think the Bates leather is cheap. http://www.uk-saddlery.com/usrimage/wintec-isabelle-dressage.jpg

Albion SLK. It's made for shorter riders (has short flaps) and it puts you in a great position. I've had mine for about 5 years and I competed in it when I had a horse that was a medium tree competing. I need to sell it though, I ride medium wide horses now. http://www.dressage-saddles.com/images/albion-slk.jpg
 

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I HATE Stubben Siegfrieds. They just do not work for me and a lot of trainers all say that they are the worst saddles for eventing because of the longer flaps and deeper seat http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/Merch...gfried_vsd.jpg
The Stubben Seigfriede VSD is an All Purpose saddle, geared towards riders who do more Flat Work/Dressage.

The VSS is geared more towards Jumping, but it is still an All Purpose.

The VSSG is has a much more forward of a flap, and more geared towards jumping.

If you want a Stubben for jumping, look more towards the Roxane VSS or the S. Or the Stuben Juventus S - these Stubben models are made for Eventers and Fox Hunters and Jumping in general.

Roxane VSS:



Roxane S



Seigfried VSSG:




Juventus S



Seigfried VSG *dressage, flat work, trail riding - not meant for jumping*

 

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Thanks for the correction. I noticed that they had an unusually long flap but I tend not to be able to identify AP's :/

I still don't like the one that is made for jumping. The Roxanne looks nice, but the Siegfrieds just suck. sorry.
 

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I don't mind Stubbens at all. The last barn I was at - the Fox Hunting/Eventing Barn was full of Stubbens. I used to have a Stubben Seigfried VSS back home in B.C and I really like it.

I think each saddle depends on the indavidual person, their body shape, and what works for them.

While I really like the Collegiate Convertible Diploma, and while it works well for me - doesn't mean it is going to work well for you.

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Hey, thanks for showing me a used Courbette Vision too! It says it is a 31cm tree - what is that? Medium? Meidum/Wide?

I wonder if the 18" will be too big, since I take 17.5".
 

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not sure how wide that particular one is, I just got that pic off the internet. Mine is a Medium Wide tree that suits Uma and Demi both. I have mine in a 17.5. LOVE IT!
 

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hehe. That's ok! It's good to get excited about saddles! I looked forever for a replacement for my Prestige. I still mourn its loss :( Meanwhile, I had to ride in the EVIL Wintec 2000 AP. bleh. What really got me was the squeaking. it annoyed the crap out of me!
 

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AH HA! That reminds me of when I rode in my Wintec - ROFL! I would get teased alot when I rode by the BO and other riders who were in the same arena with me.

"I hope you have WD40 in your grooming tool box for that squeek"
"Need a lube job" *that sounds wrong*
"You're squeeking"
"Is there a mouse under there?"

I remember doing dressage comps, doing my tests in complete silence.....but all you could hear was my saddle.......

Glad it is gone.

WAH! I want my Rembrandt back! *Sniffles*
 

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I agree with the comments about Stubben Siegfrieds.

Some people adore them; when I worked in a foxhunter barn we had a bunch of horses with sore backs and signifigant saddle sores because the riders wouldn't give them up.
 

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Sorry, but that isn't Stubben's fault, that is the owner of the saddle/horse's fault because they probobly didn't have the saddles fitted by a professional for their horse, and they probobly didn't keep them up to date on stuffing the panels yearly like you should.

Don't blame the saddle makers, Stubben has been around for a very long time, and has established an excellant name for themselves.

Any saddle that isn't fitted educatedly, will hurt the horses back.
 

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The Siegfried and Imperator APs, the older ones that have the wood+steel tree without the plastic, always seem to have the panels stuffed absolutely as full as possible and they have no give. Remove some stuffing and fluff up what's left should be tried, lol. The other thing that bothers some horses is that the width of the channel narrows down at the back and doesn't give enough spine clearance. But you can have a saddler split the panels and move them out. That's a pretty minor remodel. Stubben fixed that problem after a while. The newer ones have a good wide channel all the way back. Also, the new ones are not as wide as the old ones, in certain model years, and I don't know what those are. I have an older Swiss-made Siegfried that's marked 31.5cm and it's really wide, and a Swiss Imperator that's newer and also marked 31.5, and it is a medium tree at best. Then I just bought a late model Edelweiss CS 32cm and it's wide again. You just have to look at the tree width and the angle of the bars, I guess. The number is meaningless for determining that, though.
 
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