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I'm just getting into eventing (and love it!!). I currently ride in one of my barns school saddles, but it's just not cutting it. I've been looking at the M. Toulouse Premia because of the price, but I'm not 100% sold on it. I really love the Prestige Jumper R saddle, but unless I find the deal of the century that wont be happing. My question is what is a good saddle that would suit a beginner eventer, but could also be practical for other types of riding. Thanks so much!
 

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I've known a few riders who've Club-level evented in jumping saddles and had decent dressage scores but personally I'd look for an AP/GP, even one that's jumping-biased, rather than a pure jumping saddle. The latter sometimes have the stirrup bars fitted forward which makes it awkward to ride with the longer leg you need for dressage.

Just MHO :)
 

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I recommend the Collegiate event saddle. I have an older model of it (IMO much better quality than the newer ones), and it is the most comfortable and versatile saddle I've ridden in. It also appears to be more geared towards jumping than most A/P saddles are. Plus, the price tag is nice when you compare it to most other quality brands.

I know they're not the best pictures of the saddle, but here's a few different pictures in a dressage-type ride versus a shorter jumping stirrup.

http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr340/equiniphile/AAA%20my%20pets/AAA%20Molly/IMG_0655.jpg
http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr340/equiniphile/AAA my pets/AAA Molly/IMG_0530.jpg
http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr340/equiniphile/AAA my pets/AAA Excel/lesso.jpg
 

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Second to the Collegiate saddle - my first saddle was a used collegiate in beautiful condition at a great price. 3 years later it still looks like new and is still oh so comfortable!
 

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I would recomend the Toulouse. I have had mine for a little over a year and a half now. I absolutely adore it. However I bought the Toulouse stirrup leathers which are a pain to adjust. Like you I am a Beginner(?) I recently moved on from my age of school horses and have begun leasing a horse. It is my first saddle and I am extremely happy with it. I guess it all depends on where you see yourself going with the sport. I wouldn't compromise on quality but keep that in mind when you're purchasing your saddle.
 

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A lot of people around here use Bates Caprilli close contacts for eventing. :D I would've bought one myself because they fit my boy quite well, but I wasn't quite satisfied with how they fit me in the leg. Thankfully I managed to find a used Collegiate Diploma for a steal of a deal, which is built on the same tree as the Caprilli and fit me MUCH better. I know used Caprillis are pretty easy to find, but the Diploma is a little harder. I'll stick some pictures below of The 2 saddles so you can look at the similarities. :) These saddles both have the EasyChange gullet system too, which is a plus if you ride a few different horses or don't have your own yet. There's no guarantee that it'll fit them all perfectly, but there's a higher chance. They fit loads of different horses in our barn!


The Bates


The Collegiate

Hope that helps!
 
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