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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So recently, my trainer has been telling my mom after every lesson I need a horse. So my mom is getting more serious about it and looking around on equine and dreamhorse.com as well as asking around. We've come across a lot of good jumpers that would take me to 4' for under $10,000. (you gotta love some things about that cruddy economy lol)

However, my trainer has been talking to us a lot about getting a saddle. She no offense is pretty into spending away. And has called on a saddle lady to come by the barn saturday and measure me so that she can order a custom made saddle. She tells me I need a custom made extra long flap because of my leg length. (I'm 5'9). with a narrow seat. and she says all the saddles and leather were imported from france(mmkay....) and aparrently my trainer already schedule her to come soley for me(and she has to drive an hour) yet my mom and I never even said we wanted to order a saddle right then. She simply asked about costs and how it would improve my riding.

My mom asked how much and my trainer said cashually "around 3,500-4,000" pardon me??? :shock: I go to the tack store and sit in some perfectly comfy saddles for $800-$2000. The price for a custom saddle is half the of the price of a horse. and honestly I could care less about a custom made saddle when compared to a horse. There are other saddles at the barn that I do fine in. yet she makes it seem mandatory lol. She seems to be pushing both getting that horse and getting a custom made saddle made in europe lol. and we cannot afford both in the same time period.

idk, what do you think? and how much did you have to pay for your english saddle?
 

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Get the saddle after you get the horse so it can be fitted and I'm sure you can find a perfectly nice one from a quality tackshop.
 

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Arhh, I just wrote a reply and it disappeared!

You have to get a horse first. Last thing you want to do is spend that much money and have the saddle not fit your horse. And a custom saddle is a 'custom' sell and can be harder to offload. What brand is it?

Besides, from you're post it's clear you've made your choice. Just be frank with your instructor with your budget. Trainers like their students to win - it's their business. A great saddle can allow you to ride better (put you in an optimal position, etc). I ride in a Barnsby skeleton right now (about the $2500 mark) and it is okay, but I rode in my friend and coach's Antares and I honestly rode better instantly. Now to save up $3500. Saying all that I started with an used AP Barnsby for $1000 and that was a luxury for me and my family.
 

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Get the horse first, then find a saddle that will fit the horse. You can go and spend big bucks on a custom made saddle, but even if it fits you perfectly, it may not fit the horse you buy no matte how much altering is done. Also you can ride in a saddle on one horse and love it, then ride in the same saddle on another horse and hate it.
So it's a bit of a joint 'decision' between you and your horse when buying a saddle.

Heck, I just bit the bullet and brought a 10 year old, second hand dressage saddle of Ebay for $500. It is a Dutch brand, BEAUTIFUL thick soft leather, fantastic seat and knee rolls that I can just melt into, looks brand new, and fits my horse to the T! Had my saddle fitter out to have a look and he didn't need to adjust a thing :O

So yep, definitely worth hunting around for a saddle AFTER you get your horse ;)
 

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Exactly what Kayty said - a saddle that doesn't fit the horse is stress and misery waiting to happen!
 

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The type of horse you are looking for will usually have a similar body type. I wouldn't think that you would be going from a high wither TB to a more mutton wither warmblood. If you stay with a horse of the same build, a custom saddle should be fine and you can make minor changes with pads. Truthfully, a saddle that was custom made in April for a particular horse may need adjustments after you've ridden him through the summer and then again after a layoff during the winter.

I don't believe that even the most advanced international riders use a different saddle for every horse they ride. Since they usually ride owner's horses rather then owning each horse they ride, I'm sure they have one (perhaps a couple) saddle they they use and make the minor adjustments as necessary.

If you watch show jumping, as an example, you will see riders with keyhole pads, or other "fixes". Do you think that the saddle they are riding in was made for that particular horse?
 

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The most pressing issue right now is NOT which is more important the saddle or the horse... but being very very clear with your trainer what your budget is. You need to sit down with her and tell her what you can afford to spend on horse AND saddle. Sounds like she doesn't know and is just trying to get you the best. You may very well need a custom saddle, or perhaps you can contact your Antares/CWD/Devoucoux/whatever dealer and see what they have on hand used. You can be pretty sure there's someone out there selling their extra long narrow seated saddle. I'd have to agree, some of the best saddles are made in France, but if that's above your budget then it's above your budget and IMO the next most practical step is to buy that saddle used. If she's expecting you to spend more then $4,000 on a saddle, I'm going to assume she's expecting you to pay a lot more then $10,000 on a horse. You need to be clear with her so she knows what she's looking for when she helps you shop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree. I think she only wants the best for me. thats fine if she could put down the 4k. :p I just saw some pessoas on SLT that were 2k. and one other french saddle that was $396. so I'm starting to realize paying that much isn't particularly normal.
 

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Ok, first focus on getting the horse. Then you can get a saddle to fit. Ou may fall in love with a horse that your saddle doesn't fit and then what?

As for the saddles, both of my new saddles are custom for about $3,000 each. Both my mom and I have been saving up for years for that. I am the same height, and I had to get the custom forward flap on my jumping saddle.
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Won't do you much good to have a really expensive, custom saddle if you have nothing but a saddle rack to put it on!

Another good thing about a cruddy economy is that people are parting with good quality used saddles for really good prices. A good used saddle that fits you and your horse is a good start and then you can save up for something better.
 

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Find the horse first, then spend the money on a saddle fitter for the HORSE first! For that kind of money, I'd be shopping for a used Devoucoux and still save $1500!!
 

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Get the horse first before you buy a saddle!

Saddle fit is very important, but you can find well fitting saddles for a better price range - AFTER you buy your horse!
 

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Get the horse now, ride in the saddles are your barn. And save for the nice saddle. It will be a big investment but it will be worth it in my opinion. I was lucky enough to have someone from my church who use to ride but doesn't anymore give me her saddle. Crosby. Very nice. And fits me perfectly. :D
 

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Horse first, saddle second. I have four horses and three English saddles as they all need something different. The one that lacks a saddle goes bareback as it's near impossible to find one that fits. In the 11 years we've had her nothing has ever fit her quite right. It's a big investment and no doubt isn't always easy on the pocket book but well worth the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok I'm actually finding myself eating 50% of my words after my lesson today. My trainer put me in her custom CWD. And I had a glazed look in my eyes after I got off lol. I felt like I couldn't fall off and my posture improved so I now kinda wish I had never met that saddle and remained in the dark lol.
 

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I would get the horse first, for all the above reasons, of fitting the horse first, rider second. As for getting the saddle, I would definately go for a used saddle save a few bucks, you can find some really nice ones. I do agree that I have ridden in some saddles that I would LOVE to buy, and I think would make a big improvement on my seat and the way I ride, but I just don't have the money to spend, and the horse I have now is currently not very easy to fit unfortunately, so I would like to wait until she's done growing and filling out first, and then at some point after that maybe think about getting a nicer custom fit saddle. Let your trainer know what your price range is, so they can better help you find what you need. If she's thinking that you are willing to spend 4k on a saddle, then she's gonna pass up some potentially great saddles in the say 1k range because you can afford better, but if she knows that you can't afford more than X amount of money, then she can find you a great saddle in that price range and not waste your time or her time looking at stuff you can't afford.
 

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Like everyone else has said, horse first, then saddle. And you need to talk to your trainer, make sure she knows your budget.

I'm lucky in that I wont ever have to worry about buying a saddle as my grandma has all the tack I could ever want :)
 

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Ummm... if you get a narrow custom made saddle, chances are you ar'nt going to find a horse to fit it specifically, very easily.

Most people are comfortable in already made saddles, they can be altered to fit your horse, with the right saddle.

Horse ----> Saddle. How can you go

Saddle ----> Horse

It's just silly? The amount of people that offered me saddles that did'nt fit my horse and made him sore, and pinched and made him mental, was amazing, we got ours fitted, which only cost us 70 bucks, ontop of a saddle that cost us $900 fits me and him perfectlly, im 5'7" ^_^.

And my horse is 15.2-3 roughly. With a wide gulleted saddle, it looks freaking enormous.
 

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Personally I still think everyone is over thinking this chicken or egg thing. Let's say you get your horse first then have your saddle made for him. What do you do when it's time to move up to a better horse or if that horse doesn't work or gains/looses weight/muscle? Do you get another saddle? Most likely not.

Most people like a horse with a certain build. A custom saddle can be altered to a good extent to fit a range of horses. Will it fit all horses? Certainly not but it will fit a lot of horses (with some alteration) within a build range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Personally I still think everyone is over thinking this chicken or egg thing. Let's say you get your horse first then have your saddle made for him. What do you do when it's time to move up to a better horse or if that horse doesn't work or gains/looses weight/muscle? Do you get another saddle? Most likely not.

Most people like a horse with a certain build. A custom saddle can be altered to a good extent to fit a range of horses. Will it fit all horses? Certainly not but it will fit a lot of horses (with some alteration) within a build range.
thats what i was wondering. If your going to be riding a few other horses, you have to get a few other saddles?
 
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