Help picking saddles to look at

I’m in need of a good xc/jump saddle. I’m 5’3" so slightly petite. My horse is a 16.2 Oldenburg who fits a medium tree. I ride in passier grand gilbert for dressage and its one of the few saddles in the barn that would actually fit him. Looking for something to provide a secure xc ride for a horse that is quick on his feet. Not too expensive, will likely buy used. Ideas would be super helpful.

Many people have posted about this before. I am also 5’3" and ride a TB who fits a standard medium tree. A medium fit probably makes it easier. Secure saddles that I know of include (YMMV - people have differening opinions):

Prestige Eventer (a love it or hate it kind of saddle, but worth trying and there are a reasonable number used out there): http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PES

County Saddles (more pricey, but sometimes available used. Specific model depends on you and your horse)

I love my Wise-Air and find it incredibly secure. They are not cheap, but there is occassionally a used one floating around. http://www.bitofbritain.com/Wise_Equestrian_Saddles_s/488.htm

Albion Kontrol (pic is of the current one - I preferred the older ones): http://www.albionsaddlemakers.co.uk/saddles/jumping-range/kontrol-deep-1.html

Voltaire: http://en.voltaire-design.com/lexington_saddle.html (I like the Lexington better than their others. It fits my leg better)

Hastilow: http://www.hastilowusa.com/saddles/hastilow-saddles.html

Frank Baines Enigma saddle: http://www.frankbaines.com/page.asp?id=24&rangeid=1&rangecid=2

Devoucoux Chiberta (but I find them a bit hard to fit well to horses)

Antares http://www.antares-sellier.com/component/option,com_selle/Itemid,29/id_article,59/

I haven’t ever sat in one, but hear good things about CWD

Things that I think make saddles more secure for me:

The triangular thigh block in front and calf block in back - example Wise (but many others do this): http://www.bitofbritain.com/Wise_Equestrian_Saddles_s/488.htm

Buffalo leather - I find this more secure than grain (by far) and more secure than calf (by a noticeable margin)

Monoflap - for me being closer feels more secure

great reply, scubed!! should make this a sticky

btw there are several used County XTRs on the facebook group English Tack Trader and English Saddles… I was just looking!

I would recommend a Stackhouse. They are very nice saddles and are made to fit you AND your horse. I rode in one for a brief time and it was really nice. Good quality and fit for the horse…

Maybe I’m living in a much poorer world than everyone else, but I don’t usually think of a $5k saddle falling within the OP’s stated “not too expensive” range! :lol:

Maybe I’m living in a much poorer world than everyone else, but I don’t usually think of a $5k saddle falling within the OP’s stated “not too expensive” range!

New prices for many of the saddles I’ve mentioned are more, but in my world, “not too expensive” is interpreted as under $2200 used. Also, while I think the Stackhouse is a great saddle, they are hard to find used and while people appropriately rave about the quality and fit, I don’t routinely hear that people feel super secure in them.

I am your size and love my Black Country Quantum - wonderful brand and I feel very secure in mine (both front & back blocks).

Yes, I had no issue with your post, all good suggestions, just the one from the poster suggesting a Stackhouse “custom fit to you and your horse” (aka new, not a used one pulled off of eBay for $500) as an option for a “not too expensive” budget. :slight_smile:

Security is the number one reason I love my Stackhouse. Feels like it will take a bomb blast to get me out. The quality and fit are great but, secruity is the reason I’d eat PB&J for year if that’s what it took to ever replace it.

Because every Stackhouse is made custom to both a horse and a rider there are no body types (horse or human) that they fit better than others. If I were to buy one used it would be helpful to who it was made for. They can be found used in the $2500 range.

That said, I’m a little surprised a 5’3" person is in a Passier Grand Gilbert. That’s usually the first recommendation I hear for tall/long legged people. I bought mine from a shorter woman who finally gave up trying to get comfortable in it.

Sorry , I missed that in her post… the people I know with them really do like them…

Without seeing the horse in question, it’s not possible to make much in the way of meaningful recommendations. Can you post a conformation shot, or a link to one?
We’d be able to give you more comprehensive info that way.

Of course, working with a good fitter is the best way to go. “Medium” will vary from saddle co. to saddle co., and you also have to consider tree shape and type, panel config. and billet set-up as well.

Thanks for all the great responses. In terms of the price I would be willing to spend a little more if it made sense in the long run as an investment. However, as a recent college grad I am looking to keep the costs in check. Theres a link to a younger photo of him and one from this past summer post injury so a little fatter than normal. He’s currently 9. I had a tracing of his back done last year with a saddle fitter. Hoping to find something that works for both him and me.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=407990456938&l=76cda0fbbe

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151939614496939&l=d59bac15ab

That said, I’m a little surprised a 5’3" person is in a Passier Grand Gilbert. That’s usually the first recommendation I hear for tall/long legged people. I bought mine from a shorter woman who finally gave up trying to get comfortable in it.

I actually like it. I’ve got a decent leg for my height. And the deep seat and knee blocks don’t bother me. Out of a whole dressage barn when I first purchased him it was the only saddle that fit him well.

I’m 5’4" and had a saddle for a horse that was built similarly to yours - a long sloping wither, medium width, and a flatter back. The saddle I used on him (and may sell because my new ottb filly has a much curvier back) was a amerigo vega monoflap jumping saddle in a medium width. I had a 17" and it fit us both really well. Strangely enough, the 17" dressage saddle with the same tree felt too small to me, but I loved the jumping saddle. It really does fit that shape of a horse well.

I will also add that many of the english saddles fit that shape well too, like the County, Black Country and Albion. Those all fit my horse very well.

Stubben’s Zaria Optimum monoflap is a very good saddle and at a nice price point-$3,800 new and fully custom.
People are raving about theirs, it’s got a sticky seat, and provides a lot of security.
Stubbens tend to fit a high withered horse well.

scubed posted a great list, and here’re a couple of websites for used saddles that would be on her lists.

www.fine-used-saddles.com

www.frenchusedsaddles.com

I’ve dealt with both (one selling, and one buying), and have been very happy. The problem with going on your own (as opposed to having a saddle fitter out that deals with brands you like) is that you can really rack up a lot on shipping costs. I think I spent over $300 before finding what my horse, and I, both liked.

If you can find some from friends to borrow, so you can narrow the search down a bit, that’s a good way to start. I borrowed an Antares from someone, and we both liked it, so I started searching for a used one of the same model. I needed a slightly smaller seat and was lucky enough to find the exact saddle in like new condition.

[QUOTE=Toadie’s mom;7403325]
If you can find some from friends to borrow, so you can narrow the search down a bit, that’s a good way to start. I borrowed an Antares from someone, and we both liked it, so I started searching for a used one of the same model. I needed a slightly smaller seat and was lucky enough to find the exact saddle in like new condition.[/QUOTE]

Thats my problem right now, not being able to borrow saddles to try. I recently moved and have no connections to be able to borrow saddles. Hoping to travel to lexington area for lessons and try some saddles this spring. Thanks for the additional suggestions of saddle brands/types.

Doesn’t look like a terribly complicated fit. BC Quantum, Albion K2 and Loxley jump would all be worth a shot.