I’m new to the site, and found it while researching CC saddles. I am in AZ, and while there is a small H/J contingent in the Phoenix area, Western rules the land, and there are extremely limited shopping options to try actual saddles.
Due to coming off a horse I was starting several years ago, I sustained a pelvic fracture in addition to already having back issues (WORD TO THE YOUNGSTERS - when you get older, you no longer “bounce” when you come off, so at some point you have to try to cut back on the dumb stuff…At least that is what they tell me…! ;)).
Thus, I have been in a constant search for a good CC saddle that basically rides as couch-like as possible! I had a Bates Caprilli for awhile, an older Ovation that I just used for schooling (NOT that comfy!), and now have a barely-used KB (Keith Bryan - England) jump saddle that is pretty comfortable… BUT THEN I sat in a couple of the newer HDRs and, although I have not been a fan due to concerns about quality, I have NEVER sat in a CC saddle that is so comfortable!!
So - I need the input of the community - I would like to keep price to under 2K, open to used, but the KB is newer and has the newer materials, and the HDRs are STILL more comfortable, so I’m not sure how cushy older saddles will be.
I’m somewhat tall (5’8") with longer leg, but probably within normal sizing. I am looking at doing hunters and flat classes - just doing schooling shows to get back into the swing of things and get my OTTB mare going, and then move up to rated shows. I sat in the HDR Devrel Classic and it was VERY comfortable, but it has the fancy contrast stitching and I think this is going to be in and out of style pretty quickly.
I have been looking at the M. Toulouse saddles online but styling is a little funky on some models and I don’t know anything about seat comfort. German brands are out - I already know that. I don’t need all calfskin - grain is fine for me, but sticky seat would be nice. Don’t want jumper saddle if I’m doing hunters, but would like to feel fine at 2’6" - 3’6", even though I will probably just school at that height after awhile.
All right - thanks for letting me ramble! I welcome your input - especially from those of you who, like me, have “been around the block” and possibly, “on the ground” more than necessary, because I remember the days when I was 15 years old and I thought the hard-as-a-rock Crosby PDNs were just fine!! Not anymore…:no: