Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Bates)
Model: Caprilli Close Contact Saddle (View all Caprilli Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Well I entered a sweepstakes on a horsey site and the grand prize was a Bates Caprilli saddle. A few months later when the contest ended, I received a phone call telling me I had won the saddle! So, technically I paid nothing for the saddle, but they run close to $1,700-1,900.
Likes: This is a beautiful saddle. The leather is soft and buttery. My trainer said it almost feels like it was pre-oiled or conditioned because it's not as hard and unforgiving as most new saddles usually are. It is very comfortable. I also like that because the back is so well padded, you don't need a ton of padding underneath the saddle.
Dislikes: There isn't really anything I don't like. When I first used it I used the same amount of padding that I used to and I kept feeling like it was pitching me forward, losing my leg position, etc. Once I discovered that less padding was better, the ride became much nicer. The only thing I don't like is Bates does not make a bridle to match, but the Havana colored saddle is a pretty easy color to match. I have found that it's harder to find a shaped fleece saddle pad that is the right size. The typical size 17 pad (which is the size saddle I have) is too small.
Quality: As stated above, it is so nice to look at, but it is also so comfortable to ride in. The leather is superior and if I ever need a different gullet, it's nice to have that option.
Summary: I would recommend this saddle to anyone. It is a high quality, lovely saddle. It is a nice middle range expensive saddle and it is very classy. It is perfect for the show ring and just riding at home in an arena.
Usefulness Rating: 3.3 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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