Horse Tack Review

Bates Caprilli
Close Contact with CAIR, 16.5" LF Caramel
Close Contact Saddles

For Sale on eBay

Manufacturer: Bates Caprilli
Model: Close Contact with CAIR, 16.5" LF Caramel
Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: Purchased online in '04 through Four Winds Saddlery for $1435; package included Bates Gear Bag and Bates Leathers. I needed a new saddle, as my growing young WB outgrew my beautiful (British) Gidden (medium tree) close contact. I bought this saddle based on the fact that it was the only one that I found to be soft enough in the seat. I lost a lot of weight being sick, and riding was literally bruising my seat bones. So, I tried lots of saddles at the H/J show barn where I was boarding. I found the Bates to be so incredibly comfortable, compared to everything else--and I rode in every expensive "name" saddle you can imagine.

Likes: Besides the excellent comfort, I think the leather is of decent quality--my saddle still looks new after a year and a half. It was soft from the first ride, and I think the caramel color is good looking. The gullet system is a great idea, especially for my young horse. The CAIR panels do leave a very even wear on the underside of my saddle pads after riding. My horse has not been sore-backed at all, according to my chiropractic DVM, and he had been previously. I feel balanced and correct in this saddle without the blocks. I was an equitation rider in a very flat saddle for years, so I probably would use them if I were riding over fences more.

Dislikes: It's too big for me, but that's a personal problem, not a manufacturing issue. I wish I could have found a 16" LF, but I was told that they didn't make them at the time I was ordering. The gullet system is not necessarily "easy" but you can figure it out in a reasonable amount of time, and it helps to have someone else working with you, especially the first time or two.

Quality: Again, the leather and stitching looks great after a year and a half; however, I've noticed a bit of a "sag" in the seat where my right seat bone hits. I doubt that anyone else would have this problem!

Summary: Overall, a fine saddle for the money, and the gullet system is priceless. Personally, I like the brand so much, I'm looking for the Bates dressage saddle as an option for now. I just don't want to be saddle shopping every year until my horse is mature. Granted, the Bates won't fit absolutely every single horse and rider, but for those of us dealing with young ones or multiple rides, this is a fantastic solution.

Rating: 5

Author: KJW

Date: 2006-01-15

Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.

Please give us your opinion..

Other Reviews You May Find Interesting 

Bates Caprilli Close Contact Close Contact Saddles
Beval Artisan Close Contact Saddles
Dover Circuit Premier Apex Saddle Close Contact Saddles
Dover Circuit Premier Special EQ Close Contact Saddles
Forestier Ilium Mono Flap Saddle Close Contact Saddles
M. Toulouse Annice Platinum Buffalo Leather Close Contact Saddles
Beval Artisan Close Contact Saddles
Santa Cruz Centuro Saddle Santa Cruz Centuro medium tree Close Contact Saddles
Toulouse Annice Printed Leather Close Contact Saddles
Duett Presto Close Contact Saddles
Camelot Close Contact Saddle Close Contact Saddles
Bates Hunter Jumper Close Contact Saddles
Kincade close contact saddle Close Contact Saddles
Hermes Stein Kraut Close Contact Saddles
Collegiate Diploma with gullet change system Close Contact Saddles
Camelot Close Contact Saddle Close Contact Saddles
Heritage Bespoke Yin-Yang Inner Balance Jumper/Eventer Monoflap Close Contact Saddles
Bates Caprilli Close Contact, Long Flap Close Contact Saddles
Prestwick made in England close contact Close Contact Saddles
Wintec Wintec 500 Close Contact Saddle-Caramel Close Contact Saddles

2004-2012 Horse Tack Review

 About Us •  Join Our Mailing List •  Privacy Policy