Model: Caprilli AP /Vintage
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle about 25 years ago at Dominion Saddlery in Bowie, Maryland. I paid $700, new! I had just bought a 6YO 3/4 TB/1/4 QH mare, my first horse to own. I did not set off to buy a Bates. In fact, I had never heard of the brand. Nor had others I had talked to about saddle recommendations. After sitting in quite a few saddles of the more recognizable brands, the sales person suggested that I try the Bates. I did and was home at last!
Likes: I can't say enough good things about my Bates Caprilli AP saddle. I used it for hunting, cross country, and trail riding on very varied terrain. After using it for 25 years, I can't believe how well it has held up. Even the billets are still good, as are the panels. There's nary a scratch on it and the only signs of wear are where my stirrup leathers were and some "slicking" of the leather where my thighs rest. It is a wonderfully balanced and comfortable saddle and contributes to a secure seat. There is plenty of thigh support for going over smaller jumps and I also used it for early dressage. I am not but 5"4", but much of my height is in my legs, and the saddle fit my longer femur to a Tee. My mare was also very comfortable in this saddle. The seat is a relatively deep one, which contributed to great security in going up and down some pretty steep terrain.
Dislikes: I outgrew it! Once the middle age spread came around, the 16" seat no longer fits me!! I am doing dressage right now but will no doubt purchase another Bates AP with the newer improvements of the changeable gullet system and CAIR, which I have in my dressage saddle.
Quality: The construction and quality are superb. There has not been one loose stitch, tear, or unstable part and the leather has aged beautifully.
Summary: I hope that Bates has maintained their quality over the years as I plan to buy a second Caprilli AP. From reading the other reviews, it looks as if they have! This is a wonderful saddle which offers great versatility and quality and I recommend it highly.
Author: Barbara in Virginia
Usefulness Rating: 2.6 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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