Manufacturer: Bates (View all products by Bates)
Model: Caprilli (View all Caprilli reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Bought the saddle brand new off of eBay for a little under $1000 CDN. With quite a few different horses, I loved the idea of the easy change gullet, and at the time liked the concept of CAIR.
Likes: This saddle is definitely well balanced. Narrow twist, super comfy. Fit my horse fairly well, and he seemed to like the CAIR alright. The leather is so soft (more on this in disadvantages). The easy change gullet is so convenient, having 5 different horses to work with. The deep seat was wonderful, as it was fine for flat work but also is not restrictive for two-point, etc.
Dislikes: The leather was so soft that for one thing, every mark stayed. The stirrups left more wear then they did on any of my other saddles. Flexiblocs, although convenient, were of no use to me. First lesson with it my trainer took the flexiblocs off. She was disappointed that it was more of a "trainer" saddle - it forced me into a different position then I was used to, and actually negatively affected my position. I'm an equitation rider, and found a 100% plain flat saddle to let me ride so much better. CAIR is nice, but I found I lost a lot of seat contact between me and my horse - found the air negated any close contact purpose.
Quality: Construction quality was very good. CAIR/flexiblocs would be personal preference. The leather I found to be too soft, wore VERY easily.
Summary: Not a bad saddle, but NOT worth $2900 cdn (The price they are in my local saddlery right now) It was very comfortable, but I can't say that it's the best saddle I've ever ridden in.
Usefulness Rating: 2.8 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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