Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I did a test ride of this saddle at a tack shop in NJ. It was just under $3000 and came with a beautiful purple and black Bates saddle holder. I was testing this saddle and a french semi custom saddle. I was AMAZED with the results of the BATES that was almost a thousand less than the custom saddle I tried!!
Likes: I tested the custom saddle first. My trainer rode in the saddle while I watched. He went nicely in this saddle and she rode him for a good 20 minutes. We decided to switch saddles and the MOMENT he took a step in the Bates--it was like a weight was lifted off of his back!! I cannot describe how amazing my horse went in this saddle. His performance went from a 7 to a 10...this saddle truly is made for the comfort of the horse AND rider in mind.
I ended up purchasing 2 Bates Innovas. They make an extended bloc ( which is kind of radical looking) but it's great for big horses with a lot of impulsion cause it really "sticks" you there. But I also purchased the regular bloc for training some of our green horses--seems to allow more movement of the riders leg.
Don't let the blocs scare you!!!! They are contoured where your leg goes...so you really melt into the bloc--the bloc does not fight your leg.
Dislikes: The sizing of this saddle is a little tricky when buying. They size 0, 1, 2. I'd definitely recommend when buying to speak with a knowledgeable sales person to make sure you get the correct size. It's definitely a saddle you should sit in and test ride before buying. But beware... Once you sit in it you won't wanna get out!!
Quality: Easy Change Gullet System: you can change the gullet to fit ANY horse.
CAIR Panels: Air panels that have been a miracle to my old mare...who has had back problems her WHOLE life. I have incorporated them to all of my horses now...no more sore backed cranky horses!
Summary: Fabulous Saddle...it's worth the investment. If you can afford it buy one, if you can afford two--buy 2 like I did.
It's catching on...now 3 more people in my barn are interested in buying one because of the success I've had! Good luck shopping!
Usefulness Rating: 4.208 out of 5.
125 reader(s) voted.
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