Model: Caprilli (Older)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle on eBay, and although I had never sat in one, had been looking at them at the local tack shop, and knew that I would like it. So, I was just browsing on eBay, and saw this great deal (the gal who sold it had a sad, but pleasant story). I had sold a few saddles, and bought this one also purchased the gullet set with all plates, and had called a saddler to be sure that I could have her change the same, and replace the plate if I choose to do so. She told me that was not a problem.
Likes: I absolutely love this saddle. I have had it for several years now, and since it was in good condition when I purchased it, I have kept it that way. I am comfortable riding anywhere in this saddle, and feel as though it was made for me. I had basically gone "back to the basics" after riding Thoroughbreds that either were right off-the-track or my last one who needed very little leg, so I wanted to get my legs and seat and aids back as that is what I believe is the best way to start. After that, the mare that I had been riding, went on the market, and I had finally asked my dressage instructor if there was any way that she would allow me to carry and use a dressage whip, and was thankful that I asked. I had been riding this big mare in a Wintec Isabelle and would not buy one of those...even if I had little or almost no money. I preferred the Pro, if I recall.
I sold my other saddles and bought this one. I found some other horses to ride that were in need of rehab or a rider...all Appendix Thoroughbreds. My friend had a nice big Appendix QH...and my saddle fit him perfectly. She tried it and wanted to buy it from me, but I absolute love it.
However, if I found either a used and older model Bates a good older one, I would try to buy that also definitely do so. Nonetheless, I love my Bates Caprilli dressage saddle, and it seems to fit the horses that I was riding prior to moving.
I have had several dressage saddles and also all-purpose ones, and this is by far the best. I wouldn't think twice about riding out on the trails in this and have done so. I can promise you that if you can buy one, you will love it.
Dislikes: There is nothing that I don't like about the saddle. My friend suggested that I buy
Bates leathers, and I made the mistake of buying ones that were way too long for me, and my own (my parents may have them...as I think that I may have to have a saddle punch through the leather (nylon lining). When I bought the one pair (ebay again), I didn't think about the length. The wintec and Bates stirrups make your legs more comfortable, but i am quite used to the older style and when i do find them, will see if hold punch works and if not, wouldn't think twice about going to a saddler. I would also change the gullet is necessary.
, as I am not sure if a hole punch will work or not. I am sure that a saddler can add a few more holds, but I am used to riding with regular stirrups...that would be a plus...but is not at all negative about the saddle (the leathers are nylon on the inside and covered with leather on the outside...very nice...Wintec makes the nylon one... The stirrups, again, would be a plus...but it doesn't bother me.
Quality: As I mentioned above, this is a well-made saddle, and although it is not new...it appears just slightly used. I hesitate to buy a used saddle unless I have had a chance to sit in it, but kept in touch with the seller, and also could tell that it had barely been used. Great quality for a used saddle.
Summary: I can't say anything more...but I had wanted a Kieffer Dressage dressage saddle (didn't fit my horse and was not in great condition, but I worked on it so that I was fine for daily use). I sold that and a few others. I had a brand new Lucinda Greene when I bought my one little TB off-the-track and took lessons from his former owner/trainer. That was years ago, but I did like that very much. I don't think I should have ridden a horse that was so green in that saddle (he ducked when he spooked, and it wasn't too hard to slide off...) Sadly I had to sell it as I needed the money and could not find another...and am not sure if they make them now. (don't believe that they do)... Nonetheless, the Bates Caprill Dressage saddle is just great. I would also say that if you could find the other saddle, that you might try it, but it would be rather old now, unless it was not used).
However, if you can find a new or used Bates Caprilli (dressage or event saddle)...buy it immediately.
If you find a Bates Caprilli dressage saddle and are in a shop that has a nice wooden "horse"...do try one! I would love to try the Bates Caprilli...but would buy one if I ever could afford one...even, a good used one, if I had the chance.
I can't say enough....try one, if you can!
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