The Best English Dressage Horse-Saddles: Steal the Show

Apr 13, 2018

After weeks of vigorous dressage training and riding, testing out 10 excellent saddles our professional dressage riders came to the conclusion that the Bates Isabell Saddle is the champion. It’s the most comfortable (for rider and horse), durable, and versatile English dressage saddle money can buy you. Some of its key features include an ultra plush seat, anatomic knee rolls, and thoughtfully positioned billets.

CHAMPION

Bates Isabell Saddle

Best English Dressage Horse-Saddle

The Bates Isabell Saddle is designed with a deep seat that is unique, positioning you in a central and balanced position that ensures correct alignment that is effortless.

Coming in as our blue ribbon champion and Best English Dressage Horse-Saddle is The Bates Isabell Saddle. World-renowned dressage rider Isabell Werth’s Bates saddle is something to behold. The first of the “Bates trio”, this saddle features an extremely soft and luxurious seat, that is amazingly plush, which will give you an exceptionally smooth ride.

This saddle effortlessly aligns the rider’s position for superior performance. A deep and ultra-close contact seat ensures improved communication. The double-lined leather brings ultimate comfort for you and known for its grippy texture, you get the best of both worlds! Innovation like the Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar, adjustable Y-girthing and Flexibloc systems maximize freedom of movement and comfort for the horse! 

Your horse will notice the difference in this saddle and have access to more freedom of movement thanks to the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution and CAIR Cushion System. Enjoy comfort the right way with the Bates Isabell Saddle!

RUNNER-UP

Bates Dressage Saddle

Best Leather Quality Runner-Up

The Bates Dressage Saddle offers high performance, as innovative design and features offer increased support of your optimal dressage position.

Coming in as our red ribbon runner-up is The Bates Dressage Saddle. The second of the “Bates trio”, this saddle also features a similarly soft and luxurious seat as the Champion, but once again not quite the same, as it’s not as plush, still though you’ll experience an amazing ride in this excellent saddle. The Bates Dressage Saddle is an elegant, high-performance saddle ready for you! Featuring a deep seat with a narrow waist and broad sitting area for greater support. 

This saddle maximizes comfort and performance of the horse. The Dressage Saddle from Bates also utilizes the NEW Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup-Bar, adjustable Y-girthing, and Flexibloc systems. 

16-to-18-bates-dressage-saddle-591631-4

Your horse will notice the difference in this saddle and have access to more freedom of movement thanks to the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution and CAIR Cushion System. Enjoy comfort the right way with the Bates Dressage Saddle!

RUNNER-UP

Bates Wide Dressage Saddle

Best Value Dressage Saddle

The Bates Wide Dressage Saddle is crafted In the finest quality European leather, this saddle provides the ultimate connection with the horse through a seamless, ultra-narrow transition from the seat through the length of the leg.

Coming in as our yellow ribbon runner-up is The Bates Wide Dressage Saddle. The third of the “Bates trio”, this saddle once again features a similarly soft and luxurious seat as the Champion, but once again not quite the same, as it’s not as plush, still though you’ll experience an amazing ride in this excellent saddle. It also doesn’t feature that amazing leather we’ve been going on about, although the leather is still excellent of course, and it does have an extremely competitive price, this is an incredible value. The Bates Wide Dressage Saddle is crafted In the finest quality European leather, this saddle was specially designed for the wider horse. Featuring a deep seat with a narrow waist and broad sitting area for greater support. 

Bates Wide Dressage Saddle1

This saddle maximizes comfort and performance of the horse by utilizing the Ergonomic Stirrup Bar, adjustable Y-girthing and Flexibloc system. 

RUNNER-UP

Collegiate Classic Dressage Saddle

Best Value Dressage Saddle Runner-Up

The Collegiate Classic Dressage Saddle is hand crafted of natural, tanned, pigmented, aniline-finished high-quality leather which will accept oil. The innovative Genesis adjustable gullet system allows a single saddle to custom fit all your horses safely.

Coming in as our white ribbon runner-up is The Collegiate Classic Dressage Saddle. Another excellent choice, and once again features an extremely competitive price, this is an incredible value. The Collegiate Classic Dressage Saddle uses full-grain European leather and features the traditional deep seat for extra security. 

This saddle also has luxurious seat and knee inserts for extra comfort as well as large moveable knee blocks for your convenience. 

The self-balancing Y-girthing system helps get your saddle in the correct position quicker and easier. The EASY-CHANGE Gullet System allows you to adjust the gullet width to fit your horse. Try the Collegiate Classic Dressage Saddle today!

An English Dressage Saddle

By now you’ve definitely realized that you shouldn’t take buying an English Dressage Saddle lightly, even if you plan on buying this as a secondary Dressage saddle. Buying a second saddle is still a major purchase – and just because it’s a purchase that revolves around trying to get the greatest deal you can find – you’ll likely end up with something you will have regretted buying in the end – if when you finally get it, the dressage saddle turns out to be totally useless and just completely unusable.

But then that leads to some major questions, what are your needs when it comes to a dressage saddle, beyond great leather quality, and comfortability? Don’t worry, we got you covered, here are some of the most important qualities that make a dressage saddle truly an excellent buy.

Horse Size Perks

It’s often not on a buyer’s mind, especially when purchasing an English dressage saddle, but the ability to compensate for changes in your horse’s size throughout the years is definitely an amazing perk – and it’s a must if you plan on using this saddle for years to come. The problem is, this functionality is quite rare in most English dressage saddles, and so if the dressage saddle you wish to purchase doesn’t have it that’s not an end-all to the purchase, cause there are still many other reasons a saddle may be a great purchase.

If you’re in the market for a versatile saddle, the ideal saddle will have such features as an adjustable bar system which ranges from slender horses to big horse, so you can always have a saddle for any horse you wish to ride, another great feature of some English dressage saddles is an insertable foam for extra padding on the seat to compensate for the rider’s weight or, perhaps for added comfortability.

To find an English Dressage saddle with these features would likely prove to be a pretty hefty challenge, probably about only 10% of English dressage saddles have all of those features, and at the same time comes at an amazing price, but if you search the lower lesser known brands you can likely find a few really high-quality English dressage saddles that have these features at a great price. Most lesser known companies try to get their product sold, so in order to do so they label it with an unbeatable price, talk about competition!

Another feature that just tops some of these saddles off is the sturdy stirrups with a spinning axis, to keep your feet in the right position with little effort. These convenient little perks end up paying for the saddle in convenience, and simple functionality features like the gel implants in the seat and many other little intricacies that you simply can’t see add to the enjoyability of your rides and the horse’s comfortability when riding.

It’s more than just ‘Brand Name’

We talked about how the big brands own the market a little bit earlier, and we don’t deny that well-known brands give extremely high-quality saddles. But you got to realize, every single one of those companies started off at zero, so it’s highly possible that an English dressage saddle by a brand you’ve never heard of can turn out to be the most amazing saddle you’ve ever ridden in. Look at the intricacies and look for a feature that just sells you on it, cause when a company accounts for the minor stuff, you know they accounted for everything.

Leather Quality VS Functionality

We like to say that bad leather quality is a deal breaker when it comes to buying an English dressage saddle, but that’s not always true, there are two types of dressage saddles we’ve come to know, one’s that feature incredible functionality, and ones that feature the most luxurious, grippy, and durable leather, (although, it’s true that our champion pick is a best of both worlds pick! Great functionality AND incredible leather.) but sometimes the functionality is the better pick, as long as it has decent and durable leather quality. Cause the increased functionality offers versatility, comfortability, and resale value, while higher leather quality dressage saddles increase durability, finesse, rider accuracy, and skills. The higher resale values allow you to have that extra option, if you ever want an upgrade pick or just looking to try out a new saddle, it’s a great idea to buy a lesser quality leather saddle if it offers some truly unique functionality and versatility.

With the higher leather quality dressage saddles being used for competitions and shows, the lack of functionality that comes with some of them can cause problems, especially if you plan to ride multiple different horses, or if your horses weight changes often, as saddles that offer higher functionality give you the benefits of size compensation and many other great features. So, if you’re looking for an English Dressage Saddle with great leather and functionality you can expect to pay a pretty penny, but we’ll tell you now, it’s worth it.

We know, it’s a hard decision buying a dressage saddle but you don’t need to worry, our picks are verified to be some of the finest saddles out there, most of them feature great leather and functionality, it’s not a hard decision when you got the quality paired with functionality, at a great price! And, tried and true saddles are the ones you should put your money into, even the lesser known brands we promote are proven by our team to be excellent buys, still you should expect these saddles to come at a decent price even the lesser options, as they are better than 99% of English dressage saddles out there.

Dressage Competitions

The English Dressage Saddle is known to be a saddle used in competitions, it’s not a saddle someone just starting out would buy. But, some dressage saddles perform better in competitions than others, especially when it comes to leather quality, functionality, and durability. So, you should pick the saddle based on your needs, we suggest the champion for the more serious riders, and the lower options are also great, a white ribbon runner-up is a great option for anyone starting out or planning to move on to something bigger.

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