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Bates Caprilli Close Contact

Bates Saddles
- Item #16089

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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

The Bates Caprilli is ideal for showjumping, eventing and hunters.

Designed for serious and professional riders who recognize the impact of saddle design on their performance.


  • CAIR® Panel System for better performance and freer movement of horse
  • Easy-Change Gullet System allows the saddle to be fitted to suit the horse's changing shape
  • Deeper seat than most other jumping saddles for extra stability
  • Short stitched triple girth points for extra safety
  • Adjustable Flexibloc System to provide a more secure position for the rider


Test Ride this saddle! Click here for details.
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    SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

    Bates Caprilli Close Contact is rated 4.5625 out of 5 by 16.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Compromise This saddle is a great compromise for someone who can afford something, but not an expensive, high end saddle. It fits a wide range of horses (better on regular to wide horses since the gullet channel is quite wide but can fit narrower horses with the right padding). I find it is also neutrally balanced so it doesn't really put you in a position, but you can add blocks as needed. Breaks in much better than other saddles in this price range. Just sad that the quality of the leather has gone down a bit since the saddle first came out. The newer ones don't break in quite as well as the older ones. I have an older model and everyone who sits in it, loves it. And now that it's broken in, it looks like an expensive custom saddle. Overall, smart purchase if you are looking for an everyday saddle that will hold up and fit a wide variety of horses!
    Date published: 2013-10-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best saddle ever! I can't say enough good things about this saddle.
    Date published: 2011-05-31
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Saddle My horse has never gone better! I love the changeable gullet option and CAIR panels. The leather is a bit soft (scratches easily), but for the price and the options, you can't beat it.
    Date published: 2011-01-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable saddle This is a nice saddle, extremely comfortable and gets lots of compliments.
    Date published: 2010-11-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent saddle!!! This saddle is super comfortable, and fits the horses great! Changeable gullet means that I hopefully won't have to do the dreaded saddlesearch over and over again. I really like the way this saddle fits me, as well--I don't feel trapped in a deep seat. Mine didn't come with thigh blocks but I think they would help me keep my lower leg more stable. I got the havana color which oiled up very nicely and the leather quality is superb.
    Date published: 2011-11-30
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC saddle!!! I originally ordered one of these saddle for my husband as an attempt to find an affordable saddle that fit both him (6'6) and his ever growing 4 yr old mare (already and x-wide). When it arrived not only was it beautiful and easy to adjust but very comfortable! Both he and his mare LOVED it!! The flap options are great. The 18in forward flap fits his leg perfectly. He has a 36" inseam. The havana color is pretty as it has some red undertones (picture oiled Edgewood leather). I liked his so much I also purchased one for myself in a 17 1/2 forward flap. I have a 38in inseam. My two show horses are both huge (17.2 and 17.3H) and the gullet on this saddle is wide and lovely. I sold my Antares and am not looking back!! My horses have NEVER gone as well as they do in this saddle. The gullet is wide enough to not crush their spinal processes and the air panels provide just enough give. I have a friend who rode in my Caprilli shortly after I purchased it. One ride and she was hooked. She went online and bought one that day. She's 5'10 and the long flap fits her perfectly. She got rid of her custom Tad Coffin that was not even 2 yrs old. She said the Caprilli felt more balanced, easier to sit and was substantially more comfortable. I had what some would consider amongst the best saddles on the market and I paid a premium for it. My horses hated it, it wore poorly, was not adjustable and very expensive. Do yourself and your horse a favor and get one of these saddles.
    Date published: 2009-02-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this saddle to death! It breaks in so easily. It takes oil well. I have had one for over 3 years. It is great for the price. It fits every horse at my barn. We have morgans to warmbloods. It is so easy to change the width if need.
    Date published: 2009-01-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from FABULOUS! I have had such a hard time fitting my quarter horse. He has wide withers and lots of muscle, but wide saddles dont always sit right. I visited the SmartPak store where I learned about the Cair panel system and was amazed at the technology. Not only was I able to measure to find the perfect gullet size for my horse, I am also so happy to know that the air panels will evenly distribute pressure throughout my horses back. I went from having a very girthy/irritated horse to having a happy horse that has free range of movement. While his old saddle pinched his withers, he can now move freely and I have never seen such a great stride. I wish I had known about it sooner. Thanks SmartPak!
    Date published: 2009-01-21
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