Bates Isabell Saddle is rated
Rated 5 out of
Durable, comfortable saddle!
This is a nice quality saddle. I have ridden & shown in it for several years & it's holding up great. I have been able to have my saddle fitter adjust it as my horse has developed using the adjustable gullet system. It has a very comfortable, deep & well balanced seat.
Date published: 2021-09-01
Rated 1 out of
I really wanted to like this saddle
I ordered this saddle as a test ride and was really hoping it would work as a stopgap for my new horse- something that would allow us both to begin working comfortably while he built top line. My horse has been really good natured about trying saddles but he was clearly unhappy with the Bates Isabell (despite the fact that it appeared to fit).
The quality of the saddle is disappointing. I ordered the Luxe version and the leather on the body of the saddle seemed cheap. The quality of the billet straps is poor- they are waxy and stiff. I understand that this is an economy grade saddle but it doesn’t have the feel of being a good value.
I really didn’t not like the external flap strap. This is a pointless appendage.
I have an old Wintec Isabell (circa 2002) with wool flocking in my tack room that it is a much better saddle than this Bates (even though it’s basically falling apart at this point). I was hoping that this saddle would maybe be a nicer version of that old classic. It isn’t.
Smartpak is a great company and the test ride program is great, do not buy this saddle until you have had a chance to demo it...but honestly even then I am not convinced it’s not worth the cost of shipping.
Date published: 2020-06-03