Manufacturer: Marcel Toulouse (View all products by Marcel Toulouse)
Model: Luciano Master (View all Luciano Master reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle brand new from 123tack.com for $600 on clearance. I purchased this saddle because the jumping saddle I had been using seemed too narrow in the channel for my new warmblood cross and seemed to be causing pain and problems in his gaits (especially the canter) which did not exist when ridden in my dressage saddle. The price was unbeatable on this saddle and the reviews of M. Toulouse saddles appeared good.
Likes: This saddle has a wonderful wide channel and gives a wonderful amount of clearance for the spine. The panels are very broad and therefore distribute the rider's weight much more favorably. From the very first ride, my horse was noticeably more comfortable. Previously, he resisted to bend at the canter and was switching leads in the hind in an attempt to balance himself while remaining braced against the bend. The first time I rode him in this saddle, he snorted and softened and relaxed into his stride immediately. I cantered him out and for the first time (in a jumping saddle) he allowed bend through his barrel and remained comfortably in the correct lead. I might add the the previous saddle I had used on him appeared to fit his shoulder and wither, and a local saddler claimed the fit was correct. The feedback from my horse told me otherwise. This saddle has movable knee blocks which are great. The leather of the seat and knee rolls is soft, supple, and comfortable immediately. I love how this saddle positions me. I also ride a Stubben and a Pessoa, both of which tend to force my pelvis into more of a forward position than I would like. The seat is nonrestrictive and a forward seat can easily be achieved as well as a not-so-forward seat for flatwork. The leather is grippy and gives a very secure feel.
Dislikes: The leather of the flaps is thick and therefore stiff, but should condition quite nicely. At this price point especially, it isn't really a valid complaint. My only gripe with this saddle is that the stirrup bars are sooo tight that it is nearly impossible to get the leathers under them. I've dealt with tight stirrup bars before, but these are CRAZY tight. It's exceptionally hard to adjust stirrup length once the leathers are on the saddle. Hopefully after some break-in time this won't be such an issue, but for now it is a royal inconvenience.
Quality: Overall great construction. Stitching is tight and even. Saddle is well balanced, flocking is great and correct. Leather quality is actually really amazing at this price point, and would be considered good quality for a saddle that cost three times more.
Summary: This is an amazing saddle for the price. The wide tree is truly wide unlike many other brands that tend to run medium-wide. The panel construction is great and will provide great support to most horses. Deals that are too good to be true like this one don't last for long!
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.
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