Horse Tack Review

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Close Contact Saddles

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Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)

Model: Parfaire (View all Parfaire reviews)

Category: Close Contact Saddles

Purchase: I recently bought the Collegiate Parfaire saddle, I got mine in an 18.5" seat with extended flaps and a wide tree, in 'rich caramel' colour. It was priced at $1350 but I bought it on clearance from horseloverz for $729.

Likes: This saddle is beautiful. It looks just like a saddle worth twice as much. The seat is padded with some kind of memory foam, it is so soft and comfortable. The seat and padded part of the flaps are made from a soft, grippy leather. The stitching detail on the flaps is a nice touch. Also, the knee rolls are velcro so you can move them around or remove them completely.

Dislikes: I dont like the extended flaps, but that is my own fault. The ad I purchased the saddle from, said they extended flap option was more forward and a bit longer. It is not more forward at all, in fact my knee barely stays on the flap it almost sticks over the front of the flap. It is fine for riding on the flat but when I raise my stirrup to jumping length its not that great. Had I known that it was just a longer flap, not more forward, I would have not gone for that option and stayed with the regular flap. Also, the wide tree is extremely wide, I find it compares to the extra wide (white gullet) on the convertible collegiate saddles, if not maybe even a bit wider.

Quality: This saddle is nicely put together, and made out of good quality leather especially for the price. The seat and padded flaps, and panels are nice and soft and take little time to break in, but the flaps themselves are a bit stiffer leather so will take more time to soften up. The only problem Ive found with the construction of this saddle, is the little felt buttons at the back of the panels kind of fell off. It looks fine as it is now but I found it odd they fell off within days of me buying it brand new.

Summary: This is a great saddle for the price. If it fits you and your horse, it is an excellent buy even at full price. It looks like a more high end saddle and fits right in at the show ring. I do recommend trying it out before buying one though, as the tree sizes are not like most collegiates. Also make sure to get the correct seat/flap size... I had to double check mine as I normally ride in a 17.5" but in this saddle I needed an 18 or 18.5".

Rating: 4

Author: rhinestone cowgirl

Date: 2010-12-30

Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
1 reader(s) voted.

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