Manufacturer: Ascot International (View all products by Ascot International)
Model: Riding/Eventing/Jumping Saddle (View all Riding/Eventing/Jumping Saddle reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle because it was advertised as a relatively inexpensive "step up from the saddles normally sold on eBay." According to the vendor, a California based company called Frontier Equestrian, the saddle retailed for $599, but their "special relationship" allowed them to sell the saddles for under $200 -- mine cost $165.
Likes: This is an attractive, sturdy saddle with reinforced stirrup leathers and a medium tree that I've had no problems using on Morgans, thoroughbreds, and Quarter horses. It's easily as comfortable as some of the more expensive saddles I've used in the past. You definitely get more for your more for your money -- I would say $500 an accurate reflection of the quality.
Dislikes: The vendor implies that Ascot is a European company and "used extensively" throughout England and Germany (however, I have NEVER seen an Ascot saddle advertised in UK horse publications), but they are actually made in India; the leather is very dull, making these saddles shine is impossible...that's my biggest complaint. Also, be aware that this is a very forward saddle -- if you are prone to hunching (like I am), you may want to find a more traditional seat.
Quality: The construction is very good, it can take a beating and still look snappy. The quality of the leather, as I mentioned before, leaves something to desired.
Summary: This is a good middle-ground piece of tack for a serious rider who is still novice. It's safe, comfortable, and while $600 may be highballing the price somewhat quality wise, the $145 - $250 range they're sold for through Frontier Equestrian is a great deal.
Usefulness Rating: 4 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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