Model: RD Event
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: Bought used for $350 off of eBay early Apr '08. This is the RD model event saddle, 17" med tree. I'd been having a lot of trouble finding a great fit for me and my horse and after trying several other saddles, including quality brands like Crosby and Bates, I decided to try a less expensive make just for the heck of it.
Likes: The other saddles I tried just didn't fit. I don't have a hard to fit horse as he's a typical withered 16h TB, but too many saddles these days have extremely narrow gullets, unevenness in shape, too-thick panels, or too-thin panels. I kept getting uneven sweat stains on my saddle pads from previous saddles. The Collegiate Event is the first saddle I've had (other than an older model Crosby) that has fit evenly and comfortably for both me and my horse. The flaps are a good length, accommodating my 5'2" frame (I have long thigh bones) and also another rider's 5'7" frame. The seat is deep and comfy for long rides. Leather is thick and holds up well against heavy use. I also love that the knee pads/rolls are unobtrusive.
Dislikes: The ONLY reason I give it a 4 is because of the leather: It's thick and durable, but the color wears too much under the stirrup leathers. It can be a major eye sore for those who care.
Quality: This is the most ugly saddle I have had as it has blemishes, scrapes, dull color, and wear under the leathers, but it's been through some rough times. The stitching is in great shape and the leather itself is fine, but the beautiful coloring is gone. For practicality, this saddle is great. I don't show, so I don't care about the rough spots. It fits my horse and fits me, and that's all I ask for right now.
Summary: Leave the expensive name brand saddle in it's bag in the tack room and save it for the shows- use this saddle to rough house in, on several different horses, in all types of weather, many times a day, for many years. The Collegiate Event is great for exercising horses, training, lessons, trail riding, gaming, etc. Good investment for a young rider who might grow as these are good quality saddles for little money. Easy to find used for $300-400.
Usefulness Rating: 3.125 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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