Model: All Purpose
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle used (almost new condition) for $250. Owner was cleaning out the tack room, and was using an endurance saddle. I bought it for my husband who was struggling to find a saddle that didn't make him sore. Even on short rides, he was experiencing pain in front of his seat bones (pubic bone area). Since this saddle was soft in the seat, we thought it was worth a try.
We use it primarily for endurance training.
Likes: This saddle is perfect for my husband. He LOVES it and would never part with it. It has held up to moderate use...he's tough on everything, but he doesn't ride every week. He needed a no-care kind of saddle, so this works well for him. The suede seat (synthetic also) keeps you from sliding around, but isn't as easy to clean.
It hasn't rubbed the horses at all or caused any sore backs, even over long rides (15+ miles at speed)
I like that there are plenty of places to rig saddle bags!!! I wish all saddles had this!
Dislikes: This saddle doesn't fit ME at all. If we ever have need to switch horses, we have to switch saddles as well. I TRIED, and the stirrup bars just dig in my leg, probably related to the fact these saddles don't come in smaller sizes. Even so, when I shorten my stirrups accordingly, I almost can't ride this saddle--I HATE it, he LOVES it. He's 5'8" with muscular build, and I'm only 5'4"...but it's mostly the placement of the stirrup bars that kills me. I feel like it's jabbing me and I have no leg support at all.
Neither of us like the fact it has long billets and requires a dressage-style girth. I strongly prefer cord girths, and they are mohair and expensive in that length...can't find the shorter synthetic ones. So, that left us with buying a fuzzy fleece dressage girth, which can rub Arabs and other narrow horses at the elbow. It's OK for some horses, but rubs terribly on others based on their conformation. It would be much easier if the saddle had regular billets which would enable us to use the many regular length girths we already have.
Also, this saddle has been very difficult to find a shaped pad that fits it nicely.
Quality: Good construction, has held up very well over several years.
Summary: Bottom line is that if it fits you, you'll love it...if it doesn't fit your body, good luck with painful stirrup bars in your thighs. Seems to work great for "male anatomy" and people who get butt-bone sore in the saddle.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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