Manufacturer: Kentaur (View all products by Kentaur)
Model: Artemis (View all Artemis reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle new at Animo Ruitersport, a Dutch online tack shop that delivers worldwide, for E1200 (roughly $1600) and had it shipped. I wanted a high quality dressage saddle with soft leather for a good price.
Likes: This saddle is SUPERB! Kentaur is a Czech company that manufactures a whole range of high quality saddles for a great price. Kentaur tests all saddles at their own sport stables next door and it shows. The supple calf leather Kentaur Artemis fits my English Thoroughbred -with a rather short spine and high withers- superbly. There is plenty of room on both sides of his spine and the wool stuffed panels follow the horses body without bumps and lumps and even. The tree is strong but flexible and I am assuming that is a whole lot more comfortable for my horse. For me: large soft knee blocks and a deep, comfortable and soft seat. The stirrup straps either go on top of the top flaps or underneath. Not many saddles have this option. I like to keep them underneath the top flap; it keeps the top flap nice and riding without tall boots it is whole lot more comfortable if your skin doesn't get caught under the stirrup straps. I use the saddle for dressage, an occasional low jump -when I am too lazy to change into my Kentaur Olympic jumping saddle:) - and for trail riding. It ensures a balanced, safe and comfortable seat at all times. It fits a lot of horses well (I have a medium size tree and a 17.5 inch seat), I have even used it on a friend's low withered Friesian horse.
Dislikes: There are none, I love this saddle! Check which model you like best. I have the Artemis. Another one of their dressage models, the Kentaur Medea, has longer panels, which is great for weight distribution -and will fit a regular proportioned sport horse- but they proved to be too long for my rather short backed Thoroughbred.
Quality: They are very popular in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, because of their value for money and their durability. The quality of this saddle is of the Passiers and that for half the price! I have seen the regular leather ones too, and although they are nice, I would recommend getting the calf skin for a little bit extra; it gives the saddle a 'rich' look, it is softer and provides more grip. Also, you can have the billets shortened or lengthened too. My other saddle is a Kentaur Olympic Calf Skin jumping saddle of 5 years old and it still looks great even after using it approximately 3 times a week.
Summary: Professional saddle for everyday use and very good value. The large knee blocks and deep seat help you keep a balanced dressage seat so your horse carries your weight in a comfortable way for both of you. I looked at many saddles in Europe and found this saddle, all things considered (quality, durability, comfort, seat support, options, price, guarantee, adjustability and price) by far the best choice.
Author: Monique Ravesloot
Usefulness Rating: 3.4 out of 5.
30 reader(s) voted.
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