Manufacturer: HDR (View all products by Henri de Rivel (HDR))
Model: Monoflap - from Rivella line (View all Monoflap - from Rivella line reviews)
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I was looking for a new saddle about six months ago, something with close contact that I would feel secure in for rigorous cross country riding. I found this by chance at a local tack store. It has a 17" seat, which is a tiny bit big, but I like the extra room. I paid about $1,000 for it. It was originally about $2,000, but it has a very superficial scratch (that oiled out well), so they sold it for half price.
Likes: I love the close contact of the monoflap. The long billets eliminate the girth buckles from under your legs, which I always found uncomfortable. My equitation has improved dramatically because it sets you in the right position. The thigh blocks aren't obnoxiously large, which I prefer. It has a flatter seat that doesn't inhibit you over fences, but is still secure for galloping. I get lots of compliments because it really is a nice-looking saddle! It is a medium-wideish tree, and it's fit every horse I've put it on, even a round pony that nothing fits. My horse moves better in it, because of the reduced weight on his back.
Dislikes: I didn't like the oakbark color, but with a few applications of neatsfoot oil, it darkened almost to a havana color! The billets were stiff initially, but a few hot oilings fixed that problem. The calf blocks sometimes interfere with my leg when I shorten my stirrups, but that is because I need a slightly shorter flap (has nothing to do with the saddle).
Quality: Soft and supple leather, for the most part. It is well put-together and very comfortable to ride in. Constructed like a typical monoflap.
Summary: I am surprised at the quality of this saddle, since it is made by HDR. The leather is much nicer than what is found on a typical HDR saddle (perhaps because this is from their expensive line). It is everything I expected from a monoflap, and I think it's a good competitor for the more expensive styles. You don't need to put out $4,000+ for a Chiberta to get a great quality monoflap.
Author: take the stage
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
17 reader(s) voted.
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