Manufacturer: Albion (View all products by Albion)
Model: SLK- LH (View all SLK- LH reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Purchased for $1,200- saddle is about 5-6 years old. Seems other used ones start at $1600-1900 so felt I got a decent deal. Had ridden in trainers SLK Ultima HH and really liked it except for the High Head option (pommel rise too steep). This is not the Ultima so no contoured knee block and the leather is not as 'cushy'. Saw this one with the Low Head option (more shallow rise from center of seat to pommel), asked a bunch of questions, and bought it as the Ultima's used are twice as much. My search was difficult as I have back pain to deal with.
Likes: The balance when riding. The knee blocks are large but don't notice them. Your knees don't climb into/over them. The saddle allows you to forget it is there ,causes no interference with riding. Yet, is secure for unexpected leaps and bounds. Sitting the canter is effortless, posting is comfortable. The seat kind of wraps around you- something about the shape of it that has room for seat bones yet allows your thighs to hang comfortably.
Dislikes: This part. saddle has some fading on the cantle- prob. because it is from the South. The nylon where the billets attach is wearing, friction rubs. The leather is soft and not slippery at all- but feels 'worn'- believe these are all prior owner wear issues only. I would love to have a bit more padding under the seat bones- this saddle is not bad and I mostly find it extremely comfortable- but every now and then it feels 'hard'. The Ultima seemed to have more padding despite being told the only difference is in leather and knee block contouring.
Quality: See above. Overall very, very well made saddle. The flocking has settled but again, wear issue. It seems like the type of saddle that will last a very long time. Wool flocked so can be adjusted, the knee blocks have a scooped area for your knees which I really appreciate. The blocks are firm but not hard which is nice.
Summary: Love the SLK, love the SLK Ultima more if you have an extra $$$$! Would definitely buy another as my riding truly has improved balance wise. The Low Head model is a must for anyone who has 'rubbing' issues. The saddle fits two very differently configured horses and unless you have a truly shark fin high wither horse wouldn't see a need for the high head option. Tried dozens and dozens of saddles and feel I've found something that not only helps me ride better- causes no aches and pains- happy with my purchase.
Usefulness Rating: 3.2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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