Manufacturer: Pessoa (View all products by Pessoa)
Model: A/O Saddle (View all A/O Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle lightly used off the internet a few months ago for $1000. It is a few years old, and I believe that it is one of the Pessoa saddles that was still made in Paris. (Most of them are now made in Argentina, and I've heard that the quality of the newer saddles has dropped considerably.)
Likes: The saddle is amazing! The knee rolls are butter-soft, and the seat is soft as well. The saddle doesn't squeak at all, and I will admit that I don't take great care of it. The flaps are soft and strong, and the saddle is comfortable for long trail rides as well as jumping in the ring. The knee rolls are even in good enough position to do dressage. The seat and knee rolls are made of calfskin, and they are very grippy and I feel very secure in this saddle. It also has a wider seat, and although I don't really need it it is still comfortable. The saddle doesn't have a very deep seat, but is still feels secure and helps me to get a better jumping position, since the saddle doesn't do ALL the work for me.
Dislikes: There really isn't anything that I DON'T like, but the calfskin seat and knee rolls (as much as I love them!) scare me! They scratch relatively easily, but the marks can be easily rubbed out. The saddle is also a little big in the seat for me, but most saddles are since I've got a tiny tush and long legs, so the seat in saddle is always a size or two too large for me to accommodate my legs. Even though I'm not really "held" in the saddle or sitting where I can feel the back of the saddle, I haven't EVER felt insecure. (In some saddles you can really tell that you are "in" the saddle, where the seat is deep enough that you are able to feel the saddle behind and in front of you. This saddle doesn't fit me that way, but it still feels safe and I have a good, balanced seat.)
Quality: The quality is very well put together. The stitches are tight and it is comfortable and soft. The seat and knee rolls are delicate since they are calfskin, but so far they haven't suffered any major scratches. The saddle is easy to clean, and still looks nice even without regular cleaning/oiling. I keep the saddle under a cover, but it is easy to dust off and water doesn't seem to stain it. (But I squirted some saddle cleaner on the underside, and it did leave a darkened spot under the saddle. It's visible though. Just be sure to not let water/cleaner sit for any period of time). I'm pretty sure my saddle is also handmade, because I can swear that one knee roll is SLIGHTLY in front of the other. :)
Summary: I would definitely suggest this saddle to anyone. If you want a good, durable, comfortable saddle that puts you in good position I would recommend this saddle. I use it for everything, and ride in jeans as well as jods and the jeans haven't damaged the saddle yet. It is very well made and overall a great saddle!
Author: Caroline P.
Usefulness Rating: 3.2 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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