Model: JES Elite Dressage Saddle w/ FLAIR
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle from a seller on ebay in February 2009 for $1800. It is a Nov. 2001 model in very good condition.
Likes: I have a VERY difficult horse to fit. She is a TB mare with a large shoulder and narrow withers and will not tolerate anything that restricts the movement in her back or shoulders. After purchasing a Schleese jumping saddle that was fitted perfectly to my horse, I decided to try a Schleese dressage saddle. I test rode the Wave and Infinity models at a saddle fitting clinic and found that both had too wide a twist for me. The saddle fitter recommended I try a JES Elite, which has a narrower twist. So I began looking for a used one, as I could not afford to order a new one. I finally found one and purchased it. I couldn't be more happy with it. It not only has a narrower twist, it also has a deep seat and the grippy buffalo leather. It puts me in a very correct dressage position and allows me to sit the trot nicely, especially in the downward transition from the canter. I was bit nervous about purchasing a saddle with "air panels", after having had a Bates saddle. However, the FLAIR panels are NOTHING like the Cair panels on the Bates and Wintec saddles. The FLAIR panels are soft and the air adjust to the shape of the horse's back, unlike the hard, nonconforming Cair panels. In addition, Schleese can adjust the amount of air in each of the panels to allow for an even better fit. This saddle has a medium to large block that I am very happy with. However, the blocks are removable and Schleese offers a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Dislikes: I LOVE my saddle, but these saddles are not for everyone as they are very expensive, even used. However, if you have a difficult horse to fit, or you have the money, these saddle are fantastic and I HIGHLY recommend them!
Quality: The quality of this saddle is impeccable. Most of my friends cannot believe that it is nearly 8 years old; it looks half that age. Even in it's used condition, the buffalo leather has remained soft, supple and grippy. However, it has very few marks and rubbing areas on it, indicating the high quality of leather used. As with all Schleese saddles, it has the AdptaTree that truly can be custom fitted to the horse. In addition, the fit can be changed/adjusted as your horse's body changes or, if you choose, to a different horse altogether. Schleese can also replace/repair anything on the saddle as needed.
Summary: With the amazing quality and craftsmanship of this saddle and the ability to have it custom fit to your horse, this saddle truly is a saddle you can have for life! It is worth every penny you pay for it.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
11 reader(s) voted.
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