Manufacturer: Derby Orginals (View all products by Derby Originals)
Model: La Fitte Close Contact (View all La Fitte Close Contact reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I recently started taking English lessons to improve my balance. I'd had an old AP saddle that I had used for years to break horses or just hack around the pasture when I didn't feel like saddling up with my barrel saddle. The old AP was a 16'' seat and after one lesson my trainer informed me I needed at least a 17.5'' seat to ride properly. So since I work at a tack and feed store I checked my catalogs for a nicer but inexpensive saddle (2 kids a house note and board d and I just can't afford a Crosby)I came across this Derby originals catalog and called them up. I explained to the sales lady what I was looking for, what I was doing ( flat work and some jumps) and she suggested the La Fitte Close Contact. She also suggested the Super Soft Leathers since I didn't want to have to worry with breaking them in. I ordered it and 2 weeks later it arrived, got it to the barn and my trainer looked at it and said "It's a nice enough saddle for the price and what your doing" so we saddled up ol Buck the lesson horse and I rode in it. Paid 300+ for saddle, leathers, irons,& it came with a free cover!!!
Likes: I love this saddle. It's comfortable and looks great on the horses I ride. It's a regular tree and even on my old mare with super high withers it fits perfectly. The leathers were great and soft so no breaking in was required just like the sales rep said.
Dislikes: The only problem i have with this saddle set is the leathers which while I love them, I also kind of am disappointed in them. After only riding in the saddle 4-5 times, the leathers flaked and peeled a bit. I just super conditioned them and put a leather sealer on them and they are fine now. Also the leathers I got were ones that were reinforced at the top and the reinforcement (which is a metal casing around the leather where it attaches to the buckle) has gouged my saddle putting a nasty mark on it. yeah it's covered by the flaps but still it irks me that it's rubbed already. I've since put some vet wrap around them to keep it from further damaging my saddle.
Quality: Saddle: built well and has held up wonderfully. It's been ridden in extreme heat and extreme cold. Ridden through a sudden rain shower and trail ridden too. I love this little saddle Leathers: Decent enough, just the above mentioned issues
Summary: I would recommend this saddle to anyone looking for a nice schooling, lesson and local show saddle. it's comfortable, durable and nice looking. I would however recommend getting the regular stirrup leathers and taking the time to break them in.
Author: Heather H
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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