Model: Grand Gilbert 17M Regular Seat
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle used through Tack Trader and I paid 1,100 including shipping. The saddle is in great shape, has a regular seat, and does not have gusseted panels. I am 5'8" and of normal build and have found this saddle to fit me perfectly. My horse is a fairly standard shape, and this saddle works perfectly for him.
Likes: This saddle puts me in the correct place with great balance without feeling like it's holding me there. I am a saddle seat convert, so I like a saddle without much to it. This saddle has that, but it has still improved my position tremendously because of its excellent balance. I love the regular seat, no deep seat necessary (though I'm sure the deep seat model is great too). My horse loves this saddle as well, and it seems to fit a variety of horse shapes. The tree is also adjustable by a saddle fitter if necessary. I find the overall look of this saddle to be lovely. It's classic, the leather is top notch, and the craftsmanship is excellent. I honestly can't say enough good things about this saddle.
Dislikes: The only thing I would change about this saddle is the thigh blocks. I didn't realize they would be quite as large as they are. Honestly, though, I think they've helped my form, as I was formerly a saddle seat rider and would tend to grip a little too much with my knees. So now I really don't notice the thigh blocks at all, as they only come into effect if I get too tight in my knees. Plus, I know slightly larger thigh blocks are a positive thing for a lot of people.
Quality: I haven't found a single thing wrong with this saddle, though I bought it used. With a little bit of clean up, it looks practically new. One thing I've noticed (that doesn't bother me at all) that others have commented on as well, is that the seat does seem to get a little faded with age. It's really not that noticeable (more of a very slight fade like when you've washed a black shirt many times), and when you're riding, you can't see it at all. So this doesn't bother me a bit, and it's only the leather in the seat area.
Summary: This saddle was well worth what I paid for it, and I would have paid a lot more for it if I could afford it. It fits me, my horse, and a lot of other horses, and it puts me in a perfect position without holding me there. The saddle is well balanced and lovely to look at. In short, I cannot recommend this saddle enough!
Usefulness Rating: 1.33333 out of 5.
3 reader(s) voted.
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