Manufacturer: Circuit (Dover) (View all products by Circuit)
Model: Close Contact Saddle (View all Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I tried this saddle after seeing it advertised at a consignment shop. It was for sale for $700 second hand, which seemed a bit steep, and it was a 16.5", which is a little small for me, so I didn't end up purchasing it.
Likes: I didn't have high hopes for this saddle, as it didn't seem to be very good quality (see below). However, I was surprised at how comfortable it was to sit in, and how well it fit my horse. It had a nice wide channel, and it cleared his withers well. It had a comfy flat seat, and put me in a nice position over fences, although it was a bit small for me.
Dislikes: The quality of the leather was awful! It had been lightly used since new, but the dye on the flaps had almost completely worn off, and they were mostly black. The leather on the flaps was stiff and plasticky, despite some oiling by the previous owner. The top of the channel just below the cantle was quite low, so I had to use a pad to make sure it didn't sit down on my horse's spine, but that wasn't a big problem.
Quality: The stitching seemed fine, although the saddle didn't seem to have had much use. The dying on the flaps seemed to be a weak point. But it's a cheaper saddle, so I guess you get what you pay for.
Summary: Being new to the US, I've been trying a heap of second hand saddles, usually from manufacturers I'm not familiar with, just to try and find one to fit me and my horse. I didn't think this would be a big problem, but it's been tougher than I thought! The Dover was actually one of the better ones. If I can find one in a bigger size for a cheaper price on ebay, I'll probably buy it. I'd recommend it for someone who was looking for a cheaper saddle, and was realistic about the quality of cheaper saddles.
Usefulness Rating: 2.2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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