Manufacturer: Henri De Rivel (View all products by Henri de Rivel (HDR))
Model: Fletcher (View all Fletcher reviews)
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I bought this through eBay from a certified HDR dealer in the UK. As it was an auction format, I got a real deal...with shipping it came in under 900 Canadian. I do believe the buy it now price was just over a thousand plus about 120 shipping. Still not a bad price for a nice saddle.
Likes: It has a nice deep seat which is incredibly comfortable. It's like sitting in an easy chair on your horse. Also has nice knee blocks and thigh blocks which make me feel very secure. I have had it on 4 different horses, all of different breeds and its fit them all very well. I bought a black model and it is holding its color well. Also came with a nice HDR saddle cover.
Dislikes: The leather on the flaps and billets seemed very stiff at first despite conditioning. I finally read about hot oiling tack and tried it. Voila!! Leather is much more supple now. My only concern is that the billets are single layer not double (my previous saddle was a Bates with double layer, stitched billets to minimize stretching) so we'll see how much stretching occurs over time.
Quality: This has nice burgundy stitching which looks awesome with the black leather. Seems to be very well put together. The more I use it, the softer the leather is getting.
Summary: I'm extremely pleased with the saddle, especially for the price I paid. I enjoy it far more than the more expensive Bates I used to ride in. However, the deep seat and large knee & thigh blocks may not be for everyone. My coach finds the seat comfortable but says there is too much saddle there for her. I would certainly buy another!
Usefulness Rating: 3.125 out of 5.
16 reader(s) voted.
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