Manufacturer: Pessoa (View all products by Pessoa)
Model: Rodrigo Pony Saddle (View all Rodrigo Pessoa Pony Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I got this saddle off Ebay for a bit upwards of $600. I needed a saddle of my own once I began leasing a horse. It came with stirrup leathers and peacock stirrups. It's pretty similar to their current Rodrigo Pony model. It's a 15.75" with a medium tree.
Likes: The seat is pretty comfortable and the two-tone is attractive. After two years of being used several times a week, it still oils up looking like new. I'm not a 'hard-core' tack oiler - I only put on a little, about once or twice a month - so the leather has not stayed dark. I use neatsfoot oil which temporarily darkens the tan seat and knee rolls down to a nice tobacco. The leather takes oil extremely well - it's almost as if all the blemishes are erased, leaving the saddle soft and clean. The wool flocking has held up quite well. This saddle has worked on every lesson horse I've ever tried it on. Now that I've actually bought a horse, it fits her great - conforms perfectly to her shape and doesn't pinch or block her withers. (She's a little TB with moderate withers).
Dislikes: Pessoa leather just seems so vulnerable. A small scuff will leave a mark, and though the marks disappear with oiling, it still bothers me. The stirrup leathers leave the flap a light color from the rubbing, though this also goes away with oiling. The seat puts you in a pretty upright position, which is nice at times, but takes some getting used to for jumping. Also, though the leather on the cantle and knee rolls is not too loose or tense, the leather on the pommel is taut and sometimes shows little cracks if I don't oil it enough. I've read reviews from people whose pommel-leather split and I'm worried about that happening to my saddle, but since I oil it regularly enough, I don't think that will happen for at least a few years.
Quality: The leather is very high quality, very grippy but still smooth and takes oil well without major discoloration. The tree is very nice and fits many different horses. The balance of the tree is great for flatwork and good for jumping. The stitching is pretty tight but it's come undone where my lower calf rubs the bottom of the flap. The only bad leather on the saddle is the billets, which are ugly and rough, but at least they are very sturdy and the holes are nice and big.
Summary: I love this saddle despite its imperfections and hope to keep it a very long time. I get compliments on it a lot and friends wanting to try it out. The leather seems fragile but has held up quite well through two years of steady use. I've taken this thing in lessons, shows, and on trail rides. It still looks fantastic and fits me just as well as the day I bought it.
Author: Happy Saddle Owner
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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