Manufacturer: Henri di Rivel
Model: Show Jumping Pro
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle through an online tack store as an Xmas gift for my daughter in 2007. I paid $550, which included shipping. It was our third saddle from this manufacturer, and our second Pro Show Jumping model. It also was the first one that we purchased brand new.
Likes: It's a very pretty saddle.The calfskin seat and knee pads are soft and grippy, and the workmanship overall is quite nice.
Dislikes: The non-calfskin leather parts are very stiff, and board-like, even after much conditioning with Leather Therapy. However, the biggest disappointment was that the company had changed the design, making the flap longer and much more forward, and thus it no longer was a good fit for my daughter. They also seemed to have widened the twist, and she could not keep her leg in position, no matter what. Since we still had her smaller Show Jumping pro (only 1/2" smaller) in our tack room, we were able to physically compare them.
Quality: The stitching and detail were very nicely done, and the overall workmanship was pretty good. The only fault was that one of the HDR buttons on the pommel fell off on day 2 (they're just glued on, and are easy to replace). The calfskin seat and kneerolls were of lovely, grippy leather, but the rest of the riding surfaces were hard and slippery. My daughter has always ridden in Henri de Rivels, since her first Pony Pro, and I have to say that the quality of their leather has definitely gone downhill. They still claim it to be "French leather", but it's not the same.
Summary: We were sad to give up on HDR, but they're just not what they used to be. Since the "Pro" line is now cheapened to be like their Advantage line used to be, maybe the higher priced, Rivella series would have the quality of the old Pro. We'll never know, because now she rides in a Forestier Atlanta (purchased used, of course), and there's no going back :) So, if you're thinking HDR, look for an older Pro, say 2002 and beyond. The two that we had before were wonderful saddles!
Author: Pony Club Mom
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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