Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I went to have my Schumacher Profi fitted to my Arabian stallion. He is a difficult horse to fit because he has wide withers and a large barrel. I had been through a lot of saddles, pads, and even an overgirth to try to keep his saddle from sliding forward onto his shoulders as he was being ridden. During the fitting, I was given the opportunity to ride him in a "test model" DK that the demonstrator adjusted to fit him specifically. Not only did it not slide onto his shoulders, it stayed in place, he started loosening up in the shoulders, and that wonderful free moving trot that he is so famous for at play actually started to show up by the end of our test ride. Not only that, but he was doing a lot of relaxation blowing and his back was up and round. I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a used DK at that saddle fitting for half price and have it fitted on site.
Likes: I like the secure feel of this saddle and how it helps me to maintain the proper position, but doesn't feel confining. I appreciate the comfort for my horse and the way that this saddle maintains its position and does not slide forward. A bonus is that I have been able to get good results by riding my two other horses in this saddle even though it was not specifically fitted to them. Their gaits are loftier, their attitudes are better, and I think that it is improving all of us as a team. The saddle is very comfortable, good looking, well made, and at this point in my dressage training, it is just what I need. To me it feels almost as if the horse and I have become one, I'm able to think about the next move, and the horse's legs become my own and do what I was thinking (if I planned it correctly).
Dislikes: If there is anything that I don't like about it, I guess it would be the fact that it should be adjusted twice a year. The other thing is that it can be difficult to tighten the girth on a young horse while mounted, and with this saddle, you need to make sure it is tight. The air panels make the saddle actually squish down onto/into the horses back, and what you thought was tight when you got on, isn't tight once you are on. You also need to have a mounting block (granted, a good idea anyway), because if you didn't get the saddle good and tight, it's going to slip when you start to mount. Once you are secure though, you can't beat it.
Quality: It's a really nice saddle and you can have it made with a point girth if you have a really significant problem with forward slippage. The saddle is a single flap, so the contact is excellent and the horse can feel the slightest flexing of your inner leg muscles. The leather is a really nice quality, and when you order a new saddle you can have a custom color insert between the saddle seat and flaps. The seat is nice and deep, and with the adjustability, your saddle fitter can help you to find your "sweet spot" and help you to maintain it as you develop your skills and your horse develops the ideal dressage musculature.
Summary: Our DK Saddle Fitter lives about 10-hours from here. I have not had to have my saddle adjusted again, but if the adjuster comes on a day when I can't get out of work and haul my horse(s) to the barn where the fitting is taking place, I will probably miss the clinic until the next occasion for them to make the trip down. This may or may not be an issue, depending upon how much riding I am able to do and how much my horse's physique changes in the interim.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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