Manufacturer: Heather Moffett (View all products by Heather Moffett)
Model: Fhoenix Vogue GPT (View all Fhoenix Vogue GPT reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I first came across the Heather Moffett saddles over a year ago when searching for something that might be suitable for riding more than one horse. I know there's no such thing as a "magic saddle", but, having acquired eight somewhat descent saddles of varying sizes and widths for a lesson program, I finally wanted something that was comfortable and just for me...and suitable for a few hard-to-fit horses that I frequently ride. So after many many hours of research, I came across the Heather Moffett treeless saddles. I've never ridden in a treeless so I was skeptical at first. But treeless people tend to be very passionate about their products and this particular saddle was not only "normal" looking, but also had a gullet for spine clearance. Not to mention it has memory foam and stirrup bars that are positioned for proper leg placement. So I took a chance and, after even more research, bought the saddle for about $1650 including shipping from the UK...
Likes: Now the part I've been waiting for: I get to tell you how much I love this saddle. Keep in mind I've never used or ridden in a treeless before. But after reading the way Heather Moffett designed the saddle and how that fit with my own riding techniques, I took a chance. And I'm so glad I did!! The flexibility of the saddle is a little weird at first, having been used to treed saddles, but the construction and leather are beautiful! So I tried it on a couple horses: a wide warmblood, an extra extra wide draft, and a medium grade horse. At first it feels really wide and I felt perched on top, but, after twenty minutes in the saddle it warms up and molds to your legs, creating an ideal "twist" and sinking you perfectly into the saddle. And the stirrup bars are set back enough to keep your legs in the proper position for flat work but still comfortable enough for jumps. Lately I've had to ride the wide horses bareback since All their saddles restrict their shoulders or prevent proper bending. This saddle, however, allows stability of the rider as well as freedom of movement of the horse. The trick is not expecting this saddle to work like a treed saddle. It's different than anything I've ever sat in...and I love it! I'm now saving up for a dressage version.
Dislikes: There's not much I don't like about it. Like I said, it took about twenty minutes for it to warm and conform to my seat, but it was worth the wait. I wish it were cheaper so I could by more! It looks a little odd, but that's only when there's not rider in it. Really, there's not much I don't like about it.
Quality: Absolutely gorgeous leather and very well constructed. Strong seams and strong billets along with high quality hardware where needed. Since there's no tree, the D rings are attached to the leather, making them a little risky to use a lot. I plan on getting D-ring savers to solve this problem.
Summary: Really, this is my dream saddle. I hoped to find a saddle that would make me feel the closeness of bareback with the stability of a saddle. This exceeded all my expectations. It has worked on every horse (I use sheepskin half pads, too) and each one has loved it. They move and bend better and can feel better seat commands under this saddle, too. It close enough to a treed saddle to fit within my comfort zone but still meet my needs for balance, security, and communication. Excellent!
Usefulness Rating: 3.25 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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