Manufacturer: M. Toulouse (View all products by Marcel Toulouse)
Model: Aachen (View all Aachen reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Purchased for $999.00 through SmartPak 2009, due to free shipping. I chose this saddle because, although I have spent 6 months trying many, much higher-end saddles, this one fit my long hip-knee leg and had a more forward flap.
Likes: Leather quality, stitching, and construction seems on a par with the above-$3,000 saddles I started out trying. It did not hurt anywhere the first time I tried it, in contrast to several others which either had stirrup bars that stuck out and rubbed my thighs, twists that were too wide, or angles that made my hips ache. This Aachen was extremely comfortable and needed no breaking in. Fits my Thoroughbred very well. Great buy for the money!
Dislikes: I find the billets to be sort of rough-finished looking. The sides are not dyed to match the top and bottom surfaces, but this does not seem to detract from their sturdiness. Only one confusion: some descriptions indicate panels filled with all wool, others say combination of wool/foam. Which is it? (not that I care that much; for this price, I can replace the saddle if need be down the road without breaking the bank!)
Quality: As already stated, leather quality and construction seem on a par with the Albion, Passier, Smith-Worthington and Stubben models I tried, and as nice as the old County Competitor I was replacing, which was a nice saddle that lasted me nearly 20 years.
Summary: I had to get myself over the idea that I was looking at a "lower-end" saddle due to the very reasonable price. I've always bought very high-end saddles, both hunter and dressage models. This Aachen is plenty high-end in quality, and a tremendous buy! I think the only reason it's a lower price point is because Famous International Dressage Rider-Person has yet to get their name on it as an endorsement product!
Author: harp-Shopper X-hunter Rider
Usefulness Rating: 2.6 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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