Manufacturer: Collegiate (View all products by Collegiate)
Model: Jessica (with Large Blocks) (View all Jessica (with Large Blocks) reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I paid $695 for my Collegiate Jessica (Jessica Trainer), in nearly new condition in 2010. It was at a local consignment shop (Middleburg Tack Exchange). I randomly picked up b/c I liked it's straight leg look, but I'd never considered such a "low end" saddle.
Likes: I picked up this saddle, along with a passier GG, an Albion SLK, and a Custom Advantage to try and I was shocked at how GREAT this saddle rode. I ride at 3rd level. My younger horse needed a saddle and wouldn't fit my other horse's. This saddle has a lovely narrow twist which is very comfortable (not like riding a board), encourages a straight leg position much like the Custom Advangage/Steffan Peters Model. I believe this saddle is actually a GG knockoff and I bought it over the GG b/c the block on the GG was slippery and not securing my leg during downward transitions.
Dislikes: Seat is a little slippery, but I'll just ride in my full seats (of course, I'm comparing this to my buffalo saddle...) and it's fine. This saddle is also NOT yet broken in...it's probably had less than 10 rides.
Quality: Great--no concerns so far. People have complained the flocking is hard on these saddles on this forum, but I disagree. It's no more firm than most flocking and much softer than on the passier non-gussetted saddle I tried. It was cheap enough that if, in 2 years, this saddle needs reflocking, I'm happy to invest that into this saddle. Style is like the GG--most people mistake it for the GG. Horse seems very very happy under this saddle and his mattes pad (shark withered, big OTTB)
Summary: THIS SADDLE IS THE BEST DEAL and BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRESSAGE SADDLES. Fit my substantially withered OTTB very well. I am SO picky about dressage saddles...tried and rejected MANY in the $3000 and up range...County, Albion, Black Country, Kieffer, Hulsulbus, Stubben, Crosby, Passier, on and on...it has lovely positioned blocks and the seat drops your leg straight down so you can use it without fighting "chair seat" (I like a straight leg and am miserable if the balance of a saddle pushes me forward)
Usefulness Rating: 2.8 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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