Manufacturer: Black Country
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: Acquired used privately for $1,900- wanted a secure saddle for cross country that was also comfortable for hacking. Reviewed and trailed dozens and dozens of saddles- Albion, Baines, Kieffer,Jaguar,Smith-Worthington,Toulouse,Beval,Pessoa......and this one was by far superior in quality and comfort for myself and horse. Found the brand via consistent rave reviews on forum sites.
Likes: Everything about this saddle oozes comfort and security. Your leg will not move galloping, tight turns. Have had my best jumping lessons in this saddle. It has a deeper seat but have never noticed over jumps (up to 3- 3.5 feet). Has a nice 'niche' for your leg, lots of seat padding for walking rides (seat is a bit wider so much more comfortable than hacking in most jump type saddles) and large front/rear wedges which engage when needed but otherwise don't notice.
Dislikes: Not much really. Did have a balance problem initially on a very difficult to fit horse- but since it was made for a different horse can't complain. Would be nice if more stores carried the brand as they are impossible to find used in USA- and UK for that matter. The seat leather has waved a bit from bony seatbones- have seen this before with softer leathers- more cosmetic and easy to overlook given all the other positives. Seem to hold value well- not so good for buyers but great for sellers.
Quality: Excellent, this one has vintage leather and calf-skin type seat/flaps- super soft. Wide panels, wide gullet, super soft and pliable flocking. Tree/gullet/panels seem to fit a variety of horses unlike some brands I had tried.
Summary: Honestly it is surprising that this brand hasn't taken off in US! Way less expensive than a County yet very similar in construction and quality. Once word gets out everyone will want one. This model is sometimes listed as all-purpose (Black Country refers to it as a deep seated jumping saddle) and have to say this is the one all- purpose that truly is! After years of hacking in jumping saddles and suffering sore knee/seatbones etc...this saddle has been a true find.
Usefulness Rating: 2.66667 out of 5.
3 reader(s) voted.
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