Model: Munchen AJ
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: Purchased from private party for around $800- about 5 years old in excellent condition. Wanted a secure trail saddle that would allow small to moderate jumps, needed something without the super deep seat my dressage saddle offers and a knee roll that allows a shorter stirrup while offering stability on trail. Took 8 months of looking at just about every brand/price range out there from M. Toulous to Black Country.
Likes: The quality is wonderful. The leather is pliable yet durable and is not slippery. This model has nicer leather in the knee area which allows even more grip. The seat is deep but not overly deep- (believe they call it anatomic?)- the twist is perfect, not too narrow or wide- allows my leg to hang comfortably. The seat is also wider and has latex v. foam so you never bottom out to a hard seat on the tree- after 3 hours of walking trail I was still comfortable. The saddle also provides security but doesn't lock you in so you can move around and 'work' in it for trotting/canter flat work- very close contact. The pencil knee blocks are contoured and deep for those sudden spooks and provide gentle support while trotting/cantering.
Dislikes: Honestly there isn't much- overall it offers the best combination of comfort, security, contact, quality of anything I've ridden in- which has been alot! Guess if I had to come up with something- I'd make the knee- pads the air-flow kind- but this is being very, very picky
Quality: Awesome- built to last yet not slippery, stiff- leather is pliable and soft but not super delicate- don't feel I have to baby this saddle or run in from the rain. Saddle construction was well thought out with wider gullet for the horses back and easy access to panels for flocking adjustment. The cut back pommel fits my incredibly difficult to fit horse perfectly. The panels are soft and not too flat as to bridge.
Summary: I see alot of older Kieffers and hear of hard seats and narrow gullets- be advised the newer models have comfortable seats and wide gullets with gusseted panels. I have to wonder why more people don't seek them out-although it was hard to find in USA used. This is a versatile, high quality saddle that I barely notice when I ride in it- which is the biggest compliment one can give. I can't see ever selling as it fits every horse I've tried it on and allows me to ride my horse in an effective manner while feeling secure.
Usefulness Rating: 3.2 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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