Manufacturer: Kentaur (View all products by Kentaur)
Model: Naxos (View all Naxos reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: After a long lay-off due to injury my horses shape drastically changed and there was no way that my old Stubben VSD was going to fit him. Actually, just an fyi, but Stubbens in particular require a very accurate fit as the tree points are longer than in most other saddles. Therefore, if the angle is not correct for your horse, it will dig in and pinch a lot worse! I got this information from my saddle fitter, and my horse agreed! Out of the ten saddles we tried the Kentaur was the best fit for my horse and I. It have a nice deep panel to accommodate the slight dip to his back, the gullet channel is nice and wide, and it was very comfortable for me. I also love that it is both wool flocked with an adjustable (by a saddle fitter) head plate, allowing it to fit nearly any horse.
Likes: So far, everything. I have only had the saddle for about a month so I cannot speak of durability as of yet, but this is what I love so far: -The leather! I went for the double calfskin covered, it was well worth it. It is very soft and grippy, I am not going anywhere! -The stitching is all tight and even -The billets broke in easily and seem very thick and well made -The seat and knee rolls are nicely padded and very comfortable -The blocks are the perfect size, they give me just enough support without getting in the way -My horse is moving 100000x better, jumping 100000x better, and his attitude is 100000x better.
Dislikes: Nothing. It is a superb saddle.
Quality: Wonderful. I know for a fact that calfskin is not as durable as either grained or buffalo but as I do not live in my saddle (I have one horse and I generally ride 4-5 days a week), this really isn't an issue for me. So far it still looks brand new, any scuffs have easily buffed out using a high quality leather balsam. I adore the buttery soft feeling and the amazing grip that it provides. Before this I had never ridden in a calf saddle and now I'm not sure I will be able to go back. Care, of course, is important but once again, this really isn't an issue. The stitching is all tight and even, I really like the decorative touch on the flaps. The billets are thick- yet very easily broke in.
Summary: Although it is still quite an unknown brand within the North American market, it is quite popular in the UK. It runs at around the same price as a Bates/Exselle/Pessoa/Crosby but, in my opinion, is much nicer. Definitely do not pass the Kentaur brand by and if the fit is right for you and your horse, get it, you won't regret it!
Usefulness Rating: 3.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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